Tyler Spangler, 30, is a digital artist based in California. Through his work, he plays with color and animation, often interposing bright color with aged black and white photos— merging different worlds together and bringing old-fashioned two-dimension photography into the age of color and gifs. He describes his way of working as "a bit obsessive", at one point creating as many as 2,000 pieces in one year and fearlessly sharing them. "Make something new every day and dont be afraid to share it!"
Where are you originally from?
Where do you currently live?
Preferred art medium
Hobby or interest aside from art?
Surfing, Gaming, Cooking
Gaming and Candy
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Baldessari, El Lissitzky, and Barbara Kruger among others.
Office Space and Foot Fist Way
Napalm and Silly Putty
Funeropolis, Nevermind, Electric Wizard
What are 3 things you want to achieve?
Make people smile, support my family through my art, curiosity
What is something you deeply love about yourself?
Insane urge to research everything
How has Instagram worked for you as an artist?
It has helped me gain exposure, clients, and a way to showcase my work.
Briefly describe the circumstances under which you grew up
I grew up near the beach all of my life and have always been interested in art. I think being around surf and music culture has shaped the way I create art.
“[My work feels like] A grape flavored popsicle dipped in the ocean and placed on a rock to melt”
How do you think these circumstances influenced your art?
My work is chaotic, organic, and curious.
What would you say are your artwork’s main themes?
Anxiety, vibrance, harmony, and contemplation.
How would you describe your style?
A grape flavored popsicle dipped in the ocean and placed on a rock to melt.
Can you remember a specific experience from your life that has shaped who you are and what you do as an artist today?
When a professor at my art school said my work looked like a high school year book on acid.
What are you communicating with your art?
How we interact with technology, saturation and emotion.
(Certain) Artists tend to have a stereotype attached to them of
being dramatic with addictive personalities. What do you feel
about this assumption?
Im sure it widely varies. I have heard that some of the most successful artists have been bipolar - which allows them to create insane and ambitious works while manic.
“I love the instant results of digital collage. It is clean and quick and you can explore different ideas very fast”
As an artist, do you find yourself drawn to any addictive
I am a bit obsessive with my work but Im not sure it qualifies as a disorder. I think artwork is a healthy outlet for most types of disorders.
Have you had any struggle with mental illness and if so, would
you like to share your experience with us?
Nothing documented but perhaps I am a bit of a recluse with obsessive tendencies. I have been uploading 2 new pieces of art everyday for the past 5 years.
“I think artwork is a healthy outlet for most types of disorders”
Artists paths are normally non-linear. Can you recall for us what
your path has been like?
I initially studied Psychology in college, which I ended up finishing with the intention of either working in a mental hospital or being a psychologist. I realized that my main passion was for creating art and that it wouldn't make sense to go any further down my current path. After working in a surf shop all through college and even after, I took 1 year to focus completely on creating art and exploring what type of styles I was drawn to. I created about 2,000 pieces during that year. I decided to take a couple community college art courses to brush up on the Adobe programs before being accepted to Art Center College of Design for graphic design. I was there for 1 year before eventually dropping out. I didn't think the amount of money I was spending was worth what I was getting out of the program. I dropped out and focused completely on trying to gain a client base for freelancing. It started off slow but eventually started picking up enough steam to pay the rent. That was about 4 years ago and since then I have been growing every year.
What kind of patterns, routines or rituals do you have to keep the creative juices flowing?
I find it necessary to have other activities besides the art world to keep myself inspired. I love to surf, play video games, and cook.
If you could change one thing in how the world works, what would it be?
The government would pay everyone a living basic wage to pursue whatever they are interested in. Probably unrealistic but it would be cool and we would see some pretty awesome inventions.
“Most of the time good work will find its way to the top and get noticed.
The internet creates a true democracy and levels out the art world playing field”
What is your opinion of the art world as it is right now? is there
anything you'd like to change?
Im not too familiar with the art world as I basically just do commercial art but from what I've heard its really hard to people to get gallery shows. It would be cool to be able to have more affordable spaces for emerging artists to be able to showcase their work.However, most of the time good work will find its way to the top and get noticed. The internet creates a true democracy and levels out the art world playing field.
How do you think the internet aids/complements the art world? And how do you think it deteriorates it?
I think its a good and a bad thing. With its availability, everyone can post anything which essentially over saturates the market.
What draws you towards your particular art medium?
I love the instant results of digital collage. It is clean and quick and you can explore different ideas very fast.
“A professor at my art school said my work looked like a high school year book on acid”
How have you developed your own unique style?
It was during that 1 year I took off everything and decided to make as much work as I could every day. I think I weeded through a bunch of different styles and eventually molded something that is uniquely my own.
What is the main obstacle you have had to overcome as an
Convincing my family that it is a good idea. It is an age old idea that all artists are poor and miserable. I think it is a lot more viable as a career these days.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Make something new every day and dont be afraid to share it!
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