We had the good fortune of connecting with Karl Zurflüh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karl, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is such a personal thing, how we define it is a completely individual experience. As a society we give risk a lot of power. I strive to change that, by putting the goal ahead of the risk. When I can stay focused on the goal I react faster, operating with less holding me down. Sometimes those goals have been reached right away, but most of the time they are not. Failing has always opened other unexpected doors for me. Being present ready to act, or already being in motion, has granted me a lot of success. As I continue to move forward I try to continue to push myself out of my comfort areas and continue to take risks, knowing that failing is part of growth.
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 work ranges from digital commercial work (the day job that is super fun) to large scale murals that use public spaces in unique ways (Hip Hop is a key building block in my creative education) to high end gallery canvases that express complex emotions & narratives. Coming from a family of Military Professionals and Teachers, my choice to pursue art was a shock. I had no mentors, no guidance, and no real support. I put myself through art school while working and devouring any information about the art world I could. At that time I believed my friends and family when they said there was no future in Fine Art. So I choose to pursue the only commercial art I knew of, Animation. My goal was to get a job that I could support myself with, so I could continue making my own art. I came out of school a classically trained Illustrator. I ended up getting a job as a graphic designer learning computers as I went. My love for video games would push me to go back to school to learn 3D. All the while I worked, bouncing around having almost every kind of commercial art job one can have. It took me a long time to find my current job, that combines many of my passions. I work for an agency that specializes in Key Art/Branding for Video Games. This allows me to create logos and illustrations for some of the biggest AAA game titles in the world. All the while I get to pursue my own art through murals and canvases and taking on the projects I truly love. The journey has been crazy but I am so grateful for all that I have been through and where I am at today. I can’t wait to see how all of my work continues to improve and evolve.
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?
Breakfast at Roscoe’s (N Gower St), Skate Belvedere Skatepark, Grab lunch at Chili Johns, Catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl, Drinks at the Burgundy Room
Take the back roads past Pepperdine to Matador Beach, Skate Glendale Skatepark, Grab some food at Zahle, Drinks at the Tonga Hut, Catch a show at the Troubadour
Breakfast at Philippe’s, Skate LA City Hall, Check out LACMA & Arts District Murals, Grab some Guerrilla Tacos, Play games at EightyTwo Arcade
Breakfast at Griddle, Skate Griffith Park & Bronson Halfpipe (lower Bronson DIY S/O Clay!) Grab an Umami Manly Burger (Hollywood BLVD), Check out Wackos Books/ La Luz de Jesus Gallery
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 want to shout out my brother Steven, who in essence taught me a foundation that is the basis of my success. (Our Dad, a Navy Pilot, was KIA when I was eleven months old, Steven was 4 years old. Being raised by a single Mom we became latchkey kids, spending long periods of time alone.) Steven taught me how to draw, and paint. He pushed me to read and go beyond what our schools were teaching us. When we were in Elementary school, we would go to the local University’s library to study anything and everything. This gave me a thirst for knowledge that supported the idea that anything was possible. He always treated me as an equal and took me with him and his friends, thus exposing me to a vast array of music, art, and a plethora of cultures. I just want to say thank you for looking out for me and making sure we were taking care off. I love you.