Interview with BEARFACE

Hailing from the desert dungeons of Albuquerque New Mexico we bring you Bearface. Bearface has been in the art game for over 15 years, growing up surrounded by abstract artists and calligraphists in his family.

Graffiti has been a large influence in his style and he consistently uses a multitude of bright colors and psychedelic lighthearted subjects in his paintings. His signature character, the “Bearface”–a Sloth from the Goonies looking dude wearing a teddy bear onsie– stems from the idea that everybody has a soft side.

Bearface is also skilled in the ways of metal and woodworking, and would like to do more 3d sculpture type work in the future. He believes a big part of being an artist is doing work that matters to you and promoting yourself. “There’s more to promoting yourself than you’d think, but it’s one of those things no one will do for you but yourself. At least in the beginning”


Five Tips for Taking Photos That Don’t Suck

These days nearly everyone owns a powerful HD camera, whether it be on their phones, a simple point-and-shoot, or a DSLR. Everyday the internet is flooded with images from these different devices: selfies, our pets, our loved ones, maybe some quick snaps from a friend’s performance the other night. Unfortunately, a large number of these pictures suck. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that photography has made its way into our daily lives and I’m happy to see interest in the craft grow,  but  there’s some easy-to-follow  guidlelines to start taking your photography to the next level, no matter what kind of camera you’re using.

1. Adjust Your Lighting

505_71.jpgAll photography is based on light. It may sound obvious but this is the first thing you need to take into consideration when you set out to take a photo. Try to dentify a single light source, use natural light when available, and
avoid the built-in flash whenever possible. The technique for good lighting is diffusing it so  it’s soft and really gives a glow to your subject and doesn’t wash them out like a flash mounted on top of your camera would.



2. Compose Your Frame

Composition refers to the frame of you image and how your subject appears in it. The basics have been applied to painting it’s been around for hundreds of years. A good starting point is the Rule of Thirds, which are two imaginary lines running vertical in your frame and two running horizantal so as to create three vertical and horizontal sections of the same size. Then the idea is to place important parts of your subject onto these lines, this generally leaves  you with a more balanced image and a comfortable amount of lead room in each direction.

TMA Article

It’s also a good exercise in composition to simplify your subject. Make a decision as to what it is you’re taking a picture of then move with your feet to fill the frame with the elements you want.

3.Take Lots of Photos

After youSanDisk-introduce-an-SD-card-offering-half-terabyte-of-storage have a light source and an idea of how you’re going to compose your photos, start taking lots of them. Take your camera with you wherever you go, if people ask you why you have a camera with you, say “It’s to take pictures with.” and leave it at that.  Don’t leave it in the bag, invest in a comfrotable neck strap and bring it everywhere. Bring it to shows, try to get in free by telling them you’re the photographer for the night, sometimes it’ll work! After taking lots of photos try to sit down and go through them, which ones came out the best? Why? Which photos really capture the feeling of the moment or whatever it is you were looking for? Uploading dozens of photos tends to turn people off and make them less likely to look through everything you snapped. Take lots of photos but choose the cream of the crop to put on display.

Theory will only get you so far. There’s no better way to learn your camera and the techniques behind photography than by just going out and playing with all the settings and exposure levels.

4.Keep it RAW

This rule of thumb is especially easy to abuse today, with basically every kind of camera coming with preset filters and an Auto function. Resist the temptation! You must ask yourself, what would ODB do? You want to have complete creative control over your camera, so keep it in manual mode whenever possible. If your camera offers different formats to save files as, choose RAW.

RAW files store much more information than your typical Jpegs which gives you a lot more freedom to make adjustments to your exposure and color correction before exporting them to  a Jpeg. Although I try to make as little adjustments as possible in post. Each time you make an adjustment you degrade the image a little bit, this goes doubly for phone filters which rarely ever help produce better photos. Try to get the photo as close to perfect in-camera to save you the hassle of trying to salvage it in post.

This first photo was a little underexposed, but since I shot it in RAW I was able to correct the exposure before exporting it to a Jpeg to share with people.


When it comes down to it photography is just another art form, and with any art form the rules are meant to be broken. It helps to know what rules you’re breaking though is the thing.  No amount of study will make up for you not going out and taking pictures though. Just take a thoughtful approach, make decisions as to what you want before you snap a photo. Take your camera with you everywhere and take photos everyday. Setting correct exposure will start to click,  your eye for photography will get sharper, and your photo’s suck factor will be minimal!



Frank Liebert

Interview with FRANK LIEBERT

Frank Liebert has been painting and drawing all his life, but for the greater part of the last decade he’s been focusing on three mediums in particular: electroforming (essentially a metal-forming process by use of electricity), metal casting, and metal fabrication. He appreciates the sturdiness of metal over materials like glass. “Glass is fluid, you have to keep it moving, metal is more forgiving. If something isn’t working out the way it’s supposed to you can say ‘fuck this’ and leave it alone for a while then come back later and pick up where you left off.” Says Frank.

Frank takes the daily approach to his craft, trying to get into the lab to make something every day or at least every other day. In his eyes there’s two types of work he does: work where he’s trying to impress someone with what he makes, and work where he makes things just to make them. “Every 8 months or so I try to do something completely different”, Frank says. His motivation simply comes from the love of creation. “Creating something new, that wasn’t there before”. He has different phases of styles to his work, in his early stages he emulated other artists, but now he focuses on creating work that will get him noticed.

(DISCLAIMER: Frank doesn’t always go around dressed in yodeling outfits, this pic was taken at a Halloween party)


Interview with MUERTE

Today modern aerosol Graffiti seems very common. It’s difficult to walk down a city street in Albuquerque without spotting a tag scribbled onto a stop sign or a handstyle sprayed onto the back of a bus stop. With so many new artists filling their bags with paint to hit the streets everyday it’s an honor to be able to sit down and talk to MUERTE, an O.G in the New Mexico graffiti scene.

Muerte has been painting for the last 22 years, and steadily for the last 13. He draws inspiration from the New York graff styles, taking different letters from different boroughs and making them his own. He grew up in Santa Fe when there was only twelve or so other writers, but the town was just too small to paint. “People wanted to fight you if they knew you wrote graffiti too, and a lot of it was more gang related than being about the art.” says Muerte. So he moved to Albuquerque when he was 21.

Here he would meet Joe Lopez, he’d go spend time at Joe’s house and watch him sculpt and drink wine. Through Joe, Muerte would meet IRO, a graffiti writer that lived just around the corner. Iro would encourage him to paint every day, it was at this time his love and dedication  for the letters, creativity, colors and concepts of graffiti took off. They painted walls mostly, since back then you had to earn the right to paint trains. Soon he met Chale and Saigon, also influential in his graffiti career, pushing him to do more canvas work. Muerte would continue painting, and steadily built his name. In a good year he’d paint up to 120 trains which would then travel around the country spreading his name to anyone that might catch a glimpse. In his earlier days he wrote Rey, but after catching flak from other graffiti writers saying the name Rey was already claimed he decided to change it to something more unique. He chose Muerte because it’s in Spanish, and only six letters where most popular graffiti names are only three or four.

Muerte has seen the Albuquerque art scene change a lot over the years, “People are more excited and involved with art nowadays, which makes it more fun for everyone.