It's always sunny in San Diego and yesterday was no exception. Especially when you find yourself on the eighth story over looking the downtown skyline at 2 in the afternoon. This is where I met up with San Diego artist Monty Montgomery at his Studio in East Village, to chat about his work as an artist and graphic designer. I met Monty while he was showcasing his art and painting live at the Thread Show this past November. I had assumed he would have been a San Diego native, maybe an inner-city hipster because of the bright colors, energy and cartoon feel of his work, but I've learned that this small-town Virginian is a San Diego transplant and was raised in woodsy Louisa: population 12,000.
I wanted to start with the beginning, so I asked him to begin with his life as a kid in the country. I find out that Monty spent much of his childhood in the woods, building forts with his brother and drawing at the kitchen table. "My mom recently told me that she always knew I was going to be doing what I'm doing right now since I was two years old, being an artist". But even though he was raised in the country-side, the meaning behind the colors and shapes of his work are very reflective of Montgomery's childhood. He shares with me that the bright stars that appear in a few of his pieces are the memories he had with his grandfather learning about the constellations as they would watch the night sky. What else inspires Monty's work--numbers, traveling, and "Even the lady in line at the grocery store can be the reason [behind inspiration]". When it comes to a starting a new piece, Montgomery carries around a mole skin to jot down ideas and even sketch something while he is away from his art desk at home.
Sneak Peak of some of the photos I took of Monty's Art Space!
His work was proclaimed by a fellow artist and friend of his as "Garage Pop"--edgy, energetic and all the while clean, modern and bold. As for advice for other artists, Montgomery insists that opening your eyes and taking the time to listen to others is what has helped him to discover the most about himself and his work. This is advice I would not normally expect, but after thinking about it, I can totally relate to life being about listening. Tuning into the world around you and learning to coexist and understand that we really are in constant transition and will forever be moving from one stage of ourselves to another.
The full article will be debuting soon on the Proxart website!
For more on Monty Montgomery, visit his website and online gallery here.