Born and raised in the southeastern part of the Los Angeles County, he takes the largely ignored parts of the city and uses it as his personal canvas by remodeling urban furniture such as newspaper boxes, telephone booths to tell stories of everyday life and comment on the collapse of the bee population through the rise of cell phone usage. He also uses the technique of stenciling and mixed media to create images of children on unloved walls of his hometown. Considerate and thoughtful, Bumblebee’s work also deals with issues such as child homelessness and the impact of modernity on nature. Despite the seriousness of his subject matter, his works are not heavy. Instead, they are whimsical, playful and exude a sense of childish innocence, freedom and joy.
Spratx: Who are you, where did you come from, and how did you get here?
Bumblebeelovesyou: I go by bumblebeelovesyou. I’m from Downey, California and I’m a street artist.
Spratx: When did you know that you wanted to be an artist for a living? Was there a specific moment or project when you just knew.
Bumblebeelovesyou: I had a realization that I couldn’t be a waiter for ever. There’s a moment when I realized that you have to get out of your current situation. While growing up I knew that I would never be content working for someone. I’ve always had this creative drive to do more.
Spratx: What is the deal with the bees?
Bumblebeelovesyou: It was a nick name in high school, but wasn’t until later that I realized I actually wanted to use it. It’s a sudo name. There’s so many things that bees symbolize outside of myself being small and bee-like.
They represent society and how everything works together. It’s nice to get that feeling in my artwork.
Spratx: What’s your spirit animal? We’d have to assume it’s a bumble bee.
Bumblebeelovesyou: It’s definitely a bumble bee.
Spratx: What are you currently working on?
Bumblebeelovesyou: Right now I’m working on a 12×12″ canvas for Scope Miami. It’s a conceptual piece. Whenever I show in Miami for Art Basel, I try to show something different than my usual work. It’s fun to venture out. I was invited by ThinkSpace Gallery for my third consecutive year and I hope to show again in the years to come.
Spratx: Are you working on this one project for Miami, or do you work on multiple projects at once?
Bumblebeelovesyou: I’m always working on multiple projects. I’m currently working on some top secret projects for next year. Stay tuned!
Spratx: What’s your favorite medium to work with?
Bumblebeelovesyou: Colored pencils, although I’ve never made any pieces for sale, just for fun. I look forward to making some original pieces in the future in this medium.
Spratx: You’re work often has children as the main subject. Why is this?
Bumblebeelovesyou: I still feel like a kid sometimes. When I first started doing work, I was creating pieces with grown men as the subject. Later, when I decided what I really wanted to do, I started painting kids. It’s friendly and positive.
Kids are all about discovery and being themselves. It’s nostalgic. It’s fun to reimagine yourself as a kid and then make art based on how you felt as a kid. It’s not always easy, but it’s always fun.
Spratx: Describe yourself in three words.
Bumblebeelovesyou: Driven. Efficient. Patient.
I’m patient because I have to be patient to create the art I showcase, no joke about that. Efficient because I didn’t come from money. I still drive a 1994 Toyota 4Runner. I have to get things done in an efficient manner. Driven because I want to be the best. I want to do everything!
Spratx: Describe your art in three words.
Bumblebeelovesyou: Nostalgic. Thoughtful. Curious.
Spratx: If you could tell the world just one thing, what would it be?
Bumblebeelovesyou: Believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re good or bad at what you do, if you’re original and you’re being yourself, that’s what life is all about.
Spratx: How long do you typically work on a piece for?
Bumblebeelovesyou: Usually about a week straight. When I work on a gallery show, I work for months on end.
Spratx: Have your color selections in your art changed over time? We’ve noticed that you used to use primarily yellow and black with a bit of blue and green. Now your art seems to utilize more colors.
Bumblebeelovesyou: For me, it’s about the organization of color. I’m starting to be more organized with color and starting to experiment with other colors.
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