The man, the myth, the legend: Brandon Watkins.
Ha ha! An epic intro for this guy is only necessary.
Since my high school days I have admired this young man’s artistic work. It would always be displayed either in the office at my school or in my art class. Cartoon characters were the name of his game, and I loved each and every one of them.
Now at the ripe age of 24, Brandon’s abilities have grown and developed into much more, to include: fine art, incorporation of painting, comics, and commission-based work.
So here it is, Brandon’s right to suburbia:
Mr. Watkins is currently trying to help build up an art scene with a local art collective based company he has been involved with for several years named, The Dial, located here in Temecula. To him, it almost seems as people don’t seem to care about the arts in this town. He does admit formal education such as school has never been his thing, and though a former partier, nowadays he realizes that there is more to life than partying and ahem* bullshit. That’s not to say he doesn’t still partake in social recreation…
As a younger child, Brandon lived in Virginia Beach before his 13 years of living in Temecula, California. He noted that the main difference between the two towns is the weather. Virginia had the “perfect fall” because “the leaves were always different colors.” Considering Brandon’s artwork is always composed of the most vibrant array of colors, I can see how this affected him so.
He notes that Virginia was a mixed bag of people from up north or down south, and wasn’t exactly a suburb, but more of a giant community with little sections within it. “People are the same for the most part,” he states, “But I’ve never seen a Mexican until I came out here to Cali, and then I was like, Oh snap! You’re real!” I couldn’t help but contain my laughter at this point. Though Virginia Beach is his hometown, Brandon considers Temecula his ‘home base’ because it’s where he really grew up and it’s the place where he can either rest his head or get things done.
“Comfortable, uncomfortable, and cheesy.” These are the three words I am given by Brandon when asked what for his simplest definition of suburbia. “When I think of suburbia, there’s good people, there’s shitty people, and you got a lot of stuck up people…It’s like you see them and like you think about how your life is and what you’re going through and you just see someone who has like no care in the world.” (I’m giggling again because Brandon’s insistent use of the word ‘like’ must have definitely stemmed from living in this Southern California culture). Nevertheless, he goes on to say, “There are people out here who will totally just step over you. It kind of sucks because if you want to try and do bigger and greater things I feel like somebody’s going to come along and try and shut you down.” He goes on to mention that even with The Dial (the local art collective), “If it ever gets too big or self sustaining, people who own Temecula will probably try to come in and put their stamp on it.”
Now how is that supposed to make an artist feel? An artist who puts forth all of their effort and creative skills only to try and get walked on by those who feel they are so significant they can just take your work and call it theirs too. Almost sounds like the deal Em from Metal Spirals told us about in regards to her jewelry efforts. He does mention that he doesn’t quite feel this exact threat yet, but has definitely felt frowned upon by uppity people.
“There’s people out there who lack passion,” or rather do not have enough exposure. “It’s like society doesn’t believe in the impact of art. Music and art programs are getting cut in school just because policy makers feel these programs don’t make or contribute enough profit” to the whole of our economic society.
Now besides feeling a sense of neglect from the upper middle class community, Brandon finds ways to kick the negativity. He enjoys the sport of people watching and the interactions that occur. To keep his creativity alive and gather inspiration he enjoys talking to a multitude of people and holding basic everyday or strange conversations. He likes to be comical through entertainment and self expression, in which he states, “The best feeling in the world is when somebody sees your work and gets stoked off of it…” because then it feels as if they are getting an understanding of who he is and what he means to express.
He praises The Dial because it has helped him align his career path. “It depends who you surround yourself with” he states, and rightfully so, I think he has surrounded himself with a great community of people.
And moving forward, with great speed might I add, Brandon continues to do.
This fellow is currently working on a pitch for a Nickelodeon cartoon…
With that being said, keep your eyes plugged on that screen my dears.