Call Me Patches

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Sean, 1978-

“My art, my entire life is based on my art. First it was an interest, then it was a passion, and then an obsession. I can’t imagine my life without doing any artwork or something creative.”

My name is Sean, everyone calls me Patches. I am an artist, freelance artist. I am also a free spirit, and like to say the word ‘free’, he smiles. I make patches; have been doing it for six years. Before that, I did various things. Regular canvass work, like the guy right there, he points at a young man, a few feet away on the sideway, painting on canvass. I did canvass work, I did murals, I did comic books. You name it, I’ve done it, artistically-wise. I have done many things in my life, I am very fortunate and blessed.

The patches started by accident: I was in Venice beach and one of my friends moved to the Bay area. At the time, I was doing canvas work, and so he left me a bunch of canvas. There were small scraps of canvass, and since I don’t like the waste, I started drawing on them with a Sharpie marker. I made one and was looking at it, and thought, ‘That’s a patch! It looks like a patch!’ And some woman randomly walks by and says, ‘Oh, cool patch!’

In Venice beach there are a lot of vendors. We share ideas, we talk to each other, actively trying to make each other better. I kept showing it to the other vendors, and made a few of them. They sold more than my other artwork, and after a week I said, let me try and make 50 of these. I made 50 patches, and sold them all in a week. So, I thought I might as well start getting more creative.

These are my patches, he points at his collection. Most of them are $3 each. I make them out of denim, acrylic paint for the color, and a black Sharpie for the lines, so they don’t leek, they don’t fade, they don’t wash off, they don’t scratch off. The ideas for the patches just pop into my head.

That is what I enjoy doing most. My art, my entire life is based on my art. First it was an interest, then it was a passion, and then an obsession. I can’t imagine my life without doing any artwork or something creative.

By the way, I’m reading about Genghis Kahn. Did you know he fanatically loved artists, engineers, and everyone with a different mind? Whenever he raided a place, he’d get everyone together and separate them to groups. He’s ask, ‘who’s the artist out here?’ And I’d be in that group. He’d take us and find something for us to do. ‘Paint my wall’ or ‘be my advisor’ because artists always have this different kind of mind.


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