100 Creatives

98: Brandon Gore

When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. 

We're talking painters, writers, sculptors, designers, architects -- Phoenicians who are digging into the local scene and adding their own creative elements. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives. And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella

Brandon Gore  was born in Arkansas and raised in Alabama.He moved to Phoenix in 2000, for a girl, and stuck around after things didn't work out. In Phoenix, Gore taught himself how to build a house -- piece by piece -- and in this process, he discovered concrete. 

Gore experimented, worked with Buddy Rhodes, the modern father of the artisan process, and learned how to mix, pour and construct sinks, counter tops and tables. He now creates high-end furnishings and architectural elements with concrete, wood and steel out of his Tempe studio

I came to Phoenix with ... naivety. I was 21, I sounded like a hick, I had
no idea what I wanted to do, and the scale of Phoenix scared me -- seriously, I didn't drive more than a mile from my apartment for a few weeks in fear that I wouldn't find my way back (this was pre-GPS days).

I make art because . . . I can't work at Starbucks. I would throw a caramel frappuccino at someone on the first day, guaranteed.

I'm most productive when . . . the city is asleep. My favorite times in the
studio have been summer nights, late, 2 or 3 a.m., when the hot winds are howling and the sky has an orange hue, and there is this energy in the air. No phone calls, no emails, no 'stop-and-chats', just pure solitude and the energy of a desert wasteland. It's nice.

My inspiration wall is full of . . . motivational letterpress posters and
hand-painted signs that say things such as 'I let the bullshit blow in the breeze', and 'My mother's always stressing I ain't living right'.

I've learned the most from . . . my failures - how cliche, but it is true.
They say it takes 10,000 hours in any trade to become a master, I have 33,000 hours in mine and counting. 31,000 hours of that were spent banging my head against the wall.

Good work should always . . . work within the space it is intended to live in. A rookie mistake I am guilty of is designing first then demanding the space conform. I now work backwards, starting with the space -- ergonomics and functionality come first, design is what is left when the piece is stripped to its minimal form.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more . . . funding and encouragement from the city - artists improve blighted areas, but I'll be damned if a methed-out broke-down warehouse, surrounded by the walking dead in south Phoenix isn't $2.1 million dollars these days - REALLY?! Where are the artists supposed to work? I spent this weekend driving around the industrial areas around Downtown. It appears that the city has seized hundreds of lots, demoed the structures and put gravel and placed 'NO TRESPASSING' signs on each. I am dying to build my own studio - it would be a landmark structure to be sure, but there isn't any affordable land, yet everywhere you look there are empty lots owned by the city. It's enough to make me want to move to Tucson.

The Creatives so far ...

100: Lara Plecas

99. Isaac Caruso

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton