Seattle Artist Interviews Part I
As promised, I was able to meet up with Teo Acosta at the Twilight Exit, a great little bar here in the Central District. The original ideas was to have a do some photos and a video interview, but due to less than ideal filming conditions we opted for photos and a text interview.
Teo Acosta is a comic artist and animator based out of Seattle, WA and we met through mutual friends and a love for metal. We really hit it off and I have admired his work for sometime so naturally I approached him when I decided to move forward with this project to showcase local artists here in the Seattle area and he was kind enough to help out by lending some of his time.
Arriving at the Twilight Exist on a Sunday afternoon, we sidled up to to the bar and ordered drinks before retreating to a Pac-Man table (an appropriate choice given our love for games) for the interview.
Teo takes a quick sip from his beer and gathers himself. We make small talk and the conversation flows naturally before transitioning to the interview questions.
Dave: What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Teo: Work ethic haha. I think in some ways creativity is a muscle. If you practice it all the time, it slowly becomes easier and you become stronger.
Dave: What role does the artist have in society?
Teo: I think artists' role in society is to act as a mirror. A lot of my work is based off my own personal experiences, and trials of my life. In literature and sequential art we have a real opportunity to explore and share moments of our lives with someone who may not have either had the good or bad luck of experiencing it.
Dave: What art do you most identify with?
Teo: I have always been a fan of Goya, and Picasso. But art came to me in a really nerdy fashion. I was at a yard sale when I was about 8, and I found an original advanced dungeons & dragons monster manual from the 80s, and I became obsessed with all the monster art within that ancient tome. Frazetta is incredibly important to me, his work is just so bad ass in theme and execution. In sequential art, Will Eisner will always be king. His work is so important, and he really turned sequential art into an art form.
Dave: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Teo: I've been battling depression and anxiety my whole life. It's a major theme in my illustrations and comic work. To be very specific, there was this woman I had fallen in love with and there were some things keeping us apart. In one of my comics, a character falls into a deep depression from a similar event and ends up not leaving his home for several days rotating through different band shirts. So yeah, that happened haha.
Dave: What do you dislike about the art world?
Teo: I feel like its getting better, but I'm always really frustrated by the lack of attention sequential art and animation get. They both an insanely difficult medium to work in and make something that is worth seeing.
Dave: What research to you do?
Teo: I'm constantly watching movies and analyzing how they are telling the story, and framing shots. I also try to visit galleries as much as possible to see what other people are doing. I'm also kind of addicted to reading art books. Luckily the library in Seattle is amazing.
Dave: What is your dream project?
Teo: I would love to be the Creative Director or Show Runner for an animated series. In this dream world I'd also have complete creative control, and probably release it in a digital format as opposed to being on TV.
Dave: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Teo: No matter what your dream job is, you will have an opportunity to be in front of the right people at the right time. You need to be ready for that day now. Also, if you want to do some thing, start doing it now. Even if its terrible, you'll get better at it over time.
To see more of Teo's work, please visit HTTP://teoacosta.tumblr.com. You can also find him on facebook at Art of Teo Acosta (https://www.facebook.com/artofteo/) and at Twitter (@teo_acosta). It was a pleasure to get a peek inside of Teo's mind and what drives him and I hope to continue this series on Seattle artists on a weekly basis.