Anthony Clarkson is a Los Angeles-based artist/designer with over 10 years experience in both the contemporary art gallery circuit and the music entertainment industry.

When Clarkson graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art in 2002, he was resolute in his decision to make a living as a graphic artist in the music industry. He was hired as the head graphic designer for a prominent record label in Los Angeles shortly thereafter.

Embracing a vibrantly hyper realistic digital photo-manipulation technique, his first published album cover followed shortly after joining their ranks and quickly established a long list of published album covers for several bands on various labels.

In 2004 an opportunity presented itself that renewed Anthony’s creative juices and he found himself diving headlong into a new career as an active artist in the new contemporary movement. His ghostly surreal work has shown in several galleries throughout the States and abroad and continues to attract an ever-growing collector base in the process.

To see even more of Anthony’s amazing body of work, visit any of the links below.  Anthony has also just released a new website and online store.

    1. Website

    2. Facebook

    3. Instagram

    4. Twitter

    5. LinkedIn

And now, our exclusive interview with Anthony Clarkson

  1. How would you describe your art?
    It’s a small glimpse into the world as I see it. I usually deal with matters of the human condition that I’ve observed, such as innocence, greed, vanity, and power. A lot of people describe my art as dark, but I’ve never really seen it that way. It definitely has some dark themes from time to time, but for me what I paint has always felt very comforting. I just paint the worlds I see in my head, and get to become god of them.
  2. How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?
    I’ve been drawing since I was four years old. In high school I assumed I would get a job in comic books, but once at The Art Institute of Colorado I decided to work in the music industry doing digital photo-manipulation album covers for Heavy Metal bands. Luckily, I was able to do that professionally for quite a few years.In 2004 I became interested in making my way into the new contemporary art scene happening around me in Los Angeles. In January 2005 I did my first gallery show with Thinkspace Gallery, and I’ve been steadily doing shows ever since with a variety of galleries and venues worldwide.
  3. What is your favorite medium and why?
    It depends on my mood and projects at the time. Acrylic is the main medium I use currently, but also love working with pen and ink, as well as charcoal.
  4. Pick one work of art from your portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece? 
    King of FoolsI’ve always liked the piece “King of Fools”.It’s about how one can surround themselves with all the knowledge written in books, all the views expressed on TV, all the great music ever composed. But there’s something about life that can only be understood through experience. That piece shows the someone trying to understand life, yet he’s frustrated and struggling with something.It’s like the ideas discussed in the movie Dark City. “You wanted to know what it was about us that made us human. Well, you’re not going to find it in here [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][pointing to head]…. You were looking in the wrong place.”
  5. Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.
    I’m planning to work with oil paints in the future. My upcoming show, The Withering, for Thinkspace in February 2015, is probably going to be my last group of works consisting mostly of acrylic paintings. After that I plan to work mainly in oil. I did a couple quick paintings in oil when I was in high school, but I didn’t take them too seriously. I painted a unicorn fetus and tree frog, if memory serves.
  6. How do you make time for art?
    All my income right now comes from doing art, in one form or another, so I have to make as much time for it as I can each day. If I’m not painting I’m usually doing freelance digital art for various companies.
  7. If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?
    A good day of painting or drawing begins with waking up around 10 or 11 in the morning. After a cup or two of coffee I try to be working by noon. I usually work and listen to music or podcasts until around 6 or 7. After getting something to eat, I settle in for evening painting, with movies play in the background while I work. I basically paint into the night for as long as I feel motivated. On a good day I work until around midnight or 2 in the morning. Then I usually relax an hour or two, go to bed, and repeat the next day. It’s not the most exciting existence, but when everything goes right I will get a decent amount of work accomplished.
  8. If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why?  What would the two of you do?
    That’s hard to say. There are a lot of artists I’d like to spend time with and pick the brain of. Salvador Dali would be a big one. That is some of the earliest ‘fine art’ I saw that really captured my imagination. Dali and M.C. Escher introduced me to trippy surreal scenes I just wanted to fall into. After that I really got into H.R. Giger and the dark unsettling worlds he was creating. I’ve always wanted to meet him. As far as artists who are still living, I’d love to have a good conversation with guys like Todd Schorr, Robert Williams, Mark Ryden… there are just so many people I’d like to learn painting techniques from.
  9. Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
    Create what you want. The only way it’s going to be fulfilling for you as an artist, and honest for the viewer, is if you create images of what you really want to say. If you’re just trying to be part of a specific scene because it seems to be the “in” thing at the moment, you’re going to find yourself chasing something you’re never going to catch. By doing your own thing, you might not always get the biggest audience. But as long as you’re being true to yourself through what you put out there, the people who connect with it will connect with it more deeply because of the realness. There’s a fan base out there for every artistic style and subject. As long as you’re being true to yourself, then you will connect with some people in a way that’s substantial and valid.

A Clockwork Courtesan

Across the Great Divide

Among the Silent Faces

Behind These Empty Eyes

Blinded By Temptation

Dead End Kings

I Broke Apart My Insides

In A Sea of Solitude

In The 11th Hour

Mother of Mercy

Natural Light

On A Lake of Tears

Picked Apart

Season's Song

Smells Like Regret

Tea Time

The Great Charade

Veil of Vanity