Monday, April 22, 2013

WYTOVICH FINDS PATIENT BRAINSICK AND DAMNED

PATIENT: STEPH SCIULLO
ILLNESS: ARTIST

"I am a visual Artist from Pittsburgh PA. I am self taught, undisciplined and unapologetic. In art and in life...I've never taken well to being told what to do, say or think. Art is about freedom and imagination run wild. I have no time for technique, for -isms or labels. I also have no name to hang on whatever it is I do, nor do I have any interest in trying. That is for others to decide. Art is what it is: created in the moment, experienced in the moment. If you appreciate my end result, I thank you."

When did you start creating?

Can't remember a time when I haven't. It's just my nature. Even if all I have is a shred of paper in my hand I'll scrunch it, or tear it ,or shape it into something. Sort of a compulsion I suppose.

Why did you pick the genre/style you work it?
 I didn't pick it. It picked me. My eyes go to certain colors and shapes. Certain subject matter. I know what I like to look at, and I tend to work on something until my eyes approve.

Did you go to school for it?
No, I didn't. In all honesty, I'm glad I didn't. I fear I would have limited myself by having certain techniques and methods pushed on me. Being self taught has given me more freedom of creativity.

Where do you get your ideas from?
99% percent of my stuff is not planned out. So, I don't know that I really work from specific ideas. There are always things floating around in my head and when I sit down to start creating, they eventually manifest themselves in my work. Once in a while I'll think of something specific that I'd like to try and make happen. That's about as specific as I get. With my sculptures, I'll sit down and know that I'm going to make a head or face or body part. What it will look like specifically by the time I'm done, I've no idea.

Do you journal, sketch, photograph at all to start?
I sketch regularly, but I never turn my sketches into something else. They remain as is. If I tried to take a sketch and turn it into a sculpture or a painting, it would be forced. I wouldn't be working with the same flow and feelings I had when I was doing the original.

What’s a normal designing day like for you?
Depends on my mood. It's nothing I can force or schedule. There are days where I'll sit down in the middle of the afternoon, and there's days when I don't start anything until midnight or beyond.

Do you tend to get more done at one time versus another?
I'm a night person. Always have been. It's when I seem to be at my best.

Favorite artist or designer?
There are a few artists who I can specifically sight as influences. Stephen and Timothy Quay, Joel Peter Witkin and Harry Clarke. More than anything though, I am a fan of and have been hugely influenced by anatomical and medical art. The wax sculptures of Joseph Towne and Anna Morandi Manzolini. The botanical and anatomical illustrations of Frederik Ruysch. Countless others.

Who are you currently following?
 I don't really follow anyone in particular, but I look at art in some form or another every day. There are some insanely talented tattoo artists out there doing such inspiring and innovative work. There are people taking chances. People who aren't afraid to let out what's inside of them. People who aren't concerned with keeping it safe. They are making the art they want to make, and that's what I'm interested in seeing. There's some good stuff out there. Instagram is a great place for checking out art these days.

Do you prefer working in one medium over another?
No. I work with whatever I can get my hands on. I don't limit my materials and you'd be hard pressed to find a piece of mine that only contains one medium. It's all mixed in there. Even with a painting, you're likely to find graphite, inks, plaster and wax mixed in.

Do you work in silence or with noise?
Always noise. Although music is such an integral part of my life, you'll mostly find me listening to spoken word while I work.  Either to old horror radio broadcasts like Suspense, The Creaking Door, Beyond Midnight, and Inner Sanctum, to True Crime audio books or to my boyfriend who will sit with me and read aloud.

Do you have any weird habits when it comes to working on your art?
I don't know that anything I do can be considered anything other than weird. I don't know that I can point to anything in particular though.


What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?
People not taking what you do, seriously. You're an "artist"? So, you do it all for fun and in your spare time, right? It's hard to even call myself an Artist because of the stigma that seems to be attached with the title. People that wear a shirt and tie to work everyday and punch a clock, usually have a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept of an Artist and the arts. They tend to look down on you and consider what you do to be unimportant. You have to have considerable intestinal fortitude to choose this path.

Current projects?

Odds and ends laying around. Lumps of clay waiting to be shaped. Boxes of rusty parts waiting to be assembled. Paper waiting to be scribbled on. Wood waiting to be painted. That's as specific as I can get :)

How do you balance work with art?
There was a time when I airbrushed in the malls and decorated cakes at various bakeries, and did graphic design work for screen printing companies and had to push my art into my spare time. Now, my art is my work.

What do you think people expect from you with your art?
Don't know. That might be a question for those "people". If I were to venture a guess though, I'd say they're expecting.....fucked up.

Advice for aspiring artists or designers?
Make what you want to see, not what you think others want to see. Put it out there. Chances are, there will be people who appreciate it. Don't let anyone tell you you can't. The people who tell you that you can't aren't worth knowing.

Upcoming Appearances:

I'll have work for sale at the Atrocity Exhibition on May 4th. Work at the Demon House Dark Arts show on June 15th and 16th as well as a feature in Gore Noir Magazine. I'll have a two person show with Macabre Noir opening on June 22nd at ArtForm. I'll be set up at the Eerie Horror Film Fest (next to my boyfriend who will be the festivals guest of honor) on October 18th, 19th, and 20th. There's also talk of a show at Trundle Manor in July but we're still working on dates. I've been working on sets and will be doing the puppets for an upcoming Daggervision film as well. You can always check out my Etsy shop too.


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