Interview 16 : Luke Chueh
by Kriegs

For those unfamiliar, can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Luke Chueh, and I'm a painter based out of Los Angeles

Can you take us through your typical day?
Wake Up
Drink Coffee
Check Emails
Eat Lunch
Watch TV (Usually History Channel or Comedy Central)
Check Emails
Paint, Work In My Sketchbook and/or Do Some Design Work
Watch More TV
Eat Dinner
Paint and/or Work In My Sketchbook Some More
Check Emails
Watch The Daily Show, and Adult Swim on Cartoon Network

Who and/or what inspired you to start painting and drawing?
I started drawing when I was 5. My mom taught me how to draw mickey mouse (I think to get me off her back.) and it just kind of stuck I stopped for a while and dedicated my energy to becoming a graphic designer. However I couldn't find a job when I moved down to Los Angeles a year ago, so I started painting to keep myself busy. The response to my work has been overwhelmingly positive, and I started selling my paintings. The next thing I know, I'm scratching my plans of becoming a designer and dedicating myself to illustration/painting.

Do your paintings start from a sketch or do you just grab the paint and go?
I definitely start from sketches.

Your works seem to carry a steady theme of innocent figures with a twist in the theme, how do these ideas come to you?
I'm a big fan of Gary Baseman and Mark Ryden so I've incorporated their sense of narrative cleverness into my own stuff. When it comes to my themes, I can honestly say I haven't had the easiest life. If I wasn't being shit on by others, then I was sabotaging my own life one way or another. These themes come naturally to me.

What things do you do to try and push your self farther as an artist?
I've been reading up on art history (mostly 20th century) and then I try to get out to the art shows to see what my contemporaries are up to. I also been trying to discipline myself by drawing or painting everyday.

Is painting your living? Or do you/have you worked in the graphic realm for a living?
At the moment I'm happy to say that my paintings have become the primary source of my income. However, I still do some graphic design work on the side.

What kind of work goes into putting on an exhibition/showing of your art?
I really haven't tried measuring the amount of time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears it takes to put on an exhibition, but I think it goes without saying that a lot of all the above is needed to put on something worth looking at.

Do you sell your artwork? If so, are there ones you keep? What makes you decide, I'M NOT SELLING THIS PIECE.
I have had the good fortune of being able to say that all the paintings featured on my site have actually sold. I don't really mind selling my work since, the way I see it, whoever is interested enough in purchasing the painting will probably treat it better then I would (I would just stuff the painting in my garage), I'm quite content with just a nice photograph of the painting for my records.

Any plans to sell prints of your work online?
I sold prints at my my solo show at Black Market L.A. I haven't really put to much thought into selling them on my site though. Maybe... we'll see.

Designers are always going through ups and downs - creative blocks so to speak. How do you work around these and the stress that sometimes associated with it.
I found that the best way to work around "creative blocks" is to not work at all.

What are your views on current online art communities and where they are headed?
I think that online art communities are great for exposure. I'm under the impression that if an artist wants to "make it" in this field, they need to get as much exposure as they can. The internet is an affordable way of doing that. Unfortunately, like all things on the web, it's easy to get lost, or overlooked.
I think a good online art community is complimented by actual events or venues where people can see the work in person. The big issue concerning art on the internet in my eyes deals with the loss of information between a painting to its screenshot. unfortunately the difference is usually dramatic.

What does the future hold for you, your art and your website?
I think my future is uncertain, but bright.

Tomorrow morning you wake up having miraculously acquired a new talent. What would that new talent be?
The ability to fly

Can you offer any advice for aspiring artists?
I read this quote from the Takashi Murakami book "Summon Monsters? Open the Door? Heal? Or Die?". "If I had to tell a young artist just starting out only two bits of advice to set him or her off on a successful career, it would be to have a strong sense of the historical background behind your endeavor and to also address your audience in the language of popular culture." - Michael Darling Assistant Curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art

We want to thank Luke for taking the time to sit down with us, we wish him great luck in the future with his art and exhibitions!