Buck Off Magazine is glad to share an interview with Dion Hitchings. Dion was published in BOM Vol. 3 and now he’s being featured in a gallery!
BOM: First, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into art as a creative medium? Was it something you always gravitated towards?
Hitchings: I was always an artsy fartsy, creative and hopefully unique person and took drawing lessons when I was five. The funny thing is Iʼm probably using the same materials (crayons, magic markers, and colored pens – the good stuff) I used when mom sat me down to draw and get her out of her hair. I grew up with a very fashion forward parent. Her Bible was Vogue magazine and it influenced me becoming a fashion illustrator, then a fashion art director. I still love fashion and clothes today and even moved to NYC to be fashion art director at Bloomingdaleʼs around 20 years ago. The drawing bug just bit again and now I am a full-time artist (happy but poor 🙂 You always need to follow that dream that keeps hitting you over the head or you will never know what is down that crooked but exciting road.
BOM: Inspiration comes in many forms so how do you find it when working on a piece?
Hitchings: My “Unique World” is varied and vast with crazy inspirations, everything from dreams (flowers with eyes) and Indians (Iʼm part Cherokee Indian), nuns (grew up around nuns, my grandmotherʼs best friends, and boy did they love their wine), demons (sinning is always more fun!), the Jerry Springer Show (I am addicted to the show and drawn to the freaks which always makes me feel better) fancy chickens, and celebrities (craziest people and great to draw). I seem to be attracted to the subjects of outcasts, the ones that are different and donʼt seem to fit in, like myself.
BOM: You have a way with faces, giving a unique spin on them, and with this show you are exploring this further with recycled items. How did this idea come to action?
Hitchings: My drawings always contain an eye or more and you can see the soul through the eyes. As far as material, I used cereal boxes years ago, not flattened, just sealed them and painted away on them. I was eating an Entenmann’s danish at the studio about a little more than a year ago and the danish box was empty when the thought came to me to flatten the box. It broke all frames and was irregular and pictures came through after a very light white wash on the box and then my new canvas was born! I am now always looking at boxes with a new insight, how they flatten, cutouts, type and graphics. Too much fun.
BOM: Were the items from your own house or did you obtain recycled items another way?
Hitchings: I started with things I eat at home and around the studio. Now I get gifts of all kinds of boxes and cardboard from my friends. I am also always on the outlook for finding new boxes or flatten object in the trash. First Bloomies, now dumpster diver!
BOM: Have you used recycled items in art before or is this the first time?
Hitchings: Using recycled items is not a virgin experience but using them as a canvas now is much more enjoyable/challenging and a lot of fun this time around. The surface and shape of the box determines a lot of what the drawing looks like in the end.
BOM: What other information would you like to share about your work and upcoming show and where can our readers see more of your work?
Hitchings: You always can see my work (and other Outsider Artists) at the Outsider Art Gallery in Frenchtown, NJ. You can visit me there at my studio upstairs at the gallery anytime! There is a group show opening at the end of July, One Bare Foot Square in Amsterdam. Another group show is opening in October, Thereby Hangs a Tale (very Shakespeare) in London, England and I am curating the first juried outsider art show at the Outsider Art Gallery, featuring artists worldwide, that will open at the end of the year called “Our World”.