Chakras, Prana and Chi
My mom was doing freelance art when I was very young, the house was constantly filled with paints, and finished pieces adorned all walls. Also, there were paintings and sculptures that my grandfather had made displayed proudly, and though he was gone, it was clear to me that I was a part of this family of artists, as it was given to me to express my own creativity through painting, it was always encouraged since day one. I became interested in monsters and skateboard art and thrash music at a very young age. Of course, I discovered Metallica and Pushead and realized that this was a career option. By the time I got to high school I was already creating comic books. I then began doing flyers and t-shirts for local garage bands and Battle of the Bands shows. By the time I was a senior it was already well known that I could be counted on for stuff like that.
I went away to study film at college and lost touch with the Chicago scene. University is really where I got interested in art history and my ideas about art really grew beyond simple comic books and album sleeves. I realized the philosophical and esoteric aspects of artwork which upon graduation, I eagerly went back to Chicago to push on all the local bands. Touring bands took notice of the show posters and thirst I was doing and began approaching me, thus expanding my experience. The internet was new and it was easy to get noticed through the social media of that time. Bigger and bigger projects kept rolling in and I learned as I went along. Finally ending up working for apparel companies out of Los Angeles and this eventually developed into doing commercial character design and concept art. I feel very fortunate to have all of these elements combine to the point where I have been able to maintain a career as an artist and it all started out with a love for heavy metal and my friends in the scene.
I would call my technique old school because I still draw by hand, and set up simple color schemes that are easy to print with just three colors. My biggest influences are 70’s and 80’s printed art, which developed around the limitations of the technology and techniques of the time. I do use computers a lot at the end but I still create all of my textures and pen work by hand with India ink and watercolor.
I would say it is very Eastern. I am concerned mostly with Chakras and Prana and Chi flow, portals opening and energy traveling from one level to the next. I would say this is consistent, aspect in absolutely all of my imagery. I find it as a spiritual exercise and a type of meditation. I incorporate symmetry and geometry, and balance, as I truly believe that this practice will reflect itself in my own being. As I strive for harmony and balance between my vision in mind, and my execution of it with my hand, it brings a type of transcendental serenity that I find immensely satisfying. The intention being that the final imagery brings a small flavor of that sentiment to the viewer. That someone who would have my art around would be affected by the colors and geometric layout would feel that energy even if they themselves are not meditating on it directly.
It is the portal by which we connect to other dimensional realms, feelings and powers. Sounds can inspire hallucinations, out of body experiences, sudden memories and inspiration, you can have physical molecular changes with certain frequencies of sound, and science is exploring these tones in the healing of cancer and other ailments. Sound and Color therapies have been part of the human tradition since forever, being ancient knowledge even to the Egyptians, Celtic Druids and Original Peoples. Expressing yourself artistically is what makes us human, it is what bridges the gap between the animal and divine. Art and music is what allows us to visualize the stars, and build machines to reach them. We humans are so powerful because of our ability to create music and imagery out of nothing, it is the truest magic.
In every single facet. There are certain symbols that have been used for tens of millennia, and these resonate with certain people, science calls it genetic memory. Lifetimes of generations gave birth and legitimacy to these archetypes and with good reason. Creative minds will always be drawn to these symbols like magnetism throughout time. All of languages is symbolism, I am using the symbology of the English language right now to convey these concepts for you, the literate to decode. Just as a musician can look at sheet music and decipher what all the lines and dots mean, and play it on the instrument. What looks like scary squiggles to one person, is actually a beautiful song when deciphered and performed by musician initiated in the understanding of written music. A person of this capacity will naturally be curious about what other information is hidden within the symbols of occult and religion. This is our birthright to explore, our inheritance as a genetic member of the human family. I think if it is meant to be, that information will come to you, as it did to me, at the earliest age possible. For me it all started with Black Sabbath, and the tritone.
Roger Zelazny and Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson were the biggest influences, forcing my imagination to sprout. Discovering the Vedas and Hymns to Visnu were huge in expanding my view from my strict Catholic upbringing to one of a more balanced and Gnostic overview. All these I mentioned are explorations of worlds behind worlds, subtle veils that separate realms and shadows which sometimes ripple back and forth, creating ghosting effects, other dimensions that lovingly brush up against my experience. I am constantly digging deeper and deeper into history, looking at all religions and mythology, because they all have a piece to the greater puzzle, this great work of understanding what the hell we are and why. When you stop to turn off the TV and just look inside of your own brain, there can be found a profound mystery, the one that we are always in constant effort to distract ourselves from the contemplation of. That gazing into the waters of endless infinity within. This is the technique.
I am looking forward to releasing a lot more of my artwork as decor, blankets, leggings, pillows and other accessories. It is always fun to see my art expanding onto different surfaces using the most advanced of modern processes. Currently I am working with Elektrix Love that is printing my designs on material made from recoiled plastics. So it is also environmentally impactful. I am working on my third book, a follow-up to this year’s “Dawning of the Mind”. Which is a book I self-published that goes deeper into the ideas and esoteric aspects of my imagery. I am hosting my seventh mediation assembly called D3(0D3D which is live production of psychedelic binary tones with overlapping visual color therapy for a full on sound healing experience. We did one in the middle of the desert in Jawbone Canyon back in April, and the year before in Joshua Tree. These are very powerful retreats with friends, artists and musicians, all expressing themselves in a fascinating and transformative manner.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2017 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.