The crowd grows at Empire Seven Studios as I start to chat with Drew Roulette. Each of the artists have high quality prints they are raffling off for the opening night, and it was originally planned to raffle off one per hour. Drew’s wondering if they should raffle off all the art all right now, but the other guys are saying more people are coming. We check the time. It’s only 8pm, but it feels way later. The doors opened at 7pm, and the gallery has been filling non-stop. The space roars as everyone speaks louder to hear each other. It’s pretty evident that this’ll be a successful opening night. Amidst the noise, Drew shares with me his inspirations and how he has been exposing his artistic process lately.
So, as far as your saying you wanted to focus on art as much as your music, do you paint while you’re on tour? (with Dredg)
Yea, it kinda depends on the tour. You know, we do the raffles like Circa Survive does too, on our personal tours. So.. I would do a lot of art then. When we’re just opening up for other bands and stuff I don’t really. Here and there I would doodle and stuff like that. It’s hard to paint on the road. I’m the type of person where I just need my own environment. Like sometimes I can’t even paint till my room’s clean.
That’s funny, I’m the same way… have to have everything clean first. It’s distracting. The space around you influences you..
Oh of course, it’s really important. So yea, I find it very hard to paint on the road. Sometimes, if we’re lucky enough to get our own hotel room and I can bust out my paints kinda thing… but not so much painting done on tour.
(Drew with that night's raffle winner of his art)
That time lapse you did… what was that? …45 hours of painting? How much was that broken up?
The painting took 45 hours, but the actual time lapse... my friend was there for like 30 hours of it.
Was that consecutive?! (laughs)
Well, I did like 8 hours of…. (laughs) Yea, yea….
That’s a fucking marathon! (laughs)
Yea, you’d need drugs for that. (laughs) …But no, he did like eight hours one day, and came back next day eight hours, the next day eight hours, and the fourth day was like five hours.
That was amazing by the way…
Yea, it was cool. It came out really well. I mean the guy I worked with, my buddy Marc, he’s super talented with videography and shit. He knows what the fuck he’s doing. At one point, he had me running around with lights where I had to walk back and forth for 45 minutes, doing the same thing. I’m like, “are you fucking kidding me?”
Yea, like can we put this on a string and swing it back and forth? (laughs)
Seriously! …but he was doing like a track shot, slowly moving in, and you know it’s a time lapse with a long exposure, so we had these lights moving behind the painting at the end.
Yea, I was thinking, “how cool is that?!” …capturing the process of a painting in such an artistic way …that’s not something a lot of people get to see, and to be able to put it out there like that.
Yea, and that’s why there was so much work behind it. My videographer was in the worst mood at the end. He’s at my house every day for eight hours just filming. How boring is that, you know? But yea, it creates such an awesome end result. I just recently watched Mark Ryden, an amazing artist who did a time lapse of his shit. It’s just amazing to see how an artist works like that. Like the details or what he chooses to do first. How he arranges his composition too.
With your composition and the images you choose, is there a method? Are you calculated with it or does it kind of build? Does each painting build off of the one previous?
I think I stumble upon new themes and stuff, and then I’ll get inspired, kind of like I inspire myself sometimes.. But, I think the most important thing is the actual drawing. I spend the most time figuring out what actually I’m going to have on the canvas, and I always draw it out before hand. That’s so important to me to have it all laid out before I ever touch it with paint.
That translates into how precise your paintings are, and how well you capture each item on the painting. So that was something I was curious about.
Yea, it’s pretty much all planned out before. Occasionally, something else will pop up... like "I need something there…" but, it’s usually just drawn out, so I just zone out and go to town on it.
What inspires you artistically?
Lately it’s been weird. It’s been like weird blogs on the internet. I just surf and stumble for a while until I see images that I’m inspired by, then I’ll think about that image. “How could I change that and make it mine?” …yea it’s been less artists, more and more just… (pause)
Randomness! Yea… like shit I’ll see in the newspaper… like “that’s cool how they laid that out. How could I take that and add that to my collection?”
That’s funny. I’ve never heard anyone strait out say that before. I also have a clipping box, of just like… images
images… dude! I have binders of that shit. Now that it’s the internet, it’s just folders on my computer, you know? Like one of them is entitled “Inspire Me”… and I just open it and it’s all these pictures that inspire me…
Does your music ever inspire your art? ..or your art inspire your music? …or is it more independent of each other, like pulling from separate wells?
I think, as an artist, you end up pulling from the same well… but I think they’re a separate process. I’m always listening to music while I’m painting, but I don’t think any of that that influence shows up in the art.
What do you listen to?
I mean it could be anything…like Pandora you know? I’ll just put on a channel. I could think of an artist, but lately I just pull out my whole CD collection, cuz I recently moved and I got all my old CD’s back, and listen to all this old shit I’ve loved for a while.
As far as DAY*BROO*YAY, the title of the show… what significance does that have for you personally?
Well you know, Colin found that word and it was his idea to kind of theme the show like that, and I instantly fell in love with it. I just thought it was a great word. It’s kind of what this show is… just gathering things and putting them together… umm... that word doesn’t have to correlate with what we’re doing. I mean, you could use that in so many ways. To just sort stuff out its an important thing in life right now, you know?
Like even what I was just talking about… just moving. Sort out your old shit, and just fucking get rid of it. Your life always needs to sort out. So yea, it was cool it worked real well in a sense of three different artists, and it was easy to use that (word) as inspiration. Sort all your shit out and get ready to.. you know… see what happens….
Yea, you guys brought it down to the wire tonight. Where you guys still painting?
Oh yea. Me and Colin… at 5:30 we were putting finishing touches on shit (laughs)
Nice… last minute…
It really was.
Tell me about collaborative work that you‘ve done.
I have actually one with Colin right now, that we haven’t finished yet… and Gavin, from Dredg, we’ve done a lot of collaborative pieces for our Catch Without Arms record, but uhhh… yea, that’s about it really. I’d love to collaborate more. I love collaborating.
Getting that inspiration from each other?
Yea, and just letting someone’s idea like… you know, try not to stress about it, and just like anything… working with somebody else… letting things happen that wouldn’t otherwise.
Check out “Time to Paint” the video time lapse of Drew’s painting 'Daphne in the Marsh with Trolls' by Marc DonahueLast modified on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 23:47