I always thought it would be cool to do interviews on The Fox Is Black. I’ve made some pretty cool friends over the years so it makes a lot of sense. But then these two midwest folks, Ryan and Tina Essmaker, decided to move to New York and start a site called The Great Discontent which is essentially everything I wanted to do only a hundred times better. TGD has taken the idea of an interview and turned it into a an art form, mixing words and imagery seamlessly.
Earlier this morning the interview I did with them went live and I can honestly say I’m so honored to be part of what they’re doing. In it I describe my process of being some kid from the suburbs that really had no idea what he wanted to do in life (other than “make art”) to running The Fox Is Black and having a full time job as an art director at Disney Interactive. It’s also about being passionate in your work and life, and that the only way you’ll succeed is if you put a lot of hard work into the things your most passionate about. Anyhow, hopefully you get something inspiring from the interview, I had a lot of fun talking with Tina and Ryan, they’re great folks.
Are you satisfied creatively?
No. Definitely not. There’s no way it’ll ever happen. I get to do stuff that I enjoy, but there are so many things I could be doing that I either don’t have the time for or don’t yet have the skills for. I am satisfied to the extent that I’m in a position where I get to decide what I want to do. Years ago, I didn’t have that luxury. In that sense, I’m happy, but there are still people who don’t know my name, companies I haven’t worked for, and things I haven’t done yet. I think that if you’re an artist and you’re satisfied, then you’re a failure—honestly. There’s more out there than you could ever imagine. If you’re satisfied, you’re done being an artist.
Starting September 6 Stephen Powers will have a brand new show at the Joshua Liner Gallery, featuring a gallery of enamel on aluminum works which look really amazing. In conjunction, i-D magazine interviewed Stephen about the show, his thoughts on street art today, and the slow rise of the sign painter.
In your ESPO days you targeted shops that appeared to be out of business and grates that were already heavily vandalised and described it as a public service, do you feel your work still acts in this way?
I like going where the blight is, wherever it is. That’s been a constant since 1984. I like making a place better with my markings. Sometimes all you need to improve a situation is a can of flat black spray paint.
Last week we talked about the current wave of new acts coming from Finland and the burgeoning scene that’s taking place there. Inspired by the attitudes of acts abroad and fueled by a desire for international exposure, today’s Finnish bands are creating fresh and unique sounds. Acts are also adopting the ethos of DIY culture and creating the types of music that they want to make, turning Finland into one of the most exciting countries producing music today. Continue reading this post…
Finland is a country best known for its heavy-metal and hard rock yet things are changing. The current music scene is buzzing with a new generation of musicians, producers and collectives eager to create great sounds. I spoke with a number of them to discuss this new wave of Finnish music. Continue reading this post…