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Artist Interview – Tim Pittides Part II

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I recently had an opportunity to chat a little bit with artist Timothy Pittides about his new Vices series with Grey Matter Art and check in to see what he has been up to since our last artist interview three years ago.

You can check out our previous interview with Tim – HERE.

Nerdlocker (NL): Hey Tim.. or Timothy.. I’m trying to be somewhat formal but I don’t want to call you by the name only your mom called you when you were in trouble as a kid or something.. so is it Tim or Timothy?

Tim Pittides (TP): Tim is fine. Timothy is the angry mom version, well Timothy Paul. When she threw in the middle name you knew you were in deep shit.

NL: Yeah I know that music, I have two middle names, it was extra scary when she said my WHOLE name!

TP: I think that happened once, never again.

NL: Well to digress just a bit, we have already done an artist interview and giveaway with you a little while back, so a lot of of the Nerdlocker readers may know about you and your art, but I’d like to do a more casual interview. I’d like to chat about your current art being released and maybe a bit about what you have been up to.

TP: Sounds great to me. Non formal works better I think.

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NL: I read or listen to artist interviews and I think to myself, are these just the same questions I ask? So I try to ask questions to be a bit different in my approach.

TP: Right? I don’t know if I could answer “who are your influences?” again.

NL:  Okay, I’m going to go right into it then. As an artist do you prefer a steady dose of direction from a client or do you just like to put pencil to paper and do what you feel and hope the client is happy with you have come up with in the long run?

TP: Well lately I have not even been doing concept sketches. Everything I do now, starts in the brain and goes down to the hand. The idea is presented no doubt to the client in words. And I have been lucky enough to be dealing with some great clients who trust me enough to say “sounds great, can’t wait to see it”. I learned recently to always go with your gut and do the first idea that pops in my head. Seems to be working out ok.

NL: I do think it’s been working out for you with some of the new work we have been seeing recently.

TP: 100%. I used to overwork, over analyze everything. I would try things I wasn’t comfortable with and the art suffered. I took some time off from everything to focus and hone my skills. I wanted to finally show everyone what the real Tim was.

NL: So where does a lot of your inspiration come from? Are you watching a movie or scrolling online and see something and say “Whoa that would be an awesome print”

TP: If I am doing a film poster, I watch the film at least 3 times. I do some research into posters done by other artists for the same film and I look for unique and subtle emotions and tones in the film that I think I could bring to life on paper. It has to be different, ya know. There has been times, like my Return of the Living Dead poster, where I sat in my studio with my head down on the table, lights off. Just thinking, repeating in my head over and over the concepts I want to get across. I wait until something clicks. And when it does, off to my drafting table I go.

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NL: That’s what I was saying as far as things working out for you. That Return of the Living Dead is so great, it made me want to watch the movie again. I think that’s the response you would want from the people that buy your art.

TP: Exactly. The whole point in creating alternative film art is to create a poster and make it like the person looking at never saw it before and the end result should be that now they want to see the movie due to the art. And if they have seen the film, to make them go watch it again.

NL:  Were you that kid in school that everyone came to to have you draw them something cool? We had a kid who drew pretty good, enough to get some of his drawings in Highlights magazine.. wait… Do you remember Highlights magazine?

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TP: I do remember Highlights! Doctor’s office reading! Haha. Yes I didn’t mind it much then at all. Got me in with the ladies. Sometimes it was terrible, like being forced into making banners and stupid school pride nonsense I wanted nothing to do with.

NL: I didn’t stalk your Facebook page so I wanted to get an idea of what you are into.. Comics? Music? Someone told me you used to really be into Death Metal.

TP: Oh yes. I was the vocalist in Entorturement back in 97 – 99. Toured, all the fun stuff. I ran a music distribution company back then as well. It was a big part of my life. I managed bands, put shows together, you name it. The metal scene is  where I started my professional art career. Doing cd covers, shirt designs, etc. Nowadays, I have grown away from Death Metal,  I am that old fart now who says “Back in my day…” Currently I rarely listen to music at all. But when I do, it’s thrash, like Overkill and Kreator, or hardcore, real hardcore like Sick of it All, Madball, Blood for Blood. Usually when I am working though, I go with original film soundtracks and lighter metal or rock like Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi. I am doing delicate work so blasting Suffocation doesn’t quite go

NL: That’s wild, I had no idea, I’m pretty sure a lot of people had no idea, glad I asked you about it. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!!

TP: HAHA.

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NL: Okay, so let’s talk about your Vices series. What was your inspiration behind the Vices series? Your own vices? someone else’s vices? If that’s too personal you don’t have to answer.

TP: Oh no, not at all. The story behind this series is interesting. Originally I was asked to do Reefer Madness. And while that was being done, Jared (from Grey Matter Art) and I were shooting the shit online and he came up with the idea of doing a series. I wasn’t sure at first, I didn’t want to get ahead of myself or get off track. Well I finished Reefer and it was released. The response was incredible and surprised myself and I think Grey Matter as well. So we knew then the series would work. Cocaine Fiends was iffy for me. I was not sure how people would respond to it. Would they buy and hang something with the word “COCAINE” in bright orange letters on their walls. There was a discussion about changing the title to the film’s other title THE PACE THAT KILLS but Grey Matter was so supportive and I did not want to censor my work. Again we were surprised by the response. I think the series hits chords in people. We all have our vices, some of us may have all the vices in the world. And that’s ok. We are human. I have received e-mails from recovering addicts saying how the poster (Cocaine Fiends) HELPS them cope and keep themselves clean! This is what I always wanted to do, make art that resonates and moves people. And if I can do that with a movie poster I know I am doing a good job. As for my personal vices, well, they are coming out to say hi sooner than you think.

