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Art & Life with Paul Lucido

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Lucido.

Paul, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m a painter and illustrator, currently residing in the Arts Colony in Pomona, CA. I majored in Illustration and graduated from Art Center College of Design in 2016, where I studied drawing and painting. Prior to any formal art education, I worked for almost a decade as a graphic designer, both in-house and freelance. That was an incredibly valuable experience, which taught me the fundamentals of design and composition, but more importantly, it taught me how to communicate the intentions of my work with others. When dealing with a difficult client, whom you’re trying to persuade, it is important to be able to defend your ideas. My time in the corporate design world helped me develop that valuable asset.

Even though I enjoyed graphic design, my real passion has always been an illustration. So I walked away from that world and pursued my dream of attending the Art Center College of Design. I have been so fortunate to grow up in a supportive family that has always placed a high value on art. They spoke about Art Center like it was Mt. Olympus. My time there was by far the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. I was in a perpetual state of discussing and defending my work, which I really enjoyed. I had intended on furthering my education in design and editorial illustration, but I eventually found myself in Fine Art classes, which completely broke me from my own personal paradigm of making work. Most artists come out of the ACCD illustration department as an incredible technical artist, but the process had the opposite effect on me. I learned to be more intuitive and not so precious with my mark-making. It loosened me up in a weird way.

Please tell us about your art.
My work focuses on the collective unconsciousness, or the unconscious mind, which is derived from the ancestral memory and experience that is common to all humankind. My drawings and paintings explore this state through the recurring images, archetypes and narrative themes of mythology.

I think as an image-maker the underlying pursuit is developing a visual lexicon, which we all go about it in different ways. For me, the key to developing that language is through a constant state of making. I try to make as much work as I can each day. It leads to a lot of bad work, but it’s how I keep the conversation alive and I find that the throw-away pieces are more informative to the development of future work than the successful ones. There are a lot of repeating forms and compositions in my work and obsessively I almost have to exhaust those ideas to the point where they no longer interest me. That is when something new can happen… and then I’ll eventually run that into the ground too.

Hopefully, my work is accessible to everyone in some way. I am a big Joseph Campbell fan, and my love of the “mono-myth” and its implications about who we are as a species has recently been a powerful driving force in my image-making. These mythological archetypes live in us and are all the things we aspire to be but are also the manifestations of our fears and darker impulses. 

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
The art-life ain’t easy. We live in a bizarre time right now because of social media. In many ways, it’s an incredible time to be an artist because you’re able to cast a really wide net in terms of exposure and getting eyes on your work. One of the best working relationships I have is with a curator who resides in New York and it started because she found my work on Instagram. However, we are also constantly inundated with art from all levels of the spectrum, and it’s easy to get lost in it.

I have several friends who have started their own artist-run spaces and I really think we are going to see even more of that in the coming years. The norms regarding what constitutes a gallery-space have been broken down. Some of the best work I have seen in recent years has popped up in really unexpected places. I know it must be a daunting task, but I think the more artists who create their own platforms, art-communities and curatorial projects the better. Two great examples of this are “Roger’s Office” in Los Angeles and “The Painter’s Room” in Santa Ana.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I post most of my recent work and any upcoming shows that I am participating in on my Instagram (@paullucidostudio) and my website (paullucido.com).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images are owned and created by me.

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