This week’s featured artist is Mitch Frey, a Portland, Oregon native that began his career in the field of sociology and went on to explore his penchant for illustrating. This turned into a career and now his pieces populate BoomBoom Prints.
BBP: How would you describe your art in 5 words?
Mitch: As for the art that is on BBP, I would use words like clean, retro AND modern, flat, and playful.
BBP: What inspires you to make art? How do you get motivated?
Mitch: It really helps if it is about something I care about or enjoy. I find that objects can have meaning as they relate to experiences and memories. I enjoy classic cars and movies, and they carry memories, so any time I can refer to them is fun. I also care deeply about our planet and issues of social justice especially as it relates to the disenfranchised. In some of my art I celebrate the beauty of nature and animals in particular, as a way of saying “hey, these are precious and worth defending”. The same goes for depicting the everyday life of people who struggle to make ends meet. I have done some of this but would like to incorporate it much more into what I express going forward.
BBP: Do you have one creative process for making your art or does it change?
Mitch: I typically sketch on tracing paper, scan the image into the computer and work on it in Adobe Illustrator.
BBP: Do you have a special time of day when you work best?
Mitch: I’m a morning person…I begin to sputter around 2-3 pm!
BBP: How has your art style evolved over time?
Mitch: As a child, I was obsessed with detail and perfection. I was rarely happy with my work. Over time, I have become less compulsive about realism, and discovered that I actually prefer simple, less literal interpretations over the grind of detail.
BBP: What is your favorite part about being an artist?
Mitch: Expressing myself and making a connection with the viewer. I also enjoy much of the creative process.
BBP: What is the hardest thing about being an artist?
Mitch: Sometimes I have a difficult time translating my thoughts and feelings into the image.
BBP: What art supply/program/etc is indispensable to your process?
Mitch: My Mac and Adobe Illustrator.
BBP: Do you have kids?
BBP: How old are they, what are their names?
Mitch: 13, and her name is Hannah.
BBP: How did you decorate her room?
Mitch: We went with simple white furniture and white trimmed paint. She loves turquoise, so we incorporated that into the walls and some of the bedding. She takes it from there and does her thing.
BBP: If you let them decorate their room, how would they do it?
Mitch: We do let her decorate, but she isn’t that into it. Her main contribution is a messy bed, clothes on the floor and a few posters on the walls.
BBP: Who was your biggest role model when you were little?
Mitch: My parents. A good balance of love and structure. I new where I stood and always felt loved.
BBP: Did you draw/design as a kid or did you start as an adult?
Mitch: I always drew, and it was something we enjoyed doing together as a family.
BBP: How would you advise parents who want to encourage their kids to appreciate/enjoy art?
Mitch: Expose them to art, and let them explore creative activity. If they discover a passion for a particular form of expression, then nurture that direction. Let them find their own way of expressing themselves, and give them tips if they are receptive. I would encourage them to learn from others, but to find their own way.
BBP: How was your room decorated as a kid?
Mitch: My parents were/are minimalists, and so am I. I had a couple pieces of my own art on the walls along with an Easy Rider poster. On my nightstand there was a pocket Bible(Good News for Modern Man translation), a couple of Peanuts comic books and a clock radio. I always made my bed and put things away…I liked it that way.
BBP: Which piece is your favorite on BoomBoom Prints? Why?
Mitch: Iconic Portland. I like the way different elements of my city come together as a unit. Again, it’s an example of how objects carry meaning for me.
BBP: Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?
Mitch: Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31
BBP: Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
Mitch: I love fly fishing.
BBP: Summer or winter?
BBP: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mitch: Vanilla with chocolate syrup.
BBP: Warm or cool colors?
BBP: Are you a night owl or an early bird?
BBP: Sweet or salty food?
BBP: What is your biggest pet peeve?
BBP: Dream vacation spot?
Mitch: Oaxaca, Mexico.
Check out more of Mitch Frey’s work here!