Monday, April 29, 2013

Meet Hector!

Hector is a dear friend of mine who I've long admired.
His beautiful, melancholy drawings have a subtle punch of hilarious to them.
 Making them both simultaneously dark and adorable.

Kind of like Hector himself! 

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.

Legally, still: Hector Sebastian Casanova. But I think of that as my unmarried / "commercial art" name. It will soon become, legally, Hector Osaurus Cinderhouse. 
Sign: Sagittarius! Location: Kansas City!

2. What are you currently working on?
Truthfully? Taxes. I am so far behind. Artistically, my job as a graphic artist for the newspaper keeps me too busy for any large scale solo projects. (So much so, that i took down my website as I am not really taking on any freelance work. I am stingy with my creative time outside my job.) So these days I do mostly collaborations with other artists / musicians / performers, or smaller scale projects, like live art murals, things that excite me and don't require months-long commitment. I am taking a break from really time and labor intensive projects like comics and graphic novels, and have been taking on projects that have a much quicker turnaround time. But I also have a real hard time saying no, especially for good causes / good people. Last week I did some live painting for an Amnesty International benefit, this weekend I am painting a new DIY playground for neighborhood kids in a public housing complex that is dreary as hell... I want the kids to have the coolest hopscotch and Four-Square grids ever.
 3. Who are your favorite artists?

Too many to name! And of all sorts! Musicians, filmmakers, photographers, comics, street and poster artists, painters.... All of these things saturate and influence me: Tom Waits, Egon Schiele, Stasys Eidrigevicius, Chris Ware, Banksy, Steven Soderbergh, Dave McKean, Dan Clowes, Joel Peter-Witkin, Andy Warhol, Mark Ryden, Winsor McCay, Edward Gorey... I can go on for hours...
4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?
Better to be unemployed in the field of your choice than In a field you never wanted to be in. 

5. Favorite place(s) in your city?

It used to be the West Bottoms. That neighborhood is a huge part of why I fell in love with this city and stayed here. It really nurtured me. I feel very lucky to have been in this city at a time when all these variables were aligned just so: a semi-abandoned ghost town neighborhood full of train yards and huge, empty industrial buildings with dirt cheap rent, all spitting distance from downtown. It provided an oasis for artists and musicians. We didn't have many neighbors, but the ones that opted to live the we're all artists, musicians, performers.... People that needed a lot of space to make art and make noise. It was the best of all worlds, the look of city living but the feeling of homesteading in some surreal desolate concrete jungle where you could expect the only person you see all day to be someone playing the tuba in the street at 3 am.

Sadly it has changed a lot. Most of the artists have been forced out and all those big beautiful lofts have been converted into antique stores. So we moved out and we bought a house and my wife and I think of it as an always-ongoing art project. So my house has become my new favorite place to be.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? And while we're at it, what about a different era?
Vienna, 19-teens. I have always wished I could walk down cobblestone streets wearing a hat, trenchcoat and walking stick. In black and white if possible. 
7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)

Creatures. Dinosaurs. Men's faces. Usually slack-jawed. Women with long, dark hair.

8. First website you peruse of the day?

Facebook. Sad to confess, Facebook is like nicotine for the socially awkward. The perks of being "in the loop" without the awkwardness of 'hellos' and 'goodbyes' or the hassle of actually going out... But if I am looking to kick start my brain for actual artistic inspiration pinterest or

9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?

There are so many! But the first that come to mind are Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and Pterodactyl. 
10. Any pets? Any kids?
Four cats. They're as close as it gets to having kids for me, which is not too close. I appreciate my cats' independence though, and although they are huge moochers, I don't have to worry about saving for their college tuition. I have had cats most of my life, And a coup,e of them were the nicest guys I have ever known, human or otherwise. You remember Phoebe, the oldest. We also have Sparrow (who is more like an orange walrus than a cat), Quinlan (aka 'Demon Child', 'Brat Monkey' or simply 'NO!!') and Rabbit Bean.

Thank you my dear, sweet Hector!


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