behind the brush with FEDZ

Welcome to Behind the Brush, where we offer a peek behind the curtain through the voice of talented artists within our community. This week, we’re chatting with Fedz, the Californian-turned-Chicago-transplant who’s helped us make an impact with some of Chicago’s most beloved sports teams, like the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Fire.

There’s few local, Chicago professional sports teams that you haven’t worked with. From the Bulls, Bears, and Fire, your artwork has been leveraged and spotlighted for some of the city’s most beloved teams. What’s been one of your favorite memories over the years as it relates to working with these iconic, global, sport teams? 

I would say that anytime working with one of these teams is always a special memory. Seeing these projects come to life, from working with the design teams to producing it on a wall, is an amazing experience.

When creating, do you rely on any consistent themes or patterns or does your artwork always shift and change depending on the client and project?

My style of work is very dependent on specific color palettes. I’ve been lucky that these teams branding guidelines often fall within those reds and blues that I use most of the time. Overall, I try to emphasize the client’s message when it comes to the actual design.

What type of feelings or emotions do you feel you’re most often trying to convey through your artwork?

That would depend on the piece. For the most part, I prefer giving off an intense feeling in most of my pieces through the use of vibrant colors, whether it be the energy of the crowd or a portrait of a serene animal. Either way, the pieces always tend to have a red and turquoise/blue palette. 

​​How have the environments you’ve grown up in and been a part of shaped your artistic journey? Are there any communities that stand out when you reflect on your growth and development as an artist?

I’ve been surrounded by many supportive family and friends, if it wasn’t for the push and support they gave I probably wouldn’t be as committed as I am now. I know Chicago has always been that place in my heart that gave the artist in me a chance, especially the Pilsen neighborhood. They’ve made me feel like one of their own whenever I work there. Being surrounded by a diverse group of artists has been inspiring and has definitely helped me grow.

Chicago has such a rich and unique art scene. Being from California, what’s it been like to integrate yourself in the 312? What’s your perspective on the community here?

To be honest, I wasn’t much into art when I was in California. It was just something to pass the time over there or to just calm myself. It wasn’t until I moved here that certain people throughout my high school years pushed me to take a step further and build on it. For the most part, the Chicago community has opened many doors for me that I am grateful for.

Your artwork isn’t limited to walls or canvases and can be seen in packaging across popular breweries, cannabis companies, and coffee shops. Do you have any tips or insights for artists who’re looking to break into more brand-focused projects like these?

I’ve asked many peers this question, and most have said the same thing. Don’t restrict yourself from learning new things/mediums. Don’t focus on a style. I feel like that’ll come to you naturally. Just grow as an artist and reach out to companies that you’re interested in working with. Take a chance and learn from it.

Even the best creatives and artists can hit roadblocks. Where do you look for inspiration when you’re feeling a bit low on energy or creativity? 

Whenever I hit a roadblock it’s usually from burning myself out. I tend to take a step back, analyze how I got there, and focus on something else like sculpting or vice versa. Everyone deals with it differently. Go to shows, see what other artists are doing. That usually kickstarts that “I’m falling behind and need to catch up” mentality.

What was your biggest takeaway from this past year?

My biggest takeaway this year would be working larger scale. Painted my biggest wall in Lafayette, Indiana a couple of months ago and I am pumped to do more work like that. Definitely showed me how to approach larger-scale projects more comfortably.

What’s next for Fedz? Are there any new mediums, platforms or types of projects you’re hoping to secure for 2024?

I can’t say what’s coming in the next year but I’m definitely committing more time to wall projects and personal work for a potential solo show. The grind don’t stop.

Tell the people where they can follow you and keep up with your journey!

You can follow me through my Instagram. @FEDZART is the handle.

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