ABOUT: Monster Dan

ABOUT: Monster Dan

Name Monster Dan
Country of Residence America
IG @Monsterdan74


Monster Dan is one of the most enthusiastic sticker artists I have ever met, and he boasts an impressive artistic portfolio. We have been following each other's work for a while now, and it was finally time to conduct a proper interview.

Shall we start off with beer? What is your favorite beer up to this point?
"I don't have many friends, so I don't drink much. I enjoy Tequila on my birthday, which coincides with 'Mexican Independence Day.' My go-to beer is Coors Light. I grew up with Rainier Beer in the Seattle area."

Now, let's delve into your art background.
"My artistic journey began with early influences like Zorro, Godzilla, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Three Stooges, Saturday morning cartoons, the Jackson 5 cartoon, and movies like 'Wizards,' 'Fire and Ice,' 'Conan,' 'The Hobbit,' 'Dave's and Goliath,' 'Gumby,' 'Simon and his Chalk Drawings World,' and 'Fat Albert' with Bob Ross. In 1988, I learned 3D drawing from PBS television's 'Secret City,' and Mark Kissler's visit to my elementary school had a huge impact on me. During grades 6 to 8, I discovered pottery, powder paste painting, and black and white photography. Home economics introduced me to sewing clothes with my own designs. In high school, I immersed myself in art electives and often served as an assistant. I became captivated by Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher. This led to me creating concert posters for bands in the early days of the Grunge music era and crafting Rave Flyers and fractal cards for the Frog Brothers. My life was consumed by the FEMO mold product during high school and college. Additionally, silk screen printing in college left a lasting impression, as I produced shirts for various bands in the Northwest.

I skipped my senior year of high school and started college early, earning an Associate Degree in Visual Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design. My background also includes Mechanical Drafting for aerospace and automotive companies, with training in Auto C.A.D. and C.A.T.I.A. I constantly teach myself new techniques and regularly experiment with various styles and genres. My graffiti influences date back to my childhood in Los Angeles during the 1970s and 1980s. Moving to Washington in the 90s allowed me to rekindle my passion for it. I've always appreciated art, from television influences and comic book heroes from 1983 to modern art in museums and galleries. I absorb everything I can and incorporate it into my unique style of art. I explore multiple art forms, including illustration, painting, sculpting, photography, welding, abstract materials, industrial kinetics, braille art, and more. My art has been published and displayed in various formats over the decades."

It's evident that you have a deep love for stickers. How did your sticker journey begin?
"Stickers have been a part of my life from the very beginning. I have fond memories of my dad's produce van, adorned with an Oakland Raiders bumper sticker. As a young child, I earned scratch and sniff stickers for good behavior in school, which left a significant impact on me. My sister always had 'Hello Kitty' Sanrio stickers, and my brother had 'Dungeons and Dragons TSR' stickers that they loved playing with. Stickers were everywhere during my junior high years, including those from a sticker machine featuring rock bands. They were ubiquitous in the 80s, adorning lockers, bikes, skateboards, helmets, backpacks, and more. Stickers have consistently found their way onto my vehicles over the years, featuring pop culture, sports, politics, and even some unconventional places. I was introduced to the world of graffiti slaps by my mentors, HYPER and SIREONE, who taught us about '228 labels' and 'My name is labels.' I only recently discovered eggshell stickers a month ago, and now I create, trade, and slap stickers around the world."

The sticker scene is growing day by day. How do you envision the future of sticker art?
"In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I believe that the law has become more permissive, and the slap sticker scene has surged by 1,000%. The sticker community has seen an influx of fans, makers, designers, and artists like never before. Sticker makers are emerging from all corners of the world. The slap sticker scene has reached new heights, particularly with the paste-up movement aligning with sticker enthusiasts. The Sticker Stick movement is also on the rise, with everyone striving to place their stickers higher to avoid being buffed. Everything is growing larger, and with the recent release of the Sticker Movie, there are virtually no limits to what your creativity can achieve. Teaching people how to ship stickers more affordably is crucial, given the inconsistencies in mailing stickers globally. Many artists are now producing large quantities of eggshell stickers in China and India, collectively, to avoid overpriced sticker makers on social media. I see a bright future for my sticker addiction."

