Artistic Minds Interview with Edgar Gutierrez

Which city are you from?

I was born in Long Beach but grew up in the San Fernando Valley. First in Van Nuys and then I moved to Northridge.

How long have you been creating for and what inspired you to start?

At first I didn't really have an interest in art. I had an art class as an elective in middle school but I didn't take it seriously. It wasn't until I was around 15 or 16  that I started to really draw and paint. What really pushed my interest in art was when a friend gave me a set of books about the history of Mexican and Chicano art. I thought it was cool how certain paintings had meanings / messages and represented something. 

Why did you decide to study Graphic Design?

 I decided to study graphic design because it was something that I enjoyed and would allow me to be creative. I was introduced to graphic design through a class in high school but I didn't really see it as something I could do as a career. At first I looked at it as another tool to create. when I began to learn design programs, I would always make stickers or vectorize my drawings.

What’s the story behind Respect The Culture?

Respect the Culture started as a concept for a series of paintings inspired by hip hop culture that I was planning to display at an art show in early 2013. But when I saw that I wasn't going to be able to finish the paintings by the deadline.  I put the unfinished pieces to the side and submitted other artwork instead. Since then I've stuck with the concept and have been created paintings, screen prints, shirts, stickers, under the "Respect The Culture" Title.

But although the concept started as Hip Hop, "Respect the culture" is ultimately about subcultures / counterculture.

In the new set of paintings I have working on, I applied the title to a variety of different subcultures.

What things in life inspire you to create?

Mainly Art, History, and Music. I try to push myself to think of new ideas and concepts, and create art that symbolizes / represents something or has a meaning behind it.

Will you be showcasing your work in any upcoming shows?

I'm going to have some artwork on display at the Beyond The Lines Group art show Sept 16 - 18th in Echo Park and at The Dia De Los Muertos Event in Pacoima taking place late October.

What does Los Angeles Mean to you? 

I think Los Angeles is dope,the art scene is big. Theres a lot of history here and I cant really picture myself living anywhere else.

Where can people find your art?

Instagram @Edgar93_ or @Respectheculture_

Anybody you would like to thank?

Muralist / Artist Manny Velazquez for mentoring me, giving me advice and pushing me to think outside the box.