Artist Interview: Dorian Vallejo

Shadow Dance ©2013 Dorian Vallejo oil on canvas 55 x 57
Shadow Dance ©2013 Dorian Vallejo oil on canvas 55 x 57
It seems that lately I’ve been on a fine art kick for my Artist Interview posts. This month is no exception. I found painter (he also creates drawings) Dorian Vallejo through a post on Matthew Innis’ Underpaintings Blog. As you can see, he has a surreal fantasy vibe to his paintings. He has an exhibition opening this Saturday (March 1st) at the Sirona Gallery in Florida and you can find him online at his website, Dorian Vallejo, or on Dorian Vallejo’s Blog.

How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

In a professional context, my earliest painting commissions began at the age of 11. In my late teens I began illustrating painted covers for Marvel Comics. Then shortly after, I painted sci-fi/fantasy book covers for every major book publishing house in New York.

This early introduction, plus several exceptional instructors at The School of Visual Arts, provided a wonderful foundation from which I still pull inspiration today.

Dreamer Inbetween ©2013 Dorian Vallejo oil on canvas 62″x60″

What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Regarding influence, I try my best not to be influenced by others but instead to be inspired by their excellence. There are so many talented artists alive today producing such exciting work, it’s hard not to be inspired.

That said, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly because I honestly feel like a wide range of media inspires me. I read and listen to a fair amount of work on psychoanalysis, philosophy, mythology, fairy tales etc. This work helps to plant seeds of thought that later manifest as internal dialog and still later as drawings and paintings.

Who are your favorite artists in your field?

There are so many it would be unfair to narrow the focus by naming any number of them in particular. My favorites are those who’s skill clearly demonstrates a commitment to excellence over a long period of time and a level of intelligence that is felt in their work.

I find that with these people there is a fundamental premise about life, of constant growth and excitement about it’s potential.

Bubble ©2013 Dorian Vallejo oil on canvas 42" x 51"
Bubble ©2013 Dorian Vallejo oil on canvas 42″ x 51″

What is your favorite customer quote or story?

One of the beautiful things about art for me, is that at it’s best, it has the potential to remind us of what it means to be alive. It can be a profound “YES” to life. The recognition that someone else shares a positive, uplifting sense of life, moves me deeply. When I receive comments that my art has effected someone in that way it’s extremely pleasing.

What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

That’s a little unfair because I’m completely lopsided in favor of anything I own of my father’s. After that, I love anything I own of my former instructors. Also, I’m very attached to anything someone close to me has created. I’m smiling at how personal my “favorites” are but I guess that’s life sometimes.