Matthew Hamblen, the wonderful surrealist that I featured last week, has agreed to do an artist profile for me. I am really enjoying getting to hear from all these artists about what inspires and drives them, and this one is no exception. I hope you enjoy this look into Hamblen’s artistic world, as well as the lovely images he’s generously agreed to display here.
What do you love about your medium?
Everything. I can’t really state anything specifically here. I guess I was just born to paint, as it’s my #1 thing in life since a very early age.
Describe one piece of artwork that you find superficial or boring.
You know when you go into a modern art museum and you see a huge wall-sized painting that’s just one color (usually white) ? Yeah, I’m with you on that, as I just don’t get it either. I mean, minimalism is one thing, but…. (??)
When did you first call yourself an artist and why?
Well, I grew up with a Father who’s an oil painter, and the family lineage is all about art on his side of the family for many generations, so to me it was no big deal, I guess.
I’ve always felt that no one grants you “permission” to be an artist. You have to call yourself one at some point. Precisely when that happened to me, I’ve really no idea. I think we all have it within us, as a lot of it is psychological, as are many things in life.
We’re taught to believe that to be an actual “artiste” one must be a certain “something” that’s oh-so-special, or have a list of accomplishments that would make jaws drop, and I just don’t buy into any of that, nor do I buy into the whole “art world” game, really, as it’s all about “who you know” and “where you’ve hung” which inherently rubs me the wrong way.
Art is about creativity and perhaps quite a bit about rebellion as well, so that’s my POV on the whole thing.
When I was young, an artist I admired advised me to just go and paint if I wanted to be an artist, so that’s just what I did. Simple.
Describe a piece of artwork and/or an artist that you find consistently inspiring.
This might sound terribly egotistical but it’s not meant to be. To get fresh ideas on what to do or where to go next, I actually go back to my own older stuff nowadays. I’ve always referred back to what people want of me, and what they’ve purchased in the past, as I enjoy painting what others like, and I enjoy making people happy with my artwork. The inspiration is just melded in there automatically, as I love what I do, and it always inspires me on it’s own. I used to glean inspiration from tons of artists and various places, and still do on odd occasion if I see something that just blows my mind, but nowadays, I mainly stick within my little niche.
What is your unique purpose for creating work?
Just making people happy, and hopefully inspiring others to create. I’m grateful beyond words to be in a position to do that.