Tyrone J Webb is a one-of-a-kind fine spray paint artist. After being laid off from his corporate job, he decided to follow his dream of being an artist and is now excelling in unique niche in the art world.
According to his website, “His artwork is an infusion of fantasy vs. realism and a dichotomy of safety and vulnerability. Projecting the viewer into the piece, the viewers mind drifts to worlds where anything is possible. With a visual resonance, Tyrone sets the dominant color, settling into lighting the environment. Guiding the observer into the fantasy.”
His work has already received numerous awards and recognition including:
– Top 10 Art Pick of 2014 by Scene 360
– Boulder Art Association Art Contest Winner
– Selected for Dairy Center for the Arts Annual Juried Art Show
– Neonmob Featured Digital Trading Card Collection 2015
– Commissioned by Month of Modern 2014
– Winner of Carmelo Anthony TSU Fan Art Contest 2015
-Work selected to be featured at the Hyatt Hotel in Boulder
MELO recently sat down with Webb to discuss his what makes his medium of Fine Spray Paint art so unique, the artistic inspiration behind his imaginative work, and what it takes to leave everything you’ve ever known and follow your dreams.
What made you decide to pursue being an artist?
A year before I was laid off from IBM after 14 years, things were getting tough. No yearly bonus, no raises, no promotions, no real hope for progression I felt we were being pushed to leave on our own. So to counter this frustration and anxiety I decided one sunday morning I was going to try and do the spray paint art thing again. It was difficult at first but very rewarding and helped greatly to relieve the stress. I started to feel like a better person. I was happier than I had been in a long time and everyone noticed. The other thing I noticed was that I was getting good at it. Everything I tried to do with spray paint was working and my pieces were getting better and better. When that day came where I got the call and was let go from my job we took our daughters to the zoo. I felt for the first time free to do what I wanted whenI wanted. There are moments when your life can be on the precipice. Where all those motivational memes on the internet become relevant. I decided I was going to be an artist whenI embraced the idea of being a Gemini (no, really) For the first half of my life one twin was in control, the measured, compliant, logical one. The other twin was there to provide glimpses into my artistic side with doodles on notepads during meetings, or on napkins in the restaurant to impress my children. I realized for the next portion of my life I was going to have to let the other twin take control. The artistic, pie in the sky, risk taker. I decided then that all that I had worked for and saved was going to be needed to make this a reality. All the corporate work in project management and leadership had prepared me to be in charge of my own success or failure through and through.
How did you select spray paint as your medium? Have you worked with any other mediums before?
When I was 19 I went to Atlantic City and saw someone on the boardwalk doing the speed spray paint art thing and I was impressed at the images created. So I went home and purchased all the supplies and gave it a shot. I failed miserably and like a teenager I never looked back at it. 19 years later I woke up one Sunday morning after having a dream about spray painting and I felt compelled to give it a shot again. I also thought my kids would really like seeing me do something other than stress out all the time.
I essentially drew my way through High School. So pencil and ink was the only other medium I ever tried.
How long does it take to make one piece? What is the most challenging part of the process? Where do you get your inspiration?
Depending on the size it can take anywhere from 2 days to 6 weeks to complete a piece.
The most challenging part of the process is taking risk. With spray paint all the work you have done up until a certain point can be completely destroyed by a faulty can or an ill timed spray. There is no place to be trained in this medium and almost always I am experimenting. After days of work without incident there comes a point where I have to risk it all to achieve an effect I am looking for without knowing if it is even possible. This is where I have come to realize this is what I am meant to do. Each risk has lead to a success and a feeling of purpose and advanced my skill and confidence to keep taking risks.
My inspiration comes from my Wife. Every piece I have painted has been improv. I never know what I am going to paint ahead of time. No sketches or layouts on the board. I just spray the first color on and I see something in it and I run with it. The perspective of each of my pieces is as if I were standing there with her. I paint places I would love to see with her by my side. I think thats why it comes so easily. She is my muse.
What makes your work different than street art or speed spray paint art?
Street art that is sanctioned, like murals have a lot of preparation to them and the canvas area is so large that the amount of detail that can be achieved with spray paint is amazing. However it will only ever be outside, it can’t be hung in your home. Street art that is illegal (graffiti) has too much haste and anxiety wrapped up in it and I understand thats part of the “rush”. I just can’t fathom the idea of spending time and money to create something for the world to see to only have it vilified and removed, despite the inherent creativity in it.
Speed spray paint art is fascinating to me because of the methods. It is however a performance art. The idea is to paint a piece in as little time as possible so it can be sold to an onlooker. This prevents experimentation and failure is costly in more ways than one. So variations on one particular theme is created over and over to impress those that are watching. Its up to the artist to practice before hand to add to their portfolio of works.
