We had the good fortune of connecting with Ted Washington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ted, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I tried to do other things but nothing could erase my desire to pursue my visions, to have my voice. The joy I get from doing art made the prospect of failure acceptable. Fortunately that joy is also fueled by a desire for perfection. There will never be the perfect piece but the works created in that pursuit grow and evolve, and some have even turned out good.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My primary artwork is composed using ink. I use pens, brushes and cotton swabs to apply the ink on illustration board. I have done a lot of portraits and many have been commissions. I use black and white photography for reference and take my own photos. This is where the experimentation with lighting and angles happens. I also do nudes and abstracts. Stoked at the moment to have discovered a lost sketch for an abstraction that I will be working on soon. Being an independent artist is not easy. I have no gallery support and had to find and develop my own audience. I sought representation once but I was uncomfortable with pricing required to make it work. This is why I started my own publishing house. My work takes a lot of time and I’ll never be prolific or price friendly, but prints can be. There is a solution to the problem. Envision that solution and find the path to it. Then break that down into steps. As long as you’re moving forward on the path time is the only factor and you determine the length. I am on a journey illuminated by the flame of joy that exists in doing art. Sometimes it flickers, but it has never gone out. I also have a band called Pruitt Igoe. It combines noise, electronica, jazz, rock, poetry and dance into a mad dada stew. True fun.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pre-Pandemic If it is my best friend it’s going to be at least one trip to the San Diego Public Library Downtown Branch. I love that space and books. A day trip to Tijuana for walk about. Lots of San Diego walks to show the different neighborhoods and Balboa Park to hit the museums. Casbah, Whistlestop, Black Cat Bar, Livewire, The Office, Winston’s, The Joint, The Little Lion, Perry’s, this is going to be too big a list. Let’s just say from Oceanside to Ensenada is in play. Also a two day trip to the desert. I love Joshua Tree National Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My fellow artist Ron Moya gets a shoutout. I was satisfied working on my craft not so much in seclusion, but without outside knowledge. When we met I saw his sketch book and knew we would be friends. His work is crazy good and crazy dark, with a touch of humor. When he suggested I enter a juried show I had never exhibited. I got in the show. Thank you for the push Ron.
Instagram: @ted_washington_art , @lotekted , @puna_press , @pruittigoeband
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Puna-Press-63149058362/ , https://www.facebook.com/Pruitt-Igoe-335741986520657/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVHPLpdE7WwXPzW3Rk-2eIw , https://www.youtube.com/user/lotekted