Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meet Hector Lopez, Quadruple Threat Artist

He dances, he acts, he draws, he paints on canvas, he paints on bodies, he's a photographer...ok, maybe quadruple threat was an understatement. A few weeks ago CAM published an article on Hector Lopez's Kim Kardashian Inspired Body Paint, which I still have people contacting me about! Now we're back with an interview on this amazing talent and more images of his work. Be sure to check out his bio after the photos at the end of this post!

Interview with Hector Lopez

CAM:  Have  you been active in art since childhood? What were the first types/genres of art that you engaged in?

Hector: Yes, I really first discovered my passion for art at around the age of 12. It started with just looking at books of Disney cartoons and copying what I saw. Soon after I moved on to comic books. I taught myself how to draw without copying from another page. I tend to challenge myself artistically. I remember always picking the hardest projects I could find in my art classes. At one point I went to the School of Visual Arts with aspirations of becoming a comic book artist. Comics, I would have to say, have been my biggest influence even to this day.

CAM: How did you evolve into the the types of art you create now? What (or who if relative) where your inspirations?

Hector: Well honestly, I have to say my first inspiration came from sibling rivalry. It's so funny, but I first picked up a pencil to draw because my younger brother told me I couldn't do something he did. To an older brother that is a challenge that cannot go unanswered. Of course I can't go without mentioning my mother, who not only supported my art, but was the best critic I could have. She was always honest on whether or not one of my pieces was up to the standards of my previous works. Anyone who knows me knows that I appreciate true honesty. Currently, I find inspiration from the other artistic people I have come to know who help me improve my craft. This includes 2 of my uncles that have been in the field of photography for many years and new friends whose work I admire and absolutely respect.
Relatively I am pretty new to many aspects of the art I am creating now. My art currently has many different outlets. I am still illustrating and painting, but I have to say I find immense satisfaction in the art work revolving around photography. I include my body painting in this as I mainly photograph my own work. 

Now, you asked how it evolved. Well, it started with me wanting to do something outside of the comic book drawings. I decided I wanted to paint again, but, I wanted to paint people. I was asked by a friend if I would make a nude painting of her. I agreed. I took some photos of her to work off of so she wouldn't have to sit for hours on end. With that painting done, others started to approach me to do a painting for them. With each painting came more photos. Noticing that I liked how many of the photos were coming out I started becoming more interested in photography. At this time I was also introduced to Photoshop, which I was only using for my illustrations at the time. I started to learn how to edit photos and apply some of the interesting techniques I learned from illustrating. Shortly after that I was approached to try my hand at body paint.  I said yes. I loved it.

CAM:  What inspired you to start body painting (if any, aside from the above mentioned approach)? Can you describe your own personal learning process? 

Hector:  I always had an interest in this art form. Like most of my art, I am self taught. I spent the first year and a half to two years discovering and researching what paints to use and finding models interested in being painted. It was a bit of a slow process at first. Finding models wasn't easy. Once I started to create more and more pieces it became easier to find models, meaning I could learn the proper paints and applications faster. Now, a little past my 3rd year since I first tried it, I feel confident in my ability to create interesting pieces and I am continuing to learn and build on that.

CAM: I have a few questions sent to me from reader's of the article about the Kim Kardashian inspired project. 
CAM Reader: What was the longest body painting project?

Hector:  Well during the early learning stages pieces took a lot longer than they do now. I can probably say the longest piece was at the very beginning when I painted 6 women for a shoot promoting their rendition of the Vagina Monologues. Though I tried to keep the designs simple and they were only partially painted , it took around 12 hours to complete. Now I wouldn't attempt more than 3 women without an assistant.

CAM Reader: What does he do to focus on really Long pieces?

Hector: It doesn't matter how long a piece takes to finish. Creating a finished piece and seeing the model's reaction keeps my focus til it's done. I also tend to take breaks and let the model see the progress. This helps to also keep them excited and eager to see the finished product. I also tend to try to engage the models in conversation so they can get more comfortable and the time passes more quickly for the both of us.

CAM Reader: Does he prefer to work in silence or does he listen to music while painting to draw inspiration?

I do like to have music in the background, but, I don't always have it on. It really depends on the model. It seems I use music less when I am really familiar with the model. Either way I always give the choice of music to the model as my taste is broad. If the model doesn't have a preference I prefer a more rock style. Groups like Red and Linkin' Park with a mix of groups like Sublime.
Body Paint Artist



And much more, but this isn't a book, it's an article. ;)
For more of Hector, you can become a fan on Facebook here-->Heloz Art & Photography<--and you can visit his website here<--and make sure to check out the promo Hector has running exclusive to his Facebook Fans!

Please read Hector Lopez's Biography below and thank you for reading! <3 CAM

Hector Lopez

Hector Lopez is a self taught artist who enjoys delving into various styles of art. Starting with cartooning and illustration and expanding into photography, photo manipulation, painting, and most recently body painting. Due to his vast range of interest, Hector is a hands on, do it yourself type of artist. In his childhood Hector took an interest in cartooning which cultivated a passion for the arts and led him to "The School Of Visual Arts". Although there for a short amount of time, he was immediately exposed to an array of artistic styles. He was introduced to sculpture, painting, photography, and a number of other things. After leaving SVA, his main focus for some time was what led him there - cartooning. In 1998 Hector took to another form of visual art; dancing, something he enjoys immensely til this day. In the past years that he has been dancing, Hector has been able to add teaching, performing and competing to his growing artistic resume. For some time, dancing was his focus but eventually and inevitably, Hector's first passion would take over and his pencils would take front stage over his dance shoes again. Just a few years ago, Hector picked up a paint brush again for the first time in years, making paintings of friends and creating a photographic portfolio of his models and his work. After finishing a number of paintings he discovered how much he enjoyed photography. Coincidentally it was around this same time he was introduced to Photoshop programs. Utilizing those Photoshop programs for his illustrations he eventually began applying those techniques to photographs. Hector, now an amateur artist with some experience under his belt, felt confident in embarking on a project he had wanted to do ever since he was a teen. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition had done a series of body painted bikinis in the early nineties. Hector was amazed on how real the paint appeared. Around 2009, Hector was approached with a proposal to try his hand at this artistic style. Without formal training, Hector used the first year plus to train himself and find models who were interested. Today, Hector has grown his artistic portfolio with a number of beautiful, creative and unique body painting pieces. Hector is becoming confident in the potential of his work with each project. 

He is currently enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography to enhance his photographic skills and bring his artistry to the next level.

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