ALEX CARMONA: A LOT OF PEOPLE TAKE THE EASY ROUTE, BUT I DON’T FOLLOW THIS PATH. I THINK IT SHOULD BE HARD TO MAKE IT MEANINGFUL.

29.11.2018

Alex Carmona produces art ‘the oldschool way. His artist name is ‘Oldschool Alex’ which he uses as his artist pseudonym, it represents his belief and vision on how art should be produced. Just like salmons in a river, Alex is certainly not taking the easy road, but the harsh one, swimming against the digital stream our modern and digital society is experiencing. Let’s discover what his ‘’silver lining’ is all about. 

 

ALEX CARMONA: A LOT OF PEOPLE TAKE THE EASY ROUTE, BUT I DON’T FOLLOW THIS PATH. I THINK IT SHOULD BE HARD TO MAKE IT MEANINGFUL.

You use simple carving knives and pieces of wood for creating ink-based artwork. How did you get involved in this process?

Basically, I carve out an image I draw on a piece of wood. That image, after it’s done carving, turns into a stamp basically. You lay the paper on top and we print on it. It really is an old artform. Lots a people think I invented it, because it’s being used rarely.

 

 

You use simple carving knives and pieces of wood for creating ink-based artwork. How did you get involved in this process?

It’s a very special technique, are you an autodidact?

I’ve been drawing since my childhood at the age of three. But the last four years I’m fulltime professionally involved.

 

It’s a very special technique, are you an autodidact?

Besides SEMA, what kind of assignments do you get?

When I first started, I took a lot of work which didn’t necessarily satisfied me. Luckily, now I arrived at the point where I decide what I make as an artist, and I sell them via my website and social media and on auto shows. People also commission me for their cars, but mostly it’s just me doing what I want. Really nice.

 

Besides SEMA, what kind of assignments do you get?

Are the prints you make always produced in a limited edition?

They are signed and numbered, and I keep them deliberately low in volume. Once I’m done putting them, they will never be printed again. Especially my color prints which are complicated to produce. I carve every color out of the same woodblock. Using this technique is exhausting the wood. At the last color, which is black, almost all of the woodblock is gone. Even if I wanted to make a reprint, it’s simply impossible. The same for mistakes, there is no ‘undo’ button. If I screw up, it’s ruined forever, for that reason it’s also called a ‘suicide cut’.

 

Are the prints you make always produced in a limited edition?

Is this kind of artform a ‘calculated’ choice?

Absolutely. As an artist, if you can stand out of the crowd just a bit, it goes a long way. I love to draw and paint, but I don’t want to be the ‘thirteenth in a dozen’. For me this is a way to be different, you can call it my ‘sweet spot’.

 

Is this kind of artform a ‘calculated’ choice?

How do you stay ‘original’ in these kinds of competitive artforms?

That’s always the hard part. The carving is very technical, and I always look to include this with new designs that will excite people. I always push my limits, just as producing big prints will get the conversation started. In times of digital art and computers, I gravitate a lot to the older artforms, I’m not good at computers. I just love the handmade aspect. Taking the time to really love and learn a skill and fail over and over until you refine this skill, is getting rare.

 

A lot of people take the easy route, but I don’t follow this path. I think it should be hard to make it meaningful.

 

How do you stay ‘original’ in these kinds of competitive artforms?

How much time does it takes you to produce a manual artwork?

It really depends on the size, very simple small works can be done in 5 hours, the very big multi colored can take up to 500 hours of carving alone, the last big one took me all summer to produce.

 

How much time does it takes you to produce a manual artwork?

What are your future plans?

I’m currently participating in a contest for a custom Fender guitar. If I win, Fender will release a limited series of a guitar which is carved out by me, accompanied by a limited print. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

 

What are your future plans?
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