Interview by Jess Petrylak
Chinese Restaurant, Josh Thacher
SUCKER: Who is Joshua Thacher?
JOSH THACHER: I don’t really know how to answer this question. I guess I am some sort of lost, spirit-like being. Just wandering around trying to pass the time…
SUCKER: Where do you get your inspiration from? How do you make decisions on what is important enough to paint/depict?
JOSH THACHER: I’ve been around for over a thousand years, existing on somewhat of a middle ground between a multitude of different dimensions and universes. I’ve been to many strange and surreal places, met a lot of awesome people, and seen a lot of crazy things. I also have voices in my head. So, all of that is where I get my inspiration. Sometimes there are things that I just want to share, or things that I want to take from other worlds and bring them into this one. Those are the things that I try to depict in my artwork.
SUCKER: Considered a sort of artistic renaissance man of our time, you draw, paint, make sculptures, do digital drawings, have a few musical projects and piece together stuffed animals. How does your imagery translate through all these different mediums? Does one medium fit better than others?
JOSH THACHER: It all depends on how I see it first. If it is just an image, I’ll draw it. If it is something more three dimensional, I’ll make a sculpture or stuffed animal. If it comes to me in the form of sound, I’ll attempt (poorly) to recreate it somehow. Sometimes it’s nothing but words, and that’s when I write. Most of the time it is just images and words so I mainly draw and write, but it all just depends on a feeling. Sometime’s I’ll want to create something and I’ll think, “That needs to be painted, I can’t just draw it, It needs to exist in the form of a painting.” The same goes with sculptures, and so on.
SUCKER: You work with a lot of imagery with cats, can you expand on that?
JOSH THACHER: I love cats.
SUCKER: In your opinion, does college help or hinder the artist? If it’s of no help, what are some suggestions to young artists that could aid them in showing/selling their work?
JOSH THACHER: College is great for art. You learn new things and expand your artistic horizons. I never would have touched oil paints if it weren’t for college, and I turned out to be really good with them and like them a lot. I had a creative writing class with my favorite professor, Dr. Chirico, where he had us write 7 pieces a week (which is also something I never would have tried to do on my own time) and I produced some of my favorite poems in that class. The professors and classmates are nothing but helpful and encouraging. You’re surrounded by good ideas and advice, and it’s just a great environment to be in. I think one of the best ways to make it in the art world these days is to go to college. People are much more likely to recognize an artist, if they have a degree.
SUCKER: What was your first art making experience?
Dogboy, Josh Thacher
JOSH THACHER: I remember drawing a picture of a dog going down a slide. I had this weird way of drawing where I pressed really hard with my pencil and everything looked hairy for some reason. I know I was drawing before that, but this is my first memory of drawing. I think the dog was wearing sunglasses.
SUCKER: Do you believe anyone can be an artist? Or that the artist has a special gift?
JOSH THACHER: Yes, anyone can be artist. It doesn’t matter what you produce, how it looks or sounds. It doesn’t matter if you can’t perfectly recreate on paper what you saw in your mind. Whatever comes out is art, and it is unique to you as an individual. Everybody should make art and contribute their own individual style to the rest of the art in the world.
Tower, Josh Thacher
SUCKER: Have you ever thought about animating your work?
JOSH THACHER: Yes, I would love to make cartoons, but I don’t have the resources. I always have characters and stories in my head that a drawing or even a comic would not be enough for it. I made some cool things in an animation class but it doesn’t compare to what I would like to do if I had the resources. One of my dreams is to work for Adult Swim.
SUCKER: Often times words or poetry is incorporated within drawings you have done. How do you make these careful choices when pairing a drawing with words? How does that help what you want to get across to the viewer?
JOSH THACHER: Either words will come to me while I’m drawing, or an image will come to me while I’m writing. It’s not planned in any way. Making art, for me, is like vomiting from my mind. Most of the time, my mind is full of strange, broken stories.
SUCKER: What would you do if you weren’t making artwork?
JOSH THACHER: It’s hard to imagine that. I don’t know. I think my whole life would be different if I never made art, but if I just suddenly stopped today? I’d probably spend the rest of my life doing hard physical labor, and sit by a fire every night. I’d be somewhat of a cowboy, and I think I’d get angry easily.
SUCKER: Have you ever had an art show in a gallery? Or performed your music live?
JOSH THACHER: No I’ve never had my art in a gallery. That’d be cool though. I have played music live. My brother and I used to do open mic’s, but I wouldn’t call that my music; that’s really our music.
Apricot, Josh Thacher
SUCKER: Would you say that your work is autobiographical? Why or why not?
JOSH THACHER: No because none of it is about me. It’s all just stories about other people and places that do not exist in this universe.
SUCKER: Because you live in rural Upstate NY, do you have any comments or advice for people who believe/are worried that the only way to establish yourself as an artist is to leave home for a big city?
JOSH THACHER: It doesn’t matter where you are. Just make good art, and put it out there for people to see. What is anyone in the city going to do differently?
SUCKER: Why is it important to share your artwork online as a contemporary artist?
JOSH THACHER: I don’t think anyone but my close friends and family would know about my artwork if I didn’t have it online. So that’s saying something. I’m not well known at all. My facebook page only has 148 likes, but only about 40 of those people know me in real life, the rest are strangers from all over the place who discovered me through the internet. I also sell my artwork online. I probably wouldn’t be making any money from my art if it weren’t for the internet.
SUCKER: What are your future plans for your artwork and self?
JOSH THACHER: I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I have no plans for way into the future. I want to paint more.
SUCKER: Where can we follow you, and purchase your work?
My facebook page and my Etsy shop
My Tumblr where I post my poetry, among other things
And this is where you can find music