Hello friends, everyone. Name's emonmanki, a surrealist from Bandung, Indonesia.
Since I'm new here, I'd like to share my interview with bentolman which been written in early 2015 ago. Hope you all like this post, hopefully this could give you some references about "artist world", include some personal point of view and more.
If you are an Indonesian, you could read this emonmanki.blogspot.com/2015/01… too. Well, here we go:
Hi, Mr. Tolman. How are you? Is it possible that your eyes feeling kinda stiff? Your works are beautifully detailed and seems like they spent quite lots of time to be made.
I would estimate I draw 40-60 hours a week. I have always used most of my free time to draw, at the moment I teach 2 days a week so that gives me 5 days to draw.
What/Who inspired you to work on art/drawing at the first place? Is there any interesting story about how you fell into the world where you are standing now?
I was always drawing as a kid, in school I would always draw, but I was not particularly good at drawing and didn't know much about art in general until I got to college. I started out in community college studying graphic design because I thought being an artist was not a practical thing to do. After 2 years of that I decided I couldn't really compromise in that way. I wanted to make art for myself and so I went to art school. Even though I went to art school I consider myself self taught because I always followed my own path and way of doing things. As a kid I started by copying comics out of the newspaper and just followed my own imagination. There was no internet so I had less reference points but maybe that helped me develop more of an individual vision. Later I was inspired by surrealists, bosch and the northern renassance and outsiders - people who don't really fit in. Now I have a very wide range of influence.
What is essential in getting the feeling to work?
Hmmm.. That varies I guess depending on the project. I guess the main thing is internal consistancy and that just comes from making enough work that you have technical control, you understand composition, and you have an individual point of view or way of working developed to the point where it feels natural.
Do you possibly have any quality standard?
No shortcuts. Do whatever it takes to make exactly the art you want to see no matter how long it takes.
Other than freedom to create art, what motivate you to create a detailed narrative? Personally, I am out of word in a quiet long time while I stare at every inch of your works, admiring the details.
I think it only work when your life and art are linked. I am interested in a wide range of things and bring my interests, my way of seeing into the work. For me its existential. I realize I am going to die and the work I make will be the only record that I existed. And I want it to matter that I existed, and I try to do that by making work that shows my way of seeing the world. I am not interested in particular styles or art movements to categorize my work within.
If your drawings are music, what would be they genre?
You can mention the band/musician if needed.
Something like Tom Waits or Nick Cave. Individual, experimental, existential, honest and with as much soul as possible. Not that my drawings have that but that my goal.
What is surrealism for you personally? What is its benefit?
I'm not specifically interested in surrealism as it pertains to my art, I want my art to have a much wider range. The subconcious and strange have a place but I want everything else too.
Specifically, what kind of appreciation that makes you feel appreciated?
I just want to know that my work has really had an impact on individual lives inspiring them in their own work or making them think about the world in a slightly different way. Some respect from the art world would be nice, but thats really not the point especially with how fucked the art world is at the moment.
In your opinion, does your works have any kind of communicative purpose?
Are you the kind of artist who concern about messages in art, and how the message can reach the audience?
Art is communication. But its not as straight forward as "I am trying to tell you this thing about the world" Its more like a way of seeing or pointing. Asking questions rather than answering them. Like " look how messy and mysterious and wonderful the world is" rather then trying to pin anything down. That and just communicating I was here to and these are the thing that interested me and that I though about and maybe you can relate.
Do you think concept is important?
Are you a complex conceptor or are you simple but to-the-point?
Form plus Subject equal content. How something is made along with the the concept is what the art is really about. Its all messy and complex and I like it that way. Art that is just about style is decoration.
Other than yourself, who “told” you to create something in certain style?
Style has its place but its overrated and a crutch that limits development.
What is your biggest satisfaction in finishing a piece of work?
Being able to start the next one. My approach to art is its always about learning. I am trying to figure something out more than I am trying to show you something.
What are the difficulties in fulfilling certain details in wide media when the client only mention minimal info/request/reference?
I do not like working on commission.
Does your imagination work like water, where it can just flow through your fingers and transform itself to the canvas?
I rarely plan any of my drawings out in advance I start in one corner maybe with a rough concept or composition in mind and try to uncover it as I go. Each piece suggests the next while I keep the whole in mind. My sketchbook practice is largely free flowing imagination with out wording about what I am making and I think this helps my process in more serious work. I am always surprised by the end result. If it were not this way I would get bored and not be able to spent so much time working.
Is there any secret trick to push imagination?
What do you do when you stuck in an “artblock”?
I never am blocked. I have a process and trust it fully. I think my trick is to not try and figure out an idea first I just start and the process reveals the drawing. And again I thing my lifelong doodling habit trained me for that.
Do you believe in talent?
Drawing is a skill you learn not a talent. That being said some will go much further that others and find the "magic" based on their makeup as a person and I guess that is what talent is. But its mostly hard work.
Who are your favorite artist?
The one whose works you “worship” hard and relevant to be references for those who are still figuring out their own style in creating art?
Right now its Manabu Ikeda.
Art is? (you can answer this in any way you like).
Sufficient technical mastery to take something of the mystery of life and capture it in a cultural form for others to wonder at.
Last question. Is there any chance for me to collaborate with you? *laughs*
There is no way to know what the future holds.