Friday, June 19, 2009

AYCE Presents: Artfully Speaking

Time for another first here at All You Can Eat!  As any real fan knows, hip-hop isn’t just music, it’s a culture.  And one thing that’s been a part of that culture from the very beginning is art.  Of course, graffiti has gotten the most attention – from Beat Street to under the bridge, it’s always had the most exposure.  But there’s plenty more where that came from, which is why we’re happy to finally join the fray, and shine the spotlight on our first artist.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Art Bishop himself, Atlanta’s own Dubelyoo.  /deafening applause 

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AYCE: First things first, I guess, tell us how and when you knew that you were going to be a professional artist.
Dubelyoo:  That’s pretty much all I seriously wanted to be. I would probably have to say as soon as I knew that being an artist was something people could do for a living.
AYCE: Obviously, our blog is about hip-hop, and as luck wouldChuckD have it, a lot of your work is based on prominent figures in that culture.  What is it about the music that makes it such a strong focal point of your art?
Dub:  The culture that surrounds hip hop is a fertile ground for ideas. There is a great deal of diversity in subject matter and I look forward to tackling the lifestyle beyond portraits of famous rappers.
AYCE: Is there a song that has inspired you more than any other so far in your career?  Something that you know you can pop in, press play, and immediately do work?  Maybe a particular go-to artist?
Dub: I play a variety of music. Though the music can set the tone of a piece sometime it’s better to play something that just relaxes you so you can really get on a painting; other times you need to play some EPMD to get in the right frame of mind.
AYCE: Explain the name Dubelyoo, how'd that come about?
Dub: My initials are DW and over time it got truncated down to D then W and it stuck. 
AYCE: How would you characterize your style?
Dub:  Killastrations
BiggieAYCE: You’re a man of many mediums, but what’s the first one you reach for when creating a new piece?  Or do you just grab whatever’s close and get at it?
Dub:  The first thing I do is prep the board I’m going to paint on then and a background color. I then reach for my color pencil for the under drawing after that comes the acrylic to develop the piece. When that stage is done I may use oil glazes to make the colors pop.
AYCE: What’s life like on the gallery circuit?  Is it similar to touring would be for a hip-hop artist?
Dub: My focus really hasn't been the gallery scene. We have been doing shows around the country over the last year with Art, Beats + Lyrics in venues and there are some definitely some similarities to a hip hop tour. The one thing that stands out is that today visual artists can have a large scale tour and fans outside of the gallery system if they so desire.  Dubelyoo_Quote copy
AYCE: It used to be that most artists didn’t live to fully  realize the worth of their life’s work, but as the world shrinks, and your art can take on so many different forms (t-shirts, phone skins, etc.) is it easier than ever to make a living in your chosen profession?  Also, how do you  protect the integrity of your work?
Dub: Today artists have more power than ever. Before, the challenge was fighting to be heard. Now the challenge is saying something worth hearing. Artists influence culture. And now that artists have the ability to go directly to consumers with a variety of art / products- they can directly measure the effect of their work. If an artist can track his or her influence- they can leverage that into deals with galleries, sponsors and whatever they want. The mainstream "art world" is a small circle and gaining entry into that world is just not a reality to most artists. Today's artist has to use all the the tools (including technology) available to them to achieve whatever level of success they desire. There are more ways to get your work out to the public, buyers and collectors. So the best way to protect  the integrity of your work is to have control of your career.
GhostfaceEckoAd AYCE: From Mountain Dew to Mark Ecko, you’ve done graphic design for some big names (I imagine that helps keep the pockets lined with more than just lint), do you pick and choose who you work with, or is it a matter of whoever comes knocking?
Dub: Overtime you can sense who will be a difficult client. You may want to avoid the crazy ones. Sometimes I may do a project because it is a challenge or its sounds so crazy it might be fun. 
AYCE: You dabble in shoe design too, right?  How’d that come ATLAllStarsabout?
Dub:  Yes. A good friend of mine works for converse and the city project came down the line. Being that I am a designer in living in Atlanta it was a fit for me to work on the ATL Chuck Taylor.
AYCE: When I think of artists, I tend to think of tortured souls (i.e. Basquiat), but how real is that?  You seem like a happy dude…there has to be something bothering you right?  Wanna talk about it?
Dub: Lol there is something that has been bothering me as of late. I talk to allot of other artists and I noticed that there is a longing to be accepted by a group or what ever. Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to be part of an organization but if you are looking for validation outside of yourself there is a problem.  Some artist want to be in museums and some want to be the museum.
AYCE: Which artists of old have been most influential in shaping your style, or just inspiring you in general?
Dub: Sebastian Kruger, Norman Rockwell, Mucha and a ton of great artist friends.
AYCE: Any advice you might have for the aspiring artists out there reading this? 
Dub:  Sit and figure out if you like art or love art. Answering that question honestly will give you insight to how far you are trying to go, what you are willing to do and more important, what you are not willing to do.
SpareChange AYCE: Lastly, I saw the Vimby interview where you said that  you plan to delve into politics as your next major subject matter (and I’ve seen a few examples – impressive), but what else does the future hold for Dubelyoo?
Dub: My goal is produce relevant artwork while trying to raise the status of creative people as a whole.
AYCE: OK, I lied, one last question:  where can I get my hands on the Slick Rick and Dumb Donald prints???  Those are absolutely filthy!

SlickRickDumbDonald
Dub: Hit me up and lets rap. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of your site.

AYCE: From all of us at AYCE, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us.  Keep doing your thing, and best of luck in the future man!

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