Photographer | Casie Wendel
It is near impossible to find any sort of information about you on the Internet and your Instagram is private, why have you chosen to live so low-key?
FP: I’m a conventional artist. I still believe that word-of-mouth is the best form of communication and advertisement. I don’t want to get caught up in the Internet or people's expectations. Once you start setting standards of promoting yourself online and then take a moment for yourself, you end up looking like you fell off or aren’t working as hard. My biggest goal is to stay true to myself, and staying out of the rat race of chasing the Internet helps with keeping that goal. My biggest influences didn’t have Internet back in the day and I look up to the way they did things. I want my work to be famous, not me.
Do you have any other creative endeavors that you plan to embark on in the future?
FP: Absolutely. I’m big into home decor and commercializing my art. I want to push my art into Bath & Body Works, Macy’s and other home furniture stores. I also have a passion for music and I’m currently working on an EP. Creativity runs in me and my mind is always running. I’m currently learning more about photography and I want to incorporate that into my art so I can keep bringing new things to the table. I want to bring you guys another way of viewing art and the different sides of my work, everything from the visual side to the artistic side.
What do you think it is about art in particular that people are willing to spend so much money on?
FP: People are very intrigued about a person's thoughts. They want to know exactly what is going through the mind of another person and I think that art does that. In any form of art, the artist puts forth many thoughts, expressions or feelings and the viewer enjoys the emotions behind what they see, feel or hear. Art is a huge business and if the artist continues to build on their legacy, then the paintings can and will be appreciated. Individuals love profit, so they don’t have a problem spending on art that is appreciated and profitable.
Did you ever come close to abandoning your dream as an artist and choose to pursue something else or did you always have faith in your work?
FP: I really only started taking painting seriously about two years ago. It never really was a dream of mine. It was more of something I stumbled upon, realized I was good and watched people take to it really fast. My dream has always been to be wealthy and successful, so I could never abandon that. However, now I can find different instruments and approaches to get me there -- art, photography, etc. I never thought about abandoning my dream, I just found ways to give the art more longevity to outlast the trend. That’s what I’ve been focusing more on in the last year.
A lot of your recent work that we’ve seen involve some sort of cartoon character(s). How much did these characters influence you growing up as kid?
FP: I always thought I was Walt Disney. I love characters, cartoons and the animation process of sketching characters page by page and flicking through those pages to make the cartoons move. The characters that have been incorporated into my art don’t really influence me now or even when I was growing up. It’s more so the fact that I love being animated, and the sight of cartoons makes people feel fun and happy. It takes the seriousness away from the art and gives people an immediate relationship with my work through relatability. The cartoon is the face of what you see and the doodles around it are just thoughts floating through my head.
Where do you draw inspirations for your pieces? Are they planned or executed in a stream of consciousness?
FP: The inspiration behind my pieces is very random, I suppose it’s more of a stream of consciousness. My art is a way of helping clear my my brain and getting these sporadic thoughts out. The shapes in my art represent thoughts that I can’t put into words. I gather a lot of inspiration through what I see, process them through my mind and manifest that into my art.
What’s one lesson you wish the whole world could learn?
FP: Just like Jim Carrey said in his inaugural speech, “I wish everyone in the world could get what they want, so they could realize that it’s not everything and it won’t make you happy.” For a long time I thought being successful, having money and being “known” was all I ever wanted until I started getting those things. I started building the idea of who I was based off of who I thought I wanted to be -- I felt lost. I realized I never properly nourished the inner me and actually ignored it, chasing to become someone else. As an artist of positivity, love and light, I’m happy with what I have now, focusing on growing my art to be known without having me be the face. Overall, I wish the world could learn to stop chasing money, fame, notoriety and publicity. The Internet is a dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you haven’t nourished your inner self and know who you really are, then the Internet can tear you apart. It can bring you to a space where you’re stuck chasing validation. Learn to love yourself first, and don’t neglect chasing what you think is going to make you better.