The Big Year of Joshua Gomez

1616613_10153748078800024_1494422919_n1. Most artists have a favorite medium, what is yours? If you work in multiple media, which one is the most enjoyable for you?

I paint in acrylic more than anything because I understand it better than others, though sometimes I’ll work in watercolor. And most recently, I painted on a cake with food coloring for the first time, and now I’m thinking of the possibilities with that. In the future I don’t want to be called a painter, but a Jack-of-all-trades. I’m sitting on a pile of ideas for sculpture, music, film, and performance–some that I’ve been planning for more than a few years. I’m just waiting for the right time and connections to start firing these things off.

2. Do you have any secret shortcuts? I mean, do you use odd tools, techniques, or anything else that isn’t strictly status-quo for your medium? How did you figure out that it worked?

I use stencils and spray paint from time to time for different patterns on my acrylic works, and sometimes I’ll tape areas off to get a straight line. I wouldn’t call those unusual necessarily, but I suppose they are short cuts. I have some ideas for sculptures that I’m going to do later this year that involve no tools, and only sticks and sand. Those are going to start popping up around my town unannounced in the summer.


The vibrant grit of Albert Jeffers.

1098191_445911528850316_1376786094_n Most artists have a favorite medium, what is yours?

I can’t decide. My main focuses are acrylic and skin. Working in skin gives me a way to hone my craft when I don’t feel like thinking too much. I’ve been doing it so long that I really do my best to let my clients express themselves through my eyes and hands. So in that sense I feel like I’m kind of a medium for less visually creative people so that they can express themselves. It’s a very powerful form and I feel sometimes it borders on magic, which introduced me to skin art in the first place.

My first tattoo was from Mike McCabe, who was a student of R.O. Tyler, featured in Tattoo Time magazine by Ed Hardy. So at that time in my life the visual symbolism on the body being connected to the spiritual sybolism in my life, they had intersected. Acrylic is a serious departure from that. It dries fast so it allows me to rework any mistakes, where skin is not so forgiving, I can go off on a tangent and still make it look good. I dabbled in watercolor for a few years and I got pretty good at it technically, but it didn’t allow me to express myself the way acrylic has. With acrylic, if I get stuck or bored or my mood changes, I can just let it dry and take the piece in another direction. If you work in multiple media, which one is the most enjoyable for you? Again I enjoy both.

With tattooing there’s a social component that I would never have seen in life had it not been for the job. I was a really shy introverted kid, always afraid of being shunned or thought of as weird. With tattooing I was in control and had something people wanted and they seemed (and still seem) to look up to me. It really has made me the man I am today, otherwise I fear I would be this shy shy psychotic shrinking violet, just too weird and afraid to express myself. So like before I had children, tattooing taught me that some people actually cared about what I had to say or who I was and were interested in me, for many years it was totally ego driven and I turned into a real asshole and offended a lot of people and fell from grace and then I kind of felt the world had turned on me, but it was really just me being self-important and selfish. Treating tattooing as if people were privileged to be wearing my work. A few things changed that.


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