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Home FEATURES Keith Shore Interview

Keith Shore Interview

Written by Trippe   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 04:05
Late 20's is definitely that time in a guy's life where a man boob can sneak up on you out of nowhere - gots to be careful.

The internet's weird. We've known of Keith's work for years. He's participated in our last show here in SF and also in LA. His work is all over the place and yet we've never meet him in person nor even heard his voice over the phone... And in trying to get to know him better, we sent him a few questions to understand the mind of this New Jersey based artist... Say hi to Keith Shore.

Age? Location?

I am a 27 year old scorpio and I just finished my third bowl of Berry Berry Kix. That shit is too good. I am living and working in Lambertville, NJ. Been a Jersey man for just about a month now - Pennsylvania was my home for 27 years. But no worries, I am but a stones throw away from lovely PA. Only a small bridge and the delaware river come between us.

None of your characters have ears. What do you have against ears?

Ears are good ­ just haven't been drawing them as much lately. With my newer paintings I start all of my characters with a flat colored silhouette. I like painting them this way so no outlines are needed to distinguish the figure - they end up with floating features and 'ears' define the shape a bit too much.

Do you base your titles off your work or do you work off a title?

I always title my pieces after I'm through with them.

What's up with all the crosses in your work? It even looks like the guys chest hair is cross shaped. Religious?

Wow...I never even noticed that their chest hair is cross shaped. Nice john. Religious? Nope. Not at all. I like the graphic quality of the cross and the tone it conveys. It's kind of a running joke with my friend keith and I (yep, same name) - he paints a retarded amount of jewish stars in his work and I strike back with crosses.

Describe your studio? Can you email us over a photo?

Having a dedicated studio space is quite new to me. Just moved into a house with my girlfriend and we have 3 floors of sweet space all to ourselves...the top one is my workspace. I'm loving it! The room is split in the middle naturally by the staircase that leads up to it. The larger half is my studio and the other has become somewhat of a guestroom/hideout with a twin size bed and full closet. I spend everyday up here - It's super cozy. Photo

So you're working on a clothing project with Ecko. Can you tell us some more about it?

Unfortunately they're keepin things hush hush at the moment. I spent about 3 weeks working on it - had a ton of fun with it. The guys that I worked with there are rad dudes.

How did you get hooked up with something like that?

I used to illustrate Marc Eckos monthly column for his magazine Complex. He passed my name along to the guys at his clothing label Cut & Sew.

What materials do you use for your newer works?

Those are all acrylic ink and watercolor.

There seems to also be some sporting themes in your work. What's that about?

I have a fairly nice collection of old sports books that I love referencing. Super rad ones like 'Racquetball Made Easy', 'Wrestling for Beginners'...the instructional ones are definitely the best. I'm also quite a big hockey fan. Love my Philadelphia Flyers even though they've been really shitting the bed this year. Philly sports have been quite gloomy in the last couple years.

Tell us about the bext trip you've ever been on.

I recently went on vacation to Ireland and Scotland. Initially my main plans were to visit a friend in Belfast and crash with hI'm for 12 days - and spread my time traveling through Northern Ireland. But after striking up an email/art friendship with a girl in Scotland (she happened to be the drummer in a band that I love out there) I was invited to spend my first weekend abroad in Glasgow. My new friend and I both share a love for table tennis so she set up a rad tournament at the local leisure center. My nerves got the best of me and I was knocked out of the first round by a member of Teenage Fanclub. An amazing day (my favorite Scottish band The Pastels played too) but a crushing blow to my ping pong ego. I was the only yankee there and I even showed up with my own paddle - black leather zipper case and all...if u come somewhere strapped with your own gear u better show up ready to ball - I fucked up.

I love ping pong too. When you come to SF you'll have to try and get into one of the China Town ping pong clubs. Gnar!

That sounds rad...lets battle out some warm-up games first though.

How many pieces do you create on average in a month?

Hard to say. I'm always bouncing back and forth between personal work and client projects. Ideally id love to get a few larger pieces done each month. It's nice being involved with a bunch of group shows because it helps force the personal work to become more of a priority which is always nice. I'm doing the art/design/illustration thing full time now so I'm trying to get used to the balancing act.

That's so cool that you're doing your work full time. Do you have any pointers for people out there who'd like to follow in the same footsteps- doing illustration fulltime? What was something you wished you knew going into it before hand?

It's all about staying motivated. I love doing this full time - couldn't ask for much better...i think the fear of losing this lifestyle is what keeps me pushing forward and staying focused. I was working a design job last year and went from full-time hours to part-time because I was getting a bit busier with my own work - then unexpectedly I was laid off and presented with a nice chance to kinda test out this full-time art thing. Staying organized is one of the biggest challenges. For the last month ive been saying how much I need to start getting in the habit of writing in a daily planner...scribbling things down in my giant cat calendar has failed me one too many times.

Daily routine?

Wake up around 9am. Have some breakfast (usually cereal). Run (I try). Get a shower and head upstairs to my studio. If I remember - I try and eat lunch while 'who wants to be a millionaire' is on - I have a weird love for that show. I usually try and work for about 8 hours and then have some dinner with the lady.

Are you healthy person? Eat right?

I guess so. I definitely like to eat - but I usually try and keep it pretty healthy. Late 20's is definitely that time in a guy's life where a man boob can sneak up on you out of nowhere - gots to be careful.

What are you hot-to-trot on right now? Artists? Music? Women? Extra curricular activities?

Hmmm...haven't bought a lot of new music lately. Still enjoy the old favorites like Smog, Pavement, Yo La Tengo...the occasional urge for the soothing sounds of Justin Timberlake, Ghostface Killah or Billie Holiday. Artists...recent likes are Matt Moroz, Justin B. Williams, Jacob Magraw-Mickelson, Matt Furie... I think it might be a popular choice right now but my winter celeb crush is Sienna Miller. For extracurricular activities - hook up some ping pong or NHL 07 for Playstation and I'm a happy man.

Daily internet haunts?

nhl.com, fecalface.com (of course), mcsweeneys.net, insound.com

Best birthday present ever?

Last year my girlfriend got me a gift certificate to a local salon for a full body massage...i was having back pains at the time so I went in style - soothingly medicated with a nice painkiller. Highly recommended!

You go to art school? Which one if and what are your thoughts on that school and art school in general?

I actually went to 3 art schools - Mass Art, Tyler, and Art Institute of Boston. Kinda ridiculous - but it just took me awhile to figure out if I liked it. I dropped out and re-enrolled quite a bit. Any type of schooling is a nice way to meet people with similar interests and be exposed to some serious talents - met some of my favorite friends in those schools. Art school is not for everyone - I definitely think there are plenty of ways around it.

A lot of the guys in your new work are shirtless. You enjoy going shirtless much?

In the winter only while brushing my teeth.

Whatcha' got coming down the line? Summer plans?

No crazy plans at the moment...for the winter a nice ski trip is in order and I'm trying to get a west coast trip planned for the summer or fall. I definitely prefer the cold weather but I am looking forward to some mountain biking journeys too. On the art side - ill be working on a book with my friend Calef Brown and just a bunch of group shows at the moment.

For more on Keith, check his site: kasprojects.com {moscomment}

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