We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Bondi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dave, what’s your definition for success?
I had a therapist once tell me, “some people want to climb the mountain and others want to hang out by the lake and watch the sunset”. Success is a very personal thing. Most people spend their entire lives chasing after things that external influences tell them will make them happy. We live in a hyper materialistic society that makes great profit from telling you that you are inadequate, boring, or ordinary and these ideas seep into the depths of our consciousness. Breaking free from that influence can be incredibly difficult. For me success has very little to do with money or material wealth. It is ultimately about the pleasure I find in my daily life and the people I call my friends.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For me art is about how you live your life and the passion and curiosity that you bring to everything you do. So its a very broad category. I’ve tried very hard in fact to not set myself apart from others – to be humble and realize how small and insignificant I am while at the same time understanding the ultimate connection and interbeing we all share. It hasn’t been easy considering the expectations that we all put upon each other to be productive, moral upstanding citizens and so on. I’ve been lucky in overcoming these pressures by having a strong anti authoritarian streak. There is no guru or expert or icon that is beyond reproach and I never submit without a challenge. Mistakes are a natural part of growth and you need to own them in order to learn from them.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It would depend on the friend, but I would definitely take them down to Venice to hang out with all the crazy people I know there. I lived there for 10 years and for me it represents everything cool about LA. It’s gritty, loud, anarchistic and filled with the most broad cross section of humanity. For food, we have it all in this town. What do they want? Authentic Szechuan? Monterey Park. Koreatown for BBQ? Al Pastor tacos on the street in Highland Park? Pupusas in North Hollywood. As for the outdoors, a trip to Joshua Tree would be in order. I’ve been going for over 20 years and know all the great spots far away from where everybody usually visits. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Picking a shoutout is so difficult for someone who defines success by the wonderful people in their life. I have to thank my parents first for always recognizing and encouraging my curiosity because that set me on a lifelong journey of discovery. I’ve been making art for such a long so there are many many people who have influenced and supported me over the years. In the early 2000’s my friend Frank Kozik was instrumental in encouraging me to work in the designer toy world. The trifecta of Joe Ledbetter, Luke Chueh and Thomas Han were my crew back then and we have always supported each other. But my biggest influence going all the way back to my college art days was the artist Genesis Breyer Orridge. I saw a concert they were playing back then and was absolutely spellbound. Throughout their career Genesis was a complete iconoclast – always diving headfirst into whatever happened to strike their fancy regardless of the standard expectations of the art world. Their dedication to personal exploration, growth and knowledge through experience is what I have always tried to emulate.

Website: http://davebondi.com/

Instagram: @davebondiart @davebondi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davebondi/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dave.bondi

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