Sean Hemak

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


I was born and raised in eastern Michigan.  I've always loved the west coast and dreamed of moving to California.  so when I had the chance to move out west I landed in Portland Oregon and never moved on.  That was twelve years ago now.  I love it here!



What initially drew you to drawing pretty pictures?


Kindergarten.  We were all taught to be artists as kids. Somehow when we grow up society flips its view backwards and tells us that an artistic career is juvenile and financially a bad decision.  That's not true.



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


I grew up in a midwest rural neighborhood, so the idea of skating in nice parks or a paved street wasn't a reality for me.  Plus it was bad weather 80% of the year.  I lived by a gravel road on a giant hill and there was only one time throughout the year I could skate by my house: late summer, and I'll tell you how. After the long winter spring was marked by dumping fresh new gravel on country roads so that cars and trucks wouldn't get stuck in mud after the winter thaw and the addition of new rain coming in.  In early summer the roads weren't wet anymore but they were still plagued with plenty of gravel.  About mid-summer the road would start to loose some of the gravel exposing soft dirt that would soon dry from the harsh sun and turn to dust.  it's about this time when the neighbors start calling the city to complain about all the cars kicking up the dust that would dirty the front of their houses and enter their homes through the windows.  Note: there's nothing worse than sitting in front of your t.v. on a hot, sweaty, 95° day with about 95% humidity and all the windows open only to have a giant cloud of dust come in.  The city's response was to spray the roads with oil.  It kept down the dust and was cheaper than adding more gravel.  As late summer drew neigh the oil compacted the dirt.  With the blazing sun it also baked the gravel flush with the earth creating a sort of "poor man's" asphalt. This, of course, was THE time!  The only sweet spot for skateboarding known to man on a hilly, midwest, gravel, country road. I'll never forget the fond memories I've had cruzing down that hill with the neighbors all rubber-necking out their windows with perplexed looks on their faces. It was a truly unique experience.

Who is your favorite artist, living or dead? 


There are so many good, inspiring artists, and my favs switch from time to time.  My most current infatuation is 1960's-70's Weirdo Art, Ed Roth and Basil Wolverton.



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


Observing any sort of process or nature mostly.



Who are your biggest influences?


Primarily the society we live in, what we value, our ideas, the rules, what we are willing to accept or throw away, social structure and what we tell eachother reality is.  My heros are people who are able help society to precieve all of these things differently, and for the better.



What mediums do you enjoy working in?


In general I hate mediums. They get in the way of manifesting the original idea for me.  The longer I have to wait for a medium to respond, or the more it distorts the initial intention the more frustrated I get.  So I mostly work in whatever media that will restrict me the least.  I like pen & ink as well as digital mediums.



Anything else you want to tell?


For the ArtDeckCo show I wanted to do something that was reminiscent of my first skateboard when I was a kid which featured Rat Fink by Ed Roth. I loved all the bright colors and the gross monster-themed art that seemingly fit my attitude toward skateboarding at the time