Many things in life have influenced my art: poetry, flowers, colors, architecture, fashion, design, culture, politics, music, as well as various artists. I consider my artwork to be simple, pleasing to the eye, and contemporary. I spend much time analyzing color and composition. Some paintings can take a few hours. Some can take days. Sometimes weeks. Detail, size, and subject matter are paramount. My art pieces have no title. Each person has different views, feelings, and interpretation. Each viewer also brings his/her own narrative to the artwork. I therefore want people to come up with their own title. I want to empower the viewer, and drag him/her in the creating process. As for my name, Ize. It is pronounced eyes. I chose that name to remind the viewer that visual art, before becoming an Intellectual process, is a visual adventure. The circle above my name symbolizes my desire to see as much as I can, encompass as many subjects as I can, and strive for excellence, of not perfection.
How did you start with the name Ize?
I wanted to use a name that was simple and memorable. I also wanted to choose a name that had meaning behind it. I was listening to one of my favorite bands the night I came up with the name. The song was ‘Ize of the World’ by The Strokes. I thought that was perfect! Ize is a suffix meaning to create when it’s attached to word. I use my thoughts, and ideas to create artistic images that let people visualize my creativity through their own eyes. The word is also pronounced as eyes. Although not all art is visual, I believe that the human eye plays a very significant role in the art world so I thought the name was perfect for me. The circle around my name reflects the sphere of the human eye. It’s just an extension to my name to create a simple but pleasurable logo. I felt that having a marketable logo would help gain my artwork some attention. I guess you could say I put a little thought to it.
Did you grow up in Phoenix, Arizona? If you did grow up how does being a native Arizona affect you as a person? Affect you in your art? If you came somewhere else, how does it affect you?
I was born in Mexico City but I consider my hometown Phoenix. I’ve been here since I was 3 so I feel more at home here. I’m not so sure if Arizona would have affected me in any other way compared to any other city or place. I believe that it’s the people you surround yourself with, and how you’re devoted to your passion that affects you. Those are just my thoughts. I hung out with a lot of artistic friends, watched movies, and played music. I fell in love with the album artwork of many of my favorite bands. I believe music brought more of my artistic passion out more than anything else. I had about 200 cd’s by the age 18, I then switched to vinyl. I used to burn cd’s and make replica cd album artwork just for fun and gave them to my friends. A few bands album covers I replicated where form The Velvet Underground, Oasis, Radiohead, and Weezer. I used watercolor, pencil, acrylic, and all sorts of mixed media. I still wonder if they have them. I did a lot detail on them.
You are a street artist? What is a street artist to you? How is the street art culture in Phoenix, Arizona?
I would say I’m a street artist, although others may disagree. I’m definitely not painting on trains or walls that may get me in trouble. I have a few ideas for some new pieces, some may consider those street art. The ones who do more of the risky painting, I’d say it’s quite respectable going to that extent if there’s a point or meaning behind the piece. I think its human nature to paint or draw on objects. A street artist to me is someone who creates art with no boundaries. Combining art with the environment that surrounds us, blending every day objects that we run into, and making something out of it. It should force your mind to think and view new ideas. There’s more of a political thing behind but I won’t in to it.
Who are your favorite local Phoenix street art talents? Who are your favorite international street art talents?
My favorite Phoenix artists are JBAK, Issac Caruso, Tyson Krank, Jeff Slim, JB Snyder, Jesse Perry, Lauren Lee, Carrie Marill, and Tato Caraveo. They all have such unique styles and are very talented. I’m still working to get as far as they have, but I still have a lot to work on.
Favorite international street artist are Ron English, Tabby, Pure Evil, Obey, Trust Icon, Andre Saraiva, Nychos, Martin Whatson, Dolk, Pobel, Tristan Eaton, Dasic Fernandez, MDMN, Dot Dot Dot, D Face, Icy and Sot, Ernest Zacharevic, C215, Ben Frost, Fintan Magee, FAILE, David Flores, Banksy, Keith Harrington, and Bambi are artist whom have given me the biggest inspiration to do what I love. Art. So when I think of street art I think of them and the list could go on. If you have a chance I’d recommend looking up their artwork, they such admirable pieces.
How do you market yourself as street artist on the web?
I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and my own website for my art. I follow many artists and I add anyone whom enjoys my work as a friend on my social media. I add new pieces to my sites and I’m constantly interacting with others to be in touch with the art community.
