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

Hi Derek, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Art has always been that one way to express myself and how I feel in that moment in time. I worked a lot of crappy jobs and realized that’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I want to be doing something I’m happy to do and something I can look at and say, “that’s me and my work.”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art in my own words is just my surroundings. I get a lot of inspiration from what I watch, read, hear, etc. My style has evolved drastically over the years from where I would do these very abstract/messy paintings, to stuff that is now more refined and colorful. I am always trying to figure out how to get my work out there more and more each day (which has been a struggle), but every now and then I am given the opportunity with a show. Also, social media is a huge help in showing people your work and constantly letting them know what you’ve been working on. I try to spend every single day doing something artistic whether it be painting, drawing, graphic design or photography. The worst you can do is limit yourself, I want to be great so I strive be better every single day.

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?
Absolutely we have to go hiking in one of our beautiful National Parks. It’s always nice to take a few hours and get away from the city and enjoy the true beauty this world has to offer us. After the hike we’d probably get some ice cream at Reimers because it is absolutely the best ice cream there is. Plus, you also get to benefit from the lovely scenery that Three Rivers has to offer. Maybe go to downtown Visalia and see if there’s any bands playing possibly at Cellar Door or Barrelhouse. Grab some dinner at Good Times where it’s nice to feel surrounded by some quality oldies music playing while you eat. Or possibly the Planning Mill where you’re always likely to have a great conversation with someone you’ve never met and enjoy a great meal!

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?
I’d love to thank all my friends & family for supporting me along the way. A lot of what I have done wouldn’t have been possible without them coming to shows and buying my work, it really means the world to me.

Instagram: @dertbagderek
Twitter: @Dertbag__

Image Credits
Image Credit: Jordan Ford

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