100 Creatives

Phoenix Artist Bill Dambrova: 100 Creatives

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: 100. Bill Dambrova.

Bill Dambrova's having a blast.

That's how the artist describes his current state of creativity. Perhaps you've spotted his art. He opened up his 900-square-foot Bragg's Pie Factory studio space during Art Detour 26 and displayed work at the neighboring Frontal Lobe Gallery. His saturated explorations of innards meld a mad scientist aesthetic with a cartoonish element reminiscent of The Magic School Bus.

See also: "Through Each Others Eyes": A 25-Year Cultural Retrospective at Arcadia's Shemer Art Center

The artist recently spent time living off the grid in a solar-powered ranch near Northern Arizona's Roden Crater. That was after spending about 10 years in Venice, California. Now, as he gears up for a fall solo show at MonOrchid, Dambrova says, " I am thankful to be welcomed back to my hometown and grateful to be able to plug right back into the community so seamlessly."

I came to Phoenix with amniotic fluid coating my tiny wrinkled body.

I make art because I crave new images.

I'm most productive when I'm so busy I don't have time to over think or overwork a piece. If I have 4-7 paintings going at once I can get a flow going and watch the paintings make themselves.

My inspiration wall is full of other artists' work. All kinds from all centuries. Everything from abstraction to scientific illustration. There are certain works of art that have a "spark" or an energy within them that inspires me to create. When I look at those works I feel that the artist has unlocked the next level of understanding. I want my paintings to have that spark!

I've learned most from animals.

Good work should always raise questions and generate conversation. Great work will get absorbed into your subconscious and pop into your thoughts when you least expect it.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more doing and less complaining. I'm not talking about artists. There are so many artists in Phoenix making the work and doing their best to show however they can wherever they can. I mean the public. Especially the folks going around saying Phoenix has no culture or art scene. Its not just artists that create an art scene we need more supporters from the general public. Support local artists and galleries by going to as many art shows and openings as you can and tell the artists what you think of their work. Many art events and galleries are open all month not just first and third Fridays. If artists feel that they are producing in a vacuum and they do not receive a fraction of the energy they put into the work then they [artists] will leave or promote themselves in other cities that do appreciate them. This is what is happening now and has been for a long time.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski