I took the time out to interview an old homie of mine that has never been afraid to express himself through music, art and fashion. I feel as though his art is so dope and unique that he deserves this interview along with more attention and recognition . Estevan Brilliantes, a native from South Sacramento/Elk Grove has been in the spotlight for in Estevan’s words his “rebellious, controversial, emotional, intelligent and anointed” art work. I hit up Estevan a few weeks ago expressing how dope his art was and how I would love to interview him. He was down for it so I sent him a few questions about himself as an artist, his influences, his fashion, his prescriptive on the art world and much more. You can also check out a few pieces of Estevan Brilliantes work below…
1. Where are you from and how does your city/state have an influence on your work?
A: I’m from Sacramento, CA. South Sacramento/Elk Grove area. The capital city. Being from Sacramento definitely influences my art. Elk Grove is more middle class so you get a mixture of of all different cultures and backgrounds. I’m a legit fan of the youth and the creatives in my city as well as the Bay Area, especially San Francisco, and Oakland which I spend a lot of time in. My early music was inspired by the hyphy generation and Bay Area artist like Mac Dre, Too $hort, E-40, Mistah FAB, Tupac. In high school I was influenced by A collective called Fly High that was based out of North Sacramento and I admired how they operated together and had the clothing and the beats, & rappers, they were peers that were the big homies to us. A large percentage of the the kids are creative or at least appreciate art or music in Sacramento; Like even the nerds, and white people, and suburban kids knew the slaps and hottest record at the time. All the hottest brands and what’s new. Being cool in California is being yourself to the fullest extent. I love people in California, those kids live in the future.
2. Where do you currently reside and how does your current city/state influence your work?
A: Right now I’m in Austin, Texas! Working on this new brand and working with a producer. I just did a art show out here at a Southwestern University and have met some designers at UT Austin so I’ve just been getting a lot of love as I been traveling through the south. I’m going back to So Cal in May so I’m just creating and expanding my audience everywhere I go. It’s a blessing.
3. When did you begin drawing? And when did you start taking it seriously?
A: I always drew as a kid, but more seriously around 12, I started drawing collections of clothing. Summer days just playing outside and coming back in hella dirty and drawing while watching the newest Pharrell videos. Once I got my first shirt made with one of my images on it I fell in love with it.
4. How would you describe your art?
A: Rebellious, controversial, emotional, intelligent, anointed. It’s hard to describe its a lifestyle and a story and even I don’t know what I’m gonna create next sometimes or where I wanna go with the painting, or the beat, or the melody, or the collection. My art is very daring and I think it holds weight because it’s very honest and conceptual in a lot of ways. I use different art aliases and release art or music under another alias that doesn’t necessarily have a face or gender attached to it. It allows me to have different audiences for different genres and concepts. For instance, some people might not like one project created I produced and then really love a song I put out under another alias and like it. So it’s all about opinion and perspective when it comes to what I create sometimes for myself. I might get away with more and get more appreciation for a song if people don’t know I made it but if I get a pop singer from the UK to sing my songs on my beats it might appeal to a different demographic and do numbers ya know? I just find my strengths and compliment whatever I’m working on to make the best possible product. And I think my versatility allows me to reach a wider audience than other artist my age.
5. Why should people care about your work?
A: I think people should care about having a opinion of my art whether it’s the music, or designs. I don’t care if people love or hate my music but I want them to be curious about it and always have a strong opinion of it. I think that’s what art is about, and for my fans to watch me grow and be inspired as I’m inspired by this life. I am the voice of the young generation and I’m bold enough to capture and speak for the people who can’t or won’t tell their story.
6. How do you feel about the art world currently?
A: I’m proud of my generation and the legends that are still creating and being inspired by this new digital era.
7. What do you plan on accomplishing with your work? What are your goals?
A: I plan on living all my childhood dreams like I told myself I would, taking care of my family, serving my purpose down here through creativity and innovation, and interacting with God’s people and the inhabitants of this Earth.
8. Where do you get you’re inspiration from?
A: Like I stated earlier Pharrell was one of my biggest inspirations as well as Michael Jackson, Puff Daddy, Jeremy Scott, Kanye West, Taz Arnold, my dad and my older brother. I get a lot of inspiration from the young generation and the artist in my generation.
9. A lot artist have a good fashion sense, how does your fashion sense relate to your work or does it?
A: Yea fashion relates to my work because I started designing clothing at 12, and I had my first clothing brand at 14 when I was freshman in high school. And sophomore year I started falling in love with music more and writing music and I ended up getting best dressed in high school my senior year. I was always in the loop with fashion blogs and all the illest gear so to be designing a luxury skate brand is my dream and it’s just the beginning.
10. Do you think artist get the attention or appreciation they deserve?
A:I think people see artist for their work sometimes and their personal lives that artist allow them to see and they don’t understand the process and what people go through for them to create that. In a sense I feel artists get their appreciation but I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for.
11. How do you feel when people often say “painters/artist and etc..” if not a real job, and the pay is not good?
A: I just tell people your job is whatever gets you paid and there’s no guidelines to providing for your family. Just good and bad ways. If you’re creative it’s a gift, and the person saying those types of things is usually miserable and not satisfied with their career or financial wealth so I don’t pay it much mind.
12. Who are your favorite artist? Past or present?
A: Basquiat, Picasso, KAWS, George Condo, Murakami, Travis Cuellar, Cognescere, those are my favorite.
13. Where can people check out your art?
A: I actually just made a Instagram which is lownewranger and my music is available for stream via http://soundcloud.com/sunymoon
I use tumblr also which is http://directedbyestevan.tumblr.com