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Daily Inspiration: Meet Reb Dalton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Reb Dalton.

Reb, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
As a person, I was born and raised right here in Phoenix, Arizona. I am currently a college student, trying to balance school, work, and my passion to create. I am studying criminal justice, and I have an adorable but grumpy pet Pacman frog.

As an artist, I began by drawing, coloring, and cutting out little paper Pokémon to collect and play with whenever my Nintendo DS had to charge. From there, I would try as best as I could in grade school to draw realistic animals, like lions, dogs, or wolves; just because I thought they were all so cool. Then, in high school, I expanded from simple sketching and drawing to painting and screen-printing wrestling T-shirts, all while battling chronic illness and trying to stay at the top of my class. Now, I do all of that in addition to releasing my own zines, sculpting, collage, digital art, portraits, commission work, and art instruction. Throughout my whole life, I have used art to express myself, have fun, and depict things that meant the most to me; whether they were just things I liked, hobbies I had, or real emotions that I felt. However, as I have matured, I have learned to use art not only for myself, but to make other people happy as well. I want to use my skills to share the joy and relief that art brings me with others.

A person’s art and artistic journey can really say a lot about them, and I believe that art is a pinnacle both of human innovation and expression. As Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for.”

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey definitely hasn’t been a smooth one; from self-confidence to health problems, I have had to fight through a lot to get to where I am today.

I’m sure that every creative, at some point, has questioned the quality of their work or wondered if they should keep going. I know I have. There’s been so many times where I wanted to quit doing art because my pieces didn’t turn out as good as I wanted them to be, or because I just couldn’t get the hang of a new medium or technique. However, I know that chasing absolute perfection is unrealistic, and that imperfection has its own kind of beauty. The best art is that which is most personal to you and which makes you the most happy, so I instead choose to embrace every minor flaw as a learning experience and something that makes it unique to me.

I have also had to struggle with chronic illness- as I mentioned previously- since I was about 15 years old. My hands and knees used to swell up and hurt so much at the joints that just holding a pencil to sketch with was impossible, let alone stand at a canvas to paint. However, I had to fight through the pain, because I often felt that art was the only way I could express how I felt about my current situation. Most of the time I painted through tears; the bones and joints in my hands would be screaming at me to put the brush down and stop, but my mind needed to keep going. I was angry, despondent, and most of all confused; what had I done to deserve any of this? I had to get it all out somehow; therefore, much of my personal work from my teenage years was raw, dark, and gloomy. I do not dislike or shame anything that I made during that time, but I am glad that- as I am recovering- my style and the genres I am branching out into with my commission work are becoming more uplifting and positive again.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am most known for my custom clothing commissions and my paintings, but I am most proud of the fact that I can do so much more than that! I am also well-versed in zine making, drawing, screen-printing, clay sculpting, digital art, charcoal, and collages. I specialize in drawing and painting simply because I have worked with those art forms the longest, but I have completed commissions in just about every other form as well. I have also created flash sheets for tattoos and designed four personalized tattoos, including my own!

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
What I love most about Phoenix is the feeling of community that exists among creatives. I have been blessed to receive so much support and love from fellow artists, writers, photographers, designers, and more; and it truly feels motivating. Our scene has so much talent and potential, and I think it deserves a lot more recognition.

The only thing I dislike about Phoenix is the summer weather. I greatly prefer colder temperatures to hot ones, and monsoon season brings out unholy amounts of mosquitoes.

Pricing:

  • art classes: $30 per person for a 3-hour session
  • rebd0-z1ne: preorder now for $10

Contact Info:

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