Artist Highlight: monstergallery

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JoE from monstergallery on Etsy is an awesome artist that evokes retro fun and adventure! Plus the man quotes T. S. Eliot (my favorite modernist!) in his interview... but don't let me get ahead of myself. Many of these prints are printed on recycled newspaper. Be sure to check out JoE's blog here for more...

1. Tell us about yourself. Why "JoE"?I started making art as a hobby and selling them on eBay before I discovered Etsy three years ago. Etsy has allowed me to take my hobby into the next level, and I'm now working towards being a full-time artist, primary working on printmaking. My real name is Joseph, and most people know me as Joe, which is a pretty common name. So to differentiate myself, I began signing my name as JoE on all my work when I began selling my work on eBay and Etsy.

2. In your profile, you talk about bring art to the masses. How do you go about doing that? I grew up reading a lot of comics and my childhood ambition was to be a comic book artist. Discovering the work of pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol let me see the possibilities of merging comics and art together. I have always believed art should be accessible to the masses, just like comics and other forms of popular media do. Etsy allows me to do exactly that as I do not have to worry about the costs of hiring an agent or paying for expensive gallery space, thus I could make my art affordable to everyone. I have buyers from countries even as far as South Africa, Bosnia and Chile!

3. Where does your motto, "Art for All, and All for Art!" come from? The motto comes from Alexandre Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers, whose motto is "One for all, all for one". Isn't it T. S. Eliot who said "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal"?

4. What inspires your work? As I mentioned earlier, I was brought up reading lots of comics and watching lots of cartoons on TV, so I was basically a pop culture junkie! I guess that shows through my work.

5. If you were an animal, what would you be? I would want to be an Okapi. I think it would look good as a print!

6. What's your favorite color?If I had to choose one color, it would be black because I think it is a color that can go with any other color or stand alone on its own.


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