Abstractish…

If I were to describe your style of painting to someone I’d call it a hybrid of abstract urban animation.  How would you describe your style of painting?

I call what I do Abstractish. I’m usually figurative, but with a loose, abstract feel.

When you do recall first discovering you had the artist gene, and what was the 1st piece you created that let you know you had something special? 

My mom instilled confidence in me from a tender age, so pretty much when I got my first box of crayons.

If someone asks what do you do for a living how would you respond? 

What I do has morphed. For a good run, I was a full-time painter. These days I’m a jackass of all trades. My friend, Joshua Santillan, owns Central Arts of Bedford, but also owns an insulation company call Go Green Solutions. During the day we work the insulation company, but since it requires so much driving—I find myself working on video projects for the gallery and miscellaneous other creative projects. The painting is still at the heart of what I do and hasn’t dwindled either—I’m as prolific as I’ve ever been. You can catch me at least twice a month in a Central Arts of Bedford exhibition.

I’d imagine everything you create has a special meaning to you, starting from a blank canvas and transforming it into a masterpiece… what are your top 3 favorite pieces of work you’ve created?

My catalog of completed work is expansive. I have a loose count that at minimum I’ve created over 800 works. It’s hard to pick. Pushed to pick, however, I’d say number one was, “That Moment You Took to Sit Down and Let It All Sink In.” I don’t really like to talk about what the moment was, but I love the piece because I was able to take my grief and turn it into something beautiful. The piece is a personal testament to the power of art. Number two would be, “The Birth of a Prince.” It’s a piece about my son, before I even knew his gender. My wife and I are represented by our astrological signs and then there are swans—which I heavily started to paint when I met her. Number three is, “Keep Telling Me What I Can’t Do.” The title sums it up pretty well. It’s a war cry. I was feeling beat down, but still—I rose.

What is your creative process, specifically what inspires you to create; and what is your ritual you go through before and during the process of creating your art?

My mind never stops, so when it’s studio time—my hands follow suit. I’m inspired by everything, literally. There is no ritual, only constant movement.

Outside of painting, tell us what else you have done that falls under the art / artistic umbrella.

I started as a photographer. I still utilize still photography, but I don’t have the connection I once did to the medium. Video is very interesting to me, but mainly I use it to market myself and Central Arts of Bedford.

What is one goal you set for yourself pertaining to your art that you have accomplished and what’s one goal you have yet to accomplish?

My goal is always the same—to be better than I was yesterday.

Before becoming an artist, what were some of the jobs you had?

My artistic career started at Subway Sandwiches. I was a sandwich artist. My art career started pretty immediately with photography, as well. I pretty immediately started to [exhibit], fresh from learning darkroom. I concurrently would work commercially until I decided to shed the camera and embrace painting.

People say when you do what you love you never feel like you are working, would you agree with that?

Completely. The only thing that’s changed that axiom significantly is my wife and kids. It’s the only thing that makes what I do work, because I need to stop myself to find time for them. At the end of the day, they are the most important thing to me—even if I love what I do.

What is the shortest amount of time you spent on a painting, what was it and what is the most amount of time you’ve spent on a painting and what was that piece?

I don’t really keep track of time that way. The volume of what I’ve created thus far is immense. I will say that sometimes a piece ebbs out quickly and others may sit in the studio for years before completion.

How many paintings would you estimate you’ve created since you first began painting?

I don’t have an exact count, but over 800, possibly more.

If you could have your paintings be hung in the home of someone famous who would you like to own your work?

I don’t dream that way. I just want my pieces to make people happy no matter how famous, infamous or not famous they are.

Is there anyone famous who owns your art currently?

I don’t think so.

What’s next for you as an artist, do you have any upcoming shows or projects you will be working on?

The grind never stops. I’m working really closely [with], as well as being represented by Central Arts of Bedford, so that’s the place to find me fastest.

What would you say to someone who knows being an artist in whatever capacity is what they were meant to do, however, they either don’t have a support system that encourages them, or they don’t know where to start?

It seems harsh, but don’t make excuses for yourself. Your success depends on you—if you want it badly enough, you’ll claw your way to it.

How can people engage with you, follow your latest creations as well as personally own them?

I’m not a weirdo about my Facebook activity:

https://www.facebook.com/artistsergiosantos/ https://www.facebook.com/centralartsbedford/  https://www.instagram.com/elsantosworld/

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