Artist and cultural observer, Clinton Bopp, was born in New Zealand to an American father and New Zealand born mother. He ended up in America in the late 90's on a program to teach kids art and just never left.
As L.A began to gentrify in the early 2000's, he began wanting to preserve it's culture and historical significance through his artistic process.
But if you ask Clinton, he never really thought he'd be able to make a career as an artist. That wasn't a realistic goal.
However, as someone who seeks creative expression through cultural observation, Clinton hasn't limited himself by the definition of an "artist". His work is often inspired by the cultures he immerses himself in and the experiences of his surroundings.
After studying under one of the greatest commercial artists of our time, he happened upon an opportunity to do street art with some well known artists in the L.A street scene.
Bopp, who is a painter, muralist, stone and wood carver, sculptor, and teacher among other talents, is always exploring various means of expression.
His art reflects the amalgamation and influence of his complex history, rooted in Maori influence, and the deep respect he holds for the world around him, as well as urban landscapes.
Believe it or not, although his work has been recognized all over, and he's been at this game for a long time, the process of getting building owners to let him paint their wall with a picture designed to unify a community, is a lot harder of a task than it sounds.
There were definitely points where Clinton had to beg an owner to let him paint.
Like most artists, he's his worst critic; but he's not about to slow down, because if his art can create positive impact, then it's all been worth it. You can't just pass by one of his murals and take a quick look, otherwise you'll miss the true beauty that lies in the details.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASKED:
How did you end up in America and what was your reason for never leaving?
How did you first get introduced to art - first memory?
Do you think what you have is natural born talent or learned?
Are your parents artists? Who influenced you?
Did you ever think you would be making a living as a artist - was that always the goal?
When did you realize you could turn your passion into a career?
How would you describe the art you create to someone who's never seen your work?
Every artists has a favourite masterpiece, what's yours?
And so much more...
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
How Clinton blends cultural, political and social happenings and incorporates them into his work
What he's taken away from losing friends who he met as a street artist
Why it's OK to take a job you may not like, for a long term goal of something you're passionate about
How to overcome rejection and let it fuel your fire
What he takes away from his murals being a temporary masterpiece
And lots more...
CONNECT WITH CLINTON BOPP
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Edited by: James Nicholson