Artist of the Week: Eric Lebofsky
There has to be something to staying active and creative. The more time you spend you spend the easier it will come. For Chicago artist and musician Eric Lebofsky it isn't enough to just work on his illustrating jobs, a paint the ocassional picture, Eric is dedicated to drawing everyday. In fact he posts his daily drawings on his Superfreaks blog. Why superfreaks you asks, once you take a look you will undrstand. He has created a massive collection a very creative superheroes, but with a freakish twist. It's exciting to see what he will create each day.
Eric is also a talented musician and creates strange and impressive sounds with Avagami. Recently, Eric was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Orange Alert (OA): I really enjoy your Superfreaks blog, and have added it to my daily reader. Do you feel an artist needs to draw on a daily basis?
Eric Lebofsky (EL): For the free-associative draw-er, yes, daily practice can be great. I also believe you reach a point where it's time to forget about it for awhile-- so that you can come back to it and see just what it is you're doing. Ideally, daily practice allows you to get past self-consciousnes to a place where you just don't care, and that's when you can really get down to business.
OA: What is it about the human form that you find so fascinating? Have you always enjoyed creating superheros?
EL: I'm not interested in the human form as much as I'm interested in fiction and the psychology of the characters I'm drawing. I was into drawing superheroes when I was a kid, but just invented ones, like now. I was never deeply into comics, just superheroes.
OA: Looking at your work over the last several years do you see patterns or periods that your work has progressed through?
EL: In the last several years there has been an album making period, a music performance period, a painting period, a sculpture period, and now a drawing period. All my practices are basically one idea that I am approaching from different angles. I think it is problematic to define creative periods in terms of progress, even if there are periods of more or less obvious growth.
OA: Do you feel the are opportunities for young artists in Chicago? Is it a good place to be an artist?
EL: For a young artist, Chicago is a great place to enjoy life while making friends, developing work, and bouncing ideas off of people, so yes, I believe it is. I think the oft-quoted trope is true that in Chicago people work hard on their art. I also believe that any place is a good place to be an artist. Through working and teaching at SAIC, I've had the opportunity to see many young artists move here and proceed to develop in phenomenal and unexpected ways. So I know it's a good place to be a young artist because I see proof all the time.
OA: You are also in a very cool band called Avagami. How do you balance art and music and do the two ever mix?
EL: I just try to balance them to the best of my ability and have faith that everything will come together for each deadline and demand. Mostly it does, though not always. My songs and drawings are close siblings, as my sense of humor is a pivot point for both. My attempts to merge my pursuits have not always worked out for the best. Nevertheless, I'm still open to the the possibility that everything might glom together one day.
OA: What's next for Eric Lebofsky?
EL: I'm working on midi tracks for the next Avagami album, which we hope to complete this spring. When Superfreaks ends in August, I'll publish it in book format through WesterXeditions, the artist book component of Western Exhibitons, my gallery in Chicago.
OA: If you could sit down to coffee with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be?
EL: John and Yoko
OA: What was the last great book you have read?
EL: The Great Gatsby