How is the idea of activism apparent in your art?
I think that some form of activism may come off as apparent in my art, but it's usually not intentional. I don't set out to make political art or social change. I usually just try and do art with a more automatic or stream of conscious approach. There are however a few works that are intentionally political or social statements. For example, the one of George Bush and Osama Bin Laden wrestling. I try more to make art that is based on history and popular culture/society.
Do you think political and environmental issues can be effectively addressed in art?
Yes, I do believe that political and environmental issues can have great effectiveness in art. Especially if you consider music a part of that "art." People like John Lennon or the Beatles and Bob Dylan did that to great effect. I also think that the Pre-Raphaelite painters of the Victorian period did the same thing with art. They painted things far more realistically, especially with Religious subject matter. People were afraid at first, but they soon came around and understood what they were trying to portray. Paintings like John Everett Millais' 'Christ In The House Of His Parents' are very powerful to me and influence me a great deal. It brings across ideas I've had about religion ever since I started asking serious questions about it when I was a child.
[right: "Ace in the Whole" by Eric Andre]
Which artists do you admire who have an activist agenda?
I don't really seek out artists with an activist agenda. Can most artists be considered to have an activist agenda? I think most artist today do. I really like contemporary artists like Ron English and Banksy. I believe they have an activist agenda. I think most graffiti and billboard artists do. I also admire, again, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. I don't really know if Andy Warhol had an agenda, but his work was definitely a poke at modern society and corporate America.
Tell us something about your process of creating.
I have a great many different processes for creating. I am obsessed with creating and I have to do it all the time. I also make music and in creating music alone I have many different processes. For all of the work that I have been doing recently that is on Etsy it's all the same process. I gather together digital photos, make a digital collage and then open the collage in a painting program that I have on my tablet PC and paint over it. Pretty simple really, but I still prefer traditional Oil Painting and traditional Collage. When I was younger I mostly just used pen/ink for all of my drawings. Then I started using pencils and focused more on shading.
[left: "No Art Allowed" by Eric Andre]
What is the name of your etsy shop?
Unfortunately it's ichiromito. I signed up for Etsy a couple of years ago just to buy someone's artwork. When I wanted to put my own up I couldn't change the user name. The banner on my Etsy page actually reads 32 Bit Studio.