We had the good fortune of connecting with The Art Of Chase and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The Art, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It wasn’t as much as a thought process but a result from years of painting and selling work. Forming a company is that next step if you want to be perceived as professional at a certain point. Most of my clients are businesses, brands or agencies so it creates an atmosphere of trust when they know they are dealing with an artist who has a company rather than an individual artist who may or may not be just painting on the weekend. The corp also holds all the rights to my work, so legally there’s benefits there as well.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Do you have 6-8 hours? lol. My story is simple yet complex. To sort of summarize it I’d tell you that I grew up skateboarding and tagging in Antwerp, Belgium, then moved to LA when I was 17 by myself in order to be closer to the scene that I loved so much. I stuck around and desperately wanted to learn how to paint walls the way some of my friends were doing back home, and found that LA was rich with perfect canvases in the form of sides of buildings. This was the 90s and ‘street art’ wasn’t accepted yet, much less appreciated- even in the form of murals. I found myself motivated to paint and also motivated to educate and explain to business owners why letting me paint the side of their businesses was a great idea, and in fact “good for business.” Lots of cold calls and walking into places with a little portfolio book in hand, hoping to get 30 seconds of the manager’s or owner’s time to make my pitch. Nine out of ten times the response would be “we don’t want any trouble” and “this spray paint stuff is gang-related, so no thank you.” But I persisted and after a few years started to be able to charge a little bit of money. It was never about becoming known, but after a while you become known in certain areas and things get a little easier. The feeling was and still is one of thankfulness for the opportunity to paint. To me, there’s no better feeling than applying color to building in a high-traffic area, sun shining down. It’s the best!
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?
Cecconi’s for dinner, the next day over to Venice to walk the boardwalk, then Abbott Kinney. Maybe book a session at Float Lab, the sensory deprivation tank in Westwood. Visit a friend’s studio. Hike the Santa Monica Mountains and try to find the waterfall (again), these kinds of things.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Alex Mecl from Bruce Brown Fillms / The Endless Summer has been a great mentor and help over the years, particularly with understanding licensing and contract negotiation.
all photos ©2021 The Art of Chase, Inc