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Meet Paul Morris

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

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am an LA-based artist who creates ink and watercolor pieces under the name of “Pollux.” I create art that captures the rhythms and movements of musicians and instruments: instrument and player become one, a sort of musical spirit composed of lines, colors, and shapes, with various wind, string, electronic, and percussion instruments complementing each together. I was born in 1979 in the English town of Beverley, to a Welsh father and Spanish mother from the Canary Islands. My family and I moved to the United States a year later, and I grew up in Culver City, California.

As a child, I constantly painted, drew, and created my own comics. I found inspiration in travels to Europe and in the rows of books that lined the shelves of our family home, such as volumes on Magritte, Miró, Duchamp, and Dalí. These books opened new dimensions in my mind, and showed me what was possible and what could be created with images, colors, and words. Creating art consists of fashioning a new world from scratch. What I soon discovered was that, while art originally provided a retreat and a refuge, it also offered passage and interaction with a wider world outside of myself. Art could be a protective shell, but also a channel of communication. I could share music with seemingly soundless art pieces depicting jazz musicians. Not satisfied with working solely with paint and watercolor, I have also self-published more than fifty comics and graphic novels.

Please tell us about your art.
I mainly create ink and watercolor pieces on cream-colored paper. My mission is to depict a wide variety of instrumentalists and musicians. I believe well-known instruments like the bassoon, French horn, and oboe should be celebrated and honored, as well as more obscure ones like the melodica, Appalachian dulcimer, and zeusaphone. I want to bring them into the world in full color, and celebrate various musical art forms and genres. I like to work in bright, happy colors. I hope people can hear the music in their heads and that the work fills them with joy.

I’ve also created pieces depicting images from popular culture, such as Mega Man Robot Masters (I created a piece for every single villainous Robot Master from Mega Man One to Six) and characters from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
An enormous challenge is getting exposure in a world that is clogged with content, both bad and good. One can feel overly connected and utterly isolated at the same time. However, the key is to focus on creating honest and personal art. If one does that, every other challenge –finding the right price point, connecting with other artists, building a following- will be overcome over time. I think loneliness, or at least solitude, is part of any creative profession, and I think a necessary part of it. Part of choosing to be a creator is deciding to face, on your own, an empty canvas, an untouched block of clay, a flickering white screen, a blank music sheet. An artist creates his or her own vision of the world. No one else can create that vision for you.

But that condition of isolation should always be temporary. Connecting with the world creates better art. You can find inspiration from being around people in general and not just other artists. That being said, living in Los Angeles means that you’re part of a constant and flourishing art scene. There are always art shows and festivals with open calls for submissions. The best way to connect with other artists is to be part of an art show in which your pieces are shown side-by-side with the creations of other artists. You’ll find that you’ll connect easily with someone on the same journey as you are, and maybe they’ll even lend you some double-sided tape and canvas hanger grips.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be seen in a variety of ways. It has appeared in acrylic on miniature wooden blocks as part of Clark Whittington’s Art*o*mat project. I’ve created more than 1,300 blocks that have been dispensed from retired cigarette vending machines transformed into machines that sell art instead. You may have seen some of my work on TV: it was used as a background in the original Netflix series “Dear White People,” and as a backdrop for the BBC2 Northern Ireland live music series “Ceiliúradh na Féile Pádraig” in March 2017.

My art has appeared in a number of solo shows and galleries. My art has appeared in ArtLife South Bay and the Taché Gallery. Solo art shows include “30 Birds” at ArtLife South Bay and “Animals of the 80s” at Soup Bazaar in Downtown LA. My work has also appeared at The Chocolate & Art Show, at “Splendor” at ExchangeLA, at the Beyond the Lines Pop-Art Show, the Jackalope Art & Craft Fair, and The Loft Gallery at UCSD.

I sell original pieces via my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/worldofpollux so the best way to support me is to buy some artwork! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed by it.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Images by Pollux (Paul Morris)

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