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The Original *Useless Wooden Toys



Buff Monster


Instagram: @buffmonster

Facebook: /buffmonster

New Deal 1990 Exhibition
*Artist Interview

When, where, and why did you start skating?
Growing up in Hawaii in the 80s, we were a little removed from the big surge in skateboarding happing in other places. But I did go to a great skate demo in 1986 and got a sticker signed by Christian Hosoi after the event.

When and why did you start making art?
I was making art when I was a kid. Always drawing. Some of that old stuff is still kind of similar to what I’m making today. But I stopped drawing for a while. Getting involved in graffiti in the mid 90s is what got me back into making art and I’ve been making art ever since. I’ve always tried to do my illustration work by hand as much as possible. I think that the limited production techniques from those early days of the skate/surf scene are really magical. All the work was painstakingly done by hand.

Was there a defining moment in your art journey that drove you to make it your full time life/career?
I was making a name for myself in the 2000s in LA, but I also had a day job (Art Director/Creative Director for a variety of magazines). I never knew how to make the jump to full-time artist. When we got Rockstar video games to sponsor a national tour in 2006, I quit my job and haven’t had one since.

What is your favorite medium and why?
In the studio, acrylic with a nice brush or airbrush is my favorite. They’re both so fun. Outside the studio, spray paint is the only way to go.

Tell us about your studio and daily practice? How do you balance art career and family life?
I don’t have a family, so that helps. Studio hours are officially 10-6, but realistically they’re more like 10-10ish more or less. It just depends on what’s going on. The best days are when I can just sit and work by myself all day long. Days outside working on a mural are fun too, but those don’t happen too often. The least enjoyable days are the ones where tending to emails and other business things dominate the day.

Tell us about your piece for the exhibition? Painting, print, deck, etc?
There are several New Deal graphics that I thought I could really work with, but I chose a (probably lesser-known) t-shirt graphic of a Viking. He seemed like he would be fun to reinterpret. In the end, he turned out to be more of a split Viking and head-hunter. The colors are laid in with airbrush, the line work is done with a nice smooth brush, and the background is spray paint, all on a super legit custom-made wood panel.



Buff Monster Gallery


New Deal 1990 Exhibition