Hello, Artie here. Welcome to my first issue of “Artie’s Eight,” a new blog series spotlighting artists and photographers from around the country. I couldn’t think of a better artist to begin with than 11-year-old Austinite Beck Seitsinger or a better way to illustrate his passion for art than in a special edition video spotlight. Beck has Asperger syndrome (a form of autism). He struggles with eye contact and understanding basic social cues when interacting with others. For most of his life, other kids his own age have had a hard time relating to Beck’s lengthy anecdotes or artistic depictions of car logos, gauges and compasses, however, his latest creative theme has become a catalyst for a true connection with his peers. “Beck’s current love of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ is actually a video game that many kids play,” says Lee Ann, Beck’s mom. “So this passion truly has him engaging with kids his own age for the very first time in his life.” For Beck’s latest exhibit, he selected Wood Frame Profile 876 - Black (matte) 9440 to frame a few of his pieces. To discover his take on his own work, how he got his start and where he goes from here, keep reading.
Crayons? No thanks, Mom.
Before we get into the interview with Beck, you should know he wasn’t always interested in art. In fact, he refused to use crayons or chalk when he was a young child. It wasn’t until his mom, Lee Ann, bought him a package of markers that his interest in drawing exploded. He just needed the right tool for the job. The markers enabled Beck to indulge in his obsession with street signs, recreating them with precision in the bright colors that were a true representation. “With each passion, he will study everything he can about it so he can duplicate it to perfection,” says Lee Ann. “He will hyper-focus on whatever he loves in the moment.” His passion for art has lasted longer than just a moment in time and for many years beyond any other obsession. It might even be here to stay.
Cultivating the primal.
Beck’s art teacher, Carol Lee, compares Beck’s primal, intuitive style to the late graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. She also sees similarities with the gothic style of Tim Burton’s fantasy films. She tailors classes especially for Beck. “We do 30 minutes of painting: technique, wet-on-wet, collage, etc. Then 30 minutes of foam work,” says Carol. “The 3-D foam work is very natural for him, and we don’t know what that will lead to.” Like most artists, Beck experiences ups and downs when he’s working. “Painting makes me feel happy when it’s going like I plan,” he shares. “When it’s not how I plan, I get mad. But then it dries and I can fix it.”
Now for Artie’s Eight with Beck Seitsinger …
Watch Beck offer his artist insight in this special edition Artie’s Eight Video Interview.
1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I started when I was about three years old. I really liked road signs, like stop signs and yield signs. So I started drawing them with markers. After that I got into car logos. I would even try to do my homework in car logos but my teachers didn't like that. I drew them all with markers.
2. What are you working on right now?
A book about the scary legends of the timber wolf. But it’s a kids book, so I don’t want to make it too scary.
3. What has been a formative experience for you; what is the best advice you have ever been given?
Do your best! But my art teacher Mrs. Lee also tells me to take my time. I like things I can get done right away, but that doesn't always make my best work. So we usually work on a few things at a time.
4. How is your personality reflected in your work?
I only paint what I have a passion for usually. Right now I like almost anything scary.
5. What type of art do you like to collect?
Scary, or if it’s in the summer, sharks.
6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
I use hot glue and felt almost every day for my quick stuff. I usually make felt stuffed creepy creatures and using a glue gun instead of sewing is super fast and good.
7. What is next for you?
Photo negative painting. I’m also planning to be an author of spooky stories, and I am learning to use Worbla [a brand of thermoplastic modeling material] to create masks.
8. What is your favorite (paint) color name?
Of course it's black.
Off the Cuff with Beck Seitsinger...A little extra from the Artist
Beck's art has been featured in the following public shows:
2018, Dia De Los Muertos presented by the Round Rock Arts
2018, East Austin Studio Tour
2018, Uncanny Nocturnes Show at The Gallery at Atelier 1205
2019, Created to Create presented by With Love, The Studio
2019, Samo Lives exhibit presented by the Soma Vida Gallery
To see more of Beck's work, follow him at: https://www.facebook.com/beckseitsinger/
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT? Simply respond to the questionnaire here to apply to be included in an upcoming Artie’s Eight Spotlight.