This month, The Pony Club Gallery had the pleasure of interviewing local artist and current member Martin Ontiveros. Martin is a painter, illustrator and self-proclaimed werewolf.
How long have you been a professional artist?
About 17 years, by my count. That I’ve been making (squeezing out) a living from it, anyway.
What media do you work in and what attracts you to working with these set of tools?
Brush and ink, primarily. I also paint or use paint in drawings, and like to dabble in papier mâché or cardboard structures/sculptures, but ink drawings are where it’s at for me. It’s not easy to put into words what attracts me to brush and ink. Maybe it’s the challenge of the line, but it’s also the state of mind it puts me in when I work–I mean once the foundation is set, I’m in there for hours and hours. It’s super high-focus. I’m ADD, and it sort of helps put all that noise in check for a while, like meditation, I suppose. Also, working in black and white means I have so much more detail and depth that I have to figure out how to cover using just the one color (black), so there’s a lot of textures and techniques to achieve this that I don’t really get to use when I paint with color–it’s actually something I’ve struggled with recently when I’ve made paintings–how much black line and texture should I use, how to balance this with the shading of the paintings and honestly, this is why I decided to set aside painting for this new show and stick to the medium I’m currently happiest with. I feel there’s a little bit of an evolution taking place with my inking and I would rather not stilt its growth for now.
Describe a typical day in the life of Martin Ontiveros?
My days are never typical, I can assure you. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and activity. The only typical thing is that I always end the day exhausted.
Is there a relationship in your creative process between your constructed objects, painting and illustration?
Kind of. No matter what the medium, I have to jot down a quick sketch as soon as I get the idea. And if I deem the idea too awesome to ignore, I’ll generally not do anything else until I get it done. Especially with sculpture–I’m not trained in any of it, so half the fun is just seeing if I can make it happen, if I can actually pull it off. So if there’s any common link between the process of all those mediums, I guess it’s that I can be obsessive.
Can you share your creative process, from the initial concept to the finished product?
I’ll try to keep this short: germ of an idea, quick sketch, proportions selection, loose pencil composition, hard pencil drawing, graphite transfer to bristol, ink applied, corrections made, signature. That’s for ink drawings. For paintings it’s the same except it would be watercolor paper instead of bristol and paint is applied first before the ink. This is the basic process, excluding the chaos I have to wrestle through just to sit down and get to work.
What/who are some influences and inspirations that have shaped your art?
I get a little weary of answering this question. Not because it’s dumb, but because I can never keep the list short. I guess we could narrow it down to Rock n’ Roll and other artists I know now or grew up checking out. The influence is the energy those things/people give off. The inspiration is trying to become someone who can deliver that energy back.
Any projects that you’re currently working on?
Yeah, music related stuff–band shirts, album art. I don’t want to be specific because it’s more fun to announce stuff once it’s actually finished. Summer is almost here too, and that means it’s time to whip up a bunch of new material for myself.
Is there a different avenue of image-making you would like to branch out into?
I’d like to get more into 3D, sculptural stuff. Maybe some installation or immersive environments. Animation would be super, too–but it’s very time consuming so who knows if it will ever happen.
If you were to play a werewolf in an iconic werewolf horror film, what would it be and why?
I’m already a werewolf in real life.
You can check out more of Martin’s work at- www.martinhead.com
And you can follow him on Instagram @martinheadrocks