After talking to David Esquivel for the first time, I couldn’t stop gushing over him to everyone in the office, not only about his work but HIM. He is friendly, and kind, and deeply loyal to all the artists around him. I admire his spirit to stay in the art world even when the going gets tough. He’s reflective of his work and who he is as an artist. A thoughtful person with a kind spirit is rare in any circle, and seeing someone like him navigating the creative world is encouraging.

I have loved getting to know David, and continue to follow his world. I’d really love for him to paint a whole mural in my house 🙂 but for now I have my eye on this piece

Enjoy my chat with him and shop all of his work here

Tell us about yourself:

My name is David Esquivel. I’m a self-taught painter from Aurora, Illinois. I’ve been painting for 11 years now.

What kind of physical/mental space are you in when you create?

I’ve never been good with working from a plan, so I always go into creating with a set of intentions but without a vision. I try to get out of my own way as much as possible and trust my intuition will build whatever I’m creating on its own. If I have any expectations while I’m creating, it usually leads to tense, not-so-good work.

Is there a defining moment in your life that speaks to who you are as an artist today?

Deciding not to go to college. I don’t come from an art family, and I discovered art later than most artists I know. I was a good student and was headed to college, but I couldn’t get the money in time. So I decided not to go and try to build myself up as an artist. Coming up outside the traditional system, I felt forced to find my own path. Learning to live as an artist in the real world while learning to make artwork that was true to me was very tough and very stressful. Not going to college made me only look forward without an idea of a backup plan. It made me fully commit and be very sure of myself, even when I had no reason to be. Which is something that carried over into the way I paint.

You work with both neutral and bold colors. What inspires your color choices?

The composition ultimately inspires the color choices. The only constant is the beige of the background I like to use. I find that it has more depth than the white of the canvas. It conveys a sense of a vast space rather than emptiness. From there, the elements’ colors are all inspired by each other. I aim to create a dynamic relationship between the elements using colors that pull and push the viewer around the piece. Hopefully, inspiring new feelings within them.

How does storytelling influence your work?

It is a huge part of what I do. When I started figuring out art, I made myself practice really hard to be technically sound. I got ok with drawing realistically, but the work felt empty to me. So as practice, I started experimenting with using very simple elements and minimal colors to convey emotion, which eventually turned into storytelling. I think through paintings with the rhythm of telling a story. It doesn’t have to have a beginning, middle, and end, but I want to portray an expansive deck that people can feel even if it isn’t very apparent.

Tell us about your experience collaborating with artist Evi O.

I’ve been so grateful to work with Evi. She and I became really close friends over three years ago. No idea why we bonded, but we ended up finding we were the exact same kind of people in the most opposite way. She’s such a powerhouse in so many ways. Our coming up with this idea to collaborate on our shows was a huge step up for me in being a genuine working artist. I was isolated, working independently for most of my creative life. With these shows, Evi and I were stepping out with our paintings in a big way, showing what all our late-night conversations with big huge thinking were about. I’ll forever be Evi’s biggest fan, and I’m grateful to have been able to show alongside her. I’m also very grateful to Uprise Art in NYC And Saint Cloche in Sydney for allowing us to collaborate this way!

 

 What is exciting you right now in the art world? 

Right now, I’m excited to see all the art friends I’ve grown up with stepping into their own and doing great things for themselves. You mentioned Evi. She’s doing great things in art and design. I genuinely believe she’s one of the greatest creatives ever in the world. Sophie Vallance Cantor is an artist friend I’m always so inspired by, and I’m so proud seeing everything she’s doing. I highly recommend checking out her work!

Is there anything upcoming you want to talk about?

All of last year led up to the collaboration shows with Evi O, which ended last month. Showing in NYC and Sydney was a huge honor and took a lot of energy. My near future is me getting back into my studio and painting every day for no reason. I’m getting into experimenting with making things outside of paintings. Really interested in getting into sculpture as well as home goods and apparel. No set plans but a lot of big dreams.

 

 

david esquivel

Thank you, David! We can’t wait to watch all of your big dreams come true.

David Esquivel is open for commissions and you can inquire here

You can purchase his artwork here

If you enjoyed our convo with David Esquivel check out our other interviews here

 

 

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