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Meet Derek Long of DertbagDerek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Derek Long.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Derek. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Art has always been the way to express my emotions. At the end of the day, who do you have there for you other than yourself? I often times stay up until 3 am with ideas running through my head. It’s very rare I draw the idea out instead of immediately going to canvas. I find it more real immediately tackling the task at hand then going through 10 rough drafts. If I have something I don’t like on canvas I’ll often times paint over just like Basquiat used to. You can see my sadness by the darkness in my art and my days of happiness by the pops of color in other works. I find black and white the most appealing because oddly enough I feel that’s how my life is.

Although I’ve been drawing my entire life I would’ve never expected to become a painter. I started off by doing comic book characters, then when I got around the age of 13-14 I very much took to graffiti. It wasn’t until I was around 18 when I just felt so sad and I felt as if the only way I could express my emotions was through painting. I always thought that in order to paint you had to include these realism elements and everything had to be absolutely perfect. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Jean-Michel Basquiat as to where my art finally took its form. He remains one of my biggest influences and the reason I’m able to express myself the way I am today.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been easy for me, especially growing up in a small town. I’ve found it extremely hard to break out in the art world from where I’m from. Not everyone understands what I’m trying to do and for me, that makes it difficult. I work very hard and am constantly working to ensure that I progress in my career.

DertbagDerek – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’ve been selling paintings for about 4 years now, I specialize in what I consider abstract/expressionism. What sets me apart from others is that I add a younger and more mainstream media feel to my artwork that I feel can appeal to both the old and young.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The followers I’ve gained and the recognition I get from my artwork is what keeps me going. Without the feedback I’ve been getting, I would have given up a long time ago. I’ve done a few shows and honestly the people that come talk to me about my artwork is amazing I always enjoy talking about my work.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @dertbagderek
  • Twitter: @dertbag__

Image Credit:
Chris Dorado

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