Artist Profile: DANTE GARCIA
What’s your favorite material to work with?
Easily a pencil or pen. I’m an old school doodler. Anytime I’m in class my pen or pencil is right at hand. It’s what I feel most natural with. Otherwise, I put a lot of energy into what I’m creating, so I like creating messes. I definitely try to push the edges of the material or medium.
What kind of message do you want to portray with your art?
That is kind of like the question of artists. For me having an awareness to the context our culture is in has been important, I’ve always been someone who believes there should be a story or narrative or message, something that furthers a conversation or relevant issue within the community or space in which the art exists. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that some of my most enjoyable art in regards to the process has been art that is simply of mind, simply of the head, and not necessarily saying something in relation to bigger issues. There’s definitely a balance that I personally try and strike. Historically most of my art has been about social actions, social justice, revolutions
How did you come up with your own style?
I was one of those kids that didn’t have a lot of friends, so I hung out at the library a lot, and that meant I read all the comic books. A lot of my style came from those comic books. When I was first drawing there was definitely a lot of disproportionate muscles, but since then I’ve really refined it. My visual style really comes from trying to see something as it is and letting my hand try and translate it. I really try and keep my eye on the subject and let my body or hand flow through.
What motivates you to keep making art?
The social interaction, the conversation. What really inspires me is when someone says ‘holy shit, that’s awesome,’ but also in the sense where someone can look at it and really feel something from it or tell that there was an emotion I was trying to portray around it. So really what drives my art is that relationship – knowing that there’s an impact or conversation that is going on.
What kind of advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Keep doing it. Just keep doing it. Practice (x7)
How has the Evergreen culture played a part in your work?
This question always gets asked when you’re at Evergreen. Well of course the obvious answer is the interdisciplinary aspect. You can be in a poetry class, but it’s also a photography class. The fact that your artwork is always being challenged, always being fed by other ranges of curriculum or other parts of education. I really appreciate the fact that it’s kept my art from getting really stagnant. It’s opened up the opportunity to really explore art through other lenses.
Where do you see your art going in the future?
I see my art going in the streets. I see it being a tool for community problem-solving. I see it as a way to strike up conversation and conversations that need to be had that are kind of unsaid.
What puts you in the artistic mood?
Late nights and chill music.
By Kelli Tokos