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Interview With Evan Mendel of AWONDERFULMISTAKE

3:35 PM PDT on March 28, 2014



What is your favorite method; medium? Are you currently developing or interested in any particular new techniques?

All mediums can serve a purpose, and it's important to explore and experiment with new things, but If I had to choose it would be spray paint for sure. There is so much you can do with it. It's just fun. If I'm using spray paint that means I'm painting something large which is always a plus. There's something nostalgic and special about spray paint for me. It was so hard to get my hands on as a kid, but when I did I fucking cherished any paint I got.

 How do you like to develop content/generate new material?

I feel like you have to take everything in like a sponge, soak in your surroundings. Influence is very important in generating new material, I'm constantly aware of all things visual, it's borderline ocd I think. When it comes time to making something, I like to let it flow organically, without too much of a general plan or idea. I like tapping into my subconscious to see what comes out of it, it's more exciting to me. Otherwise, my art would feel rigid, too planned out, not enough excitement.


Where’s your favorite place to find Nature in L.A County?

That seems like a tough thing to do in LA, for me the best place to find nature is in the ocean. I've been surfing all my life, there are some beaches in LA that I have spent a lot of time at. I won't mention the area. I was taught about surfing from a real old school mentality and I feel like it's important to uphold that essence of surf culture. If you know me then you know the spots I surf.

 How do you decide when a piece of work is complete/finished?

That's the question I have with myself on every piece, the answer is always different. At this point I can feel when something is done, it's sort of an instinctual thing. The piece is either overworked or underworked.  You have to determine that moment for yourself and be aware when you hit the sweet spot, and have the consciousness to call it quits at the right time.

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 Do you keep a pet?

Dogs, I love dogs! I grew up with pug dogs, I definitely have a weird fondness for them, it's probably a little creepy but I give no fucks about it.

 Who (is)are some (an)other artist(s) whose work you admire?

This question is so hard to answer, I'm such a huge fan of art in general and there are so many amazing artists it would take me forever to make a list. Everyone, from real graffiti writers to fine artists and everything in between. If you are dedicated, obsessive and true to your work then I'm a fan. Anyone who creates art for the right reasons I admire, I'm not a snobby art guy, I love when I see someone with real heart create to their fullest ability. In saying that, I'm not too big on gimmicky shit, people who make art because they know it will gain attention or pander to a specific "cool" crowd. I'm a purist in that sense, I want to see art that's made for art's sake.


 Do you teach; how do you see your experience being passed on?

I feel like everyone's path in art has to be different, at least if it's going to be original and any good. If any knowledge of mine can be passed on, I hope it would be to work hard, and use your unique situation to your advantage. Art is great because you don't need much to create it, a pencil and a piece of paper is all you need. Draw everyday all day, there are no secrets to this shit you just gotta do it.

 How do you balance creation with destruction?

Great question, both of  these things are really important, not only in art but in life and the world in general. Every action has a reaction, and destruction fuels creation. One can't exist without the other, once you become aware of this it's almost like a pattern that you start to recognize in everything. Even how the universe itself was created with the violent explosion of the big bang, and how that moment of destruction went on to create everything we know. Good art should work to reflect this duality in life, and express the relationship between creation and destruction in a way that we connect with.

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Describe your ultimate art project: what, how, where, ...

I don't really have one ultimate dream project. For me being an artist is a life long pursuit, there's no real end goal. In a way living your life as an artist is like telling a story, the ending isn't as important as the ride. My dream is to be able to keep creating and pushing myself with new opportunities to share my creations in whatever form I feel is best.

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What can we look forward to seeing from you?

Lots of art. Hopefully more walls, I like working on paintings but for me going out and doing something like a mural is way more fulfilling. No one person can own a mural, it's painted on behalf of the community and its interactive. I love that about it, for me it really captures the purpose of art much more so then gallery shows.

What is your favorite taco?

I'm not sure if this is considered blasphemy, but I'm an 805 native and I gotta stick to my roots. I've been obsessed with this fish taco spot in Ventura called Spencer Makenzie's. My girlfriend put me on to their "Brooklyn Style" fish tacos and I gotta say they are the best I've ever had by far. If you're into fish tacos then that's the spot. Other then that you really can't go wrong with any of the taco trucks in LA. We are definitely blessed with amazing Mexican food in California and I don't take it for granted!


You've chosen to donate money from the sale of your artwork created at Taco Madness 2014 to My Friend's Place. Why is their mission important to you?

I was lucky enough to paint a mural at their facility a year or so ago in Hollywood. It really opened up my eyes to the reality of homeless youth in LA. A lot of charities you kind of question where the money goes, or how they are actually helping out the cause they say they are fighting for. So for me to be at the facility and see the kids coming in and to meet the people that worked there was really important, and it stuck with me. Having support is huge, and being surrounded by positive influences is something money can't buy. My Friends Place provides this for kids that really have nowhere else to go; it's a pretty amazing thing they do. Every kid deserves a chance. The fact that we have so many homeless people, let alone homeless youth, is really a result of the dysfunctional system we are living in. Money/resources aren't the problem in our country, it's who gets what that is skewed. It's something we have to work to change at the ground level as a culture, and really assess what we value most.


This article brought to you in part by Blick Art Materials, an official sponsor of Taco Madness 2014.


Taco Madness 2014 is Curated by the DoArt Foundation.


LA TACO readers can save on Blick Art Materials! Use this link for a coupon:

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