We need some history on you
My name is Isaac Arvold. I am 29 years old. I grew up outside of a small town which is pretty isolated. I was lucky enough to have a father that grew up in St.Paul where we would visit grandparents who were supporters of the arts. I love escape that art can bring to ones psyche. During the duration of my life I have always made art. It was the great release. After high school I chose the path of education. Art was my release for the stresses in my life. At that time I wasn't making art to show. It was just something I had to do. I had to make art, I didn't really have a choice in the matter. As I started teaching the days grew longer and I found myself grading papers, making lessons, and then going to the garage to make art. I found out later that I was stock piling these pieces on book shelves. I was still somewhat new to Minneapolis and showed some new friends the work, it hit me then that I had about 30 pieces. At the time I had no intentions of sharing this work it was just a release. I was then asked to be part of a group show called Skate and Destroy at the Soap Factory. This was the catalyst to my art career where I started sharing my work. I still find the need to make art. I quit my job teaching and stepped into the unknown.
When did you move to MPLS and where did you move from?
I moved to Minneapolis in 2002 to finish up my student teaching. I was living in St. Cloud where I was attending college. I grew up outside of Alexandria, Mn in a very small township called Holmes City.
What lead to your career change?
I was teaching at a year round charter school and was laid off. Eventually I found more work at South High School where I finished up the school year. At the end of the year I was asked if I would return, but I declined due to my art career taking off. I was fortunate to have some shows that were really good for me which made the transition from teaching to full time art easier than I thought. I have some months where I do find odd jobs and work. I have a large studio with a wood shop that allows me to utilize those tools for other work.
What are some recognizable projects that you've been a part of?
I was a part of an event in Minneapolis called " Will Work For Food" which is a loose collective of friends that have curated shows together. Our last show was at the Old Theatre Antiques building which we secured and found funding to have a large group show. We had 20 artists total and opening night we had about 1200 guest filter through. It was only a three day event and had close to 3,000 people show up. Here is a link to explain more in detail of the event. http://willworkforfood2.blogspot.com/
I have collaborated on many mural projects with friends and very talented artists such as Eric Inkala, John Grider, Drew Peterson, Mike Fitzsimmons, and Gabe Combs. Eric Inkala, John Grider, Drew Peterson, and myself were commissioned to do a 80 ft. by 30 ft. mural in Nashville Tn, which coensided with a group show we had at Twist Art Gallery. I have also done my own mural projects that can be seen at www.youtube.com/artisbad - Currently I am working on a solo show for great gallery in Minneapolis and feel very honored to have my work there. I'm not reveling the gallery yet due to the fact we have not settled on a date.
What are your influences & inspirations?
My influences came from growing up outside of a township of 33 people and getting skateboard magazines in the mail. As a kid I would obsess over the deck graphics. My strongest influences are my friends that make art. I am a big fan of Ian Francis, Dave Kinsey, David Choe, and many more.
I am inspired by almost anything, it is about taking the time to take it all in. Most nights I lay awake in bed thinking of what I can paint and then realize that I can paint anything I want. This causes a overload of the brain, I then obsess over these brain images. Laying awake I know that I have to go to the studio and get these ideas out , but in my brain I fear they wont look as cool or similar to how I thought they would look. This repeats it self over and over until I fall asleep. Even that process itself inspires me to keep trying and painting.
How did you develop your style and at what point did you recognize it as such?
I tried many techniques before I worked with the resin. I tried glass, plexi, polyurethanes, and other things. At first I hated painting. I love illustrating and found that I could cut out the drawings and build there existence in my multimedia paintings. I remember when I was working out of my garage and really had not shown anyone my work except for my roommates. I had never shown my work in any kind of setting of a gallery or what not. I became friends with some other local artist and invited them to check out what I was working on. It was received very well and I was asked to be a part of a Group show at the Soap Factory. I also had support from my friend Emma Berg who helped me with other shows after that one. Then I realized that making art as a career was a possibility for me.
What do the characters in your work represent to you?
A lot of my characters are in suits or are distorted into little characters that represent the many faces we all put on. We all act differently when we are at work, around friends, family, or by ourselves. These characters are part of the different "suits" we all wear during the day depending on where we are or for whom we are with.
How do the collaborative works & processes affect your work?
Collaborative work has probably been the best thing for me. It has pushed me in directions that I never thought I would go. It is fun and scary to let go of a piece that you have worked on and let someone else add to it or cover up something you've painted. I have been lucky enough to work with excellent artists that I respect and trust. It's great to see the dynamic of the piece once it is done.
What's your next move/ upcoming shows?
My next move? Well that would be trying to catch up on bills and March rent. Just kidding, not really but, seriously. Here is what is in the works for spring and beyond. My friend eric inkala and I and are sending off work to be in a group show in New York at the AWP gallery. The show is titled "World Of Imagination Vol.2" apwarts.com - I am also working on another group show with great friends Eric Inkala, John Grider, and Keiko Yagishita at First Amendment Gallery in Minneapolis. We are currently working out a title for this one. This is the follow-up show from last years "almost famous" show. firstamendmentarts.com - There is more to come for summer and fall but, I have to keep that to myself for now. I would like to thank all the supporters of my work. Thanks to great friends and anyone who has stopped to look at art.