By Monica Morones
I get to meet a lot of local artists who catch my interest with their varieties of artistic expression and one artist I like in particular is Fred Warzecha III. Humble, appreciative, and extremely talented, this artist is amazing with an airbrush and his wearable art has people placing orders from all over the country. To be multi-talented in many different artistic directions is truly a gift and one that I believe WARZart was blessed with. He is 37 and was born and raised here in the valley.
MM: You go by the name WARZart. What does it mean and how did you decide on that name for yourself?
FW: Well kind of a back story… I’m dyslexic and a few of my close artist friends started calling me “DERF” Fred backwards as a joke and it stuck. As I grew up one of my new artist friends and someone close enough to call my brother Ryan (MOTEL) Campbell knew the story and said your all grown up now and have been through and seen a lot in life and we need to change your name… and WARZ came to be, It’s still something that is a part of my name just like DERF, which is important to me cause it’s still part of my name and who I am. And some know me as WARZart and well we need social media now days to get out there and “art” was added. WARZ is who I am and art is what I do.
MM: How did you get into art?
FW: Well it all began at the age of 2-3 yrs old drawing under the coffee table that I had growing up, which my parents still own to this day and will never part with. But really I have always had some sort of drawing utensil within reach growing up. As I got older I took every art class I could and drew or painted on everything I could from class work to well not so legal walls. I was inspired by everything.
MM: Did you go to school or are you self-taught?
FW: I have gone to College of The Desert and The Art Institute of San Diego. I have my A.A. in graphic design. But I would say I’ve been mentored more than taught as it seems like my art professors pushed me in style or being technical.
MM: What type of artist would you classify yourself as?
FW: If I had to put a label on it I would say a realist. I draw or paint what I see.
MM: Which artists have inspired you the most?
FW: Chuck Close, Drew Struzan, Cory Saint Clair….In the valley: Ryan MOTEL Campbell, Steven Pabst, La Maniaca, Chris KAS Sanchez, and MOE.
MM: Do you prefer one media over the other and why?
FW: I do… I love my Airbrush. I’ve been airbrushing off and on for more than 20 years and just started getting really serious about it 4 years ago, to the point that it’s all I paint with unless it’s my shoes. I got back into it as a form to make good side money painting helmets or getting in to the art side of automotive. But talk about some competition and just starting out and not having a name let alone any work to show. Then I started learning how to draw and shade with it more and more to the point that I started seeing how realistic I could get with it. My pet peev with this whole airbrush thing is people asking ‘can you paint some shirts for my kids sports team… or can you do the stuff like at the fair?’ That’s a Nope and a nope, just because I airbrush doesn’t mean I script write. If you saw my handwriting it’s a cross between a Graffs hand style and that straight edge stuff architects do, (laughing) plus I hate painting t-shirts, hated it in high school and still hate it today.
MM: You also have the ability to create awesome custom designs on shoes and sneakers. How did you get into that?
FW: A lot of people started asking me could you or would you paint on my shoes because of what they saw going around on the web. I kept pushing it off not wanting to do them, until I painted a pair for myself and a little more than a year later I have close to 100 pairs painted and scattered across the U.S. So it became a little side business for me. We’ll see where this next year takes me some with new things I’m trying out that I haven’t shown or told anyone yet so you will just have to wait and see what comes next.
MM: Where have you shown your work?
FW: On the feet of my beloved shoe customers, trust me I appreciate them fully. Venus Art Supply in Palm Desert, and The Hood Bar and Pizza for my live art events.
MM: What do you think of the art scene in the Coachella Valley?
FW: It is growing every day and it is strong. So many talented artists I have met over the last few years, and it’s diverse: abstract, realism, objective surrealism, and photography.
MM: What do you think we can do as a community to improve it?
FW: Support the artist in the community. Also as artist to artist we need to support each other if we want certain public art to pass we need to let our cities know that. When we support each other in the art community we can all draw inspiration from one another and push each other to become better.
MM: What would be your ultimate goal as an artist?
FW: To be respected as an artist… to give back to other artist as others have done for me, and to be known as an artist.
MM: What do you feel is the ultimate root of your inspiration is as an artist?
FW: Well when it comes to shoes I like to see things very technical. For my airbrush work it sheer beauty… not sure how to say it any other way than that.