Interview with A Local Artist: Edymology
We already know Philadelphia's got a lot of spunk and personality--just look at the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Nah, but it truly sets the framework for everyone to show up authentically as themselves. These individuals all burst at the seams with soul, so when they channel it into something consumable--or more aptly, something to be shared--the city rejoices. We'd feel like we won the Super Bowl every day if we constantly celebrated our creative individuality.
Today we're going to settle in and see what artist Eddie Sturges, 25, has to say about his passions, roots, and what he wants other people to know.
Nina: First off--where exactly did you grow up, Eduardo? And what would you spend your time doing?
Eddie: I was born and raised in Fishtown--right by Berks Station on the Market-Frankford Line. As a kid, I was probably either playing soccer or hanging out with friends in a playground. I was always outside.
Nina: When did you first start experimenting with art? What kind of art was it?
Eddie: In middle school, I was definitely trying my hand at art in different ways. I remember I always did this weird thing where I'd just fill a page with shapes that fit inside each other like a puzzle.
Nina: How did you get into graffiti and graffiti culture?
Eddie: Growing up, I always would see graffiti around the city and soon realized I knew some of the guys doing it. I feel like if you grow up in the inner-city, you probably know people who do graffiti, even if you don't know you know (you know?). My friends and I used to take trips to South Street to a place called Rare Breed which sold Montana spray paint and other supplies when we were about 13 years old. We used to pay homeless guys to go in and get us paint. Then we'd go to the train tracks, like fifteen deep, and scribble all over them.
Nina: What are you inspired by, artistically? Could be other artists, feelings, everyday objects... anything.
Eddie: I can be inspired by anything--nature, music, urban landscapes... As far as artists, I'm a big fan of Zes, Revok, Agua, and Steve Powers, just to name a few. All the MSK guys. Graffiti, of course. I love the city of Philadelphia and am super inspired by some of the creatives here.
Nina: Have you done any local events showcasing your art?
Eddie: I have done a few first Friday art shows around Fishtown and Northern Liberties. It's one thing I've realized I should be doing more often. I think people like to put a face to the art and connect with the artist. It's always fun to see people react to your work. Selling art is cool too.. (Haha.)
Nina: I know sometimes you leave free art around the city for people to stumble upon--what's your idea/feeling behind this?
Eddie: I like the idea that the art I leave around could end up in anybody's hands. Maybe somebody will see it, like it, and bring it home with them. Maybe some kids will find it and set it on fire--ya never know. Either way, it's reaching somebody outside of my network, usually. Sometimes I leave a note with the art to let whoever finds it know that I left it for them, and sometimes I don't.
Nina: How would you best describe your art (to someone who was blind, for instance)?
Eddie: This question always stumps me a bit. I'd say there are a lot of graffiti-like elements in my art. Very messy and colorful. A good balance of chaos and order.. sometimes.
Nina: How do you feel about careers/the typical structure of "going and getting a career-type job"? Where does creating art fall into this?
Eddie: Even before I was painting canvases, I knew that I wouldn't end up with a typical 9-5 type career. I hope to eventually be able to just create art for a living. To each their own, though. I do think that every person should embrace creativity a bit. Life can become monotonous very quickly when you have a routine that you never break from. Whether it be writing, drawing, making videos or music--anything, I think it's important to engage in some creative outlet.
Nina: When you're creating, do you typically like to listen to anything? Or do you do it in silence? What kind of stuff do you listen to (if you do)?
Eddie: It varies day by day. Usually I am listening to music while painting. Could be anything from Nina Simone to Santana to Kodak Black. Oftentimes I'll play an interview on my tablet and just listen to the dialogue while painting. Recently my YouTube history is filled with skate and break-dancing videos. And sometimes I do prefer silence. S'all circumstantial.
Nina: What's your lifestyle look like right now? What're your favorite things to do?
Eddie: I'm currently working at juice bar so if I'm not whippin up juices and smoothies I'm probably at home painting. An ideal day would be going to the gym, work, and then coming home to paint/draw as well as spending time with family. All the while keeping my eyes peeled for inspiration. I like to think I'm a simple guy.
Where can we find your art now (to appreciate, to order, etc.)? How can we contact you?
I mostly use Instagram for art stuff. You can check out some of my work on there, @edymology. Instagram is definitely the best way to contact me at the moment. I also have an online store set up through Big Cartel that you can purchase some work on, but it's under construction right now.
Did you ever see yourself budding into such a creative mind? Has it always been in there, or was it ever suppressed?
Up until junior year of high school I thought I'd go to a good college and get a job in some big corporation or something. I was always a good student and school was my main focus for a long time. In that way, I do think my creative side was suppressed. It wasn't until some of my peers encouraged me to take art more seriously that I ever thought I could potentially make a living from it.
If you could say one thing to the people reading this interview--any message you'd wanna get across, any quote, any movie we should we--anything... what would it be?
I believe that everyone has something to offer to the world, and we don't always make time for it because we're all busy working and making ends meet. I think it's important for people to work on creating their own reality. Whatever it is that you're passionate about, work at it, and make a lane if there's not one already there for you to take. It sounds cliche, but when you're doing what you love to do, it's never a chore. And as long as you keep that fire lit, the possibilities are endless.
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