We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Kent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I love to create, I love to drink beer, and I love to get the best out of people… CRAFT & ARTS was born. Well, more so, as a craft beer drinking artist (a.k.a. Stamp Pop), every friend said I should do a Beer and Paint type night. But I was never interested in how you just paint what the instructor’s painting, and therefor the same painting as everyone else; felt to be stifling and not really challenging the creative mojo in people, and I saw an opportunity that utilized some of my skill-sets. The name CRAFT & ARTS comes from CRAFT BEER & ARTS ‘N’ CRAFTS, as I saw there is a strong parallel between the two communities; people who love the variety, the beauty, the creativity, and the fun. I figured, if people are able to come to my event at a local Orange County brewery, order the beer you want, then you should be able to paint what you want. And, if you can’t paint, then I don’t care cuz I got stencils, and markers, and magazines, and wheat-paste/decoupage, so you kinda can’t NOT make dope sh*t. See, everyone IS creative, and you’ll prove me right. I have a process that helps draw the dopeness out of you that starts with describing your beer, plus a winning personality (so I’m told), to help guide you and get you in the right mindset for creating, and learning to create, a piece of visual art that aims to be more OF your experience that night. I boast it’s “Not Your Average Paint Night” cuz you don’t “paint” my painting (my example is mixed media), and I won’t make decisions for you, except that we work on a 12″x24″ piece of plywood–that’s the only decision I make for you, At the start of the evening, it’s only a piece of wood. At the end of the evening, it’s something completely unique to you visually, and conceptually–whether you “knew what you were doing” or not. I ultimately tie it into crafting beer, but focusing it ALL on the Creative Process that makes the world go round…and the whole experience is more about what you’re drinking, and what your creating, than the average paint night. We believe that everyone is a Beer Drinker and an Artist, and as I mentioned before, you’ll prove me right. During COVID now, we’ve shifted to just doing a free IG “Not Your Average Art Class LIVE” on Wednesdays at 7pm PST, where it’s kind of the reverse of my normal experience–here I actually do create, a collage with basic-household stuff like cardboard, junk mail, and a staple, going through my normal process, and you can watch or create your own dopeness in the comfort of your own home. #NotYourAveragePaintNight. @_craftandarts www.craft-and-arts.com by: @stamp.pop.art
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
While much of my creative time and passion has been given to CRAFT & ART over it’s 3 years of existence…much of the experience of creating visual art and using multiple mediums comes from the my artist self & brand I call Stamp Pop, starting 5 years prior. It’s my “stamp” on “Pop Art”, as I like to work with popular objects I photograph and digitally manipulate. Then sort of take them out of context–with color/texture/mixed media, size/scale, orientation/layout/composition, on unfinished wood. I like the inherent texture in the wood, and I can pretty much create any compositions I want. Ultimately, I like looking at objects differently, and if at the end it makes me think, “f*ck that’s cool,” then I imagine there’s someone else out there that might think the same. #LookingAtObjectsDifferently @stamp.pop.art
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m from Orange County, and love the fact that we’re small enough to hit many places at once, normally. During COVID times, the suggestions will change a bit as everything is to-go, and they all need support, but I usually give suggestions based on where in OC people are staying at and what type of experience they’re looking to get into, as there’s tons of options that I frequent. Regardless, the ONLY place that I 100% of the time suggest to EVERYONE is to go to “Playground” in Downtown Santa Ana…it’s the best meal/drink experience in the county (and they’re calling it quits in 1 year!).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to the always supportive friends, family, and my wife/co-owner for being sounding boards for the development and message boards for promotion, and to the many returners that have found themselves in our experience so much that they come back and bring others, but MOSTLY to the breweries that have taken a chance on something a little new, and “out there,” and see the merit in our experience vs. an average paint night–CRAFT & ARTS wouldn’t exist without any of you. Thank you so much, and cheerisies! – Chris
Other: @stamp.pop.art on IG & FB
Chris Kent Bianca Elizabeth Aguilera