Total transparency. Cool.
I work to share all of the information and experience I have acquired the past ten years making modern art with gunpowder, fuse and some creativity.
In that regard, I am starting work on a new book. "99 Lessons From Stick Vega: A Master Of Gunpowder Art". I will work on it his Winter when it is too cold to blow up things.
Here are 7 lessons:
1. Don't be afraid to light the fuse. Normally you have spent many hours to get this far. Lighting the fuse creates uncertainty and anxiety of what might happen. Once you light the fuse you are committed. You are going to leave a mark. You hope for the best and that your plan works, but you don't know how it will turn out. Be strong. Light it up.
2. Stand back far enough. Too close and you may lose control of what the artwork looks like. Too close and you may catch on fire.
3. Get close after the explosion. It feels intimate. You can appreciate all of the fine details. You are an active participant make this work. Scrape if off. Brush the debris. Smell the burn. Touch the texture. Feel the total experience. Your art will be better for it.
4. Create from your heart. Art without emotion is dead. Don't get too analytical (this it tough for a math major) and get preoccupied with composition and form. Use your intuition. You can always scrape it down and blow it up again. Trust what you see and that you will do the right thing.
5. Be confident and have faith. You are handling explosives for gosh sakes. Some people will laugh at you. Some people will ignore you. That is okay! This type of art is not for everyone. Others will smile and say, "Good work"! Believe in what you are doing.
6. Provoke your art. Interact with it. Poke it. Add some rocks or maybe a stencil. Add more gunpowder. Need more fuse maybe? You get to decide what to keep and what to blow up. This is active art. This is reactive process. So provoke your art, escape and be an idealist.
7. Don't be a slave to gunpowder. More gunpowder is more fun. Trust me, it is! But a bigger explosion does not necessarily make better art. Refined burn lines and the small explosion textures and color shifts will make your art special. So, think big, but work small. The details matter.
I hope these lessons help. Blow it up!
Artist Stick Vega studied mathematics and economics, earning a B.S. in economics from UW-Madison and an MBA from Edgewood College. He owned and was CEO of online apparel retailers WinterSilks and Venus Sportswear. However, upon selling the companies more than a decade ago he headed straight to his studio - The Blast Factory in Madison, WI - to create explosive, modern art with gunpowder and high-speed fuse. Stick's current work includes paintings, drawings, fusographs (exploded photographs) and writing. Please follow Stick on Facebook and/or Twitter.