Former Long Beach resident Jason Liwag is the mastermind behind the Long Beach Zombie Art Show, which closed its doors this weekend. A graduate of California State University Long Beach, he curated his first art show at CSULB in the Gatov Gallery and fell in love instantly.
Liwag came up with the idea for a zombie themed art show back in 2010 with Zombies Invade Los Angeles. “I hadn’t seen a zombie inspired art show before and I wanted to see if there was even any interest in a zombie themed exhibit,” he told me. “A little over a dozen artists contributed to the first show and it was really well received.”
When looking for a home for this years exhibition, he approached his friend Garry Booth, owner of Phone Booth Gallery in Long Beach, to see if there was a vacancy at the gallery in October.
“He already had a show on exhibit for the month, but mentioned that there might be another opportunity for for the show to happen,” Liwag told me. Booth introduced Liwag to Logan Crow, the organizer for the Long Beach Zombie Walk and Joseph Bradley and the Long Beach Pedaler Society crew. “The rest is history.”
Not only did Liwag arrange for me to have a private viewing of the show, he also agreed to an email interview about his work.
Carma Spence: How would you describe your artistic style?
Jason Liwag: I’m a graphic designer and I have a great respect for screen printers. I’m a fan of conceptual art. The kind that makes you think “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
CS: Are there any well-known artists that you have been influenced or inspired by? In what way?
JL: Definitely! Some of my favorites who inspire me to create are Greg Simkins, Leontine Greenberg, Olly Moss, DKNG, Scott Campbell, Joey Chou … the list goes on … for a long time …. I love surrounding myself with creative people. They push me to experiment and break out of my comfort zone.
CS: What kinds of media do you prefer to work with?
JL: Computer, brain and sometimes paint
CS: Where to you get your inspiration?
JL: Everything, especially trees. I also love looking at other people’s work and trying to figure out the way they think. Looking beyond the obvious and arriving to a simple solution.
CS: Your portfolio includes a lot of work for film. How do you balance personal and work-for-hire, while keeping your artistic inspiration alive?
JL: Coffee and the inability to say “no.” For those who know me, I tend to fill my plate with as much as possible and go back for seconds. I actually started curating art shows and more personal art as a way to keep my artistic inspiration alive.
While working in film does allow me to create, what I’m creating isn’t necessarily for myself. Also, I can usually work on a film for about a year, and I like to change it up a little more often than that. I think I have Creative ADHD.
CS: How did you discover your artistic talents?
JL: When I realized I wasn’t great at math. That, and the fact that I’ve always liked to create things. I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid (and as an adult) and have an admiration for anyone who can make something out of nothing and share it with the world.
For more information about Jason Liwag and his work, visit his website at www.jasonliwag.com.
This interview is the third in a series of interviews with the artists featured in the Zombie Art Show that have a connection to Long Beach.
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