featured artist : swollen finger

What's your name and where are you from? Quick introduction please!

My name is Alexander Suelto I'm currently living in Northern California. I'm a full time student and freelance illustrator, some may know me as Swollenfinger. But y'all can call me Alex.

Are you solely located in the bay area? 

I'm currently living in San Francisco, raised in Stockton Ca. I love California nothing else like it. 

Tell me a little about your artistic background?

I've been drawing since I can remember when I was kid. Inspired by graffiti when I was in high school with my friends going out learning how to paint walls at the same time I was directed by my counselor to take advantage of the opportunity to learn graphic design. So after lunch period I went to a trade school for print technology learning digital applications, off set printing, etc. I then pursued graphic communication in community college and after some years of debate I finally took the step to go to Academy of Art University to learn how to grow as an Illustrator. Now I'm on my last semester ready to graduate and it all seems to have happen so fast but regardless Im ready. 

What originally drew you to create? 

I was inspired by cartoons when I was a kid, I remember one of my first drawings I was covering a piece of foil with crayons and then drawing into it with a pair of scissors exposing the foil. I remember filling in the surface with crayons so fast that I felt a burning sensation in my hand from rubbing against the surface, it was retarded fun. I drew a witch on a broomstick throwing ninja stars into the sky, I was a weird kid on many levels. 

Who are some of your major influences creatively?

I can go on for days with a list of great creatives but off top I say McBess, David Choe, Brendon Monroe, Seherone, SmitheOne, Saner, Sainer, Keng Lye, Caratoes, Pemex, CreatureBox, and all my dudes from SkillHouse Collective.

What inspires you to create currently?

Now a days I look at whats going on around me in society and interpret what I see. I also use my own personal experiences and feelings at any given moment to create it helps me make sense of a lot of things that going on in my head.

If you had to choose one piece, a piece you consider to be your "best" work, what piece would you choose and why?

Hard to say what's my favorite is but if I had to, I have one particular piece called the Priceless Knowledge which is a navel mine splitting down the middle with the pressure triggers attached to the brain's membrane. I think this is one of my strongest paintings because the mine is something I identify myself with in my art and concept is clear. The knowledge we gain can never be taken away from us and well protected deep inside our minds. 

Talk to me about the infinite collaboration – how did that come about and what inspired that collection?

The collaboration with Infinite was something we both wanted to do. I recently had an art show with my dude Pemex called Raising Hell which was a civil unrested theme as we interpreted our views of the recent events and the system that's meant to protect us seem to have failed. In the collab with InfiniteSFC my feelings towards authority is no different but my approach was with more saturated vibrant colors and graphic humor. I'm still poking fun at the cops by creating something with more of an animated humor like the pink sprinkled glaze covering the car and the donut handcuffs, I got inspiration from the Simpsons and tweaked it. So we displayed the original paintings in the store and also put some of the artwork on a shirt and coach jacket. They came out awesome. 

Can we look forward to more apparel collaborations with you in the future?

I have fun designing for apparel but be ready to see some home decor goods as well. A lot of great things to come soon.

5 years from now... 

5 years from now... I will be sharp as fuck, so watch your step.

Where can we follow or stay updated with your work and upcoming show information?

You can follow my work and all updates on upcoming shows through...

Instagram: SwollenFinger 

Snapchat: AlexanderSuelto AlexRephlex

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