Text: Alex Durán
Hoyote is a visual artist who incorporates pop culture elements into his craft to create his own style he refers to as surrealistic psychedelia. Born in El Paso and currently based in San Diego, CA, Hoyote is a featured artist at this year’s Neon Desert Music Festival. We spoke with him about his art, style and inspiration.
What inspires you to create?
I’m inspired to create by a lot of different things. However, I think the 2 things that stand out for me is the ability to translate something from my subconscious mind to a tangible realm that I can share with others; the other is endless experimentation without fear of failure. The fact that I can manipulate my observational interests keeps me in a satisfied loop.
Creating things gives me peace of mind and if I can help others find an outlet to create through my work, that’s also very satisfying. To me being able to do this kind of work produces a very natural high within myself that I hope can help others find a similar place that I know exists within us all.
How do you describe your style?
For now I would describe my style as surrealistic psychedelia peppered with pop elements. I like to create by playing with illustrating over some of my photography or images I find as a base for my work. Then I have fun deconstructing and re-applying hints of futurism, nature oriented aesthetics, as well as incorporating cinematic framing. I don’t particularly achieve this angle with all of my pieces since I’m constantly being pulled from my world into commercial realms with clientsm, but it’s the trending pattern I’m noticing that keeps surfacing.
Is there a unifying theme throughout your work?
At the moment this has been a bit of a challenge for me because for a long time I didn’t want to fall into a certain “style” and be pigeon-holed into a super definitive category for however long that formula keeps working. However, on the other side of the coin, it’s kind of vital for the general public to be able to recognize your work from a mile away so that everyone agrees that this is who you are. I remember an interview from Bruce Lee where they ask him what kind of fighting style he primarily chooses, and he pretty much states what I mentioned above.
Also to be honest, I feel like I still need to keep developing myself as an artist and hone in on a specific practice I want to invest a large portion of myself. I’m still learning new practices and mediums which are fueling my creative process into a new territory so that experimentory mindset excites me for the bigger picture ahead.
Does the culture around you influence your art?
The culture around me influences me to some degree. One quote from Nina Simone that I really like states that she believes it is “an artist’s role in society to reflect the times,” thus allowing another window of perspective or incite into critical thinking in a language everyone can understand. At this stage in my career, I’m primarily influenced by those in my close circles. As far as society goes around me, I don’t feel comfortable in pushing any agenda at that level for the time being until I know exactly what message I want to get across. I currently just want to develop an energetic healthy safe haven for other young aspiring artists to latch onto and help foster creative growth or a healing escape.
How much of your personality is expressed in your craft?
I feel like bits and pieces of my personality subsequently find themselves in my work. At the end of the day, I feel like there needs to be an honest part of me in the work. Having an ambivert personality allows me to balance my subject matter with either a high energy color palette or busy composition. I think I try to aim for controlled chaos.