WILD Profile: Joe Mcsween, Abstract Hermitist

Who: Joe Mcsween
Where he lives: Between Seattle and the Dallas area.
What he does: Artist

Joe Mcsween profile for The WILD magazine
Photo by Angela Dawn

What’s on his mind today:
I was just thinking about embracing America and all of it’s flaws, and how just saying fuck it let’s break everything that’s so much more satisfying than worrying about all her problems. I’m enjoying the lava slip & slide into the fiery furnace.

What he is currently working on:
I just finished a portrait of Bill Murray for a show opening in Seattle with a group of close artist friends and some other grown up graffiti kids.

The biggest challenge he has faced in life as of now:
In comparison to all the challenges other people around the world face, I would say my life has been pretty easy. I think for me it’s just been a struggle being an artist trying to survive, I mean I’ve been doing this because it’s who I am, and after so long just making art I wouldn’t really know how to do anything else. That’s the only scary aspect, but it keeps me on my toes somewhat. So it’s all or nothing. Knowing that if I stop painting and go have to work at a restaurant again or something, that would probably be a huge fail for me personally. I’d rather hobo around riding on boxcars. Things don’t always work out but when they do it’s a beautiful thing.

What would he be doing if he didn’t have his current occupation:
I’d like to make music. I have alot of friends that make music and I’m always singing when no ones around and thinking about if I could lay out the music in my head it would be an epic album.

His most striking moment:
When I’ve been painting all night and the sun comes up through my studio window and I look at a my work and it comes to life. It’s hard to explain but I go into a weird zone where everything I do with a brush just seams effortless like I’m not even controlling the process I’m like one with the Universe. I chase that feeling constantly.

Something to calm his nerves:
I used to smoke cigs while I was painting, but now I quit. So when I’m painting I still get this annoying anxiousness and want to smoke but, I just wait it out. For the most part I’ve just tried to keep my life as simple as possible to eliminate stress as much as possible. If I’m stressed It’s hard to focus on painting. I left the city to focus on painting and take a break from the craziness. I plan on going back once I’ve achieved a level of mastery I’m satisfied with within my work.

Where he finds inspiration:
I like babes hahaha. I call them babins. I have alot of girlfriends and they’re always doing photo shoots and stuff. I look at a zillion photos and build collages and ideas in my mind. Once it all comes together I push paint around on a canvas until it looks good. A lot of it is just a feeling I want to portray in a piece.

The WILDEST situation he has ever experienced:
Doing wizard dust off of boobs or boning on a rock in the middle of a fountain at night was pretty wild. I don’t know there’s too much. Let’s just say most of it I can’t even remember. That’s what friends are for.

What cracks him up:
I’m a big fan of comedians. I was just nostalgic for Chris Farley yesterday. I was thinking of the time he was the angry bus driver in Billy Madison. “I’ll turn this DAMN bus around, that’ll end your PRECIOUS little field trip pretty damn quick, huh!” Hahahaha.

His idea of happiness:
A gallon of Blue Bell ice cream and a pretty girl.

And love:
Haven’t found my other half, I’m a hopeful romantic.

With whom he would like most to go on a “ tête à tête”:
Whoa smarty pants, calm down. I’m still working on getting my grade 10. hmmmm, let’s see. How about that genie from Aladdin, that would be pretty rad. Plus I would get some wishes. After my wishes, I could pretty much tatêr tot with anyone I wanted.

What kind of movement he would want to start:
I’ve started a movement called hermit in a studio all alone and hopefully someone will notice if you work really hard. It’s going to be called abstract hermitism, as of right now, because I just made it up…

Who he sat with at lunch in high school:
I skipped all of my classes and sat in the student lounge called Room13 and practiced drawing all day with my friends. I’m still friends with a few of those fellas. My friend Elliot Bowman just dropped his first comic book wich I think is pretty cool cause we always used to talk about it.

A song to get pumped up:
I listen to alot of downers like Beach House hahaha. An upper would be a song called “Cos-Ber-Zam Ne Noya” by Daphni on there new album Jiaolong. I think it’s a dance music side project from one of the guys in Caribou or something. Pretty swell, nifty, great, grand.

Joe’s WILD Wish:
To catch a WILD Dish.

Joe Mcsween profile for The WILD magazine


Learn more about Joe here.

text by: Julia Lola Wang

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