What mediums do you use?
I strictly use spray paint but sometimes acrylic. I’ve worked before with watercolors, oil paint, charcoal, markers, and pastels.
What sizes do you like to attempt? Do you like murals or small works? Both?
I first started with 16x20 pieces but now I’m working with much larger pieces. I’m currently working with 36x48 wooden panels. The largest I’ve done is 50ft x 40ft of a spaceman on 609 N 10th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ. I enjoy both small and large art pieces. I prefer the larger pieces because of the amount of detail you can add to it. I really want to get more murals under my belt; I’ve currently done only one sadly but I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity. I’m just hoping someone else will like my art work enough to let me paint another wall. I just have so many ideas in mind waiting to be painted.
What is your regular artistic process? How do you brainstorm a work before you go at it?
I look through Pintrest, Instagram, all sorts’ magazines, and art books. I save all the images on my computer, do a couple sketches, draw a stencil, cut the stencil, and then I’ll spray paint the image. I then make sure every detail is touched up. It sounds a lost easier on paper. Most of my time is consumed by cutting stencils depending on how detailed they are. I also put a lot of thought on the colors I use. I think it’s very important that the colors flow together. I just take many ideas from other artist or images I see and then I make them my own.
What is your regular artistic schedule? Do you work all day?
I work at a financial institution helping clients make transactions; it helps me support my art and myself for now. I look forward when I get home and start working on art. On the weekends when I’m off of work I tend to work all day on ideas and painting. I hope that someday I can live off of making art all day, that’s my true passion.
What do the patterns in the background mean? Where do you get the design patterns?
The patters in the background are a design I created to let people know that when they see a piece of mine they can easily identify it. I chose dots signify the sphere of an eye, which goes back to the meaning of my name. The stripes are there the image of the art piece with the dots.
Who are the people in your artwork? Who are they influenced by?
A lot of people in my work are models, random people, celebrities, politicians, iconic figures or subjects I find interesting. The influence behind them can be political, or just a really fun piece I thought would be great. But all most all of them have some meaning behind them. The style that I have has been influenced by a lot of artist I mentioned above as well, you might see some similarities. I just found a way to make mix all those styles and make my own in a sense.
How is it like volunteering for the Phoenix art museum? What age group do you volunteer? How does volunteering influence your art making? How does it influence your marketing?
I love working at the Phoenix Art Museum, what better way than to spend your free time walking around masterpieces and being a part of helping the art community. I work with all different kinds of age groups. I think giving back is really important, especially to kids. I feel like there’s not a lot of funding in regards to the Arts and that it’s been a subject that been overlooked. One day I’d like to have a nonprofit organization that helps children with eyesight problems and as well as to offer free art classes to children. As a kid art was my favorite subject but there was maybe one or two classes I could take and I never learned on how to make it as an artist. I started learning everything on my own by the time I graduated high school. I told people I wanted to be an artist, some told me I’d never make it, and that there’s no future in it. I just kept to myself and kept working hard learning as much as I could without any schooling. I’m still very new to people in the art industry but I want to show that I’m really passionate. I want kids to know if you love art do it, and do it with all your passion. It’s not a joke if you love it. I volunteer for the joy of helping others learn more about art. As for the marketing side of it, I’m just there help others enjoy art as much as I do.
How can the Phoenix art scene improve? How is it good already?
Phoenix should give more artist credit for the businesses and people they brought to Roosevelt Row. I feel artist are being pushed out and all the city cares about is building new apartment high rises on every corner. I remember when you could just show up to First Friday’s pick a spot and start selling paintings or play music wherever you’d like. Now you have to pay the city a fee to have a spot on that day. Artist brought a lot of new businesses to the downtown Phoenix area; I think Phoenix forgot to repay them. A lot of art studios and venues have been shutting down due to the higher increase in prices for the property. The art gallery I used to show has been closed down due to the same reason. Phoenix needs to give artist their well-deserved spot back or at least help the community keep growing. Although there have been a lot of changes, Roosevelt Row is still an amazing area. New art pieces are popping up and the art community is still holding on strong. A lot of great artist are from phoenix and the vibe is really great when you want to sit down at a coffee shop, work on ideas, and sip on some coffee. There’s still a lot of growth to see, I just hope the city doesn’t push the art community away. I would like to see the city offer a wall for a new artist to paint a mural once a year. That would be awesome to see.