Artist Spotlight: Chris Powers

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

Name: Christopher Scott Powers City: Monterey, CA 

Contact: @chrispowers_chrispowers

Medium: screen-printing, heat press/vinyl cutting, paint, all mixed together, writing, pen and ink - no limits

Where are you originally from, and how did you find your way to the Monterey area? I'm from Monterey and Carmel Valley - big influence from both places.

How would you describe your process? Sometimes you have a feeling and you need to express it in a more permanent way than you can with words; something that can be held and pondered physically. When you have that feeling or vision, you gotta just grab whatever is around you and let it flow - even if it's scribbling on the back of a menu at Denny's with some crayons. Sometimes I can reach this level of expression when I'm printing, but even when I can't, I still do it for money.

Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know. Well, I had a bit of a rocky past. I had a problem with substances and would get in trouble a lot. But I guess anyone that knows me already knows that. I'm pretty surface, so what you see is what you get.

Who are some artists, local or otherwise, that you hold in high esteem? There's a lot of them, but I'll just drop a few names that are really in my mix or have had real effect on the way I look at things: - Forrest ( @theundergroundforrest ) is so advanced and is constantly developing in so many directions at such a rapid pace. I met him when I was 14 and I had made art before, but didn't have a established style or flow until he took me under his wing. - Matt from SilkSreen Express who has been in the printing game for 40+ years and is my current guru. - Ian ( @ian_artson ) is a computer wiz and head graphic designer for my printing company; only trumped by his painting and skateboarding abilities. Dude's a real weirdo kinda cat you might see drawing on a table cloth at a nice restaurant. But he has serious natural skills, and is the quietest owner of @neverboredmag. - Alex ( @alexram375 ) is known for his music, photography and being another owner of @neverboredmag, but he made my list of artists due to his sheer day-in, day-out swagged out style. Not they type of dude I want to stand next to when my girl's around. - Quinton ( @q.loc ) is a slippery little fellow/poster boy and final owner of @neverboredmag and a very accomplished graphic artist. - She SOMF gang ( @somfgang ) or ( super talented group of youngsters. Whether they're making clothing or skateboarding, these guys rip and have an artsy way about them. - TJ ( @dtkworld ) is pure dedication, putting 14+ hour days, 7 days a week, 365 a year into his paintings. He's a cold mother fucker too; this dude got so much hustle he could sell you your own shoelaces. - Edward ( @insta.lama ) THE BIG HOMIE, mad man painter and photographer. Always behind a GoPro at just the right moment to stoke you out on something you're doing. - All the members of Valley Soul even though the band doesn't exist any longer. They all still hold it down tuff musically with or without playing together. - Joey Yant ( @j.g.ynt ) is a rad illustrator. - Lexi ( @dinguschu_art ) is also a rad illustrator. - Mike ( @wizardcleave ) Even though I haven't been around this man for a while he's one of my OG best friends, we been to the trenches and back together. Super inspirational. - Sean ( @seanmolloymedia ) is always killin' it with anything photo/video/editing. If you see this Sean, it's time to run my video in mother fucker, btw. - Nina ( @rainbowgrams ) This girl is a new friend of mine but she flows natural and smooth with her mixed media arts and lifestyle. - Roy ( @royclarkfineart ) is one of my oldest and best friends killing it in LA bustin' abstract art.

Where do you find yourself drawing the most inspiration? I find almost all my inspiration comes from women. If I'm in a good relationship I flow really well with my screen-printing/heat transfer jobs and will even occasionally bust out the paint brushes and do some painting at home and doodling in my sketchbook with my weird pen collection. When I'm single or heartbroken, all I want to do is cut rude vinyl decals and post them around town, come home and work on my book of dark poems, while my white board of jobs stacks up.

What advice would you give to other emerging artists, especially those who would like to use their art as a means for income? Lots of people make good art in the eyes of the general public and I respect it as a business or means of income. Personally, I believe the best art is not designed to be viewed but rather a perfect representation of your emotions and thought process. It's not always the thing people want to buy.

Some people are lucky, and get to truly express themselves and sell those expressions without their art being altered by the viewer's opinion. Other people listen to what people want and make that. It's a sad situation when artists start with a pure outlet that is true to them and change it for approval or money.

I am extremely effected by people's opinions and will always try to make a piece that will please someone else's eyes, so I choose to keep most of my work private and only occasionally show a friend later on. But you can keep the trueness to yourself and still make a good living in art by just picking a job in the field, that's what led me to screen-printing. I love my work just as much as I love my play. Never be discouraged, there's always ways to make money around art.