Interview with Surrealist Artist Nathan Spoor
interview with surrealist artist nathan spoor
June 8, 2018
Early in your career you moved from Texas to Los Angeles. What impact has the city had on your art career?
I think any location or decision such as moving your life to another location has a large impact on any person or artist. Every part of life is changed and you become a different individual slowly. That's not to say that a person's true self has to change, but let's be honest over time we change or become... boring.
Living in Los Angeles is a lot of things, but it's important for young artists to understand that living in a bigger city is not a necessity. I moved here years ago when my art was getting the most interest here. Plus the climate is good for my health and mind, except for the smog.
How would you describe your style and what's your main inspiration?
My style is narrative, surreal, intuitive, storytelling... I have described the approach as Suggestivism for a while. It's basically the approach of being a good listener, trying to find be sensitive to what the painting needs. I want to create a really good painting. So my thought process is more concentrated around being able to help that appear.
Inspiration wise? Man it's so many things. I guess life is the best overall answer. Trying to live a life that seems balanced works for me.
You're the Head of Curation at Society6, what does this role entail?
I'm the Head of Curatorial + Community at S6 and yeah, it's fun and fairly complex. It's a healthy mix of going through tons of art uploads and picking out art for marketing promotions and merchandising for photo shoots and product releases. Also communicating needs for the artists to the rest of the team and engineers for site upgrades and expansion. Also that means I'm the artist liaison to communicate to the community of artists, so I have the opportunity to get to know artists and assign artist-powered content pieces for the site and blog for trend reports and seller education.
I'm also responsible for curating and designing our Art Quarterly and have recently completely redesigned it to include a community powered custom art zine called Flipside. It's literally on the flip side of the Quarterly, just turn it over and there's another edition and no end, just two covers. This last one is 3D themed, including a pair of the red/blue anaglyph glasses to see the art for the Flipside half of the book.
What're you currently working on? Any upcoming projects/works?
Coming up very soon is the Suggesivism Resonance group show and book release with Spoke Art NY in July. It's amazing that we're getting the chance to see these two exhibits with Spoke appear in a book that people can hold in their hands and take home to enjoy over time. A lot of these works are so detail intensive and have lots of takeaways that you just can't absorb all at once or in one moment. The book really gives people a chance to dig in and discover new things at their own pace.
What're your short-term and long-term goals—both for your art career and yourself?
Really I just want paint a really good painting. It can be that simple. I say simple because it's a specific goal but takes all the experience and patience necessary to work on a painting and also let yourself be a passenger on the journey so the ego can rest and the ideas can come to the forefront and be the stars they need to be. My paintings take years to complete, even without a day job. I've learned to just take it slow at a pace that the painting needs. When I've rushed to try to meet a deadline for an exhibit my work has suffered at some level, every time. So I needed to take a step back and not push for solo shows, not try to be in every group show that came along. I had to sort through that emotional along the way because that was one of my life goals, to be a successful gallery artist. But I noticed that the work that was making it to the walls was not my best work all the time. I was proud of most of it but even the good ones I wanted to work on a few more months to really fine tune.
That's the long way of saying that it's worth it for me, at least, to take the time that the painting needs. I can see doing a solo show again but it has to be with a tight group of works that I'm really proud of and feel is ready. It's got to be ready, the work has to be right at this point because I lose sleep over it man. And it's not selfish to be healthy, to have a ready mind and use that good rest to be ready and tackle all that detail!