Souther Salazar

RECAP—sXc with Souther Salazar

Happy New Year everyone!

We are so happy to be back with our sketchXchange series, and what a better way to kick the year off, than with a very talented and inspiring artist visit.

We had the pleasure of hosting Souther Salazar in our WeMake HQ, for a night of color, stories, laughs and inspiration.

Souther began with this statement, “Process is the point of everything.” We couldn't agree more. Everything he creates, and the projects he is part of, are heavily rooted in process and story. It was great to hear about his early life collecting comics and zines, and how that grew into collecting objects and stuff (or junk as he calls it), and how they contributed to his paintings and installations.

A lot of his work, if not all, can be seen through a lens of telling stories. In his art, Souther often references back to his childhood, or just being a kid in general. When you're a kid, "and you first see the world, everything is possible," he says. When you see the amazing worlds he's created in his illustrations, paintings, and installations, you can't help but become part of those worlds. With just a few minutes taking in each colorful piece, you'll be smiling ear to ear. Trust me.

One of the things that struck me the most, was hearing about how much he collaborates with his wife, and what fun they have creating art together. You can see the journey in their relationship throughout his work.

I could seriously go on and on because I found the evening to be so enriching. Instead I'll leave you with a few last thoughts Salazar shared with us that night.

We have to trust our instincts when it comes to making, and creating art. We must keep the spirit of exploration, play, and process alive—and experience the world with open eyes.

Here's to a fantastic 2015 for you all, and hey, MAKE STUFF ALL THE TIME.

A Collective Process, An interview with Souther Salazar

It was a cold, grey, winter afternoon when we walked into the studio of Souther Salazar. As I crossed the threshold, it felt like all the colors and textures missing from the day were gathered right there within the space for us to play with. Everywhere you looked there was something to take in. His studio is really a collective of friends, painters and makers, and his personal workspace a treasure of collections, works in progress, and things you just want to touch. I was looking forward to talking to him and learning more about the man who creates imaginative worlds of childlike wonder pieced together from layers upon layers.

Please join us for sketchXchange with Souther Salazar

When: Friday, January 9, 2015
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.
Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227
Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

Space is limited be sure to register early!

His journey into making, like for many of us, started in his youth. Collecting cards, stamps, rocks and stickers became a part of that process. In one of his earliest memories he began an assemblage of price stickers beneath his family's dining room table. I wonder if this might have begun his start into compilations of art and sculpture.

I collect the results of different creative impulses and put them together, not necessarily sitting down and creating a piece from start to finish but creating from lots of little pieces.

These collections are openly displayed throughout the studio but also within flat files, photo albums, and sketchbooks. It's overwhelming in a good way and the process of his organized collecting becomes the inspiration for many of his projects. He not only collects found images for inspiration, but also gathers little pieces of his own work in albums like catalogs of instant resource material. I was both impressed and envious of this disciplined system.

His sketchbooks are like mini studies—the jumping off point from where the work might take him. They're messy, scrappy, beautiful and full of visual stories and ideas. What may start out like a simple doodle on a corner of a page, over time could accumulate into something new. The work is often intertwined, a piece of drawing cut from a sketchbook will often find it's way onto a panel of a painting or into a sculpture. Whatever the path, the end results sure make me happy.

It’s all identical, its about moving my hands around and letting my mind wander and seeing where it can go.