PENTAGRAM PIZZA Interview from Confusion Magazine issue #18
Interview by Jonathan Hay. Artwork by Mike Mailman @pentagram_pizza
What’s your story?
I was born in Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California and adopted at birth. I grew up in that area, give or take a few years, and lived there until I was about 28. Since then I have been living in the South Western part of France.
Why did you leave California to live in Europe?
The main reason is the fact that my employer offered me a job over here with minimal corporate supervision, that was much better paying than being an art assistant.
Also, at that time, I was living down in West Newport and playing in a band that was out of control, flirting with disaster. We weren’t skilled musicians but we had a good draw on the Costa Mesa scene and put on a helluva show and just got wasted constantly. Free drinks and drugs and fast women. Just being fuckwits. When I got the offer to move to Europe, the band had just broken up because the drummer got a DWI after trying to run over someone on purpose. This was after our house was raided by the cops while we were gone. They ransacked it – the front door was nailed back on. At that point I really felt one of us was going to die or end up in jail. So this opportunity was kind of an escape route from that scene.
Plus, the waves are pretty epic as most people know. I like the fact that in Europe you can visit other countries and cultures within a short flight’s distance.
What’s a typical day for Pentagram Pizza?
Wake up impossibly early for no apparent reason, drink 4-5 espresso coffees while checking the news and weather online. Feed our 7 year old and get him ready for school. Then I’m either building wooden chairs with a friend, or producing artwork for clients. Or blowing that off to go surf or snowboard in winter. Band practice on Tuesday nights. Barging the skatepark with our son on Wednesday afternoons if it is warm enough. I guess that’s more of a three day spread but I don’t have a full time job. Just woodworking and freelance art.
How did you first get into drawing?
I have no idea. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. Pre-school. As one can see, my technique has not evolved since then but the subject matter got a whole lot weirder.
Where do you get your material from?
Everywhere. Sometimes it’s current events, or celebrity bullshit, or stuff I see happening in the water or at a skatepark or something. A lot comes from talking shit at the bar. Then I type it into the Notes on my phone and I wake up with such gems as Squeegees of the Bronze Age, Liver River, and Gue Chevara. Then I have to match a visual to the idea.
Are you as sarcastic in real life as you are in your artwork?
Most people that know me would say yes but I think I’ve mellowed a lot. I used to be a fucking dick. Constantly. I think a lot of the sarcasm ends up on the page these days rather than me spewing it at someone.
Your artwork is influenced by skateboarding, surfing and punk rock. Are these your main influences, or do you have others?
Those are the things I’ve been surrounded by for most of my adult life so it’s easy to draw influences from them. Music in general, be it bad or good, inspires me. Anything from Cannibal Corpse to The Commodores can bring out the best in me. And today’s pop stars bring out the worst.
What supplies are in your art box?
Posca pens (or similar) Micron 0.5 ink pen. Pentel Brush pen. Pencils and mechanical pencils. India Ink. Brushes. Erasers. Some felt tip skin tone colors and grey toners.
Where does your art end up?
Most of the stuff I sell to people ends up on tee shirts. A lot ends up at www.louvine.com and I also do skate deck graphics for my friend Greg at Collapse Skateboards, usually one or two per season. I still love to do flier art. I’m kinda up for anything as long as it inspires me. If you like what I do, hit me up at email@example.com and I can produce some art for you.
Any last words?
LIVE FAST, DIE OLD.