Artist Interviews 2021
By Johnny Otto
I first began seeing your work in the street of Hollywood near the Guitar Center in 2017, I believe. Is that when you started? Is Hollywood your hometown?
I started putting my art in the street early 2016. The first piece landed in DTLA which is what I would have called home at that time. I’m born and raised in LA and have lived nearly everywhere throughout and my art definitely goes everywhere I go.
In addition to creating art, you also curate shows. Is that right? What are some of the projects you've worked on?
Last year for Earth Day I curated a global art installation. It was over 500 artists in over 100 countries. Each artist installed an art piece in the street the night before Earth Day then unveiled it on Earth Day. It was a ton of fun and a great way share globally, our united concern for the earth.
For the past couple years I was curating the Los Angeles Fame Yard on Melrose Ave — it’s the largest outdoor art museum in LA. I’ve since stepped away to focus on a few other projects I have going on. Stay tuned for more details on that, follow me @megzany!
What is the Risk Rock Happy Hour and how did you get involved with him and how has that relationship affected your life?
The Risk Rock Happy Hour started at the binging of Covid19. A couple short months after the launch, I started coming to the Risk Rock Compound in support. Shortly after, Risk asked me to be his co-host. Every Thursday we broadcast live on Instagram at 6pm (tune into @Riskrock). We interview all walks of life from fellow artists, musicians, tattoo artists, and actors. We usually have a chef who caters amazing food as well.
For me creativity begets creativity so being around the energy of likeminded individuals, I feel it opens the floodgates of creativity. Being here, I never want to leave and so I don’t lol.
Your recent show with Risk, Plastic Jesus, Dave Naravvo/Padhia, WRDSMTH, Estevan Oriol, *blek la rat and Billy Morrison was a huge success. How did you get involved in that?
Billy Morrison is a friend and fan of mine. He was the one to strike the deal with Julien’s Auction house and he had 232 Projects help with the curation list— both had reached out with the invite to participate. Obviously seeing the lineup with all my friends, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be involved.
Your art takes you all around the country and the world. Places like Kraków. Is traveling something that you enjoy and how do all of these places influence your art? Do you get a chance when you're in other cities to check out the local street art scenes?
I adore traveling. When I left my corporate job, I packed up my life and basically traveled nonstop for the first two years. I hit Europe multiple times and multiple states within the US. I find that the rest of the world outside of the US has similar issues as we do. That said my messages are extremely applicable in other countries. I leave my mark everywhere I go. I believe my list of places that I don’t want to go is shorter than where I do want to go. It’s funny, I’ve traveled a ton before I started taking my art to the streets and I’ve traveled a ton with my art. The coolest part of traveling with art is that you generally gravitate to the places where art is. Thus making travel a ton more fun given it’s all about art.
Who would you love to collaborate with and why?
Collaborations have to feel genuine. When it flows it’s an incredible feeling to share that space with someone or a brand. Converse is tops on my collab list — 99% of the time you will catch me in Chucks, so working together will feel so right.
What made you want to leave the corporate world and take the risk of being an Artist? Was it always in you and you just pushed it aside or did something new click inside you?
I’ve been an artist all my life but didn’t think there was actual money to be made at it so I jumped into being a technical recruiter at an engineering company. I was lucky to be successful at it but it wasn’t filling the void that was left from not creating. I hit an all time low and decided I would take a leap into the unknown of creating full time. Luckily I had money in savings and an amazing support system around me. I am extremely lucky to do what I do for a living now but all in the same breath, I work like crazy to create that luck.
Words of wisdom for other Artists who are just starting out?
1. Create for yourself— don’t worry about others approval.
2. If you know art is what you want to do full time, skip having a backup plan. A backup plan will only distract you from your real plan. 3. Have fun, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right! <3