Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Vukojevich.
Anthony, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up immersed in the pop culture of Los Angeles, as viewed through the suburbs. Although downtown L.A. seemed so far away, it was always looming through the 70’s haze from the foothills near Montrose, where I grew up. Often, the neighborhood kids would watch the filming of CHIPS on the not-yet-opened 210 Freeway, where we’d pepper Erik Estrada with questions during breaks from filming. Star Wars was the defining moment for me. I was eight and decided that I wouldn’t be a stuntman, I’d be an artist instead. My goal was to draw Star Wars comic books. That evolved into a love of collecting Marvel Comics and devouring any comic strips I could find. Bloom County loomed large in high school and I wanted to be a syndicated cartoonist. That didn’t happen, but I wrote and drew my own strip throughout college.
The local Art Center was a bit pricey, so I instead attended Long Beach State. After college, the animation boom of the 90’s was in full swing thanks to the Simpsons and Disney. I thought back to the amazing old-time Disney artists I’d met while working at Ralph’s in high school. I noticed many of my friends were getting jobs in animation. I remembered going to a pencil-drawing test of the Black Cauldron on the Disney lot when I was ten. It was inevitable… I ended up working in animation, on the very same lot where I saw that movie. Disney Television Animation has been my bread and butter for the past 15 years, but I continue to create artwork in a pop-cultural vein for local gallery shows, various blogs and in some self-published comic books. I often pinch myself, not believing that I could actually make a living creating art but somehow, looking back, it seems to make sense.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art springs from what interests me. Often, that is something related to popular culture. Growing up, we had more of a sense of shared culture. References were easily understood and relatable. I feel like it brought people together. I’ve always wanted to do that through my art. I want to create something that is fun to look at, but has a twist or pokes fun of something in pop culture. This comes from a love of subversive characters such as Groucho Marx, Bugs Bunny and Weird Al Yankovic. I used to like my painting to be complicated and busy, but in recent years, I’ve tended towards the graphic and simple. It’s a chance to be more focused and iconic with whatever I’m doing. I am driven to create and often have many more ideas that time to execute them. I’d like people to look at my artwork and be amused first, and then feel like they relate, or are connected to it through shared taste and experiences.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I do believe that it is important for an artist to reflect the times they are living in some way. A time of anxiety and turmoil might give way to artwork, reflecting that. On the other hand, I’m all for introspective, personal art as well as pure escapism. We can use an escape from the macro culture in these weird days. I think if an artist includes as much of themselves as possible, then they are a success. They’ve revealed something about themselves and, thusly, about society.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I sometimes participate in gallery shows around Los Angeles. I often create paintings for the gallery at Disney Television Animation. It’s hard for me not to paint 3 or 4 paintings for each show. Time permitting, I’d do that every time. However, I know it’s important to have a balance with family and work. If you want to enjoy looking through some of my artwork, please visit my Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ante1969/albums or my Tumblr: https://anthonyvukojevich.tumblr.com/
- Website: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ante1969/albums/
- Phone: (818) 913-2520
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anthony.vukojevich?ref=bookmarks
- Other: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/anthonyvukojevich