Zachary friedberg - Slimi
Tell us about you and your type of art you create
I am a self taught artist from Orange County, California, exhibiting my acrylic paintings internationally. Having grown up in Southern California, my artwork is heavily influenced by the area’s iconic mid century modern architecture and relaxing lifestyle. By combining these influences with science fiction, I like to examine themes related to escapism and exploration of the unknown. To complement these themes I use bright, vibrant, saturated colors that evoke happiness. In order to achieve the desired level of saturation for these colors, I may apply up to 12 layers of a single color. To add a final eye catching element, all of my original paintings are coated with a crystal clear high gloss finish.
What's the purpose or goal of your work?
The purpose of creating my artwork is twofold in that it is both personal and public. The creative process is done entirely for myself as a therapeutic and meditative exercise resulting in a finished product which should embody a particular feeling when viewed. Once I am done painting, I turn it over to the public. I have no control over the public response, however my objective is to impart the same emotional response in others as I hoped to experience when I view the artwork.
How do you develop your art skills?
Observation, experimentation, and practice. Every painting is a slight improvement over the prior work. I observe other artists’ work up close and study their techniques. I experiment with new techniques, materials, and elements all the time. And, most importantly, I paint constantly. There is absolutely no substitute for time with brush in hand. None of my paintings and techniques would exist in the same style and quality without the artwork that came before it.
How do you navigate the professional art industry?
Like developing art skills, navigating the art industry also requires persistence and dedication. Looking for opportunities and cultivating relationships takes a lot of time, however persistence pays off. Every new exhibit, event, and relationship may lead to more opportunities in unexpected and fantastic ways. It is also important to
find your community to learn from and help elevate each other. A rising tide lifts all ships.
Which art trends inspire your current work?
I am inspired by new technology being incorporated into artwork. In particular augmented reality and NFTs. I am only beginning to explore how an in person art exhibit can be enhanced by such technology. While I just released my first NFT collection, I am planning on creating an augmented reality experience in a future exhibit to embed the creation of each painting into the artwork itself, so the collector viewing the painting can see its creation and history with a smartphone.
Is there a specific environment or material that's integral to your work?
The feelings of awe, mystery, or tranquility experienced in certain moments. These moments tend to occur between projects, while on vacation, or upon the first sip at a favorite cocktail bar. I try to capture the feelings of these moments in my artwork. As for materials, fluorescent paint and epoxy resin are most essential to the finished product. Although, a rum cocktail is a close second.
Describe how we can encourage your career growth
Sharing artwork with friends and family, either in person or on social media is essential to expanding an artist's professional circle. Whether you can afford to collect originals or reproductions, you can help any artist grow their career through such intangible actions. I will continue to paint regardless of the public response. However, an ever broadening reach, referrals, and interest in my artwork is necessary for professional career growth.
What are your ultimate career goals?
I want my artwork to leave a positive impression on people. Whether in a collector’s home, in a magazine, on the side of a building, or in commercial graphics, I'd like the viewer to feel happier when they see my artwork than they were the moment before. If I can keep generating happiness in perpetuity and around the world, then I will have achieved my goals as an artist.