NEST HQ was created with the intention of being a platform aimed at promoting and encouraging the growth of artists of all genres and mediums. While we’ve worked mostly within music up to this point, we are expanding on a new content series that will showcase multimedia artists of various backgrounds including painters, graphic designers, architects, and others of the sort; this is installation. Every week, we’ll post hand-selected pieces from our featured artists via our Instagram @nesthq, along with excerpts from the full interviews which will be posted on the Friday of that week.
This week on installation we present singer, painter, photographer, Brandon Boyd.
Brandon Boyd needs no introduction – his music has influenced pretty much every person on our team either directly or indirectly, and his stamp of musical history is marked with Grammy Nominated records and World Tours. Now, we feature his stunning art. Huge emotion in bursts of color meets calm composure and simple composition, showcasing many of the same attributes we’ve grown to love in his discography.
Can you tell us a bit about how your story as a visual artist began?
Drawing and painting were my first real forays into expressing myself. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doodling on something or conveying a point via drawing it out to better describe what I was thinking or feeling. So, from a very young age I discovered that I best interacted with the world around me by “showing” people what I was feeling. As in literally drawing a picture of what I couldn’t describe in words. Perhaps because I didn’t have the vocabulary or skill set yet. I was very shy and quiet as a kid so it really helped that I could express myself visually. As I’ve grown up, I’ve gotten much better at explaining what I mean in certain regards, but I’ve kept that love of creative expressivity and really just learned to channel it more effectively.
At what point did you realize that art and music were things you’d be doing long term?
About a week ago I let in the reality that I am a professional artist. Haha.
What is the reason for the medium in which you chose to become proficient? What does this medium allow you to do that other mediums may not?
Much of the time, the medium I chose to work in is a result of circumstance. For instance, I started bringing a small watercolor kit with me on tour because it traveled well and would dry quickly. I started to get the hang of it and really began enjoying the results, so I stuck with it for a number of years! Now that I am home writing a new Incubus album, I have my space to really stretch out and I’ve been transitioning back into acrylics on canvas. And using tools and sizes that were just not realistic while in hotel rooms and dressing rooms.
Many artists use different forms of art to express opposing sides of themselves. Looking at the art that you create, I experience many of the same emotions as when I listen to your music. Do your music and art exist as separate creative entities, or do they play off of each other?
I love that you see or experience some type of through line between the music and the paintings. I don’t plan for that but it warms my heart to hear that it’s occurring. I have seen in other artists the tendency to bounce between mediums as well, and I’ve always admired when they really give themselves permission to merely express themselves. Just make things! Don’t corner yourself into believing that you can only do one type of art. Art is Art! Whether you are channeling sound or line work, food creations or building yurts, we should be honoring these opposable thumbs and enlarged pre-frontal lobes by making our planet more beautiful, sound more enriched and further challenging the boundaries of consciousness. Can you tell I’m enjoying my coffee?
Much of your art incorporates the female figure, can you talk about what it represents to you?
My Mom, who is also an artist, just reminded me that she used to make available to my brothers and I all of her figure drawing books from when she was in school. I first took drawing seriously as a preteen by studying those books. I’m sure my burgeoning hormones had something to do with my interest in studying the female form, but then in school I learned to really draw by working from a live model. Men and women. But I think now and over the last ten or fifteen years, women have intrigued me as subject matter because of my evolving understanding of their inherent complexity. Men are quite simple creatures; if fed, slept and occasionally cuddled, we are quite docile and rudimentary. But women carry in them, just by birthright, the power to make and sustain life. Which carries with it a pantheon of emotional, intellectual, sexual and universal power. Which could be why, for so long, men have unfortunately tried to silence, extinguish or at the very least control that power. It can be intimidating. But by painting women and capturing tiny moments, snap shots if you will, of those complexities, I feel like it aids my understanding and my empathy, my love and my appreciation for their God-given gifts. But, if I’m being completely transparent, I fall into a kind of obsessive love with these women. The images of them haunt me in a way that is both frustrating and desirable. I have conversations with people while I’m photographing and or painting them that range from the absurd to the sacred, and little glimmers of these conversations will sometimes appear on my canvas or paper.
What are some of the defining moments in your career so far? How have they affected the way you approach your art and your creations?
Defining moments in my career… Sometimes it’s the failures that teach you the most effectively. The triumphs are good, and I’ve had my fair share of those, but my mistakes and my full on bloodied-nose blunders have been more “defining” as far as my process goes. And in that regard, there are too many to mention herein. For some reason I’m smiling while writing this.
What are some of your goals for 2017?
I’ll be showing new works on canvas here in LA in early 2017, and Incubus will be releasing our newest album around the same time. So, if all goes well, my hands will be covered in paint and I’ll be using Grammys as paperweights by the end of next year. That, or I’ll have surrendered to my growing desire to live in a treehouse on a deserted beach somewhere far from the tumult of the modern world.
Featured Image shot by @kylelamere