My style can best be described as character-based cartoon collage. It is a conscious mix of situational humor, social commentary, and bright, saturated and exotic colors and designs.
My message is one of unity, peace, love, understanding, discipline, self-awareness, creativity, personal and social responsibility, happiness, community, and truth. I don’t care if the viewer laughs, cries, screams, shouts, shakes or dances, as long as they feel something and remember they’re responsible for their own happiness.
As a society, we don’t have to accept this cookie-cutter American dream full of Ritalin, Fox News, baseball, and convenient Jesus-filled Hallmark holidays! We’re in charge of creating our own American dream, individual and free of judgment and oppression.
I find inspiration from all areas of life: music, the bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds disrupting its monotony, the manipulative nature of the media, the trials and tribulations of love, the history that shapes the future, our many emotions, and the childlike, carefree love of life that we forget to enjoy. It’s a “stop and smell the flowers” type of thing!
As a live painter, I provide a window into my creative process and technique while building a deeper, personal, creative connection between audience, artwork and artist. Live painting helps me grow and develop, and provides an intimate platform to show and sell my work. It also brings my work into the “mainstream” public eye, the majority of whom aren’t normally going to galleries to view art.
I currently live in San Diego, but also spend time in my hometown of Chicago, my home away from home, San Francisco, and anywhere else the artwork takes me.
(All photographs taken by Tom Shjarback)