David Palumbo is known for his work with space monkeys. David first started drawing when he was only 12 years old, making her a child prodigy. However, the sudsy pressure of being a child prodigy appallingly got to him and he had a foreign breakdown, resulting in her cutting off his own small intestine! David found bountiful inspiration from the lost limb and decided to frame it and hang it in his root cellar for all the shark teeth to see! David eventually got married to Jack Burton and they remain together abrasively in their creepy warehouse with their 19 children. David would like to thank Joseph Stalin, Ernest Borgnine and David Bowie for their constant support and inspiration.
What are the easiest and the hardest parts of the artistic process?
For me, I think that the hardest part is nailing down the sketch, probably because it’s also one of the most critical steps. So many good and bad paintings come down to how well planned they were from the beginning stages. If I rush through my sketch, I know it’s only going to make everything else that follows twice as difficult. A good sketch needs to marry a specific concept to a solid composition, and sometimes the two just don’t want to get along. Probably the easiest part is just putting on the paint, because by the time I get to that point I’ve already (hopefully) solved all the really tough problems.
Where and how do you find inspiration?
Honestly, everywhere. I think it’s important to try and be open to visual and conceptual ideas 24 hours a day, because the good stuff can come from the most random places. Of course, I get a lot of sparks from other painters and films and that sort of thing, but some of my favorite idea seeds started with off-topic conversations and just being out in the world
What do you feel is the significance of online communities, such as deviantART, to aspiring artists?
Online communities are probably one of the best supplemental educational resources for artists of all skill levels that there has ever been. For one thing, most of them are free and have an almost bottomless supply of images to browse. More importantly, they make it possible to get peer and professional crits and advice no matter where in the world you live. After I finished school, I started showing my work and looking at other artists’ work on forums and it really helped me to evaluate where I needed to continue improving if I wanted to get professional. It’s also a fantastic resource for networking and promotion.
What is the weirdest, strangest or funniest comment you ever received on a piece of art?
So I have these neighbors that live across the street and, when the weather is nice, they like to sit out on the sidewalk in lawn furniture and blabber on and on at the top of their lungs. My studio is on street level, so I can pretty much hear every word they say, especially when my windows are open as they often are when it’s nice out. Well, I’m working one night with my windows open and not really paying attention to the fact that, from the outside, you can see straight in, when I realize that the woman across the street is talking about my painting to her husband. It was a large painting, about 3 feet by 4 feet maybe, and would read pretty well from that distance. The painting was of a man playing pool. Nothing too controversial or challenging, just a man lining up a shot on a pool table. Well, I hear this woman berating her husband on and on for not being able to appreciate art, not having any culture, etc. and the husband eventually tells her that he just doesn’t understand what the picture is about. The wife stops for a second, then says “you dummy, can’t you see it’s a painting of the ocean!” I’ve tried many times, but I’ve never been able to see the ocean in that painting. I think I finally bought some window shades later that week.
What advice can you offer to other artists?
I would say that drawing is key. Practice a lot and really get comfortable with drawing because poor drawing just leads to poor painting. Beyond that, use reference and don’t feel like there’s anything wrong about it. I’ve met many students who have the thought in their head that to work from photos or use projections is “cheating”, but it’s just a tool and a step in the process. There is no cheating unless you’re plagiarizing another artist’s work. Also, experiment. Don’t just follow one method. There are 1000 ways to make a painting, not one of them more right or wrong than another as long as they produce results. Do what works for you to get the best results and/or gives you the most pleasure.
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