We had the good fortune of connecting with Frank J. Stockton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Frank J., let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who take the initiative to see their creative projects through.
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.
Ten years ago, I was an editorial illustrator living in Brooklyn when I saw the paintings of Philip Guston for the first time. The raw imagery and tactile surfaces shocked me and I knew the moment I saw them that I was born to paint.
A series of abstract paintings based on the neighborhood of Park Slope earned my acceptance to grad school at UCLA in 2012. I was in over my head for the entire first year — it was like learning a new language. I can’t overstate how much I learned from fellow grads like Brooks Turner, Kim Truong, Emily Sudd, Paul Sepuya, Sarah Sarchin, Anthony Miserendino, Calvin Marcus, Ravi Jackson, and Bridget Beck, and from professors like Patty Wickman, Lari Pittman, and Roger Herman.
Most of my work uses line and color to depict fantasy and/or doomsday scenarios. I trust my intuition and in the collision of ideas above all else.
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?
This summer I’m showing some new drawings at a gallery called Iris Project in the Venice Walk Streets, a pedestrian-only neighborhood with no city streets between homes.
I have a three year-old on the West Side, so my favorite spots are all outdoors and family-friendly. Burton Chase Park is right on the water in Marina Del Rey. It’s got a lot of grass, walking paths, and is nestled into the arena. There are lots of sailboats to look at, and plenty of sea lions lounging on the surrounding docks. The UCLA Sculpture Garden is also a wonderful place to explore. There are dozens of beautiful sculptures to look at and lots of grass and shade. Solstice Canyon is an easy hiking trail in Malibu that features the ruins of an old mansion nestled up against a waterfall and creek. You have to arrive really early because there aren’t enough parking spots.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Vanessa reminds me to celebrate the victories, big and small. I couldn’t do it without her.
Iris Project Gallery: https://www.irisproject.com/