Each member of Nuvango’s artist family brings with them an interesting backstory about how and why they picked up a pencil, brush or camera. We’re so excited to bring you an inside look into the lives of some of the artists we are lucky enough to work with, with our new Artist Intro blog series.
For our first Artist Intro feature, we have asked our friend Derek Prospero to field a few questions. I’ve been lucky enough to chat with both Derek and his lovely lady (Vimala) over the years and couldn’t be more excited to share his backstory with you!
Who is Derek Prospero and where did he come from?
The Bronx, baby! Born and raised. I lived in Florida for a while, which provided a contrasting perspective for which I'm grateful. But eventually, I found my way back to NYC where I now live and work. I'm of that last generation to grow up without computers, I didn't get one until I was a teen. By then I had some traditional art experience to pair it with. I really enjoy combining traditional and digital tools. I've worked as a commercial artist and creative director most of my adult life. I also spent a few years teaching graphic design at the college level.
Do you have someone/something that inspires you to create? Tell us a bit about them/it?
I'm inspired by just about everything, I'm lucky like that. I love the city, I love nature. I'm drawn to contrasts and juxtapositions. I especially enjoy old details, urban textures, technical fantasy and bold colors. I do a lot of cosplay photography which you can see on my website; I'm blown away by the dedication and craftsmanship I encounter.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Any day that allows me to make art is pretty ideal. My parents worked hard their whole lives and so did their parents. The act of spending entire days chasing inspiration seems like such a luxury that I'm incredibly grateful whenever I get to enjoy it.
Do you have any advice for up and coming artists?
I think people today are pretty good at researching things. The tutorials and resources are out there. In my experience as a teacher, the biggest obstacle people face is fear of making mistakes. This is why little kids are so much smarter than us, they screw up all the time and it's just play to them. You have to play and get your hands dirty. A clean, blank canvas can be terrifying. Try smudging it up a little first.
Bonus Q: A lot of us Nuvango Kids are as into music as we are fine art, do you have a fav soundtrack for your work day?
At one point I owned over 3,000 CDs, so that's a tough one to answer. Some favorite artists include Jimi Hendrix, NIN, Crystal Method, Peter Gabriel, MF Doom and Underworld. I'm all over the place.
We hope you fell in love with Derek a little bit more after reading this piece, we definitely did. Wanna collect more of his works on Nuvango? Head over to Nuvango.com to enjoy 20% off - but only until midnight March 27/16 (EST) - use code 'ARTINTRO20'.
XO Nuvango + Derek Prospero