Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 41. Brandon Boetto.
Brandon Boetto's in transition.
The Old Town Scottsdale-based concrete artist is in the midst of building a new office and showroom space for Slabhaus, his custom concrete company that specializes in sinks, tables, and furniture among other home décor items. While Boetto hasn't revealed many hard details about the fresh setup, he does estimate that the new spot will be finished up in about a month. For now, that means working at coffee shops to handle business logistics in the morning and then heading to the workshop to continue projects -- like the two conference tables he's currently working on for local architecture firms.
"From there, each and every moment of my day is filled with the sounds of saws, concrete mixers, loud music and lots of dust," Boetto says. "I'll eat dinner somewhere in that mix and then head back to the shop to continue working into the night."
Although the 32-year-old and 2012 Big Brain Award finalist is office-less at the moment, it's not stopping him from setting up major upcoming projects.
"I have two big projects in downtown Phoenix that will house some custom concrete furniture and bar tops," Boetto says. "These include a new public market that will be opening around November as well as a brand new music venue."
Once he gets settled in his new Slabhaus spot, we imagine Phoenicians will be spotting more and more of Boetto's concrete designs. And we're all for it.
I'm a third generation native of Arizona. I've come to love this state with every ounce of my soul. From the beautiful sunsets to the amazing weather (for 8 months out of the year), this state has a lot to offer. You just have to be willing to get out there and go look for it.
I make art because I love seeing the emotion that is caused by a piece of art. Whether it's negative or positive the fact that a piece of metal, concrete, paint, film can cause us to think in an entirely different light is pretty amazing. I also really love collaborating with fellow artists, it's almost like we can transport into a different world when we are deep in discussion and bouncing ideas back and forth.
I'm most productive when I work alone late at night. I will put on some Tycho or Onraand try to calm all the crazy ideas I have spinning around in my head. It tends to help me focus.
My inspiration wall is full of ads. I've always found great advertising to be incredibly thought provoking. I keep captivating ads and great graphic design inspiration around my shop at all times to consistently challenge my way of thinking. It helps me see the world from a different angle.When it comes to my own craft though, I try my hardest not to research all of the amazing pieces of concrete that people around the world are making in fear of subconsciously copying someone else's style.
I've learned most from doing. All the ideas in the world won't make you a great artist. Being willing to get your hands dirty and really work to actually bring those ideas to life is what makes you a great artist. Part of that process is acknowledging that regardless of whether you fail or succeed you will learn something new from every single piece of art that you create.
Good work should always evoke emotion. Your clients should smile, jump up and down, scream, cry, faint, or whatever it may be after seeing your work. If someone has a blank stare than you've failed at your job. The best work you can create will share a piece of yourself mixed with your clients' expectations.
The entire creative scene needs less talkers and more doers. I know too many people who complain about Phoenix and do nothing to help change it.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:
100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker 49. Kyllan Maney 48. Cary Truelick 47. Constance McBride 46. James D. Porter 45. Allyson Boggess 44. Abigail Lynch 43. Ashley Cooper 42. Jaclyn Roessel