First American Art Magazine No. 13, Winter 2016/17 - Page 22

DESIGN It’s clear some of your works draw on the Rorschach test, the psychiatric system of analysis that uses inkblot motifs. I’m curious to know if there is a subconscious, surrealist element to your practice? My influences are Salvador Dali and Robert Williams, and I’m interested in creating different toned colors to affect experiences while viewing a painting. The fantastic represented by a bordertown life, that big dream that comes in many variations, each a little vignette describing an idea. Master Navajo weavers use your designs in current baskets and rugs. Can you tell me about how you came to this opportunity, and what it taught you about weaving techniques? Damian Jim (Diné), Mechanica II, digital iPad painting on birch, 1/1. Image courtesy of the artist. Lately, I’ve been visualizing layers in paintings. The process is fascinating in that a different process must be followed to ensure the completed painting looks as good as my current skill set will allow. The masters were good at manipulating light on canvas and visualizing statues without any tools other than math. Today, you can use different media, tools, and materials to produce innovative work, but you have to have a good base to build on, and that comes down to the time and work required. Knowledge and time dedicated to each idea ensures a smooth process flow in creating the art, just like solving a problem logically. As an artist and designer, you have to negotiate between two different yet interrelated worlds. How did you enter into graphic design and why? A representative from Al Collins [Graphic Design School] visited my art class in Flagstaff, and since it was my senior year, I was looking for a vocation after graduation. After looking at the benefits of graphic design, I signed up and graduated with the knowledge to launch my own design studio. Besides creating visual solutions for my clients, I built websites and produced printed media. Our world lives and functions with graphic design and visual interfaces, and we can customize the font, the color, the flavor. The process of creating that customization fascinates me. 20 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM It was a pure and simple case of being in the right place at the right time. Even today I’m amazed by how I was able to get a job in southeastern Utah doing graphic design full time. My family members are all hard workers, so my grandmother thought I needed some motivation to look for a job by driving me up to Blanding, Utah, and placing my résumé at the local employment office. By happenstance, Barry Simpson, who ran the Blue Mountain Trading Post in Blanding, had placed an ad for a graphic designer that same week. The hiring process took two days, since both Blue Mountain and Twin Rocks Trading Post are family businesses, and the brothers, Barry and Steve Simpson, wanted to make sure I would be a good fit. The job required a good working knowledge of the trading post, the artists behind the art, techniques used for every piece of art in the post, and the amount of work and time that goes into harvesting, gathering, weaving, or soldering. The finished product is always worth the price of the final art piece. This allowed me to see the value of hard work and quality workmanship, both attributes that I apply to my work. Nothing goes out the door without my having given all my knowledge, creativity, and skill in creating it. The most important aspect I learned from