MAGAZINE

December 27th, 2017
Jesse Gussow


The amazing art work of artist Atom St. George is the perfect mix of abstract and detailed painting. I’ll let him explain his process, but ever since I found his work I’ve just been in love with it! His paintings are incredibly unique and the characters that come out of them are creepy and fun. His colour palette is perfect as all the colours used complement each other so well. The backgrounds convey a beautiful scene for the main characters. It’s incredible what he can make with a fling/blob of acrylic paint.


Where are you from?

I was born in Riverside, California.

 

How did you get started on your artistic journey?

On my 21st birthday my good friend passed away and I started drawing on a more serious level as a coping mechanism. Jason was really into my doodles so after he died, drawing became sort of a way to honor him. Fast forward 3 years and I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, quit my job as an ultra-sonic inspector in the aerospace field, and signed up for art school at Otis College Of Art & Design.

 

How would you describe your art style?

I would describe my painting style as a detailed abstract. I love painting abstract landscapes/dreamscapes and recently have been into creating abstract splatter characters which are a lot more fun to make.

 

What is your exact process for creating a piece? Do you know what you are going to make before you put brush to canvas?

I never have a plan when I start a painting. Just about every stroke is improvised off the previous stroke so in a way it paints itself. I essentially twist and smear colors together and look into the chaos for landscape elements to preserve and dial in and I repeat this all around the canvas until I see the landscape/dreamscape unfold. When I create my characters, I fling a pile of paint off my brush onto the piece without actually touching the brush to the piece and again look for clues in the chaos to make the character happen.

 

What is your preferred medium to work with?

I prefer to work with acrylic paint because it allows me to build a scene faster because of how fast it dries compared to oil paints. I also live-paint at the art shows I do and acrylics just make way more sense for that situation. However, I was taught in oil at school.

 

What do you dream of when you sleep?

I rarely dream at all and if I do it's something terrible about the future of my condition.

 

What age do you feel right now?

Hmm, mentally I feel my current age I suppose which is 32, but my body feels like it belongs to an 80 year old because of my MS.


I saw on Facebook that you went to art school to work on a cartoon for Adult Swim. What made you leave that world and become a full time painter?

I initially went to art school to make a cartoon called "Fates Of Fitzy" with my writer friend Chad who lives out in Colorado. It was about a nervous wreck suicidal guy in a wheelchair that was constantly battling his will to live. While in school I started taking painting classes on the side and that quickly took over my interest. It came down to [the fact that] I would much rather play with colors than do tasks on a computer. I want to enjoy as many hours of the day as possible and painting was that way.

 

How have you grown as an artist from when you first started, to now?

I’ve gone through a few different methods since I started. Up until the end of 2015, I was painting subject matter that had to do with multiple sclerosis such as demyelinating neurons. I also worked in oil and drew all my paintings out first in pencil. From 2016 and on I switched to acrylics, started live-painting at my shows, and switched from the medical style painting to a much more enjoyable abstract process.


Do you think social media is a good thing for the art world?

Yes, social media is very important for a painter's business. It has allowed me to gain fans from around the world that I wouldn't have otherwise, connect with other painters, fill my feed with their art for inspiration/motivation, and it helps me sell my art.  It's important to note that I would still be just as passionate about painting if social media didn't exist.

 

In a year, how many paintings do you typically complete?

Last year I completed a little over 90 paintings.

 

It seems that your most recent work is resonating well with lots of people. Why do you think that is?

I think my characters are easier for my fans to relate to compared to the landscapes and there is also an element of humor to them that didn't exist before. Also, these characters are more authentic to my personality and I think people can pick that up.

 

What do you do to get over a creative block?

I don't get creative blocks.

 

Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?

Oreo all the way.

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