Todd creates whimsically mischievous art that's full of humor. To see more of Todd's artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...
When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!
Please join us for this interview with Todd:
How would you describe your art?
Whimsical, playful, energetic, mischievous, and funny. I want every piece of art I make to be so striking that the viewer is forced to look at it… to lean in… to study it. My best friends and family, however, would describe my art this way: They look at it, and then they lean in, and then they look at me, and then look at the art again and say, “What the heck’s wrong with you.”
How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?
Like a lot of adult artists, I’ve been drawing and doodling since I was a kid. The defining moment came, however, in 1972, when I was in sixth grade. That’s when I won a Cobb County, Georgia-wide art contest for 6th graders. My love of art was sealed right then and there... as well as the soul-deep desire to keep making it.
Contestants were asked to paint something depicting the need for greater ecology. I think it was a world need... not just in Cobb County.
Anyway, I got a piece of poster board from Brooks Drugs on Floyd Road and got to painting a huge pipe spewing chicken bones, washing machines, tin cans, milk jugs, cigarette butts, and doo-doo into the Chattahoochee River while a sad-faced haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle) flew overhead, watching chicken bones, washing machines, tin cans, milk jugs, cigarette butts, and doo-doo spewing into the Chattahoochee River. His sharp claws were clenched in anger. I don’t blame him. I made it look pretty convincing. My awful sisters kept making fun of me.
I won a $5 savings bond. But the best part was getting out of school for the award ceremony. The hottest sixth grade teacher in the United States of America and all of her territories drove us in her butter cream-colored Cadillac Eldorado to the Piccadilly restaurant on Georgia highway 41 for the presentation. I felt way out of my league. Her leather seats were a butter cream color, too. A color I use today... in her honor... for teeth and eyeballs.
As for my old Eldorado-drivin’ teacher? No, I didn’t grow up and marry her, although I sure did want to. Maybe she was one of the reasons I became a teacher, too.
Okay, you may vomit now.
What is your favorite medium and why?
Painting, squirting, rubbing, flinging, throwing, dropping, and slapping acrylic paint, garage floor paint, house paint, and oil paint on something that won’t fight back.
What are some of the challenges in working in your preferred medium?
Waiting for the piece to dang dry… so I can photograph it, put it on the web site, and sell it!
Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?
“Substitute Teachers” (shown above), no doubt, from my “Skool is Kool” series. After teaching full-time, I became one of these fascinating creatures, so I was obliged to honor the best of us!
As for creating it, all I had to do is condense a whole lot of what I know about how substitute teachers react to students and the tricky situations we face in class at various schools … and then put them into the form of a young lady and an old, grizzled veteran type. I giggled the entire time I conceived and painted the piece. I still do. I go back all the time and look at the piece and laugh like hell as I look at their faces and read the messages.
Easy. Making pottery face jugs. Since I was a kid, being dragged along to antique stores and flea markets by my mother, I have always loved and been fascinated with face jugs. The goofier and bizarre the better. What unnerves me, though, is wondering who the models were for the jugs. Do they walk among us?
How do you make time for art?
I don’t paint every day. I make art when I’m ready… when I have clearly in mind what I want to paint next or the next steps in a piece I’m already working on. When I feel physically and mentally energetic, creative, mischievous. And when those feelings come together at the same time when I have time… I don’t hesitate. I’ll rush to my studio and light a fresh cigar and put on some Allman Brothers… and as the passage of time goes completely unnoticed I think some great art is made. I’m in heaven.
If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?
I work to please myself first, of course. That’s the only way to start and finish, and then it’s up to your patrons or prospects to decide. I always love it when I’m able to complete a piece in one day or, at least, make a good start on it. I always strive to do my very best work… and I know I have when I’m satisfied and I have that soul-deep feeling there’s nothing more in the world I can do or should do that day because I worked so well. But then my youngest son will ask me to take him to the skateboard park, which always snaps me out of my post art-making coma.
If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?
Easy. I’d stand next to Joan Miro, and without pestering him with goofy questions, even if I knew how to speak Catalan or whatever, I’d watch him make his mind-bending art for as long as he’d let me. He’s dead, of course, but you get the idea. Same goes for Van Gogh. I’d even be willing to change the bandages on his cut-off ear for the opportunity.
Loved reading the interview! Your art is very different and I love different!!!!!!
Thank you, Joanie! Paint on!
See the entire portfolio at ... www.actionjacksonart.com
I like your style. Nice work!
Great interview! Your writing style is as colorful and fun as your art.
Thank you for your kind words, Thaneeya and Marcus! It's great to be a part of the group!
todd, congratulations on the profile. i love your art and the stories they tell. esp. the teachers/adm. i always want to ask a ton of questions when i see art. you pretty much answer and i'm cracking up while i'm viewing. keep doing what you do. congrats again.
I'll keep it up, Dee! Many thanks ... but the garage studio sure is cold today. Twenty degrees in north Atlanta? Whoa. The paint ain't drying fast today!
lol..please do...i used to think that folks in georgia didn't get snow or horribly low temps... ours is 17/wind chill makes it feel like 10...the good news is, your work will be well preserved, 'til it warms up for you guys. up here; the wait for warmth is 2-3 more mos...yuk... congrats again.
Love your fun kooky style! And this is one of the funnest/funniest interviews I have read on here! Some of my friends and family look at some of my latest work and I get.. "So.. when are you going to go back to painting something besides skeletons?" lol!
New year's resolution suggestion from Todd to Diane: GET SOME NEW FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Just kidding, of course ... you commit to being the best skeleton painter in the world ... and that'll show 'em!
Congrats Todd, for Profile of the week; I enjoyed reading all your answers! I like your work, because it is with lots of humor! Great work!!
Many thanks, Catherine! I enjoy good humor, too, and join me in giggling about a recent Anne Taintor caption contest victory at http://annetaintor.com/ati/2014/01/05/december-caption-contest-winn...
Paint on! And thanks again for your kind words!