An interview with Dan Ericson aka The Signtologist who inspires us (and quite a number of celebs) with his very literal approach to 'street' art by painting old, discarded street signs. Luckily for us there's a certain micro-blogging thing called Twitter that allowed us to get in touch with the Denver-based artist (follow him @THESIGNTOLOGIST). He was kind enough to answer our e-mail interview below. Thank you to the artist (for answering so quickly and waiting so patiently)!
Introduce yourself please.Dan Ericson Aka DUNN The SigntologistHow did you come up with the idea to work with traffic signs? (And where do you get them?) It was an accident I ran out of canvas working on a project for art school found a sign and the rest is history. I get all my signs thru city sources all legit, I am actually recycling old discarded signs.Do you work in your studio only or do you also do pieces right on the street? Studio only How do you choose your motifs? What do they mean to you? (btw: I love your Questo parking sign!) I try to match up the subject with a fitting sign but in some cases like the Questlove painting it ended up on a no parking sign so he could travel with it.
You know how to sell your art and I feel like you are somewhere in between being a 'commercial artist' and 'street artist' (for lack of better words, I hope you understand the difference I'm going for, 'commercial artist' isn't meant to be offensive): How do you see yourself and what reactions do you get from other street artists?I am walking a fine line between both worlds and am not offended at all, I have always strived to be a commercial type of artist in hopes of making a living off my craft. It's funny how after creating a new breed of street art I have found success in both artistic worlds. I get a lot of love and respect from street artists of all types from around the world it is quite refreshing to bond and receive positive feedback with this community of people. Did you have any turning points in your artistry? How has your style changed? What evolution do you see in yourself? And first of all, when did you first start painting signs?My mom is an artist she got me started on this path, I have always been active in the arts growing up and thru out my schooling. After obtaining my degree in Animation I began doing graphic design work, then published an award winning comic strip for 4 years in Denver. After this I went back to school in hopes of polishing up my computer skills and this is when I stumbled on to my current medium. I have been working in this medium for more than 6 years, my style has changed many times along the way. With every new piece I create there is growth & evolution as I explore, innovate and perfect different techniques. In general, do you observe any major changes in street art/urban art? If so, what are they? It seems to becoming more popular on a global level and with this popularity it's gaining respect in the fine art communities. There also appears to be more use of street art in commercial forums as well, all these signs remind me of when hip hop was still underground and now it gone very commercial & mainstream I could see street / urban art following this same path over time.Can you give us an impression of Denver street art? Is there an active scene of artists?Denver has many talented street artists with an array of different styles the scene is no where near NY or Cali but it's growing and getting stronger. There are lots of street art crews here in the mile high city like The Magnet Mafia, L.O.F ( Lordz Of Finesse - all element hip hop crew), R.T.D and The Dope Group - just to name a few.There are also a lot of solo artists doing big things out here like Path One, Delton Demarest and JOLT with his Guerilla Garden movement. Keep your eyes on Denver, we are on the rise!One of your major themes seems to be hip hop. Do you feel like there is still a strong connection and 'closeness' between hip hop and street art like 'back in the days' of Wild Style and such? Hip hop has always been an infatuation of mine, I started gifting out my artwork to Hip Hop artists as my way of giving inspiration back to the community that has inspired me for years. I feel there is a connection it's part of the elements of the culture they all go hand and hand, I am using my work to help ensure the connection stays strong.Any parting thoughts? All us artists gotta stick together! Support your local art scene! Please visit www.thesigntologist.com and check out the recently opened online store.