David Zimmerman is the artist behind Bigshot Robot, and yes, he is just as cool as you would imagine. His art is fun and loud, and stepping into his studio is like looking inside his mind. Not only does David create paintings and murals, but he also makes prints, cards, pins, patches, and all sorts of art that's totally attainable for everyone. Honestly, who couldn't use an original "Party Butt" enamel pin?
Check out my Q&A with David to learn more about him and his art:
My Midwest Is Showing: How would you describe your style?
David Zimmerman: In one word, playful. My work explores humor, color, and imagination, and I’m not afraid to follow an idea down a dark and winding path.
MMWIS: How do you create your art? What medium/s do you use?
DZ: I generally start everything by sketching on paper. My favorite tool is my pencil, but I function in a couple different mediums depending on the type of work. While painting, both live and in-studio, I use fluid acrylics along with acrylic paint markers and sometimes felt tip permanent markers. If I’m screen printing, I’m using water-based inks, and if I’m working digitally I’ll scan in my drawings that I’ve traced and inked, then manipulate further using a Wacom tablet.
MMWIS: What's a normal day like for you?
DZ: Finding a balance between contract and commission work and personal work.
Wake up, fly out of bed. Make coffee, drink coffee. Drink more coffee. Check emails, check in on projects. Respond to emails. If a project necessitates action then I will work on that from the home base. Otherwise I might head over to the studio, a short mile bike ride. Flip on some tunes and let the sketching happen or jump back into a project or piece.
MMWIS: Where do you find inspiration?
DZ: Word play, pizza, unique faces, funk, butt jokes, existential meandering, etymology, kinetic energy, sexuality, improvisation and fantastical stories.
I find there to be a huge importance in being playful and embracing weirdness. A lot of the work I do is intentional and often representative, but I find great joy and comfort in exploring and improvising as well as experimenting with new mediums.
MMWIS: Do you have a favorite piece you've ever created?
DZ: Picking one is too tough, so I’ll choose one from each medium. My favorite shirt I created is the “Wide Awake” tee, my favorite large scale painting I did was a mural on the wall of Hot Pop! called “Space Babe” and my current favorite live painting is the “3 Birds.”
MMWIS: When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
DZ: Around about my second year at university studying architecture I started discovering printmaking, photography and graphic design which reignited my love for drawing. It was about this time I started creating art and products in my spare time between work and classes in addition to taking “the business of art and design” classes. This all lead to the realization that art as a career could be a realistic and inspiring direction in life.
MMWIS: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
DZ: The road to this point has been paved with a million little steps, but the most recent and important accomplishment was leaving my advertising job to run my own illustration and design studio.
MMWIS: What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?
DZ: Currently reading Moonhead and the Music Machine by Andrew Rae and listening to Skylar Spence, Coast Modern, and Moullinex.
MMWIS: If someone was visiting Wisconsin for the first time, what would you tell them to do first?
DZ: Of course the Midwest metropolises have their amazing restaurants, music venues and vistas by Lake Michigan, but I would truly suggest packing some camping supplies and venturing to the dunes by Kohler Andrea, kayaking down the Kickapoo River or exploring the forests as far north as you can.
MMWIS: Favorite thing about the Midwest?
DZ: The people. Out of all the places I have traveled in this country, Midwesterners aren’t afraid to lend a helping hand or work hard.
MMWIS: How does your Midwest show through your personality and/or what you do?
DZ: I’ve been told my work ethic is very Midwestern. I’m just happy I found something I love to do.