OCAR Interview with AR4T artist : Robert Sticky Shaw

Sticky Shaw is a fixture at Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow (AR4T Gallery) in Laguna Beach. He has been with the gallery since they opened in 2010, with highlights being a sold out duo show in 2011 and a critically acclaimed solo show in 2012.

Sticky is back to welcome Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow into 2013 with friends Karlee Mackie (KALM) Lauren Buckingham Over and Katherine Clarke Langlands. Their four man show aptly titled “Birds” is already bringing attention from the likes of and opens Saturday February 9th from 6 to 9pm.

We caught up with Sticky for a quick interview before the show:

1. What’s new with Robert Sticky Shaw? Tell me where you are and what you are doing.

There’s a lot of new and big changes happening for me right now. Mainly, I moved to Mammoth Lakes, Ca.  Although I have always traveled often, especially to Mammoth which is almost like a second home, I have never officially resided outside of Newport Beach, Ca.  Some unexpected life circumstances have led me here and I’m eager to see what a new environment will bring in terms of creativity in my art and life experiences. As far as my artistic and professional life go, I designed a snow goggle for Arnette’s 2013/2014 line as well as graphics for The Lib Ripper, a kid’s snowboard by Lib Tech for their 2013/2014 line.

2. You picked the other artists that are showing along with you. Can you tell us a little bit  about each one and why you picked them?

I did have the fortune of choosing the artists along side me, and definitely chose them with good reason. First off, I love being surrounded by beautiful women, even more so when they are talented artists. Karlee is an artist from Australia, and when I saw her work in person I immediately fell in love with it.  I am very drawn to her bold use of color as well as her portrayal of female beauty; there is a lot of authenticity and personality in her work.

Lauren Over is an amazing artist! We became friends through Facebook after she started pressing the “like” button on a lot of my art.  I was flattered so I checked out her work and was instantly attracted to her artistic style.  I especially admire her use of warm colors and just genuinely think she has something rad going on.

Last but not least is Katherine.  Katherine is a close friend as well as an ex-girlfriend. Her art is intriguingly wild, I never know what she is up to when she is creating art.  She uses so many different colors, shapes, and materials in her artwork that I can’t help but be inspired in my own creative efforts.

3. Why the theme birds?

Anyone who has known me or followed my art for a lengthy amount of time knows that I’ve always had an affinity for birds. Many call them my “creatures” and although I’ve gone through several different phases in my art throughout the years, I always seem to come back to them at some point or another.  Birds are descendants of dinosaurs, and like my art, I guess they never really die. To me, birds kind of represent nature’s creativity…a bird’s feather can be one of the most intricate, bright, and beautiful things on earth.

4. When did you first start to include birds in your art and how have they changed over the years?

I almost can’t remember a time in my art when I wasn’t drawing some sort of bird creature in any of my works… Recently though, I have definitely realized the vast possibilities that exist in portraying this animal. Sometimes my birds are heavily stylized in “Sticky” fashion, meaning more abstract and inspired, while others are realistic – for example, my owls and flamingos. There are so many different species of birds, and by nature they are full of color and originality. I really just enjoy their endless creative potential.

5. What new techniques are you incorporating in your art?

I don’t really like to divulge every detail about how I make my art. It is something that I do alone and it’s a very rewarding process for me, but that process really doesn’t mean anything to anyone else but me. It’s really about the finished product and seeing it in person. Plus, I’ve got to keep some secrets…that’s what makes me an artist. Ultimately, I really seek to inspire people to try new things in their own creative endeavors as well as kind of imagine how it all came to be – I think that’s the fun part about consuming and owning art.

6. What is your creative process like? Are the steps to think of the character first and then collage a background to fit, or is it the other way around?

It’s both…it really depends on the individual painting. I definitely have a certain style that hopefully people can easily recognize. It’s nice to have a voice that people recognize. It’s all a creative process, sometimes I get the idea for a character first and I build on that, and sometimes I collage until a character is born. It’s exciting to try new practices.

7. Are your characters patterned after people or are they brand new individual entities?

What can I say, my art will always be influenced by my life experiences. Although I can’t say that any of them are exactly patterned after certain people, there are quite a few that are definitely heavily inspired by certain individuals. However, they are still new individual entities because they are created by me within the confines of my own imagination.

8. You have a lot of high profile friends. What notable people have your art in their collection?

I have been blessed in my life to be connected with so many talented and unique people. My art has always been heavily connected with the snowboard world, so I am flattered that pro snowboarders and entrepreneurs like Danny Kass and Mason Aguirre own my art. I also have amazing friends in the music industry who own my art, namely Christopher Chartrand of Crystal Castles and Trevor Andrew aka Trouble Andrew. Also, two of my favorite people, Mark and Debbie Clausen, both successful and extremely talented. Mark is the CFO of Mammoth Mountain, and his wife Debbie makes really cool beanies, scarfs, etc for her company called Muha.

9. What are you looking forward to in the future? What’s next for Sticky Shaw?

My goals this year are to continue to be inspired and make art, to build a website, and to enjoy the new adventures coming my way. The future is unpredictable and it’s best to just ride the wave.


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