ANDY KITTMER / TORONTO, CANADA
I am a Self Taught Artist that comes from a small town in south-western Ontario just outside of London and Stratford.
I Have been Drawing for as long as I can Remember and did my first art show at a young age which sparked my interest in becoming an artist!
I was always inspired by Comics such as "Spawn" and in growing up got into graffiti and started to get some interest in it from potential buyers, then turned to doing it on canvas and experimenting with all sorts of mediums!
I then began an apprenticeship in Automotive Painting, Learning Airbrushing, Pinstriping, Sign Painting and Gilding!
Now I have come full circle back to where it started and am now doing a mix of all the things I have learned along the way and fusing Illustration, with the colors of the graffiti and automotive world.
Prjct Social / INTERVIEW
How is the art scene in your city/country compared to the U.S/Michigan? Are their distinct differences that you’ve noticed in sales approach, perception of your work, and personal taste?
I think the U.S. marketplace is much more open to interpretation as far as art goes, people have been more interested in my work in the states than in Canada, there are more galleries showing more and more lowbrow, street art and pop surrealism than in Canada as well. Toronto is starting to get more galleries popping up showing this type of work and is bringing a lot of these artist out into a reputable venue, and being close neighbors it's only natural the work stems cross border!
Walk us through a day in the studio. When you are fully committed to working on a new or current piece, what is your mindset, goals you keep in mind? What kind of mood does your space give off?
My space is like a 6'x6' cell but it works, i've always tried to do the best with what I have. I feel that's why I have always used acrylic, because it's always been at my disposal. Music, Music and more Music! I try to feed off my emotions when i start painting and then it becomes therapeutic and helps me clear my head, like getting psyched up for a game. I try to give myself a goal whether it's to get a piece done in a couple days or multiple pieces, but having kids and a full time job really limits the hours you're able to put in.
Give our audience some insight on who these characters are? What influences helped shape your imagination and authentic style?
A lot of my subjects are people that I meet or know through social media, most have photographer friends so they have well compositional photos of themselves on their page and I will message them and see if it's cool that I use an image as a reference for a piece! My style of work has changed drastically over the past 10 years, I went from Illustration, graffiti, airbrushing and pinstriping, to what I do now, and I used to hate figurative but when I was doing automotive airbrushing everyone wanted portraits so i started getting better and now that's all i do, it's pretty crazy how such a minut thing has such an effect years down the road.
What do you do when you aren’t painting? Any other hobbies or vices you can’t live without?
Skateboarding and Traveling, which i don't do enough of either.
Can you remember the first time you picked up a paintbrush? When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
The first time I picked up a brush it was in highschool art and the brushes were tatered and older than me and I thought "What the F%$@ can I possibly do with this!" and so I got an exacto knife and cut most of the bristles off so it was the size I wanted etc. I knew I wanted to be an artist about 5 years ago at my first solo show when it was full of OCAD students that were asking me where I went to school and were
blown away when they found out I was self taught which I thought would be at a disadvantage but has worked in my favour through the years, I then did a one night show of 50 international artists that drew in 3,000 people, with the likes of Mike Giant, Sam Flores, Faith 47, Tom Gilmour and Kwest to name a few, and I think that's when I kicked it up a notch and started taking it seriously!
How has it been working with Prjct OMNi for this installation in Northern Michigan? What made you decide to work with our platform?
It's been good, they constantly keep in contact with artists to make sure they're savvy and no issue's which is good to see, a lot of galleries just take the work and do what they want with it and don't keep artists in the "Proverbial" loop. I had seen that they were working with Michael "@Reederone" Reeder and making all the right marketing and advert moves off the get go and getting involved with quality up and coming artists, taking the time to interview their artists and giving readers an in depth of the "Artists" and their work!
When someone looks at your work, what do you want them to feel?
Lost! i mean if you understand the work you lose interest, but it still needs to be visually stimulating enough to get lost in! I like to create pieces that really push not only visual boundaries but mental as well. People often find my work emotionally relatable, they often tell me they feel it, an emotional connection!
Do you have a selection of pieces you would never sell? A private catalog that you will enjoy throughout your lifetime?
I have had a few pieces that I have a hard time letting go, but they were bumming around for a while and I feel like you're only as good as your recent work, every time I do a piece i like it, until I finish the next one then I like that one but the previous is old news to me ha ha!
What do you want to happen to your work once life is said and done? How would you like to be remembered?
I think it would be cool if when my kids are so called "seniors" and they came across a collector of my work and got to see my work again a lifetime later, kinda like that movie Cloud Atlas, but with my work. I think anyone would just want to be remembered, but if I could choose it would be for working for my dreams, which are achievable, with hard work!
Anything else you would like to leave say before we part?
Be a Creative! or support a creative!