Aaron Rossell

Lately local artist Aaron Rossell has been pretty solid about posting sketches onto his blog. Finding out what artwork and motivations keep him going provide a glimpse at his process and inspiration.

Check out his website at AaronRossell.com

H.A.C.K.: What do you do, and why?

AR: I make pictures, sometimes called illustrations. I was inspired to make pictures growing up because I loved book illustrations.  My favorite school assignments were the ones that allowed me to make a drawing.  I continue to make pictures because I continue to be inspired by new and amazing artwork.  I’m not a grand explorer of new media, I tend to find my personal route is more comfortable treading on paved paths.  Knowing what can be done helps stabilize my creative output, and if I get tired of a certain way of drawing I find another source to inspire me.

H.A.C.K.:Best places to see art in GR? 

AR: There are a couple of relatively new galleries that I love.  Green Lion Gallery on Fulton shows a good mix of hip cultural work and traditional media.  They have a great rotation of fun exhibits, and although they are highly selective about what they show, they remain open to local entries.  The Nice Gallery out at 1111 Godfrey has awesome potential– their latest show was a huge success and involved around 100 local artists, many of whom I’m regularly inspired by.  Visiting Kendall to see student art is pretty necessary for all local artists in my opinion.  Their main gallery has hosted some of the best shows I’ve seen in GR.  I love the Art Museum– especially their permanent exhibit upstairs.  Getting to see an original N.C. Wyeth is absolutely thrilling for me.

H.A.C.K.:What area….are you most inspired by and why? 

AR: It’s hard to answer this one because most of my inspiration is pulled from the non-geographic, all-knowing, wonder-source The Internet.  There are some neighborhood shows that keep me involved in making pictures, some bigger gallery exhibits that do the same.

H.A.C.K.:What do you see that GR in particular has to offer its creatives?

AR: Immediately, I think of Art Festival, ArtPrize, ArtPeers, and the Arts Market.  These are all big Summer art sources for us Rapidians and neighbors to show off and sell work.  There are small galleries and coffee-house shows all over the city, at all times, and the general atmosphere I’ve always felt is ‘support-the-arts’.  People like art, and GR provides sources for us to perform and display.  I don’t know what other cities are like from a personal perspective– this has always been my home.

H.A.C.K.:When, where and from whom did you last purchase or trade some artwork?

AR: I don’t have a budget for buying artwork– but I pick up small things occasionally at local markets. I bought some prints from James Jean, N.C.Wyeth, and Chris VanAllsburg recently.  About 2 years ago I bought this awesome drawing by up-and-coming Francis Vallejo, a Detroit native.  It’s just this little practice sketch of an elephant he made, but it’s possibly my favorite in my whole collection.

H.A.C.K.:How would you like to see GR’s art scene evolve over the next 5 years?

AR: I’d like to see better drawing and painting studios. Right now Kendall offers some good courses, and I attend their Sunday life-drawing occasionally.  I look at the Art Department, Visual Literacy Program, and Illustration Academy and see serious young artists getting the best, most personal training available from industry professionals.  It’s that kind of situation that I think GR is missing– although it may just require more demand before anything like that happens.  I know UICA and Kendall offer summer courses on certain topics or media, but I’d love to see something developed for people interested in Illustration.

H.A.C.K.:Greatest or last 3 books or TV shows?

AR: I rarely make time to sit and dive into novels, so the last 3 books I read were all large-format artist bios.  “My Adventures as an Illustrator” by Norman Rockwell, “Maxfield Parrish: A Retrospective”, and I started to dive into “Comanche Moon” by Larry McMurtry.  I think that among the greatest TV shows of all time, my favorites are “It’s Always Sunny..,” “Arrested Development,” and I really liked the short-lived “Bored to Death.”

To see Aaron’s finished “Suddenly the beast arose from the waters,” 2011. Acrylic on paper. (work in progress pictured above) visit the Pyramid Scheme.  
Submitted by jenn. 

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