Wednesday, July 3, 2013

5 Questions with Clint Sf Bautista

It was during the preview shots for Painting Grounds 2011 at Tortuga Studios in St Peters, that the 2095 spied an absolutely stunning piece laying on a workspace.  

Unsure if this piece was to be included in the exhibition the 2095'er took the shot, not realising that this image would stay with her to the point of obsession and subsequent purchase. 

On a return visit the 2095'er found herself again wholly engulfed in the work of this artist taking photo after photo after photo.

Such was the enthral and post purchase, the 2095'er felt it would be remiss to NOT not contact the artist to express how much she loved his work and that she had in fact purchased one.  Thus the connection with Clint Sf Bautista began.

Can you give a bit of history behind the man known as Clint Sf Bautista

I am a 24 year old, Filipino descent Sydney based painter and tattooer.  In 2006 I studied Fine Arts, Majoring in Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines but only completed 2 years of study prior to my family migrating to Sydney.

I continued my Fine Arts study but instead Majoring in Painting/Drawing at UNSW COFA in 2009 and completed my degree in 2011.

In those years when I was studying at COFA, I was exposed to different art cultures like street art and tattooing, and started to explore them , which (looking back) I thought I never really thought I would because back in my home country people get judged big time if you were doing that kind of stuff.

Your art could be at times perceived as being intricately morbid.  However any fear of the subject  is (to the 2095'ers mind at least) counteracted immediately with the clever use of colour.  Was this a deliberate choice of style or is there a subconscious level of creativity that drives you

All the morbid artworks that I do, for example skulls are a representation of death and the grotesque human figures, are a symbolism of the ugly side of humanity.

For me the ultimate happiness is death, so maybe in my subconscious I am trying to make death a happy place in my head by using bright attractive colours.  On the grotesque human part, most of the concepts I come up with are based on my own life experiences and some of them are pretty bad.  So maybe I'm trying to cover the undesirable with bright & vivid colours.

People think I trip on acid a lot but I really don't.  Not to say I may have!

From art to tattoo (which for some they are both one and the same, the 2095'er included although her three tatts are teeny weenies): was it a difficult transition to become a fulltime skin art creator and do you "miss" the other part at all

It was pretty hard being a canvas/still-surface painter to becoming a tattooer because you try to get the same results in a live skin as how you drew it on paper.  And the mediums and equipment you use are different too.

Oil paints or other mediums using a brush for me is easy to use on any still surface because once you make an error, it's easy to adjust and go over it

while a vibrating machine with needles on skin were a bit scary in the beginning because there is no room for error.  I mean, you wouldn't want to desecrate someone's skin and people getting tattoos definitely do not want their skin ruined!

There is a lot of risk in tattooing which people don't realise.  You have to know how the machine works, know how the skin works (so you can make adjustments to the machine when you're working) and know the colours as every person has a different type of skin (which can also depend upon their heritage)

And most importantly keeping the environment you work in is sterile, as if it's like a hospital operating theatre.

I kind of miss painting on canvasses and walls, but the discovery of vast subcultures of tattooing gets me hooked. Now I just usually paint on paper using watercolour.  

Some of the paintings I do (for some people) are quite simple but I enjoy it more because the symbolism of the images interests me a lot.  Plus the factor that a person gets a design that makes me think "oh!  why are you getting this tattoo?": and that interests me more than anything else.

Can you give a run down from concept to imprint to permanent ink of skin art and what has been your most satisfying creation to date

At the moment (most of the time) it's the clients who are the ones that come up with concepts/design (especially as I work in a walk-in shop).  I just help them with it and interpret their ideas but of course I always try to put my "essence" into every design and of course make the end result looks beautiful on their skin. 

Every concept also depends on the different styles of subcultures in tattooing.  And to be honest, I haven't really found my style yet.  I'm still in that stage of exploration.

So far I try to get satisfaction from everything that I do, but I'm always trying to push myself further so as to get better.

It's only my first year of being a "pro tattooer" (insert the 2095'er saying "you're kidding!  there is no way I would have thought it was year 1.  your work is incredible!") so I know I just can't be satisfied with my works, although I enjoy every minute of the creative process of tattooing, eg: when I do a nice clean line I give myself a tap on the shoulder as a reward!

Where do you see the world of Clint Sf Bautista headed

Within a year I see myself travelling, always with my design portfolio, guest spotting in different shops around the world and learning more from the masters of the craft of tattooing.

And pushing myself further because I want to contribute something to the craft rather than just taking from it.

Of course doing some street-art in the cities I will be travelling to and if fate gives me more time, I might go back to doing my Fine Art paintings.


Not only is the 2095'er blown away by the "first year" of Clint's tattooing career, she remains a devoted fan of his use of colours and creativity and thanks him for sharing a bit of his time (and of course allowing images to be reproduced for this article) giving a peek into the world known as Clint Sf Bautista

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