We had the good fortune of connecting with Brayden Bugazzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brayden, how do you think about risk?
Risk has definitely played a role in my life, and career. You have to be a risk taker to take on a career in art, and everyone knows it is a risky pursuit, and will tell you. The bad part is the Collage system won’t properly let you know what a gamble you are taking when you pursue a degree in art, and will gladly take your money and let you enroll. The problem is there is a conflict, because what they don’t tell you is pursuing a life in arts is similar to starting a business and being an entrepreneur whose product is the art that you do. If you have a large financial support system in place, and don’t have to take on any debt, and are passionate about art, then it is pursuit worth taking. Even if your not successful, at least you have all your financial needs taken care of at the end of the day. You can be free to work on any idea that comes to mind, and sometimes you can really do something that w0uld be super hard to come up with when the infrastructure isn’t in place to produce, and your spending all your time trying to stay afloat. Almost like being an inventor, who can go down paths of exploration that only can be explored with out the difficulties of living in the expensive world we now live in. I never want to knock anyone on any levels pursuits in art, but if you are not able to start off financially secure, and you go get an expensive education in art like I did, then you are automatically starting off with a profound handicap. I actually have a bachelors in art degree, and I personally think that is my biggest regret, and what has set me back the most, and has increased the risk 10 fold. No one ever once asked me if I have a degree, or if I graduated with top honors like I did. I always recommend to new artists to limit their risk, and to give them better odds of making it, to not rely on the system, and to forge their own path. Find artists that do the art they want to do, and offer to do an internship, or with YouTube and entire world of free education has opened up if your willing to invest the time. Also maybe take a course at a community collage on how to start and run a small business, then pay for it with saving, don’t take out any loans unless it is for art supplies, and things that will generate income down the road. Doing that path is the less risky path, also being a photographer is more risky and expensive, so don’t do that either, lol. At the end of the day, you will feel whole inside taking that risk, no matter what the outcome is, and honestly I think that is what life is about. You offer me a low risk life on a private island with a personal chef, masseuse, in a beautiful villa by the turquoise water sea, with a satellite TV, with all the best media at my finger tips. All I need to do is sit back, and relax, vs a life in the trenches taking risk, and trying to make Art happen. I will take art path every time, so ultimately the risk is the secret sauce, so bring in on baby!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is collage, with a bunch of different mediums implemented in. It is fun, lively, and I try not to get to political with it, however since my art is made up of thousands of scraps mostly from magazines and books, I can definitely, and I do sneak stuff in. Over the past 5 years, I have profiled a lot of different Pop Icons, so some might say I am a pop artist, but I am currently working on art inspired by different cultures, so I like to think of my art inspired by culture in general. I started out as a photographer after I graduated from collage, but I was never able to get it to a career where I could live a comfortable life in Los Angeles, you have one bad month, the bill mount up, and your toast. I actually became homeless for a little while, and to get me through I started to explore the inner artist I had lost touch with. Plus I had a lot of pent up creative energy, that I didn’t know how to release, because in photography you have to line up a lot of components to get a new image that fulfils your creative desires. In art I can just grab some wood, garbage, and glue, and boom I am making art happen, while I feel I am releasing my creative energy, and feeling fulfilled inside at the same time. It was really tough in the beginning, and a lot of these gallery owners are not very friendly towards artist that are just starting out, it is more like passive aggressive style, where they’ll flash a fake awkward smile when they talk to you in person, but will avoid you like the plague afterwards. If your a billionaire art collector, they’ll be on you like white on rice, but if you are an artist, they’ll teach you the meaning of the term ghosting someone. Seeing it from the other side, I can understand to a certain degree, but I personally would treat people starting out with a bit more respect, because (being in Hollywood, I have seen it over and over) you never know where they are going. They could be at the top of the artworld the next min, doing contracts with Louis Vuitton, having the best space at Art Fairs, Museums, and the gallerist with poor basic human manners is thinking about how they told them their art is crap, and to go jump off a bridge, lol. The lessons I have learned is to not take on to much debt, and to focus, focus, and focus. If you keep at it and keep refining your work every year, you will be so good at what you do, that there will be no competing. When I look at my older collage work, it is so simple, and unrefined. When I look at my current stuff, so much detail is packed in, that is really is fun to look at, because every time you see something new.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would go to the Magic Castle to see classic architecture of old Hollywood, and is filled will stories of that era all throughout the inside. I might hit Urth Cafe, good high quality good at a good price, but if I wanted to go to get the best chicken sandwich ever, I might hit Honor Bar in Beverly Hills. If I ended up in the valley I would hit Mendocino Farms, or even Granville a chain that is really tasty food, easy to get a seat, and always good service. If I was wanting to hit the Beach, the OC is always a good choice, and Laguna Beach is the bizomb! If your young, and single, Hermosa Beach, and Huntington beach both have cool crowds. If you don’t mind traffic, and would like a little more luxury closer to LA, Malibu is another good choice, and my art is on display at the Lumber yard at the Malibu Country Mart, so an even better choice in instore there, lol. Also if you want to see more of my art, and want more Luxury, make sure to hit the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Karen Bystedt has been managing 2 galleries, managing her super prestigious internationally recognized art the highest levels, like being added in the biggest art collections in the world like Prince Philips in Monaco’s art collection, or being seen in Museums, etc.. The series is called The Lost Warhols, and it is based on the lost photographs she took of Andy Warhol that resurfaced 30 years later. Currently it has morphed into something even bigger with now hundreds of artists involved in their own interpretations of her original photographs. Then she even pushed forward on doing a show in the heart of Beverly Hills, next to all the most prestigious fashion stores. A show that showcases beautiful art by established, and emerging artists in the black community who are looking for a positive ways to express themselves in these turbulent times. She has been doing all this, while battling cancer, and seeing her push forward every day is an inspiration, and something that I personally see as very profound, powerful, and inspiring.