CHRIS D.O.G.T CHATS WITH TD // BACK CHAT
Earlier this year we discovered an exciting individual via the waters of Instagram. Chris Collins is not only a crazy bearded bloke high on life, but also co-owner of a unique art gallery, 'Defenders of Good Times' over in Oakland CA. We had to find out more... Here's an interview from earlier this year..
How would you describe yourself as a creative individual and how have you balanced work life with this life choice?
Growing up I had no creative outlet. I was told that art was not my thing and for some reason I listened to that. So the majority of my life has been nonstop input, observing, studying and admiring from a spectators point of view. Now that I do make art and am constantly creating and releasing all of my ideas I realized that there is no balancing passion and work. They have to be one in the same so I have allowed creativity to consume my life. I've accepted the struggles acquired with what I have chosen to do artistically and learned from my hardships so I can adapt to the craziness of living poor and free. Making what I need instead of working for needless wants.
What are your inspirations / motivations?
My main inspiration is life and all of the crazy shit that I have seen throughout my years. I have gone through an endless list of lifestyle changes and feel that I have lived through them all in order to find myself. I am for the most part still as lost as I ever was, which I think allows me to remain inspired. I have also been surrounded by images that give me a tangible source of inspiration whether it's skateboard graphics, album covers, tshirt designs, comic books, toys, stickers patches, pins, architecture or nature. I just constantly see things that spark ideas in my head and make me want to create something that can spark ideas in others. My motivation is the desire to be a part of life and effecting people's minds so that they realize they are not alone and can relate with other weirdos and to brighten people's view in a world that's clouded by mass media and emotional burdens.
What is D.O.G.T?
Defenders Of Good Times is an open minded, open submission art collective that gathers artists at a round table all on the same wall based around the idea of no rules and no expectations in any medium and subject matter. This allows the artist to show an honest display of their creativity and artistic expression with no restriction and no avenue of acceptance. Everyone is accepted in this movement, no matter the individuals personal actions, lifestyle decisions, experience in "art" or status in the art world. Someone's first doodle can have as much of an effect as someone's masterpiece that they have spent years creating. Not to downplay people's hard work but there will always be someone that appreciates or understands what it is that you are doing, even if it's as simple as making someone smile for a second. What you produce effects the world in some way.
Why did you create D.O.G.T? / Do you feel there is a lack of opportunities for creatives to exhibit their work where you live?
I have seen so many discouraged artists that have personally impacted my life and stagnant people that don't create because they feel like what they make serves no purpose and is just "crappy" and honestly some of the work that I have seen by rookie D.O.G.T artists has left an awesome impression in my mind and made me apprectiate the simplicity of honest release through art. I want people to feel understood and appreciated for their productivity. No one should be looked down upon by people more experienced. We are all just expressing our love for the things we consider good times!
Has there been any tough obstacles for you whilst setting up D.O.G.T?
D.O.G.T has been filled with endless obstacles and struggles, which I cannot imagine will slow down anytime soon. There is no perfecting this, it is a collective of over a thousand artists run by myself and one other person, Kiki. This was all started from nothing, just an idea with no financial backing or prior knowledge of the art world and how things are supposed to be done. Every day is just another set of lessons learned. Basically I have no idea what I am doing so D.O.G.T as a whole is an obstacle.
Why do you think people submit their work to D.O.G.T and are there any boundaries?
I think artists submit to the collective because they understand that it is a positive movement. Our purpose is to encourage people to be themselves and share their honest creativity with eachother. We are in this because of our passions, what we do is for everyone, they are all as much apart of this as we are. There are no boundaries or limits to D.O.G.T. It's an ever evolving idea and movement.
What are your favourite submissions / anything someone has done in support of D.O.G.T?
My list of favorites could go on and on. There are so many incredible artists and pieces of artwork involved here that they are all kind of my favorites. There has been so much amazing support from people all around the world that is unseen that I could write a book just on the kind words and actions people have shared that make this all possible.
What are your goals with DOGT's future?
The main goal with D.O.G.T is to never slow down. We will continue to grow in every avenue and aspect of what we do. Especially finding new ways for everyone's work to be seen and appreciated. The integrity of this movement is what is most important. It is simply what it is and that's what it will remain. We will continue pushing new ideas and trying new things but in the end...what you see is what you get.