Guatemalen raised, Brooklyn based artist Tipi Thieves did not always know he was meant to be an artist, or how he likes to describe himself, a creative person. Thieves has moved around his whole life, but it was only once he went to an illustration and design school in Canada that his lifelong hobby became his passion. Growing up around various cultures and peoples, Thieves brings a unique twist to illustration, one that immediately makes you take a second look and exposes the personality of the creative behind it.
Every artist has a different process, and whereas some create on the spot, Thieves ideas pop into his head while he’s walking around or listening to music. When he begins to create, all he does is execute his vision. Thieves hopes to challenge himself and society to see from a different perspective and successfully does this by broadening our imaginations.
We were able to talk to Tipi Thieves about his future goals, words to young artists, and what he hopes to elicit from his viewers through his art. Check out his interview below.
When was the moment you knew that you wanted to dedicate your life to the arts?
At an early age, I discovered I liked to draw and that I was fairly good at it but, I never thought that the Art world would later become, not only my career choice but, my life’s path. I guess the moment I knew I was going to dedicate my life to the arts was when I moved to Toronto, Canada to attend a 3-year program at an Illustration & Design School. That’s when I fell in love with the arts. Drawing, painting, graphic design, that’s all I found myself wanting to do.
How do you feel your art has developed since you first started?
My artwork has developed a lot. From Guatemala to New York, my life has taken me down many different paths. I’ve experienced many cities, cultures, people, and surroundings. All of which have been an inspiration to me as a person and to the development of my art.
What does the creative process look like for you?
I have many ideas in my head at all time. Every time I’m listening to music or walking around another ideas pops up.
These ideas aren’t abstract, it is simply a glimpse of people or things I see everyday. I can literally see what these visions will look like on paper – in my style. All I have to do is find time to sit down and execute it.
What has been the most rewarding part of being an artist?
I don’t consider or call myself an artist.
I am a creative person. I see people and things through a watercolor filter – if that makes sense? what I find rewarding is seeing a mundane still life painted on a white sheet of paper without background, just the subject floating staring back at you.
What do you hope others see when they look at your body of work?
I hope their eyes dance around the paper and through every ink and brush stroke. I hope they enjoy it, and I hope they notice how much fun I had making it.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.
Seeing other people being creative has always inspired me.
If you had the ability to create anything what would your dream project be?
Ah, I always, always wanted to paint bigger, like a big pile of black trash bags that you see all over New York city. However, living in a small Brooklyn apartment doesn’t allow me to do that. I know, studio space, right? But I don’t have the luxury to afford that, or the time.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Good artist copy, great artist steal” – Picasso
What role do you feel the artist has in today’s society?
I feel that artists or creative people see things in a totally different way, challenging the boundaries of rules, society, and imagination. I like to think that I am documenting my surroundings- recording history for future generations.
What advice do you have for younger or newer artist trying to make a name for themselves in the art world?
Do it because you like it, or love it, not for popularity.
Practice your skill and have fun doing it.
Look at other people’s art.
To see more work from Tipi Thieves click below.
To see Tipi Thieves work in person don’t forget to come by Guy Hepners Gallery in NYC.
Opening reception will be February 11th 6pm-10pm
568 Broadway #502, New York, NY 10012