Where does the name PaperMonster come from? Is there any significant meaning behind it?
PaperMonster: The name PaperMonster came very naturally. Since my work bring together different textures and types of paper, the name originally stemmed from the massive mess that I every time I work on a new painting. The name really captures this chaotic process and the concept behind stencil art. As stencil artists we destroy blank sheets of paper by cutting into them and we ultimately create an instrument that produces art in a very simple and delicate way. “PaperMonster” also carries this unique irony to it, since my works focus more on beauty and emotion rather than what you would automatically think of when hearing the name PaperMonster. Most people would think of something very masculine and vicious instead of the paintings that I create which are very bright and emotional.
How long have you been doing your stencil art?
PaperMonster: I have been doing stencil art for over 4 years and it is almost 5 years since I created my first stencil.
How were you first influenced to start doing graffiti?
PaperMonster: Initially I entered stencil art out of the curiosity for what I could make with my own hands. It began with stencils of a cartoon character that I drew constantly and later changed into stencils of animals and portraits. I have never had any formal art training or even taken an art class aside from clay class. My actual degree is a Masters in Biomedical Sciences so at the time stencils was a means to relax and take time for myself. The stencils grew larger and more intricate and I became a fan of the stencil art scene especially with sites at the time like stencilrevolution.com and stencilarchive.org . I really had this huge desire and dream to go from just being an onlooker to taking an active role and becoming a recognized member of the stencil or even art world. I took the inspirations that others had given me and tried new things, made mistakes and now my work and style moves forward with each new stencil. One of my major goals is to inspire and motivate new people to do what I did in taking a risk and an active role to ultimately share what they can create to the world.
What do you prefer, to create your art on a canvas or a wall? Why?
PaperMonster: I really have a love for both. With a canvas you have a very finite space that you can take your time and come back to the canvas to add and subtract what you like or dislike. A canvas really allows you to experiment and tone your skills so you can take what you learned and apply it to a larger surface such as a wall. On a wall you don’t have as much opportunity to change your mind, especially with stencils, and you have to go into a mural project with clear ideas because if you don’t have the supplies or can’t adapt to the texture/size of the wall then you may get lost in the project. My favorite part about working on a wall is really the ability to collaborate with other artists. I have had the privilege to paint alongside some incredibly talented graffiti and urban artists who are a great source for advice and you can really learn a lot from every outdoor project that we have the opportunity to work on. Overall I think both are their own individual beasts that you have to tame. With each you can add and learn something new that will ultimately make you a stronger artist with each try.
Out of all the pieces you’ve done, is there one you can call a favorite?
PaperMonster: Out of all my pieces I would have to say that my favorite has been “He’s Here.” This was one of the first stencil art pieces on a large canvas that I created and from the beginning it was a major hit with every audience that saw the stencil. I think it has to do with the expression of the girl since it is so exotic and mysterious but at the same time very simple.
What other hobbies, other than art do you have?
PaperMonster: Some of my other hobbies are collecting. I have a very large basketball trading card collection which I have had since I was about 12 years old. I actually have an original basketball trading card sheet straight from the manufacturing line that has never been cut the single cards. I had to collect thousands of trading card wrappers just to mail in and get the sheet after almost a year of collecting. One of my other collections is Nike Dunks which I have been collecting since 1999 of all types lows, mids, and highs. My favorite Nike Dunk low so far in my collection in the Nike Dunk Mid Peacocks. The colorway is so bright that there is really nothing you can match them with and you have to let them live on their own.
What are some influences that help you create your art?
PaperMonster: My influences really range. I love classic pop imagery and anything that is bold and eye-catching. I am also influenced by people. The people that you come in contact with, the face you see while you walk through the streets, or your closest friends and family all have an impact on your life whether large or small. For me the pieces that I create are all based on real people with real emotions and stories. My art tries to capture these mysteries within each woman and allows the audience to interact with the paintings and really explore the textures, colors, and collage work. I have some really great stencil art friends such as LECKOmio and Koleszar who really push and challenge me to do new things. It is great to bounce off ideas off those around you because it allows you to grow and not be afraid of criticism.
Where are the best places to look for your art?
PaperMonster: I think the best place to look for my art is online over at: papermonster.wordpress.com There you can view all of my art and projects that I am working on as well as find opportunities to see my work up close at various shows all over the world. I think that seeing one of my pieces at a show is a completely new and different experience where you can really take your time to take everything in and enjoy.
What do you want people to take from seeing your art?
PaperMonster: I want people to be inspired. I think that as artists we all want people to purchase our works and gain recognition for what we do but one of the most important things for me is to see people share my art with others as a source of motivation or inspiration. I want to encourage others to not be afraid to make mistakes and to constantly push forward. With each painting that travels around the world I can’t physically be there next to it at all times to explain what it means but I want the audience to create their own stories and interpretations of what they see and share their love for my work with other people. One of my favorite things is to receive emails or messages from people that truly love what I do and share it with students they teach or their friends. That is when you know that your art has power and really matters.
How much of your spare time is consumed by creating your art?
PaperMonster: A huge amount of my spare time is consumed by creating art since my mind is always full of ideas of what I would like to do next or what dream projects I would like to take part in. The creative process has always been very relaxing and I don’t see my work as a means of gaining wealth or fame. I see it as a means of sharing what I love to do with whoever is willing to take the time to look at my pieces and appreciated what I have created.
Have you done any traveling with your art?
PaperMonster: I have not done as much traveling as I have wanted to with my art. I love attending every show that I am a part of but there are times where you may have a show in California and Australia and you can’t be at two places at the same time, or even one place in my case since I live in New Jersey. I think this year will be different and I am sure some great opportunities will present themselves where I can take time to travel alongside my art. With each new location you have a new audience and I get extremely excited about seeing what people have to say about my work, especially when they don’t know I am standing right behind them.
What kind of projects have you recently been working on?
PaperMonster: I have been working on some exciting projects. I have released my first large edition print alongside the release of the DirtyPilot “Year One Rewind” Book Deluxe Edition which you can find here (http://www.dirtypilot.com/dp-book-rewind.html). I have a lot of great upcoming group shows coming for Famous When Dead Gallery, Art Whino Gallery, Parlor Gallery, DirtyPilot and several large mural and outdoor art projects. Also, I am very excited about continuing to work on some street art projects that I have had in mind for a long time and can now finally put together this summer in New York City.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
PaperMonster: PaperMonster will continue to create bolder and powerful stencil art pieces. I am looking forward to collaborating with other artists and work together with companies on product whether large or small. The sky is the limit.
Any last words for the Senses Lost readers?
PaperMonster: Thank you for reading!! Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes.
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