Emmanuel Hele


Where were you born? Year, Country, State. Where do you live currently


I was born in Dallas, TX, in 1979. I've lived in Portland, OR, since 2006.



What initially drew you to drawing pretty pictures


I have no way to answer that - drawing is something I've always done.



Who is your favorite skateboarder, living or dead? Any ties to skateboarding


I can't name a favorite skater. I've gotten to know some talented kids along the way, but I haven't really been around the scene since the '90s. A few years ago I bought myself a deck and realized that I've forgotten how to fall, so I stick to snowboarding now =P



Who is your favorite artist, living or dead?


There are so many absurdly talented artists out there, it's hard to know where to begin. If we're talking painters, Joe Sorren and Josh Wigger. I get my mind blown on a regular basis though.



When you're not creating amazing works of art, what do you enjoy doing



I'm pretty much always working with my hands. If I'm not drawing, tattooing, or building something, I'm making food, growing food, foraging for mushrooms, or gathering found objects for future projects. Beyond that, there's exploring, hiking, snowboarding, trains, the odd festival... Whatever I can cram into the time I have!



Who are your biggest influences


Walt Disney was one of my biggest influences growing up, as well as Dr Seuss and Will Vinton. As a teenager I idolized MC Escher, HR Giger, and Aaron Cain. These days I'm influenced by such a vast array of artists working in such a vast array of media, it's real hard to pinpoint who's coming through where. Honestly, music probably drives my art more than visual art ever has.



What mediums do you enjoy working in?


Tattooing is my day job - I'm a resident artist at Martian Arts Tattoo Studio - so these days most of my time goes to tattooing and drawing. I'm also beginning to wrap my head around watercolor. Culinary art is my bound concubine. I've had pretty serious flings with djing, bronze casting, oil painting, acrylic painting, photography, collage, and assemblage. They all make appearances in my work from time to time.


Anything else you want to tell?


Kill your game system. Kill your iPod. Kill your smartphone. Kill your social network. Kill your TV. Come out and play.