Artist Interviews 2024

Rey Fritsch  
By Johnny Otto

What is your background/education and/or influences that made you want to be an artist?

My mom is an artist .. as a hobbyist now. She taught me how to paint landscapes with acrylics on canvas back when I was in elementary school, which is funny because I never paint landscapes anymore . I've always been creative and worked in some way or another being creative . I did photography and digital art for years, along with designing and sewing children's hats . I've always painted in the background , alongside these creative endeavors, but one day decided to see if I could make a few bucks from selling one of my paintings , and people seemed to dig what I was selling so I just kept painting more and selling more . It very quickly became a full time gig .

How do you deal with self-doubt or imposter syndrome as an artist?

Stay curious , play , don't let yourself fall into the comparison game . Take breaks from social media . Fuck up a painting or two and see what happens . As in literally throw some paint at it , scribble , move around and see where you go with it . It helps me to remember not to take things to seriously.  It's paint.  Play . Make a mess, cry a little if you want. 

How do you think your style or approach to art has evolved over time?

I am not sure how it has evolved over time , but I began using oils along side acrylics in 2019/2020 , and I find that I have a completely different style with oils then I do acrylics . Acrylics I rely on multiple layers and a quick drying time , big movements and bold colors . When I sit down with my oils I find them much more calming, I work smaller and slower , even my music choice is different when I paint with oils . It really just depends on my mood what medium I work with . For me acrylics = lots of energy, bright colors and big movements , oils = bold precise brushstrokes , smaller brushes /canvases, and some Billie Holiday. 

Who are your influences?

I find influences everywhere . More so by particular paintings , colors and lightings than a particular artist . Music heavily influences the direction of my paintings , along with emotion and curiosity . I went to the Chicago art institute a year or two ago , and left with a whole array of artists works, and inspiration spinning around my brain . Street art and watching train cars ,old peeling murals, I like to think , influences my work . But a particular artist ? I'm not sure .

How do you approach the use of color in your artwork?

I love color.  Hot pink is my happy color.  If I get stuck on a painting I break out the hot pink and Throw it around a little . Or a lot . I am always curious about mixing new colors and layering new color combos . I like to add as much color as possible in my layers of a painting . I'm always curious , what if the shadows were this color ? Or the highlights this ? What's going to happen to this world I'm creating ? 

Are there other artists that you'd love to collaborate with? Why?

I'm not much of a collaborator. I tend to work the best on my own . Tbh i'm a bit of a loner. But if I could colab with some of the past old masters just to pick their brains a little, I definitely would hop on that time machine. 

What do you think is the most misunderstood aspect of being an artist?

That it's glamorous and/or easy.  It's fucking hard . The hustle . Selling such a personal part of yourself . Showing people inside yourself and convincing Mark and Mary , that piece of your soul would look fabulous above their master bed . Haha. 

What is coming up for you? Any shows? 

Always lots of new and fun stuff happening in my art life. Follow my Instagram to stay up to date @rey.fritsch

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