Artist in res­i­dence

Crit­i­cal mass The Bos­ton-based artist loves to sur­round him­self with images, mod­els and ac­tion fig­ures. It’s a mael­strom of in­spi­ra­tion

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Since col­lege, I’ve sur­rounded my­self with walls pa­pered in art, mag­a­zine pages and post­cards. I’ve felt most at home when bar­raged by hun­dreds (or thou­sands) of images, all com­pet­ing for my at­ten­tion in a steady din. I’m an im­age junkie float­ing in a sea of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion to the pic­tures, mod­els and ac­tion fig­ures, over the years I’ve been lucky to be able to col­lect small art­works from friends and col­leagues, which sur­round me while I work. I think of them as a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of their in­flu­ences on me.

My stu­dio is set up at the back of my loft res­i­dence in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts. When I jumped ca­reers from ar­chi­tect to il­lus­tra­tor in the mid 1990s, I bought my first Mac. Over the next few years, it be­came an in­te­gral part of my process, so it makes sense that my stu­dio is built around my com­puter cock­pit, while giv­ing me the op­tion to bust back into paint-sling­ing when it suits.

I tend to pile up things I don’t know where else to put, so there’s very lit­tle hor­i­zon­tal sur­face left to use. Typ­i­cally, my desks will be cleared only when I need them for a project, but I do even­tu­ally get to some crit­i­cal mass, and a (roughly bi-an­nual) purge.

Most of the time the mael­strom is con­tained in my densely packed 13x14ft stu­dio. But I trans­form the liv­ing-room space

at the other end of my loft into a photo stu­dio oc­ca­sion­ally, when my very pa­tient wife is at her day job. I like to walk her to work in the morn­ing as a way to touch base and start my work­ing day. If I didn’t need to in­ter­face with other peo­ple, I’d prob­a­bly sleep till noon and work well into the night. Dave de­railed his ca­reer as an award-win­ning ar­chi­tect to have more fun mak­ing images. Visit www.dav­esee­ to see his gallery of book art, film and video game con­cepts, and more.

Small art works by friends and col­leagues look­ing for a spot to hang ; an elu­sive project that I’m per­pet­u­ally look­ing for­ward to! En­velopes for taxable re­ceipts wait­ing to play their part in Tax Hell, play­ing an­nu­ally in the first two weeks of April. My euro-comics and graphic nov­els col­lec­tion, ban­ished to the stu­dio un­til I fin­ish build­ing a ma­hogany book cabi­net. Un­paid bills to re­mind me to keep work­ing, when other mo­ti­va­tions don’t seem to do the trick. A sloped draw­ing ta­ble, cabi­net, book shelf on heavy duty cast­ers.

Big-ass Ho­ma­sote-sheathed sloped wall easel, hinged at the top to ac­cess stor­age be­hind. It’s 6x8ft, but the bot­tom tray flips in flush for floor stand­ing can­vases. Yup, I like to build stuff. Imag­ineFX mag­a­zine on (not in) a trash can. No guilt by as­so­ci­a­tion in­ferred, but a small pedestal-like sur­face on which to de­lay its fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. A sil­ver sax­o­phone frag­ment – be­cause it’s gor­geous. I love beau­ti­fully made ob­jects in var­i­ous states of ne­glected nat­u­ral de­cay. I fell in love with high-end genre stat­u­ary and some­times get lucky when clients I’m work­ing for send them to me for ref­er­ence use… then let me keep them. There aren’t a whole lot of perks in this job, but that is one of the best.

My main stu­dio is the back por­tion of a down­town Bos­ton loft space. The front of the loft is our liv­ing room and I have two roll-down nine-foot- wide back­drops for pho­tograph­ing mod­els against.

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