Today, we are featuring 26-year-old Dustin Ziethen, a visual artist from Berlin, Germany. His art has captured not just our eyes, but also our minds, as his materials tend to tickle a part of our brains to think and imagine beyond what our eyes can see. Every line and curve he makes seem to be telling a story.
Some would say he is fairly new in the art industry, but when you look at his work, you would think that he has been doing it all his life. Get to know more about Dustin Ziethen and we hope that you'll be inspired to create and pursue whatever dream that you have in your heart.
An Interview with Dustin Ziethen
APA: What is the root/birth/foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?
Dustin: I was always fascinated by street art because it opened up so many visual pathways in my mind and made me create my own fantasies from that. And on January 20th 2012, I decided to become an artist myself. The reason why I did that was because I found a video of Nychos on Youtube which instantly made me want to grab a pencil and start drawing.
APA: Who do you admire artistically? Who has influenced your work? Who do you study?
Dustin: When I started drawing, I was mainly influenced by skateboard graphics and everything related to the skateboarding culture. I went on with that style, studying people like: Todd Francis, Neckface, Todd Bratrud and of course the mighty Ed Templeton. Over the years that whole influence changed into a lot of line, streetart and surreal based work from artists like: Salvador Dali, Doze Green, Retna, Craola, DabsMyla, Typogo, Kevin Lyons and maaany more. Those are the main people that I still study most of the time.
APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?
Dustin: I like to give people complete freedom when they intepret my art. That’s why I try to keep most of my works abstract, so that people can use their own imagination and start interpreting their own fantasies and stories to it.
APA: What is your workflow? What is your creative process from start to finish?
Dustin: Usually I get inspired by a song, a quote or anything I can visually see in front of me. From that moment on I grab a pencil and start doing a rough sketch that I then work out into a more detailed sketch. Depending on the medium I wanna use, I either sketch it on a canvas and then use acrylics, or I scan it and digitally finish it with either Illustrator or Photoshop. On walls I use quite a different approach though. There I come up with a rough sketch and then do the details more freestyle based on how I feel at the moment and how I go with the flow of the lines. Some walls I also do completely freestyle without sketching anything before painting it.
APA: What do you wish you knew about the art business before you got started?
Dustin: That quality is always better than quantity. I used to spam my instagram full of pictures that I would never upload again. But that was one thing I had to learn and I’m glad I went through it. Also connect with artists from all over the world. The more time you spent with people that are moving towards the same goal, the better your results and inspirations gonna be.
APA: What is the best part about creating art?
Dustin: The best part about creating art is having a complete free mind. No matter how bad the day was or how stupid work went, whenever I grab a pencil and start sketching outlines, I instantly start forgetting about all of that. That’s my way of getting rid of the stress.
APA: If you could hang out with one artist, living or dead, who would that be?
Dustin: That is a real though one! I would probably hang out with Dali, drinking and talking about weird stuff, trying to understand his vision and what was going on in his mind. That would be really cool!
APA: What do you do to keep going when you are not motivated or inspired to create?
Dustin: I always remember myself that every day is another step of my development and that some things come with time. Sometimes I create 4 drawings at one day and sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 days. The most important part is to not lose focus on your journey. It’s impossible to have a constant flow going on every day. Some things need time to evolve.