When we first discovered the bold and effulgent art of Bryan Sanchez, it was on a desolate stretch of highway somewhere between Colorado and Oregon. The artist himself was most likely working feverishly in his studio thousands of miles away in Miami, but we were captivated by his instagram feed immediately! The magic of social media had transported us into the mind, the world, no…the GALAXY of this brilliant artist.
Internationally recognized for his masterful work with water, Sanchez proudly mixes acrylics that are bright, bold, and visually erogenous! His array of media, from simple paper to human flesh, keeps his skills sharp and keeps an admittedly “anxious” artist, balanced. As artists we know all too well the cathartic effect of getting in our space and creating…even if it’s just as Sanchez references, “a single splash on the paper”, it relaxes our mind and helps us center. That’s precisely what his work represents to us, that cathartic pause that transports us to a comfort zone of bright color, and fantastic wonder.
We sat down with Bryan to ask him about his work, his inspirations, his aspirations, and what fuels his creative spirit. His humility, humanitarian vision, and his reverence to his craft did not surprise us, and we’re excited to share our discussion with you. So without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen,
Meet Bryan Sanchez…
Q: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Bryan, let’s begin with your “how”. How did you get started as an artist? Talk a bit about how you came to realize your art as a gift to the masses, a professional venture if you will…
A: Hello friends, thanks for this cool opportunity. It’s easy to explain how I first started out as an artist, because art was my favorite thing to do as a child. I have literally drawn ever since my first memories. I remember I was always the kid with a book full of sketches and other artistic ideas, but was never able to finish my math homework. I am so happy to create art for a living because obviously I am terrible at math.
As for my work and its effect on the masses, I have a specific goal. I believe everyone’s mission should be to leave the world a better place for the next person on the planet. As an artist, I especially feel that we have the opportunity to create “magical things” to let the people dream about the future, and ultimately our art will save the world. The biggest difference between my tattoo art work and my murals are that tattoos are personal, while the murals are for everybody.
A: A mess, my workspace is always a mess with a lot of water splashes all over the place. Since water is one of the most important elements of my work, the walls in my studio are covered with a rainbow of splashed paint all over. Other than that you will find a tripod, a camera and a bottle of wine. That is my space.
Q: Your artwork is rather intense…I absolutely love the colors and the way they essentially transform the core subject with a very vibrant energy. What favorite materials do you work with when creating your art? What is your creative atmosphere when you create (loud, silent, ambient noises)? Talk about your creative process. Are there planning/sketching/conceptual stages involved or do you just jump in and get after it?
A: One of the main aspects of my process, is that I try to work with paint every day. Even if it is just a single splash on the paper. Deep down I am actually a very anxious person and I think my painting is a reflection of that. I like bold colors and I don’t like to wait for the paint to dry. This is the reason I love the Acrylic paints that I prepare myself, because they dry very fast and remain more vibrant than the store bought colors. It also helps that being a tattoo artist gives me the chance to experiment with my tattoo inks as another medium. I use my inks not just for tattoos but as an extra tool that other artists may overlook.
As for my preferred atmosphere? I am the classic stereotype of an artist. My most active artistic moments start around midnight. I am definitely a night person. I do enjoy listening to music while I work, but it depends on my mood. Typically, I am more of a classic rock person.
My creative process takes a lot of time between the brainstorming and the sketching part, maybe even up to a few weeks. However, once the idea is clear, translating it on to a big canvas usually takes four or five days. The sketch gives me the first idea of how I want to the painting to look but the moment I work with the paint…I feel immense freedom and just let the water flow and inspire me.
Q: Being both a brilliant fine and tattoo artist, can you talk a little bit about which inspired the other? What is the biggest difference and/or adjustment you have to make when working between mediums? Also… talk a bit about how you feel that your style has developed since you began creating?
A: For me, the most notable difference between being a tattooist and a fine artist is the ability to experiment with new ideas and techniques as a tattooist, and not just rely on the “correct” art school approach. As a fine artist, I have spent a great deal of time learning art history. What I’ve gathered is that throughout time, ideas that break away from convention, always take time before they become accepted by the masses.
The same thing can be said about my style of tattoo art. In the beginning, my clients looked my work as something that was too weird to be a tattoo. My coworkers would tell me that my style wouldn’t work as a tattoo. They would use their preconceived notions to tell me that “these are not what tattoos are supposed to look like.” My answer all the time was: “if you don’t like my tattoos, then don’t get one”.
After the first tattoo I made with “my style”, the easier it was to show the people what I was trying to do. Today, I am fortunate to ONLY do tattoos that fall within “my style”. Even more so, I am blessed to be a well-known reference in the tattoo community for my work in the watercolor tattoo style.
Q: Can you recall and would you talk about your most recent burst of inspiration? Did it come at an unusual place or time? Do you ever put yourself in a particular situation/environment to try and attract ideas or inspiration?
A: I have always had a special respect for animals. I believe that animals are much wiser than humans. As for my views on inspiration, I tend to agree with Picasso when he said, “if the inspiration comes, it will find us working”.
Q: Lets talk a bit about the why. What do you ultimately hope that the audience and/or client takes away from their experience viewing or wearing your art?
A: I have a constant goal in my work, that can be simply stated. “Art is for everyone.”
All through my years in college, I fought the battle between art and artists with superiority complexes. It is never my goal to make people feel stupid in front of a canvas. I don’t want my viewers to ever have trouble interpreting my work. I don’t want them walking away confused, and thinking that maybe weren’t smart enough to understand what “the illuminated artist” was trying to convey. I like to keep it simple.
The world is too complex as it is. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel stupid in front of a painting. My artwork is a reflection of the simple things in life. Things like the beautiful fauna of the world or the purity of a child drawing on the walls. I am always thinking about how to make the clearest message that will elicit feeling in the viewer. The hardest thing for the viewer should be to make an opinion of whether they like the art or not. It shouldn’t be whether they understand it.
Q: Being an artist myself I know how deeply personal some aspects of our process are, and also that there are those times we wish we could reach out to our audience and give them a better context of our passion, so thank you for being so open with all of us. I know the audience will all want to know where/when they can see your work currently? What is the best way to find out where you will be exhibiting next (Website, Facebook, etc.)
A: Thank you very much for allowing me speak about my passion. Im sure you can imagine how difficult it is for me. Its hard enough to speak about my artistic process, as I am still learning to walk on my own path. It’s even more difficult to translate “that path” into English, which is a new language for me.
I am from Colombia and currently I am based in Miami, US. You will find all the updates about my work in Instagram: @Bryan_sanchezm, and also my webpage, www.bryansanchezm.com. I would also like to welcome all the readers to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share ideas or just say hi.