Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Original work by graffiti artist Zen Castillo featured in THE THREE LITTLE PIGS!

We recently had the opportunity to visit Zen Castillo's studio, the Milwaukee graffiti artist commissioned to create art for First Stage’s production of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS. Based on the original set designs by Scenic Designer Sarah Hunt-Frank, Zen created vibrant graffiti pieces, drawing on Milwaukee's neighborhoods and landmarks for inspiration.  After previewing some of his work, we can't wait to see the art and the set designs come together, bringing the world of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS to life. 


Artist Zen Castillo in his Milwaukee studio
Zen’s studio is located in the Lincoln building in Bay View. It has a beautiful view of the city and enough wall space to host Visual Warfare graffiti battles, a local graffiti competition Zen sponsors. In between photos and spray painting, Zen told us a bit about his work, his inspiration and the graffiti battles. 
FIRST STAGE:  What inspires your work/what did you draw on for inspiration while working on this project?
ZEN CASTILLO:  What inspires my work is the pursuit to evolve by trying new techniques and ways to apply paint to various surfaces.  I push myself to be innovative and utilize various geometric and mechanical shapes and forms throughout my graffiti style letter structures. 

For THE THREE LITTLE PIGS project I worked towards a more youthful, vibrant and energetic style while creating the background scenes for this play. Also drawing positive influence and inspiration from my hometown of Milwaukee.

FS:  How is working on this project the same or different than others?

ZC:  This project is familiar to me in the way it incorporates a traditional graffiti style that is legible and can be recognized by most viewers. It is different in such by painting the character's individual names in different styles and colors. This makes for an interesting and individualistic identity for each character.

FS:  Can you share a little more about the graffiti battles, the blog and how it impacts the community? 

ZC:
  Visual Warfare is a locally based graffiti competition held at the Emphcon studio. I sponsor and host local artists to go head to head in a friendly and positive graffiti competition.  These battles inspire, motivate, and give the graffiti community a safe platform and outlet to showcase their talent.  The battles are captured by video and are open for the public to vote for the victor on the emphcon blog site


FS:  When did you come into your current studio space, and how has it impacted your work?

ZC:  I have been at my current studio space for over two years now.  This is an amazing and inspiring place to create my art and also host the Visual Warfare battles.  I plan on hosting more battles and gallery events in the near future!





First Stage's First Steps production of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS will be performed November 1-23, 2014 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

1 comment:

Sarah Hunt-Frank said...

I am thrilled and honored to have an artist such as this to translate my design! He added touches that make it truly authentic! Truly honored!

It is going to be beautiful!