Drake Arnold Interview
Hey Drake! Provide us with a quick 3-4 sentences about yourself. (where are you from, schooling, where you live now, do you make art full-time)
I am an artist working primarily in acrylic and aerosol paint. I make work that falls
loosely between the genres of psychedelic, fantasy, and visionary art. I reside in
Fort Collins, Colorado and spend my time glassblowing by day and painting by
night. Traveling the country live painting at music festivals and visiting the National
Where do you get your inspiration?
Drawing inspiration from the earth and our natural environment, my work has been
influenced by all aspects of this multifaceted life. From the academic disciplines of
mathematics, science, and philosophy to the fantastical whimsy of the imagination,
my work has been informed by my life’s journey and my hearts intuition.
Why do you make art?
I find myself using art as a means of intimately reconnecting with my most
transcendental experiences and relating them to others. Recently I have been
using art as a means of expressing deeply personal experiences that I cannot
convey in words alone. I have found incredible joy in trying to take the purely
experiential or conceptual and re-writing it into a new visual vernacular. Mine is just
one perspective out of the vast ocean of humanity's infinite potential.
What environment is most conducive to productive times? Non productive
times? What do you think of the term muse? Care to elaborate? Are you
spiritual or religious? Does this play into your art?
I love working in my studio equally as much as I love live painting out at music
festivals. They both have their merits. I typically have better lighting and less
distractions at home in my studio, but I love getting to interact and make
connections with people while painting at events. It's especially delightful to paint
along to one of my favorite bands and let the music inspire and inform my decision
making process. I can say without hesitation that my own concepts of life and
spirit permeate through all of my most important artwork.
What are some of the artists that you are inspired by? Why?
Growing up my favorite artist was always M.C. Escher, closely followed by
Salvador Dali. As a teenager listening to the music of Tool, I immediately fell in
love with the work of Alex Grey. He really influenced an entire generation and
genre of visual artists. Lately I have been digging on impressionists and post
impressionism styles for some reason and also simpler illustrative styles like that of
Moebius. Who knows what will strike my fancy next though.
Techniques, programs used, substance inspiration?
I have taken art classes throughout my schooling, and I have also taken a few
workshops in my adult life, but I wouldn't necessarily say I use one specific
technique or another. I would mostly describe myself as self taught. I always
wanted to ignore the assignments in art class in favor of drawing my own ideas
from imagination. As such, my art was rubbish for quite a long time, but I just stuck
with it anyway. In recent years I have taken more of an interest in traditional ideas
and methods however, and combined with my own style it has been of great
I like the phrase 'substance inspiration', hahaha... My work has been heavily
informed by my use of psychedelics.
If there was something you could change or improve on. What would that
be (in you or in others).
I've been working to improve my state of presence lately. It can be easy to run on
a sort of "auto-pilot" mode sometimes, especially while at work or performing
routine tasks in life. I've just been trying to improve myself personally and trying to
bring more focused awareness to my everyday life.
When you create a piece, do you already have an idea in your head that
you're trying to convey in the piece at hand or do you just go with the flow?
I use both techniques... Sometimes I have an idea, sometimes I just go with the
flow... Sometimes I combine the approaches and let an idea flow into something
else entirely new.
How do you deal with an art block?
I'm not sure, I haven't really felt that to be a problem yet. I guess I'd just
recommend to someone with an art block to change your perspective! Life is deep,
complicated, rich with diversity and just amazingly vast. There is inspiration all
around us. If you feel bored and boring, then get out of your head, read a book, go
for a walk in some nature.
Do you have any rituals you use to clear your head so you can actually
sit down and have a solid session?
Not really... I just sit down and dive right in!
Whats upcoming for you this summer?
I am painting and showing artwork in the Tribe13 gallery at the Tipper & Friends
Full Moon Gathering down at the Sprit of the Suwannee in Florida at the end of this