We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert S. Garza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert S., why did you pursue a creative career?
I made art my entire life. I was cartooning and doodling all throughout school, and I never once thought about life without some sort of artistic practice. As I got older, though, I thought having a creative career was realistically out of my reach. I didn’t feel I had the talent or opportunities others did, nor did I feel like I could take on schooling I thought I would need. I entered the work force in college and have been “between semesters” since. After working several dead-end jobs, I made the decision to bring art back into my life. I‘ve since spent a lot of time surrounded by other working artists and seeing the ways one could live as a creative professional. Somewhere along the way, I carved out my own living by selling my art and created a career as an illustrator, designer, and painter.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The best way I think I can describe my art is experimental. I try to stay consistent with my subject matter, but I end up playing around with different ideas every time I work on a piece. I mainly focus on emotional expression, as I find a certain catharsis in creating art, so you’d see a lot of what I may be feeling or thinking at the time. I think that’s what helped me get where I am today. In my journey to discover a style or signature aesthetic, I think I’ve connected with a lot of people in different ways because I’m always attempting both express myself and improve my technique. The drawback is that I don’t really have anything yet that I feel is the core of my work, though it’s plenty fun to explore. I also attribute a lot of where I am as an artist to my inspirations. My love of comics, street art, advertising and classical work fuels my need to find new ways to create and keep me focused on developing my skills. Having worked freelance graphic design for several years has definitely helped my work ethic and has given me opportunities to think creatively and responsibly about making art on a fundamental level. I want people to know that it is possible to be a successful artist as long as you are willing to put in the work. I don’t have a degree, I didn’t go to art school, and I definitely don’t have the career path a lot of others have that one would typically expect. I’ve made my way by surrounding myself with goal-driven people and taking on all the positive opportunities I can, when I can.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
On a visit to D-Town, first on my list is getting grub at Metro Diner, my go-to for all day breakfast and infinite coffee refills. We hit the Fabrication Yard and check out the newest tags and throwies and put some paint on a wall. Gotta stop by Wild Detectives for more coffee and catch up on some local literature or just enjoy the atmosphere, followed by a walk around Bishop Arts just to complain about the locale and invading development. While we’re in Oak Cliff, we stop by Elevate to show off the studio and see the cool kids on the block. Making it a point to hit the Arts District and visit the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, as well as the Cultural Centers all around the city. We’ll go gaming and cider sipping at Bishop Cidercade after browsing Zeus Comics and Collectibles and Common Ground Games. Before all’s said and done, we’ll have Odom’s BBQ for a proper Texas send off.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are several people in my life to whom I am grateful for helping me get to where I am today; mostly family and friends who supported me and encouraged me, or even sometimes acted as obstacles to overcome. But if there is one person I want to dedicate this Shoutout to, it’s my good friend and mentor Daniel Yanez. When I made the decision to bring art back into my life, Daniel took me on as an intern at his art gallery and as his assistant on his art projects. I learned and experienced more than I could imagine in my time working with him, and will be forever grateful to him for it. Though we no longer share the same working relationship, I’d like him to know that he was and is an integral part of my life as an working artist and as a person.
I would also like to give a Shoutout to my mom, who I lost in October. She was a painter and a musician, and without her I would never have found and fell in love with art. She always supported my dreams of being an artist, and I wish I could show her how far I plan to take them. I hope I make her proud.