Featured Artist – Derek McGearty – Scrapsapien – Studio A210

We have so many different types of Artists at Western Avenue! Check out metal worker & welder Derek McGearty! You can visit him in Studio A210!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: Originally from Ireland I came to the US in 2000. I work in engineering mostly Hi-Tech manufacturing which drove me to travel quite a bit. I always liked working with my hands and had always been a bit of a tinkerer. About 10 years ago I bought a welder and started making pieces. I have no formal art education.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: It was not art. It was an electronics/kinetics experiment; an alarm system for my bedroom in a Rube Goldberg vein.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: It can be challenging to represent an activity that is already small in an even smaller scale and still manage to convey the meaning. I love to go to my studio put on my work gear, some music and see what happens. It’s a great feeling to create a piece that you have pride in and that you can see improvement in from the last.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: Typically I am more productive with minimal distraction, but I love interacting with folks. I will usually turn on some classic rock and just go at it; the music sometimes sends a piece in a different direction. Because my parts are based on the human form I tend to pose myself in various action stances so as to understand the positioning I need to represent. I’m sure it looks great, me in my studio, work gear on, respirator on my face, welding mask on my head and welding gloves on my hands, posing like I am riding a motorbike or playing a trumpet.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A:Subtle details in my pieces like the faces and 90% of the poses are based on me.

painter-1Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: No not at all. I used to love to draw and paint. My mother and Grandmother both of whom are/were very creative with brushes and pencils rubbed off on me. I always loved woodwork but my career brought me a different direction. The welder was picked up more as an opportunity to learn something that had always interested me. The art came from living in the Southwest and being inspired by others.

Q:  Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: I had made this hot dog cooker set (R Rated) It was hugely popular and a bit raunchy, I made so many pairs I can’t even count. I wanted to stop making them but materials and rent aren’t free. If you want to support your art you have to work or sell it. Great painters and sculptors all did commission work on subject matter that they most likely had no interest in but, it paid. This allowed them to work on things they were passionate about. Everything you do, if you do it for a long time, will have a certain amount of monotony, throw on some great music or an audio book and plug through it.

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.
A: Sleeping in, Coffee, hearty breakfast

*You can meet Derek in his Studio A210 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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