9 Questions with Trace Mendoza, Freelance Illustrator and Muralist

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For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

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Today, we’re chatting with Trace, an insanely talented artist who isn’t afraid of taking unconventional creative risks. To see more of Trace’s work, check out his upcoming “Always Lurking” show at the Daniel Rolnik Gallery or follow him on Tumblr and Instagram!

1) Please tell us a little about yourself

Name: Trace Mendoza
Age: 29
City: Anaheim, California
Places: I’m currently living in L.A. In 2009 I travelled throughout Spain studying the paintings of Spanish masters.
Passions: I’m influenced by the great masters of painting but I’m also heavily influenced by punk rock, cartoons and science fiction.
Training: I studied illustration with an emphasis on drawing and painting at Laguna College of Art and Design.
Occupation: Freelance illustrator and muralist
Favourite Quote:

“Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

Creative Works: One of my favorite projects was being a part of the Hurley Monthly “Throw Up” residency. I painted a mural at the Headquarters and they printed the image on apparel for sale.

2) Our friend Daniel Rolnik recommended we check out your art and mentioned you have a show coming up at his gallery. What can visitors expect to see?

A tornado of mixed media paintings and illustrations consisting of figures juxtaposed with a psychedelically bright palette.

3) Have the two of you collaborated on any other creative projects over the years?

Yes, this past February I curated a group show in Daniel’s gallery. I invited a bunch of talented friends from Orange County, Laguna and Long Beach to participate. It was a blast.

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4) Looking at the most recent posts on your Instagram, there seems to be a common theme of heads being distorted in some way. What has drawn you to this subject matter?

Drawing portraits has always been a fascination of mine. If I distort the image from the original reference, I’m likely to encounter something new and that’s what I’m always interested in when making pictures.

5) But then, exploring further and seeing your Tumblr portfolio, your style (though recognisable) seems to be quite eclectic! How do you decide what to create next?

I usually have a few projects going at once. It starts with juggling painting with printmaking, then at some point the painting starts to find its way onto prints intentionally and then it becomes three projects.

6) Has anyone, or anything, in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?

I’m constantly inspired by people and everyday events. My work focuses on my transformation from sketchbook to other formats of representation.

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7) Do you have a style or medium you prefer to work with?

My favorite mediums lately have been mixing house paint, acrylic and spray paint. I prefer to draw and paint on vellum paper, because it’s very absorbent, and then collage the images into one composition.

8) Any advice you could share with aspiring artists?

Find those artists who inspire you and befriend and learn from them. I think if you are genuine about your craft people will be generous with their creativity.

9) Are you working on any new projects you would like to share with us?

Right now, I’m focusing on finishing up everything for the show on December 12th! In February 2016 I will be releasing decks and t-shirts for Merchandise skateboards in Brazil.

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About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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