Aaron De La Cruz Interview
By Matthew J
As always, the introduction is the most important part of any interview; any meeting. Since this interview is about you I’m going to let you introduce yourself to the readers. Who is ADLC? What’s he all about?
Well Aaron De La Cruz is artist/designer from Fresno, California but I am now based in San Francisco. I’m about all types of things most importantly mastering the art of the perfect burrito (haha). Not really sure how to answer this could you be a little more specific?
How would you classify yourself, artistically? Are you a graffiti writer? Are you a muralist? Do you consider yourself to be a painter?
That is a great question. Do I consider myself a graffiti writer? No. I have been exposed to graffiti since the age of 7 and participated in what I considered graffiti since the age of 12 or so. What I created back then and why I did it was a completely different purpose and direction. What I create now definitely has elements of graffiti but personally I don’t consider it graffiti. Yet I find that people categorize my work in all the above titles and I am very comfortable with that.
I was approached by 2Xanadu/Luma with the help of a close friend Jasper Wong (awesome person) This was my first time working on a project and not meeting in person to discuss the project. Being able to meet in person and discuss is something I always try to make possible because I find it very beneficial in the final project. I jumped on board due to the fact that I ride a bike myself and am surrounded by bikes everyday here in San Francisco so giving this chance was a no brainer.
You have a show coming up in Hong Kong, what sort of pieces will you have on display?
Now I can’t tell you what I’m going to show but I can tell you the name of the show and who I will be showing with. The title of the show is called “Mano Y Mano” and I will be showing with Samuel Rodriguez. The show will be at the Above Second Gallery in Hong Kong. What I can tell you is that it will be big (literally)! I also just landed my first solo show in Hawaii this year so I’m pretty juiced about that.
[NOTE: Due to a delay ON MY PART, we weren't able to post this interview before the opening of the Mano Y Mano show. Because of that [delay] I contacted Aaron and asked him to share his thoughts on the show and how it unfolded. Here is what he had to say…]
Sooooooooooooo I am now back from HK and the show was beyond what I expected. The show was a success and I ended up creating a piece that covered the side of the exterior wall of the gallery and wrapped around to the inside. I had four other pieces that were engraved with my designs and one huge canvas that was probably not a great idea as most art consumers in HK tend to buy small pieces due to their living quarters but I was not going to let that stop me from doing what I do best and that it working big. (let me know if you need more info)
Just like any other outside observer, I can give you a list of adjectives to describe your style, but that doesn’t matter because ultimately the artist’s view of his or her work is paramount. How do you describe your artwork?? What does it all mean to Aaron De La Cruz?
My work is always changing in terms of the surfaces and spaces I chose to work within and on which plays a huge part in the process and how the viewer interacts with my work. I am always challenging myself to create the largest reaction out of my viewers with my work but at the same time challenging myself by using the least amount of materials/mediums.
Your own personal website has been recently updated with new content. What plans do you have for the site? Do you have anything new or exciting in the works?
Yes, speaking on that topic I am going to FORCE myself to keep my audience up to date with my process on future projects. I find it hard to showcase everything I do in my “work” section so there will be a lot of things I will keep in the “blog” section and expect more video work as well. I don’t like to use computers much or at all but I am aware that they are a major tool that can be used to connect me with my audience. Since putting out the recent videos I have had a lot of people contact me from all around the world and I am VERY thankful for all the kind words and new projects that have came as a result of it.
In regards to you the painting on your videos, how much of your “lines” are free-styled as opposed to being predetermined? I have been watching your videos and do not see you using any kind of sketchbooks. Is that how you work or are just really good at video editing?
[*laughs* ... joking]
When I work my lines/designs are completely freestyle. The only thing that is predetermined, in my work, is the balance of negative space within the lines and creating an even composition. I don’t use any sketches, although I do sketch a lot [in my sketchbook] which helps me come up with new directions and ideas. My process is purely in the moment but the design layouts I choose to use are sometimes predetermined depending on the space I’m working in and on and emotions I’m experiencing when creating the work.
This is kind of a ‘leftfield’ question, but what kind of music do you play when getting in the artistic mode?
This is the hardest question yet. I listen to ALL types of music but currently listening to the Exray’s. To be honest half the time I work with headphones on nothing is playing. Maybe you can put me up on some local acts?
[As far as Canada is concerned, I'd suggest you check out Eternia & Moss or maybe Shad. If you're looking at American music, I'd say Big K.R.I.T., Aloe Blacc, Trombone Shorty, or Battleme; who's an acoustic/folk style artist.. Don't forget, Carla Morrison from Mexico ... wow].
Let’s get abstract for a second and talk about the future. “The future is uncertain” or at least that is what people tell me. I know it’s hard to visualize what will go on in the next few years, but I want to know, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Your answer can involve your personal life, art, or anything you want. So when 2015 rolls around, what will Aaron Del La Cruz be doing?
Well in terms of my art I would like to have an entire city street in Mexico paved with my designs in them (cobblestone would be nice!). If not I will settle for a 20+ story building facade with my designs on that as well. I am really interested in working with public space and large scale spaces so the hard part is just making that happen. As for anything else, I will just play that by ear.
Do you have any last words/shout outs you want to give before ending this interview?
Shout outs are a must. I would like to say hello to my beautiful Wife (she hold it down when I’m out and about traveling around. My family back in my home town Fresno, CA a place I visit when I find time. I would also like to drop a few names of artist I think people should take some time to check out (these people are some of my biggest inspirations and closest friends Jasper Wong, Samuel Rodriguez, Ogi, Suitman, Jeff Hamada aka booooooom.com, Hypebeast.com, Distill, 123 Klan, and the entire Pow Wow Posse. I know I am forgetting a bunch of people but I need to save some names for other interviews. Oh yea thanks for reaching out and making this interview happen, Matthew. I hope this is the first of others to follow.
[Note: there will most definitely be more to follow, for sure]
Check out, Aaron and his updates at: www.AaronDeLaCruz.com