We had the good fortune of connecting with Seth Archuleta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Seth, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Well I guess the question is, how does art help the world? That is a long answer. For my work in particular, it is the very act of noticing another human being and I think the world always needs that. To put it I simply, I like knowing that something I created helped make someone else happy. I like that there are people out there who trusted me with an image that means something to them and is hanging in their home. That really is such a great feeling. I question my reason for doing art all the time. On one hand, I simply enjoy it the same way that I enjoyed it when I was five years old. It is instinct and innocence. There is also the fascination with shading and rendering and that moment when the drawing comes alive. There is also that need to connect with others, and portraiture is an inherently empathetic act. On the other hand, once you get older, one discovers that it can also be a shortcut to opulence (or the illusion of opulence) and can influence how people view you. My art is both aestheticism and also deeply personal. If I had to think of the deeper intention behind my artwork, it might be rebellion. For many people, an artist drawing the human body is a tradition as old as dirt. Michelangelo or Da Vinci immediately come to mind and are completely accepted in mainstream culture as art. Yet where I come from, drawing the nude body could be seen as controversial. I confess that I like that. It’s my declaration. Is all of this making the world a better place? I hope so! Art is messy! I do know that this world is deeply divided and I think we need more art, not less. Nobody, regardless of what they claim, are unaffected by the allure of the human form, and so similar to music, that makes it universal.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I primarily do classical realism and portraiture using charcoal and pastel. One aspect of my business is selecting my own subjects from my personal life who interest me, as well as commissions of anything from individuals, couples, pets, children, infants. Those ones make for great gifts. Sometimes I will draw something completely unrelated, simply for myself. I recently did an illustration of a hand with a mask. The intention was not necessarily to be political, but more of a visual representation of what this year really feels like for me. I think the work I am most proud of currently, are my pieces of a friend of mine named Peter. As far as what I’m most excited about going forward, is simply just making more art. I have no idea what the next piece is going to be, and that feels great. I am completely self taught. I studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. I never studied art formally apart from art class in high school where I was pretty much left to do my own thing. Fine art has always been a matter of personal drive for me. Practice practice practice. I only show the drawings I’m proud of. There were bad ones along the way. I think that is something we easily forget when we are scrolling through social media and inevitably start comparing ourselves to others. We all really have to stop doing that, myself included. However, platforms like instagram have been more positive than negative for my artistic well-being. I have discovered many artists and they are a source of inspiration. Right now instagram is the best place to see my work, as my website is being updated.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have lived in Los Angeles for thirteen years. I love my city. I love the diversity, the weather, the different neighborhoods. You can find any sort of food you want here. I need my options and Los Angeles gives me that. This is quite a sad question to reflect on with the current state of affairs regarding covid. However, the pandemic has caused me and my friends to get creative with outdoor options, which in LA is easy. A pool or beach is always within reach, or a nice hike. Manhattan Beach and Will Rogers beach are my favorites. Backyard hangouts are an option year round. Fryman is my favorite place if I need a walk and nice view of the Valley and then I would most likely want to grab lunch at HealthyCa in North Hollywood. It’s been said, but you really can’t beat our weather and this year more than ever I have truly appreciated that.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents have always supported me from day one regarding my artistic pursuits. I have always been very consistent in my interests, and I think they knew that this was inherently a part of me. It was very clear I was never going to be a mathematician, I’ll put it that way. My dad draws quite realistically as well and encouraged me to practice when I was a child. We are originally from New Mexico and I remember being inspired by his drawings of eagles and horses and buffalo. When you’re immediate family gives you that sort of validation early on, it can be very helpful. And shoutout to Mr. Harding! He was my art teacher in High School who allowed me to do my own thing in the back of the classroom, away from the other kids. It was my “independent study.” That made me so happy! Pablo Picasso was always my main inspiration as a kid. I learned from him that you don’t have to stick to one style and I’m keeping that in mind. Contemporary inspiration would have to be Edward Povey and Ryan Hewett.
Other: email: firstname.lastname@example.org