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Nerdlocker Artist Interview: Dustin Hoots!

So here’s a non Nerdy secret about me. I actually grew up playing sports my whole life, mainly soccer. My collegiate playing days are well behind me now, but I still get out and kick the ball around. Recently a friend of mine who I play soccer with, we’ll call him Josh, introduced me to a local Las Vegas artist. Of course being an art enthusiast I quickly jumped online to see what he had done. I loved it! Mainly working on canvas, Dustin Hoots is able to capture a great sense of nostalgic nerdiness that is hard to find. Obviously my next step was to challenge Mr. Hoots to answer some hard hitting questions!

Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
Dustin Hoots (DH): My name is Dustin, I’m 28 a photographer by trade, and an artist by birth. I like to paint robots, graffiti style stuff and a lot of incorporation with Americana tattoo culture. I come from a far away land and there’s a fair chance, I’ll never move from Las Vegas. I’m really terrible at these questions. I dunno, I’m ridiculous, wildly immature and have a fairly severe case of ADHD. I talk too loud and I think things that shouldn’t be funny are hilarious. I love Waffle Crisp cereal, chocolate Silk milk, and steak, and I wish I had an unlimited supply of money. Not for me, but to fund an endless streak of shenanigans.

 

NL: Why DeadGirls and Robots? What does it mean?
DH: Basically, Jeff Lewis and I met through a mutual friend out drinking one night, and realized we both painted in our free time. From time to time we’d show each other finished pieces to get feedback and what not. One day on Facebook, Jeff mentioned how he wanted to do First Friday, so I messaged him and told him I’d split the cost of the booth, and we would rock it as a duo. That way, if it was a flop, we’d only be out half the cost. He paints these realistic blue women, and I paint robots, graffiti, and tattoo style pieces. After about a bottle of whiskey went down the pipes, I started yelling “come by some paintings of DeadGirls and Robots!”. We realized it was catchy as hell, and we had the same goals and outlook towards art, so the business was born.

NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
DH: I’ve always been a fan of graffiti, and did it for a while when I was younger. I don’t know if it was just me getting tired of having my hard work painted over, or if I just got too out of shape to run from the cops, but I just decided to put my work on canvas instead. I’m in love with comic book artists. Todd McFarlane changed my life. Other than that, 2 guys from Vegas who got me into painting were Lars, and Vince. I saw their style when we would go out painting, and it just kind of evolved into my own now.

NL: Is being a professional artist in Las Vegas good or bad?
DH: It could definitely be worse. Words to think about kids, being an artist for money anywhere is hard. Vegas is growing into a very artist friendly city though, and I really don’t have many complaints.

NL: When did you get your professional start in the art world?
DH: I’ve been painting since I was 14, and I used to just give my art to friends and not really think about it. I didn’t start slanging it for cash until November, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. All these people willing to throw something with my name up in their house, is making up for being a chubby kid in middle school.

NL: How did you get involved in creating such fantastic nerd related art?
DH: I’m a nerd. Paint what you know. I have a lightsaber tattooed on my finger, Boba Fett on my leg, and transformers on my chest. I see a lot of people doing a bunch of nerdy graphic design work, but not many people willing to put the brush to the cloth for it. I like to think I fill that need. Essentially, I sit, and think about what I would hang up in my house, then I paint it, and share the wealth. As far as the robots, and inanimate objects are concerned, I like giving something with no life a soul.

NL: What’s your favorite nerd related snack?
DH: I will hands down destroy a bag of Takis in 20 minutes. They’re these little rolled chips with chili and lemon flavor. I can’t tell you how many bags I went through while mashing through LoL. It would make you sick to your stomach.

NL: Who are some of your favorite artists?
DH: Todd McFarlane. I like the darkness he brings to the table. The contrast of smooth lines and jagged edge, and the way he plays with highlights makes me happy.

NL: Why are the Cleveland Indians way cooler than the Boston Red Sox?
DH: Number A, they are not, have not, and will never be better than the Sox. I have Red Sox tattooed on my knuckles. The only reason I still love the Indians is because of Cerrano, Willie Mays Hays, Wild Thing and Dorn. You can’t beat Major League.

NL: What posters/art do you have on display in your house?
DH: I have this awesome print of a robot with Russian propaganda hanging, it’s one of my favorites of all time. Other than that it’s just Irish Flags, Punk show posters, and old vinyl records. Besides my own of course.

NL: Star Wars of Star Trek? Why?
DH: Hands down the wars. The only reason trek is relevant to anyone who is worth knowing, is the overhaul Abrahms did to it. Tricorders and phasers have nothing on Mandaloreons and light sabers. I don’t even know how this is an actual question. Rodenbaddys story about utopian society is weak.

NL: What do you do in your free time?
DH: I paint a lot. Like….A LOT. Other than that, I’ve been mashing through AC3 a bit, watching Doctor who, and trying to find some trouble to get in

NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
DH: I still, to this day, will lightsaber battle imaginary people when I’ve had some whiskey in me.

NL: What is your favorite movie?
DH: Oh man, this is a hard one. I love movies. I’ll give you top 5. Army of Darkness because it was the first horror movie I saw in theaters, and Bruce Campbell is a GOD. True Romance, because in the beginning Elvis tells Christian Slater to kill a hooker (Hands down, best QT movie). Toss up between Empire and Jedi, just because Empire was amazing, but still had a whiny Luke, and he shows up in Jedi ready to crack skulls. And they both feature Boba. Snatch because I love the line “The side of your gun says replica, the side of mine says Desert Eagle point five oh”. Finally Surf Ninjas…Because it’s about surfing ninjas with borderline super powers.

NL: What is your favorite video game?
DH: I could be super hipster here and say Bomberman, but let’s be honest. Games just get better and better. I love the Assasins Creed Series. League of Legends is always a good time. Call of Duty will get your anger out. It all depends on the mood though. I play just about everything, and my favorite game is typically the one I’m playing.

NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
DH: Favorite comic book is The Walking Dead. I dig the writers view that zombie movies always end right after the outbreak, and love the realistic twist to it all. Comic book character…jesus, I’d have to go with Iron Man. The alcoholic womanizer who outsmarts everyone and has a super suit. It doesn’t get much better than that.

NL: What are some of your upcoming projects?
DH: Every month we do first Friday, and live paint at streats so I always have new pieces there. Were doing every 3rd Thursday at the Vanguard now. So that’s all pretty business like. Soon I’ll be doing metal work, and painting cars at streats though, so it should be a good time. You can find out whats on the docket at facebook.com/deadgirlsandrobots

NL: Is there a question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but have never found the opportunity?
DH: “Dustin, why are you so damned good looking and talented, you’re making us all feel bad?”
Answer: It’s a sickness

And there you have it! Awesomeness straight from Las Vegas! If you are local, definitely hit up the Dead Girls and Robots booth at First Friday. If you’re not local, check out more of Dustin’s work, as well as fellow Dead Girls and Robots artists, here on their Facebook page. We here at Nerdlocker will most certainly keep tabs on this rising star, so check back for updates on his latest/greatest work, including the piece he’s currently working on featured below titled American Bothic!
For more Nerdy news and interviews, stay tuned to Nerdlocker.com!

I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!