Encinitas based muralist Bleu Avina has taken Southern California by storm. Armed with spray cans, paint brushes, and a desire to share his vision with others, Bleu has continued to create beautifully crafted murals that tell a story about our societies ever relying dependance on technology. -James Pawlish/The Citrus Report
Who is Bleu Avina? Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been making art, did you have any sort of formal training?
I’m twenty four, currently living in Encinitas California. I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid, but never really knew what I could do with it until I was about fifteen. I’ve taken some art classes but lost interest quick and fizzled out of them.
A large portion of your work is centered on bio-mechanical form. Is there any specific reason why?
We all depend on machines and technology to one degree or another, so I like to incorporate that into my work by combining human body parts or organs to mechanical things.
Tell us a little bit about your creative process.
When I work at home I like to listen to music. Get my spirits up with a little dancing, then I just start. Once I’m in the zone I’ll work for hours and don’t really care about anything else.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
Mostly acrylics, I like to work with a few different mediums though. Water colors, ink, charcoal. I do a lot of drawing with microns as well.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from everything I take in. Subconsciously it’s all there, it just takes concentration and awareness to get it out. Most of my work is a response to our culture, the bar for whats culturally normal keeps getting raised, and we want more and we want it faster. Which I think takes us further away from ourselves and others. So, I like to make art about that.
Are there any artists that have helped shape and influence your style?
My friend Chet Wheatly’s art influenced me growing up. I didn’t really know much about art until I met him and saw what he was doing with it. I used to bite on his style and he would call me out for it. Other than that there are plenty. Kieth Haring is my hero. I like a lot of street artists, Herbert Baglione if probably my favorite at the moment. The Ukrainian duo Interesni Kazki, Blu, Escif, Liqen, and many others.
You’ve had the opportunity to do some mural work. Do you find yourself wanting to work more in the streets, rather then the studio?
Absolutely. That’s my main goal right now, it’s hard for me though. I’m kinda of starting out at the bottom. I’m anxious to get it out there. So any opportunity I have I’ll go for. I think I have something different to bring to the table in the street art world.
What are some upcoming projects you have planned?
I have a friend who’s a videographer, we’re going to do some stop motion videos of me painting. I’m in the process of getting my art on some t-shirts. I’ve been searching for walls to do murals on. Other than that, I’m painting and doing lots of drawing.
What are you currently listening to?
Mainly Fela Kuti. I can listen to it all day. For the majority of my recent work I was listening to nothing but talking heads, I can’t get enough of them.
From The Citrus Report