My works are the meshing of 2 mediums. Like street art(murals) I want to achieve great detail with spray paint except on a smaller scale so it can be framed and hung at home. My subject matters are akin to speed spray paint art. However, I want to add in something they cannot. Patience and time to create. This is how I came to call it “Fine Spray Paint Art”
Can you describe a particular piece you are incredibly proud of? What makes it special?
I have been extremely proud of each piece and would always say “Thats my best one yet” However, most recently I was asked to submit a piece for a juried show coming up in September at the Hyatt Hotel. I wanted to paint something that would change the perception of my Fine Spray Paint Art. I decided on a triptych. “Blissful Opposition” represents me pouring all I have into a single piece. Time, Money and effort. It took me 3 weeks to make and there are 42 layers of paint on it, give or take 1 or 2. There was not a moment in its creation where I was worried about it. It just flowed each time I stepped into the garage to paint it. I wanted to create an image that stopped people in their tracks, despite the medium. Often times the allure to my pieces is the fact that they are done with spray paint. I wanted this one to draw people in on its own then knock them off their feet when they hear it’s all made with spray paint, a piece of poster board and a sponge. Its currently hanging in Denver at DADA Art Bar and was selected to hang at the Hyatt Hotel in Boulder I couldn’t be more happy.
What makes it special is how much of me is in it. The last 3 years of apprehension and uncertainty and distress all cast aside for one piece. If I never make it as an artist I will know that I had that spiritual moment creating a work of art that was an expression of all my hopes and dreams. So my Daughters can look at it and know who I am. I am sure I have better works to come but this piece will always be the beginning for me, when I finally painted as if my soul depended on it..
If you could see one of your pieces hanging on the wall in any celebrity’s house, who would it be and why?
Great question! I have never been the put people on a pedestal type of person, I have never been star struck or hung famous people posters on my wall. However, there is a person that I would love to thank with a work of art I make. When I was 18-19 I didn’t really have an identity. I was a culmination of the people I called friends. Their TV shows were my TV shows, their style was my style, their music was my music. Then I heard a musician named LTJ Bukem on a cd at a party. He is a DJ in England that was spinning Intelligent Drum and Bass. A pioneer changing what was the norm into something else. I felt compelled to find his CD and I started looking. It wasn’t until I was at tower records in Philly that I found it and I was floored. LTJ Bukem is a Mixed, Black DJ. This made me feel so proud that I had a music that was my own and I identified with the person creating it. I have seen his sets 3 times in my life and my Wife has been there with me at each one. Then one time in Denver I got to meet him. After 10 years of listening to his music I got to shake his hand and thank him for showing me “My Music”. So if I ever got a picture from him standing next to one of my paintings I would feel my life has come full circle and I would be proud.
Are you working on any new pieces or projects? Do you have any shows coming up where people can see your work?
Honestly, this medium is expensive and money is very tight right now. The most frustrating thing is knowing I have endless creative energy to spray on the boards and I have to wait until I can afford to buy the materials to express it. Right now I am working on the business of my art. I have built the portfolio, created the website, canvassed the local galleries and art associations, spent countless hours on social media posting my works for all to see. Now I need to get to a place where I can paint when I want to. I do however have an idea that I have been wanting to do since I started painting. I would love to take 3 very large boards and arrange them so when I complete the painting on them and they are positioned correctly with the right lighting I will give any person that stands in front of them the feeling they ARE standing on another planet. That’s my dream project and I know I can do it, it’s just not financially feasible at this time.
You can see 6 of my pieces right now at DADA ART Bar in Denver at 2470 Broadway. for the entire month of August.
In September from the 3rd to the 7th you will be able to see “ Blissful Opposition at the Hyatt Hotel in Boulder.
Would you like to give any shoutouts?
Adriana Barros from Scene360: You took a chance on me and gave me the exposure I never thought I would get, Your straight to the point and experienced eye for art has been the most helpful to me and I owe you one. http://illusion.scene360.com
Karen Brown at www.stardustbluemedia.com – The second person I talk to after something cool happens with my art. You have helped me to focus my efforts and pointed me to opportunities I never knew existed. For that I am grateful.
DADA Art bar – By far the most welcoming experience I have encountered when dealing with a gallery about my art medium. If I could call any place my home base gallery you would be it.
You can learn more about Tyrone Webb by visiting his website: finespraypaintart.com.
You can also follow him on social media:
Google+: Tyrone Webb
Facebook: Windswept Design: Fine Spray Paint Art
You can also support him through Patreon with pledges in return for some cool rewards by clicking HERE.