We hope you’re ready to be awed by the artist in this edition of the Get to Give Art Benefit Weekly Feature series, because his art is out of this world…literally. So strap yourself in, sit back, and prepare to embark on a visual ride to an alternate universe with the artwork of artist Roland Tamayo!
After putting in his time and becoming a seasoned veteran in the video game industry, Roland opted to take a different route and devote his efforts to creating gallery art and spending time with his family. Both of which he’s extremely dedicated to, and credits his wife and twin boys as major sources of inspiration for his art. He appreciates the little things in life and we admire him for his humble, positive, laid back attitude.
When it comes to art, many of Roland’s pieces depict animals from the sea in some pretty peculiar settings you wouldn’t normally expect them to be part of. However, his dreamy somewhat sci-fi infused design aesthetic has the ability to make even the largest underwater creature like a whale, seem right at home amongst the clouds in the sky. We can’t for the life us of figure out how he does it, but we think it’s absolutely awesome!
In between taking care of his family and working on his art pieces, we had the chance to ask Roland a few questions for his Weekly Feature, and this is what he had to say. Enjoy!
Name: Roland Tamayo
Place of Residence: Glendale, CA
Current Jam: Smucker’s Sugar Free Strawberry Preserves
Favorite Food: Pizza
Mode of Self Expression: Art, decorating our home and landscaping
Ark: Hey Roland. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. Could you please begin by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Roland: Thank you for having me! I am an artist/illustrator who graduated from Art Center. I went on to work in the games industry for a while as a 3D to eventually Concept Artist then decided to work from home doing freelance and gallery art while I take care of my twin boys. I was born and raised in Glendale and am fortunate have settled back here and have great family and friends in the area so I love it here. People say I’m pretty laid back in a nice way, so I hope that’s true!
Ark: What are the names of a few of your favorite artists, musicians or people that you have looked up to over the years?
Roland: I was one to never name drop my favorite artists. I think I got turned off with that early on in art school. Everyone wanted to know who you liked just so you can ask them and they would name 10 or so artists because they were trendy to like. But since we are not in school anymore, I’d say the very first artist I bought an original painting of was by Tim Biskup. Still love his work. The very first CD I ever bought was Depeche Mode 101. I’m giving my age away with that! ☺ I still am very much into the stuff I grew up on. 80’s music rocks! As far as people I’d have to say my parents. If not for them coming to this country from the PI and working hard so that my sister and I can have a shot at a decent education, I would not be where I am today.
Ark: Let’s talk about creativity and inspiration for a moment. Whether it’s in your personal life or in your art, where do you usually look to for inspiration?
Roland: These days I look to my family, particularly my wife and twin boys. I thought that I was supposed to teach my 2 ½ year old boys lessons. I try to do my best, but I never realized how much I needed to grow and how much they are teaching me. They inspire me to do better in every aspect of life and even my art. The little stories because of my experiences with them fill my head with ideas, and I never expected that to happen.
Ark: I checked out your website and saw that you worked in the video game industry doing Concept Art. How did you originally get into the industry and what did you like most about it?
Roland: I told myself after graduating that I would take the first offer that came to me, regardless of location and salary. Thanks to my friend the talented artist Joe Watson, yeah you Joe!, I was able to get my first job in the beautiful city of San Diego at Midway Home Entertainment which lead me to the best games company around in Insomniac Games close by in Burbank. To be honest, at this point of changing diapers (hope that ends really soon) feeding time, nap time, Dora The Explorer, etc., I really miss the social interaction with fellow coworkers and friends. Playing hoops during lunch break, finding a new hole in the wall with the guys in hopes of not getting food poisoning. Stuff like that.
Ark: What is the strangest, most memorable, funny, awkward…(fill in the blank) encounter your artwork has led you to over the years?
Roland: Sorry, I don’t have anything really funny to say about this. Let’s see…off the top of my head I never thought I’d be an artist. I was trying to be a Dentist. So when I ditched that idea and thought I’d try art, the first time I took a figure drawing class was an eye opening experience. The model was this amazingly beautiful dancer. The transition from the book only world to the creative process was strange and awkward at first, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. The first time I feel I ever showed a piece of art at a gallery was at Gallery 1988 LA and that was pretty memorable for me to be hung along side in a group show with some of my favorite artists, like the aforementioned Tim Biskup
Ark: We’re all about learning the creative processes that different artists use and go through with their pieces. When you’re getting ready to start working on a new piece, is there some form of “routine” or process you tend to go through every time. Or does it vary depending on your mood at the time?
Roland: I am always sketching ideas because ideas come to you a any time, sometimes in the strangest of circumstances. So I have a handful of my favorites saved for the right moment. The only routine I really have is waiting till everyone in the house goes to sleep so I can have my space to listen to music and have uninterrupted time to create.
Ark: Is there one specific medium you prefer to use instead of another with your art, and if so, what is it?
Roland: Yes, my favorite is Acrylic painted on the hard surface of wood. Pen and ink is another big favorite as well.
Ark: Now it’s time for the “lightning round.” If you could please answer as quickly as possible, we’d appreciate it.
*Roland’s answers are in RED
- Acrylic or oil? – Acrylic
- Pen or pencil? – Pen
- Canvas or wood? – Wood
- Fantasy or Sci-Fi? – Sci-Fi
- Past, present or future? – enjoying the present while appreciating the past and looking forward to the future.
Ark: I’m sure they are plusses and minuses with every career. But what would you consider to be the most rewarding and also the most frustrating part about pursuing a career as an artist?
Roland: Creative freedom and being away from the major politics of a studio job. Yes of course there is politics in every studio job, but it’s been a tad frustrating to find out that there is even politics in the gallery world as well. But seriously, you can’t be too upset either way in a studio or working from home. Creating art is a wonderful gift that I am so fortunate to do.
Ark: What are a few of your hobbies/how do you like to spend your free time when you’re not creating art?
Roland: Love, love to go to the flea markets with my wife and kids. I really appreciate things that have a story, and show visible character and I enjoy surrounding myself with them. Obtaining that rare find for an amazing price is enjoyable. We have been going a ton to Griffith Park and riding the trains with the boys and having them ride the ponies. To see enjoyment on their faces is wonderful.
Ark: Aside from having one of your custom packs in our Get to Give Art Benefit in June, what else can we expect from you in the future?
Roland: A handful of group shows from the summer till the end of the year. Working on some fun freelance projects and rather large commissions. As far as the personal art, I’m going to take the gallery art a little easier in 2012 to concentrate on my first solo show in Los Angeles in November at Gallery 1988 LA. So pumped for that and I have an some ideas to try new things.
Ark: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Roland. Any last words for the readers?
Roland: You are very welcome and thanks again! To the readers, thank you for taking the time to read this, for your support and the support for Ark Collective’s amazing cause. Best wishes to you all!
Here are a few pieces of Roland’s art to get you excited for the show!
*To view more of Roland’s work visit his website www.rolandtamayo.com