1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Austin. Don't ever plan on leaving. Partly because my family is here and partly because I love it here.
2. What was your childhood like?
Perfect in every way. The best, most supportive parents ever.
3. What inspired you to begin creating art?
I would draw every once and a while when I was younger, but it wasn't really a "thing" up until I decided I wanted to tattoo; I was about 18 then. When I decided that I wanted to tattoo I turned into a total recluse. All I did was draw and paint tattoo designs. I knew it was possible to make a living off of it if I hit it hard, so thats exactly what I did. The whole tattoo thing didn't work out, but once that fell through I thought I could make it on my own.
4. Who/what inspires you on a daily basis?
I look at inspiration rarely these days and don't really have "reference". Waking up with a big cup of coffee, music blasting, and a blank page is plenty inspiration for me. That said, my work is HEAVILY inspired by traditional american tattooing. I just take it my own route. I'm sure all the stuff I see over Instagram makes an impression on me. Everyday life is pretty god damn inspiring. Turn both "bad" and "good" situations into inspiration and fuel for work. Used to keep it pretty safe with your general tattoo imagery but now I'm starting to say things (at least a little) and it's a lot of fun.
5. What are you most proud of?
The fact that I'm making a living (albeit a modest one) off of my work. All the time I spent drawing in college instead of partying or whatever.
6. Why block printing?
I'm a huge fan of metal, especially doom metal and black metal (though less black metal these days). Doom and black metal bands use a lot of woodcuts for their CD covers and shirts, and that's honestly the main reason. It's referencing that. That said, there are so many reasons why I think block printing works well with my imagery. It forces me to stay simple, there'll always be errors (which makes it folksy), it's handmade and hand-printed, it's something to sell, etc. I make my designs on the computer which often results in something a little too perfect. I get to satisfy the perfectionist within myself when I design on the computer, but if I make a "mistake" when I'm cutting linoleum I genuinely think it helps the overall aesthetic.
7. Top 5 songs on rotation in your playlist right now.
I don't do songs. I do albums.
1. Brian Jonestown Massacre - Thank God for Mental Illness 2. Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg 3. Church of Misery - Houses of the Unholy 4. Moss - Sub Templum 5. Earthless - From the Ages
I could go on and on. If I don't have good music to listen to I can't stand to be inside working.
8. What's in your garage?
2000 Sportster XL 1200 - My daily commuter. Got some plans for it. 1975 Sportster XLCH 1000 w/ 1980 motor (XLH). This has become a project though I didn't buy it expecting it to be. I've learned a ton working on this thing and once I sort out these intake and exhaust leaks it'll be good to go. It's close, but I've been saying that for a while now. ;)
9. What's next for Denton Watts?
I'll be experimenting with some other media soon for sure, but the imagery will remain much the same. Slowly easing my way into type... Just crossing my fingers things continue to grow.
Denton Watts must be like 150 years old. That was my first thought when I came across this Austin born artist's work. How else could someone have such a curious view of the world, as presented through his artwork? He's actually a pretty young guy, but his soul has definitely been around the block a few times. His lino cuts are full of simple, strong images that tie in folklore, religious icons, mysticism and tradition. All presented in a style reminiscent of tattoo flash art. Each piece feels like there should be some folk tale, or novel even, behind it. And maybe there is. However, those are things best left to the imagination.
We're excited to present this new Summer Featured Artist Collection from Denton Watts and Iron & Resin. Check out the Q&A below and a few images from hand printing the Flash Poster.