Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artist Interview: Tyson Sommer

What is your name: Tyson Sommer

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:  Self-taught

What is the style of your pieces: Varies. I've done travel/landscape, nature, surreal, portraiture, pin-up, and other forms of photography. I have long-term visions of some surreal photography using light and nature.

What is the medium in which you work: Mostly photography, and some mixed-media

What started you on your path as an artist: I have been creating in one form or another since I was a child. It began with drawing at a very young age, and progressed to wood working, custom fabrication (fiberglass and other media) and then to photography. As for the photography, I discovered a major passion for that as I traveled around the country for my job as a network engineer. I found myself spending more and more time exploring and capturing the bits of life I would encounter while on the road. Now I like to photograph everything!

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: I firmly believe that creating through art is one of the best and most important ways we can express gratitude for the life that we were given. We are all unique creations, so why not give thanks by returning the favor and making our own unique creations? This has brought me not only the usual outlets for expression, stress relief, and exploration, but also a deeper connection with friends (especially when we create together) and with the world around me.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Music

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I had my first "official" art showing last weekend. It was fun, and a good learning experience. Unfortunately, I was tucked away off the "beaten path," so I did not get much exposure at all. The people that did visit expressed a lot of positivity toward my photography, and a couple pieces sold, so I'd say that was a great first experience. Other than that, I've only donated art to charity auctions. Those were equally rewarding experiences. I believe it's important to "give back" now and then.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Only when working in the shop on mixed media creations. For photography, I wear normal clothes (unless I'm the subject in a photo, which is rare, but has happened).

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Having a day job and not being able to dedicate all of my time to art.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Wow, I never really gave this much thought. Probably one of the sandwiches from Spiral Diner (even though I'm not a vegan).

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: So far, yes. I have done a lot of pin-up work this year, mostly for a book that will benefit the American Cancer Society

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Alex Grey (alive)

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: That's tough to say. A lot of art moves me. The war and poverty photography at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center that was shown after the "Restrepo" viewing was moving. Seeing Dali's "Hallucinogenic Toreador" in person was pretty moving. Seeing the live-art piece that everyone created at the "Flood of Emotion" benefit for Japan this year was very moving. The installation at the OKC bombing site is moving. An acquaintance's photos of mothers giving birth naturally are very moving. The iconic "Burning Monk" photo is extremely moving. Some of the transient effigy artwork built for the Burning Flipside festivals in Austin (which are constructed only for that weekend and then burned on site at the end), as well as much of the similar art found at Burning Man, are very moving. Different art moves me in different ways, and I don't usually put the ones that move me in any "better or worse" scale.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: Only my friends, and no one has complained yet.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: Working on that!

Web address     http://www.screwgun-logic.com (coming soon - no content yet)

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