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Spotlight On: Joe Eichenlaub

Joe is a master’s of sociology student studying invented religions at PSU, to which he says “The Temple of the Jedi Order to be precise. They are an invented religion, almost fully on-line which follows the religious sub-texts in the Star Wars films.”

Q: Who or what influences and inspires your art the most?

A: I really love Basquiat and Hundertwasser, but on the other hand I also like realism, particularly Caravaggio, NC Wyeth and his son, and Maxfield Parish.

Q: What are your favorite art mediums to work with?

A: I really like pen and ink, water color and gouache. Watercolors are very unforgiving, and in that vein quite challenging. I love the way a watercolor work looks so alive and vibrant.

Q: What do you do about creative blocks?

A: I try and daydream and just let my thoughts wander. I also find that while I am skateboarding or doing other cardiovascular exercise that you sometimes find yourself lost in a Zen-like moment where free-association and open thought tend to come a little easier.

Q: How does your daily life inspire your art?

A: I suppose daydreaming and maybe looking at the world in ways that others perhaps do not. I find that while “spacing-out”, say on the Max or bus that you can see something that may inspire you. Or you might see a combination of things that give you inspiration.

Q: How do you go about transforming an idea into a finished project?

A: I will write out my idea or tear out a page from a book or magazine and make a note to myself describing where I want to go with the idea in explicit and clear terms that I will understand later, maybe a little sketch to go with it. I will then sit with that idea for a while, see where it goes. If it looks promising, I will then start to draw or paint it, but not go all the way. I like to do things in phases, that way you can see how the piece is going to evolve in a way that creating it all in one go does not allow for.

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