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Five Questions with Chuck Anderson

In our fourth installment of Five Questions we talk experimentation, parents and the perfect weekend with our visiting artist for November, Chuck Anderson of NoPattern. Heaps of gratitude to him for coming out to Holland and leading an after school workshop. Class act.

You started NoPattern right out of high school. What role did your parents & teachers play in taking the leap?

My parents and teachers were really supportive of me which was a huge blessing and help in the path that I chose. I believe that without their confidence that I’d follow my passions, I would not have had the success I’ve had. The reaction from both of them was quite different however…my teachers were a bit shocked when I told them I was planning on “taking a year off”, as they swore by higher education and thought it was virtually the only way to go, but they still were supportive. My parents completely understood, as my mother didn’t finish college and while my father did, I know he didn’t really enjoy or fully embrace his time there. So while the decision warranted different reactions, the support was still there.

Somewhere in the multiverse there’s a Chuck Anderson whose parents coached him to go to college. What did he study and why?

Probably graphic design and advertising, maybe photography, or something along those lines. Although what I do now I don’t consider to really be graphic design at all, it’s just simply art made on the computer. Probably a more linear thinking person who does sketches and storyboards but ends up with similar results to mine, albeit simpler, where I’m a lot more haphazard and spontaneous in my process.

What contemporary artists are inspiring you / piquing your curiosity right now?

KAWS, Jessica Hische, Deanne Cheuk, Kid Zoom, Dave Kinsey, Craig Redman & Karl Maier…all some of my very favorites.

What was the inspiration for the t-shirt?

I take photos on every trip I go on and this design was composed of images taken on a trip my wife and I took to Tahiti when we went swimming and saw a bunch of sharks. I love tropical weather and nature for it’s beauty but also for it’s somewhat terrifyingly isolated and dangerous (as far as wildlife goes) aspect too, so juxtaposing palm trees, fish, and sharks (while dangerous, still beautiful) into the composition of a skull just seemed like a fun idea to me.

You’re fairly new to Michigan. What’s been your favorite / least favorite thing about the area?

My favorite part has been the extreme variation between the seasons and all there is to do here. I grew up in Chicago so it’s not really different at all in the sense of the weather, but something about the trees in the fall here, the closeness of the beaches to Grand Rapids, being able to drive a short distance for skiing…it’s at the same time altogether different from the Chicago area in some really nice, charming ways.

What role has experimentation played in the continual development of your style?

A huge part. I’m always trying new things and learning new ways of doing things and forcing things to look and act differently in Photoshop simply by experimenting. I think if you just do what you know well over and over again you don’t get anywhere. But if you do what you do well and add some new twists and turns to the process, you find wholly fresh and new perspectives and approaches to things you didn’t see before.

Red Vines or Twizzlers?

Probably Twizzlers, but ideally Sour Patch Kids.

Favorite childhood form of entertainment?

Saying ‘drawing’ would be a little too simplistic for an art-oriented interview, although that is the honest truth. But after that, probably playing stupid video games or running around outside throwing a football around with friends.

Describe a perfect weekend.

(My fall/winter answer): Out with my wife to dinner on Friday night, then the night in just relaxing with some wine and a good movie or TV show (Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad ideally). Saturday morning exercise, coffee, lunch with my wife at the bookstore, get some personal work or cleaning done around the office, then out with friends for dinner or just to hang out Saturday night. Sunday? Football. All day. Nonstop.



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