NL: I had my Father-in-law staying at our house last week and he walked by your Reefer madness print I have hanging on my wall and said “I remember that movie when I was young, it was pure propaganda, I didn’t listen and smoked weed most of my youth. I turned out just fine.” That made me laugh since he is like 74.

TP: I had a lot of people tell me stories regarding these posters. So great hearing all these different perspectives and tales.

NL: So Wednesday the 11th you will be debuting your Third in the vices series, do you have any more series in the near future you can hint about?

TP: I can’t say much, but 2016 is going to be huge! VICES isn’t going anywhere.

NL: I like where this is going Tim.

TP: I think a lot of people will.

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NL: So how has it been working with Jared and Mike of Grey Matter Art?

TP: Jared and Mike are probably the best people I have ever worked with, anywhere. I speak to Jared almost daily and TRY to speak with Mike as much as possible as well. Mike has supported me from the beginning of my tenure in this print game. They treat the artists with respect and they treat them as friends. I don’t think anyone could speak negative about these guys. And if they do, then they will have to deal with me. Haha. All kidding aside, Grey Matter is about the art and the artists and I couldn’t be happier working with them.

NL: Yeah man, they came out of the gate swinging with Randy Ortiz’s Cannibal Holocaust and following up with some heavy hitter artists like Kilian Eng, Florian Bertmer and of course Jason Edmiston, plus a slew of other artists that I’m forgetting but really shouldn’t be. When I finally make it out to New York, Grey Matter is on my must go and visit list.

Speaking of artists, who are some of your favorites artists?

TP: Geez, going to call me out on that, huh. Well right now, I am on a Elvisdead kick, Mat & Nick Peq create some of the most beautifully macabre work out there. Vania Zouravliov kills everything he does and of course Aaron Horkey. Brandon Holt’s work takes me back to the death metal days but with class and brilliance.

NL: I had to ask cause I know you are a collector as well. So now that we know who some of your favorite artists are, can you tell me whose work is on your walls and why?

TP: Oh yeah, collecting for awhile now. My walls are quite full and I do rotate prints out regularly. However there are permanent staples. The Halloween poster that Jock did for Mondo has been on my wall now for years. It ain’t never coming down. That scene is still creepy as hell. Also I have some work by Aaron Horkey. His Night Comes Black and Siren are two more staples. I get lost in his linework. I like hanging prints that I have some personal connection to. I just hung Stan and Vince’s Creature from the Black Lagoon poster up as the wife and I were at the San Antonio screening where the poster was going to be unveiled, but it was not ready in time. Little personal stories like that make the art mean just a bit more.

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NL: That was the screening in July wasn’t it? I didn’t even hear about it until it was too late. Being able to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon on the Big screen would have been enough for me. But if that print made it to the screening, that would have been icing on the cake.

TP: Yeah it was supposed to just a giveaway raffle kinda thing, none for sale but we would have at least seen the poster before anyone else, which would have been cool. It was nice to see Mondo try and come down I-35 to San Antonio. But that’s the business, nothing is guaranteed.

NL: I don’t want to ask you too many questions so I will say thank you for giving me some of your time and I hope we see a lot more stuff from you coming down the pipe. Oh, Did you want to talk about that thing in December?

TP: No, thank you! Well coming in December, I will be doing something special. I will be auctioning off a complete REMARQUED Vices set where 100% of the money goes to charity! More information coming soon so make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date on that!

NL: Well there you go. So be sure to follow Tim Pittides on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more info on what will certainly be an awesome charity auction and also for more upcoming releases. Hell just follow him because we all need friends like Tim in our news feed.

And stay tuned to Nerdlocker’s webpage for the big announcement of the third in the Vices series tomorrow at 10 am central time. Here is Tim’s sneak peak we found on his Facebook.

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About Tim Pittides : Tim was born in November of 1978, and it wasn’t long after which his interest in art began to emerge. Tim received his first professional commission at the age of 17 for a local New York metal band. Since then, Tim has done work for various musical acts, record companies, magazines and multi-level corporations.

Being a child of 1990’s, Tim drew his artistic influences from the likes of Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Erik Larson, and Mark Bagley. Tim’s style of hand drawn, pen and ink artwork mixed with digital coloring and design makes his work distinct and unique. With every design, Tim gives his clients and customers something new and worthy of framing.

While working as a freelance illustrator, Timothy Pittides is actively pursuing his graduate degree in fine arts with a concentration in illustration and printmaking.

Tim’s website : http://www.pittidesart.com/

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I grew up on Kung Fu theater movie weekends, a lot of Top Ramen Noodles, G.I. Joe's, Evil Knivels Stunt Cycle and Stretch Armstrong. My Movie reviews and Artist Interviews have been a regular around Nerdlocker.com. Follow me on Twitter @arainbolt. or email me aaron@nerdlocker.com