ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Post wook
We're so happy to feature you on our darknet blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been doing art.
Thank you! I am a full-time artist based in Los Angeles, California. My days are usually spent packaging up and placing orders, making art for clients, and making art for myself. I love going on hikes in the mountains here, and going to the beach. When I have free time, I prefer to spend it underwater scuba diving.
When did you start your artistic journey? And what made you dive into the world of collages?
I started making art as POST WOOK in June 2018, but I’ve been making collages here and there since I was 12. I don’t know exactly what sparked my interest in collage vs. other forms of art, but I enjoyed the process of cutting things out and pasting them more than learning how to draw or paint. My grandmother is a classically trained oil painter and after seeing how much time and effort she had to devote to her craft, I respected it but took my creative musings in a different direction. Oddly enough, we make similar art even if its a completely different
Please tell us about your creative process, how are your art pieces created? Where do you find the components of your works, are they also created by you?
I make my art on Photoshop now. In the early days way before POST WOOK, I used to cut out pictures and textures from magazines but found that Photoshop provides a way more compact and less messy outlet for what I want to do. I find my images all over the internet, and did a deep dive into copyright law before I started posting art publicly. The most important thing for finding art on the internet is making sure it's royalty free. Occasionally, my friends and followers who are photographers will send me their photos to use, and in the future I plan on getting a camera myself and taking some of my own photos to use as well.
How do the external world and current events influence your art and creativity?
I try not to make art solely based on current events but rather my feelings and emotions that derive themselves from whatever I’m seeing and feeling. Sometimes my emotions are inspired by current events, but I’m more so enthralled with the world around me.
Have you ever reflected on what draws you to surrealism? If so, what did you come up with?
I’ve always had an imaginative brain, and I didn’t realize how odd my worldview was until I started talking to other people about their perspectives. I’ve never gotten a medical opinion, but I’m almost positive I have synesthesia -- I can see and feel sounds in a way that I really can’t describe. My boyfriend is an audio engineer and sometimes when he’s putting something together I’ll describe it as ‘the smell of old leather’ or ‘ripping apart bubble wrap’ and he has no
idea what I’m talking about but it makes sense to me. When I look at people’s faces, they look much like Picasso’s cubism portraits which is why I tend to not use people in my art-- I never can find the place for them. When I listen to music, I see a world that looks like my art in a dynamic reality. I guess I make art that reflects the way I see things in a multi-layer, colorful and dysfunctionally functional world.
Could you tell us more about what you're creating/working on right now?
I’m very presently in an in-between phase with my clients, but I am doing a year-long project with the California-based, craft beer company Firestone Walker. I just wrapped up another year long project with the science and space publication, Inverse, and I’m currently working on a few projects I legally can’t discuss! But for myself, I’m planning on expanding my online store a bit more towards the end of summer to include new tapestries, blankets, and notebooks in addition to the maelstrom of prints that my followers and supporters love so dearly.
You have worked with big brands and musicians. Tell us about your favorite collaborations and the process of working with others.
This is such a good question! I really love working with Firestone Walker because the team is so laid back and fun to work with. I worked with Zillow in the very beginning of my career and that was also a very exciting project as well. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of amazing clients though, it’s hard to pin down a specific project!
The process is just a lot of emails back and forth. It’s not super glamorous, now because of COVID it might be more zoom calls than anything else, but I’m usually just sitting on my couch taking notes and then revising projects. Depending on my direct and physical involvement in the project, something can be as hands-on as traveling for the brand and creating in-person content, or quite literally sitting on my couch revising it. With most things in entertainment, the big picture comes together once the project is finished and out in the public. That’s usually when
I can celebrate the triumph.
If you werenʼt an artist, what would you do for a living?
I actually loved my last day job and would do it again if I had to. I was an assistant for a private events team in a luxury hotel here in Los Angeles, and I really enjoyed that job. I’m an extrovert to my core and enjoy being around people and putting something together that makes them happy. I also love the logistics that go into event planning and execution, and the hospitality industry at large was the best industry (outside of art) that I’ve worked in.
What is your ultimate dream to accomplish with your art? How do you see yourself at the highest point of your career?
I really want to keep making an impact on the surrealism art world, and bring a new perspective to art. I’d love to see my art break into fashion at some point -- seeing my art on clothing in a runway show is definitely a goal of mine. I’d love to diversify outside of just digital art and start making more physical pieces for galleries and public art displays. I guess my tip top goal would be having my art as the display on the Los Angeles Convention Center, or to collaborate by name with a large brand like Gucci or Prada. I try not to think too much about the ‘means’ that lead to the ‘end’ because I’ve found that the path is always different that I anticipate.
Letʼs say you get full artistic freedom on a billboard on the busiest road in a huge city where millions will see your message. What would your message be? Any combo of words and images is fine.
Oh, I have so many things I could say. Before I even made art, I worked in politics and still have a deep affinity for reforming campaign finance because it can be a very dark place, so maybe ‘Overturn Citizens United’ -- or just ‘Vote’ if I’m taking the political route. Without words, I’d probably just make a nice landscape piece that portrays the surroundings of the billboard. I’m also a fan of abstract, almost troll-like art, so knowing me, I’d just put a big mirror on a billboard for no reason.
Finally, what would you say to up-and-coming artists who want to pursue their passion?
There’s so much! The most important thing is to think about the long term and your goals for the future. Invest in learning your craft as much as you can, and honing in your own style that sets you apart. Inspiration is great and can get you on your feet, but finding a new path to carve out will be far more helpful than trying to run someone out through their shadow. Google is a great resource for most questions, and you can learn a lot from different fields and people’s experiences. Become an expert in social media because the days of only getting recognition from galleries is over, and content is king.
Learn how to be your own agent and manager until you can find those people. I think all artists, not just visual artists, think there will be some superman that will do all of the logistical work for them so they can just make art. That might be true later, but learning how to be your own business manager will help you so much -- from correspondence with clients, to negotiating rates, managing a website, and organizing documents like contracts and tax documents. Art and business should go hand in hand if you want to succeed!
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