We were lucky enough to interview one of our favorite local artists, and our good friend Jessie Caballero. Enjoy our most extensive article to date here at LMTLSS. Enjoy!
-How long have you done art?
"I've been involved with all forms of art for as long as I can remember... since I first learned how to hold a pencil and before I could even write my own name. My mother once told me that when I was 2 or 3, she saw me draw a circle and she instantly knew that I had inherited my dad's artistic ability. I would draw all over the furniture, I would draw or trace my coloring book pages on separate sheets of paper so that I could color the same image over and over and create different versions. I stole endless reams of paper from my dad's work, I doodled in my dad's sketchbooks (and simultaneously ruined them) because I wanted to feel professional and talented like him. I kept my crayons and markers in pristine condition, making sure the tips were never dull and the cap was always put on correctly. I hated Rose Art. I needed Crayola because that shit was more legit. I hated peeling the paper back to sharpen the crayon because I felt it ruined the beauty of the crayon. I always looked forward to art class on Tuesdays. I was constantly making things as a child, whether it was sock puppets or paper reindeer antlers for a cheesy Christmas costume. I gave drawing lessons to the kids down the street and sold my Pokemon drawings for $1 a piece. I've been helplessly in love with all things creative my entire fucking life. I will always be helplessly in love."
"I sparked an interest in photography when I got my first point and shoot when I was 12. It's been an ever growing passion of mine since then. It takes me to a different world than my art does. I love the dynamic between the two."
And what would you recommend to those trying to take their art to the next level?
"Practice. I know it sounds cliche, but it's the truth. Experiment with new mediums, constantly search for other artists and watch any kind of tutorial or progress they share. It's a privilege to be able to see someone else's methods. Always challenge yourself, always step outside of your boundaries. Never tell yourself, "But I can't draw like that." I am guilty of saying that constantly, but you can do whatever the hell you want to if you REALLY want it. I am constantly surprising myself with my own abilities. I always think I can't achieve something but once I really put my mind to it, I do it. Just like that. And that feeling of teaching yourself something simply by research, by trial and error...well, it's euphoric. The only reason I am where I am today is because I never gave it up. As Picasso said, "Every child is born an artist, the problem is to remain one once they grow up." I couldn't get rid of this side of me if I tried."
-What is your favorite medium to use?
"This is such a tough question for me. I love everything. I really fucking do. One week I will only do water color, the next liquid acrylic, the next digital. I go through phases. I have found that sculpting is the most therapeutic for me. Sewing is absolutely the most frustrating (but at the same time, the most rewarding).
All I know is that I love color, and I will saturate my favorite pieces with it. I will never limit myself to only several mediums, I will always try new methods.
For photography, my favorite medium is film. I don't shoot it enough. There is something so exhilarating about never knowing what your results will be until you pick them up from the print shop."
-What has been your biggest achievement, having to do with your art? Shows, sales, etc.
"I haven't achieved much in terms of shows or sales, however, my biggest achievement is never falling out of love with art. It's so easy to lose sight of your creativity when you get caught up in the real world. My lowest of lows are when I'm not creating. I truly sink into a depression if I am uninspired for a consistent amount of time."
"I have a wide variety of inspiration. Growing up, it was Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, that show was my life, and I've got a box full of merch to prove it), Joe Murray (Rocko's Modern Life), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), Tim Burton, and of course, Disney.
Jason Sho Green is the reason I focused on developing my own style. Alex Pardee, Lora Zombie, Adam Rex, Justin White, Ed Templeton, Ryan Mauskopf, Phil McAndrew, Pat Perry, and of course, Jamie Fucking Hewlett.
Of course, I am always influenced and inspired by my friends. Always."
"I'm not sure if my favorite pieces are iconic. I'm not even sure if I can choose just one. Look up any piece of the artists listed above and I guarantee it's my favorite."
-How would you explain your art to your viewers?
"One part cute and one part creepy. I am a very diverse person. Sometimes I can be incredibly sweet and open, sometimes I can be completely reserved and cold. It just depends on the circumstances. My art often reflects whatever I am feeling during that moment. I spent a year in high school depressed. My sketchbook for that year was only ink. No color at all. My characters were never smiling. The following year, I was happy again, all of my characters were silly, funny, and colorful. I didn't realize these patterns until years later when I was browsing through my old work. My work just kind of happens on its own.
I retire all of my characters once I've drawn them. You will hardly ever see the same exact character twice."
-Where do you see yourself in the future? What are some of your goals? Like I remember you saying something about Nickalodean, which I thought was awesome!
"I have spent my entire life watching cartoons. I was in high school and I didn't go home to watch MTV or VH1, I was still watching PBS, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, etc. I never understood it until halfway through my photography degree. I just kind of woke up one morning and realized that I want this world inside of my head to come alive one day. Watching Fantastic Mr. Fox is what set that notion in stone. At that point, I decided I wanted to pursue animation. I would love to be behind the scenes making something tangible and real out of something completely fictional. I'd also love to work from home making and selling everything, from prints and t-shirts to purses and plushies.
My goal is to stay on track. I want to be in a world that only involves art. I only want to be around people who understand and appreciate it. I want to drown in it forever.
As a photographer, I would really love to do editorial or street work. And of course, I'd love to travel the world and photograph people, animals, trees, architecture, everything. I just want to document my life for myself. I love looking back on my memories through photographs."