Monday, January 22, 2018

Artist in the Spotlight: Joel Witliff

How did you get started in creating art?

I started drawing in grade school to keep myself entertained, doodling in the margins of notebooks and homework papers. Later I attended Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design and took all the art classes I could but I didn't graduate because I had no care to enroll in the core classes like English and Math.
What is your favorite medium and why? 

Currently, I am enjoying mediums that allow me to work on canvas. In the past, I was mostly a digital artist creating illustrations for game companies and publishers. However, much of what I do starts out in my sketchbooks with a sharpie, over a cup of coffee. That is the intimate side of art for me, where anything goes, and no one needs to know what I am up to.

What are your favorite subjects?
While you don't see it much in the paintings I display people and figures are my favorite subjects, both real and imagined.

Do you have a vision for your work?  For a body of work that you would like to create?

In the future, I would like to move towards painting ideas. The crazy thoughts in my head would like to have an outlet. It's difficult though because I have a hard time breaking self-imposed stigmas of what fine art painting "should" be. My influences early on were the illustrations on fantasy and sci-fi book covers. I would like to go back towards relying more on my imagination and less on reality but in a more conceptual way. As far as what’s next on the horizon we will see. It will be as much of a surprise to me as anyone else.
How did you find out about the Lakewood Arts Council and Co-op?  What do you find most
enjoyable or beneficial about being a member?
I met Viv, a member of LAC, through a chance encounter and found out about the gallery. It took a while for me to come around and have a look see, but I was very attracted to the idea of meeting other creatives and being an active part of the local art community, as opposed to what I was doing, which was being holed up in the studio watching paint dry

What’s next on the horizon?

My art is constantly in a state of change. Most changes are brought about by just getting bored and wanting to try something new. I have the attention span of a squirrel and in addition to that, I am insatiably curious.

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