In times such as we live where the technologic tools to create artwork are so many, you can get a feeling that the limits of creation are becoming everyday shorter as new digital mediums and materials appear everyday to help give shape to what could be only seen inside of our heads.
Still, there’s a beauty and soul to artwork created manually that can’t be reproduced by any digital means; The mistakes, the sloppiness, the accidents. Things that makes things we create much more human.
This can be sensed all around thru Ryan Bock’s work ; from the tones to the themes and mediums.
Beside being a great artist, he’s also a pretty chill dude, I had the opportunity to get a little word with him about his works and process.
Your work has a wide range of tools and processes, is there somewhere they all meet? Techniques, influences, tone, color?
I’d like to think all my work meets in theme and purpose. I do have a large array of work in many different mediums intentionally. Every different project I work on calls for different techniques and tools to better interpret the ideas that structure the particular project. This also helps me explore as much as I can- while simultaneously keeping me from becoming stagnant and in my comfort zone. However no matter what I create there are always reoccurring themes, symbology and a certain varying dark undertone.
Spirituality is a very strong element of your work, is it something that always followed your art? Is there a particular experience that brought it up?
I think the only reason spirituality is so inherent in my work is because its embedded in the human experience. Im fascinated by the effect “spirituality” has on the psyche of the individual and society as a whole. I would be hard pressed to illustrate any human characteristics if I left spirituality out of the equation. I can’t really think of a particular experience of my own that this stems from. Its just my interpretation of what I see occurring around me.
Dont Worry- If there is a Hell Below- We are all going to go (Ode to Curtis Mayfield), 2010-2011-2012
Acrylic paint, Screen print, Spray paint on wood panel
What’s your perfect state of mind to create?
When I’m wearing at least 14 zoot suites. haha, nah. I’d say my perfect state of mind for creating is when I’m inspired. Wether that be from reading a book/seeing a film/conversations/visits to a museum or drugs. Doesn’t make much difference. If I’m inspired then I create.
Does the environment influence? How?
Yeah, I guess I’d say the environment influences me. For instance if I’m drawing in a moving vehicle- my line quality may be all wobbly and weird. I find that traveling to different countries and experiencing new things always influences what I make. I’m constantly thinking- how can I take whats around me, all this new visual information and unfamiliar shapes and architecture and culture and learn from it and apply it to my practice.
Your creations are done with the minimum use of digital tools as possible, is that something you always strived for? Or was it a change in your creative process at some point?
I’ve always been hesitant of technology. Wether this is because I was encouraged to go outside and play with mud and rocks as a child/ or I saw Terminator at an impressionable age- its impossible for me to say. While I agree that technological growth is valuable and inevitable- I feel that the influence it has on our psychology and the negative consequences of over use are a huge issue that remains somewhat understated. Of course no company that profits off of either selling or using technology is going to be forth coming with any cerebral side effects new technologies obviously have on their user. So I’ve taken it upon myself to address these concerns in all my work through theme as well as process.
Your music videos have a lot of different processes involved, what’s your relation with the artists on the creative process? Do they get involved a lot?
So far in my music video career I’ve been lucky enough to work with musicians who care just as much about the creative process as the final product. I would much rather get involved on a personal level with anyone I create a video piece for because the better I know the individual and understand the message inherent in their music- the more successfully I can visually interpret that message. For instance with Quest- Salomon lived with me for 2 months while I animated the video. He literally sat there with me every day and kept track of frames and took the 2500+ stills. It was a great learning experience for both of us. For my newest video (coming mid May) for Gabriel Garzon- Montano’s single “Keep on Running”, Gabe sat with me and helped me cut paper puppets for weeks. Video is a collaborative art- theres no way around it. Especially being a one man animation studio I need all the help I can get. HOWEVER that being said- you gotta draw some lines. If I’m being hired to make a visual- I’m gunna have the final word on all decisions. You don’t see me sitting over your shoulder in the recording studio telling you how to write ya song.
You say you’re interested in collaborating with other artistic fields, is there a specific area you been reaching out to?
So far I’ve sort of naturally gravitated towards collaboration with musicians. However I really am open to collaborating with whoever in whatever field. If you have that spark and you’re down we can get crackin’. I think I have some work with a dance company out of Brooklyn planed for this summer. We’ll see……
Any plans, projects set up for the future?
Looots of stuff going on in the future. I feel like this summer is going to be crazy. Afore mentioned colaboration with the dance company. Afore mentioned animated music video for Gabriel Garzon- Montano’s amazing single “Keep on Running” from his album Bishouné: Alma del Huila- scheduled for a mid May release. Super excited about that. I have a weird zine coming out with my associate Babyman. Lots of collaborative videos with my iLLUZiON bros planned for two album releases this summer (EV//OLUZION and Book of Salomon Faye). And several exhibits in NYC and else where. And as always I’ll be chillin, painting, and taking commissions for everything from murals, album covers to music videos. Stay tuned and/or holla at ya boy.
Stay tuned for the release of the new video that he produced for Gabriel Garzon- Montano’s single “Keep on Running”.