16 : Luke Chueh
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
you take us through your typical day?
Watch TV (Usually History Channel or Comedy Central)
Paint, Work In My Sketchbook and/or Do Some Design Work
Watch More TV
Paint and/or Work In My Sketchbook Some More
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
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
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
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...
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
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!