"I see a bright future for my sticker addiction" 
What are your future goals in your artwork?
"My future goals include reducing my time spent watching sports and YouTube, waking up early every day, eliminating negative influences from my life, sleeping less, and creating more art. I aim to become proficient in Procreate, open an online store to sell my art, submit more work to festivals, galleries, magazines, and zines, collaborate with other artists, and explore various mediums such as 3D printing, pin-backs, patches, clothing, prints, cardboard sculptures, and more.
I want to explore pottery sculpture, turn old spray cans into art, work on some spray painting inventions, and engage in more street art, even as I heal my Achilles tendon. Selling original art, creating large canvas pieces, practicing welding and soldering, using the sewing machine more often for creative projects, and learning foreign language alphabets for graffiti writing are also on my agenda. I aim to go bigger than ever before, with plans to create 10 to 20-foot paste-up installations and oversized sculptures. My goal is to make a mark in the paste-up art field and introduce unique stickers that the world has never seen. I am constantly learning and absorbing everything around me to incorporate into my artworks. In summary, my aim is to keep pushing the boundaries of my art."

Does your art hold deeper meaning for you?

"My art carries a deep personal significance for me. I'm acutely aware of what people may think about my work and its impact. I pour my heart and emotions into my art, creating when I'm happy, sad, angry, or any other emotional state. Light and the environment in which I create play a role in determining the outcome. For example, I've even burned some of my art, ensuring that it remains unseen. The motivation for this commitment to art comes partly from my father, who wished I pursued a career as an architect instead of becoming an artist. To honor those who have had an impact on me, I often name my art with titles of people's names. Overall, my art serves as an expression of my emotions, experiences, and personal journey."

What do you enjoy most about your work?

"I take immense pleasure in drawing, creating stickers, trading them, and putting them up in public spaces. Seeing my name or art in the streets as I walk or drive by, or when someone sends me a photo of my work, brings me great satisfaction. The aspect of traveling and trading stickers, witnessing my artwork around the world, has been a mind-blowing experience. In the past year, I've reached six of the seven continents and traded with individuals from 61 out of 195 countries. Additionally, receiving positive comments and feedback about my creations assures me that my art is appreciated and not in vain. Knowing that my work is making an impact brings a smile to my face."

What markers do you prefer for your drawings, and why?

"I'm a dedicated user and fan of Molotow markers, particularly the One 4 All line. I prefer these markers for their wide range of colors, exchangeable tips, refill inks, various marker sizes, and tip types (round, chisel, EF, angles). They also offer quick refill extensions, making them versatile and suitable for various applications. I find that Molotow markers, when used correctly, don't streak, but it's important to own a hairdryer if you're using paint markers. I'd like to give a shout-out to Molotow in Chile, Prague, Mexico, and Slovakia for their support. Additionally, I appreciate the cheap chisel sharpie, Pilot Super Jumbos, and any marker pen containing Xylene and Steve Garvey chemicals. The Sakura solid marker line in any color is another favorite. Lastly, I have a fondness for mops when it comes to graffiti writing outdoors."

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"I want to express my gratitude to all the incredible people I've met in the past year who have welcomed me into the graffiti and slap sticker community with open arms. Trading slap sticker packs has been a joyful experience in my life, and I'm not finished. I have everyone's addresses and will continue to mail my slap sticker art trade packs around the world, fostering the exchange of cool items. I've been overwhelmed by the amazing packages I've received, like the upper part of a parking street meter with change from an anonymous sender in Los Angeles, which was truly remarkable.

I currently have a hallway filled with canvases and numerous markers and spray cans. I love the colorful sight. I thoroughly enjoy being a vandal. Regarding stickers, I'm gradually reducing my printing output and opting for eggshell slaps in the thousands from China and India to ensure they're placed higher than most, using sticker sticks. I may consider stepping back from social media, but I'll never cease to hit the streets. I appreciate your interest in getting to know me better. Thank you." ✍️❤️‍🩹✍️

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