A collection of illustrated album art
By Dave Van Patten
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your contribution.
Dave Van Patten: This is a series of album covers done for various Long Beach and LA psych rock bands, one psych band from Scotland, and oddly Les Claypool, who discovered the piece from a random art show I had in Humboldt. He happened to be touring through and liked it. I love associating my art with music, and especially a scene that I fully support and am inspired by. The west coast garage psych rock scene is becoming the most exciting scene in modern music, and it’s great to be the visual face of it. I always attempt to make my album covers epic with the goal that some people will buy the album just for the art alone then be pleasantly surprised by the music inside.
AM: What inspires you most?
DVP: I am most deeply inspired by stories, humor, and ethics. I feel like I cannot enjoy an art piece unless there is a story shown within it. I’m influenced by artists who create their own universes of reoccurring characters and places like the world in the Simpsons or Southpark. I tend to infuse my own crop of reoccurring characters in my work. Lately, there has been a lot of Abe Lincoln and Bigfoot cameos. Humor inspires my work because laughter is my favorite feeling–better than sex and basically everything. The occasion where I can make myself laugh from looking at a character in my work is the highlight of my day. I really like gross, pathetic looking characters and have a truly difficult and boring time whenever I have to draw someone good looking. Lastly, I’m inspired by “ethics” in the sense that I do hope for positive change. Obviously, the world is a packed-to-the-brim, shit-filled diaper, but I think making changes on the microcosm level is better than nothing. Thus, if a drawing of mine can comfort a bummed out person, inspire the imagination of a boring person, or whip in the ass a person who is a complacent pig, then there’s good coming from it, rather than adding to the shit-pile.
AM: What else can we expect to see from you?
DVP: I intend to stay busy in the music scene, along with company branding and mural work coming up. However, the greatest project I am looking forward to is a graphic novel collaboration with my favorite writer, Arthur Bradford. He's published a couple books of short stories that are really hilarious and twisted. I will be adapting one of his older stories, "Catface," into graphic novel form. It will take an extremely long time to balance the project in between other monthly projects, but I look forward to taking my time and putting humor and soul into the grimy characters in his story.
Dave Van Patten is a Long Beach based artist with a focus on acrylic paint, paper cut outs, and ink illustration. You can find more of his work davevanpattenart.com.