Egg on my face, Tyler Spangler

Tyler Spangler is a digital collagist artist based in California. He has a BA in Psychology and is an Art Center College of Design dropout. He ran a punk venue for thirteen shows and worked for lots of brands like Nike, Hermès, Facebook, Chanel, etc. He is an obsessive worker and loves diving in subjects and experiments. He is always at 200% into things: since 2011, he’s been creating 2 new pieces every day! The diversity of his work is a reflection of his boundless creativity and his dual personality. He confesses being at the same time full of positivity and anxiety, resulting in a mix between works full of enthusiasm and others quite dark. He also loves merging together vintage black and white photography with colorful and contemporary universes.

How would you describe digital art?

“Digital art is all works that are made completely on a computer. It’s a radically different way of producing art because with painting, drawing, or sculpting, there are always happy accidents and imperfections. With digital, the work is very precise, you can always go back, correct things to have something perfect. With analog art, there is no turning back. I try to balance this aspect by not trashing anything I do. Even if I don’t like a work, I keep it anyway.”

What made you decide to do digital art? What motivates you to explore new media?

“I was first attracted to physical collages. I was always digging into magazines to find materials for my collages and after a while, it just got very messy. So I decided to learn how to replicate this technique using photoshop. I like how quick I can work with this tool. I like the instant side of it because I feel I can execute my ideas and share them faster. The internet is also a great material because you can find very inspiring images that are ready to use.”

What are your tools as a digital artist? What is your technique?

“I use Photoshop 95% of the time and Illustrator sometimes. I also use databases for stock imagery. I’ve been working on typography lately and I love that!”

What is your background? Did you follow a specific training?

“During college I studied psychology. At that time, I wanted to be a therapist. In the meantime, I was always making art, creating flyers for friends and for music bands and other stuff for my personal enjoyment. I realized that that’s what made me the happiest so I decided to give it a shot. I started to study art in LA and took classes of graphic and photoshop but the school was not very modernist. I realized it did not fit my personality so I dropped out and started my career as a freelance artist in 2012.”

What are your sources of inspiration?

“I love listening to music, zooning out, and looking at photos online to get inspired.
Another great source of inspiration is philosophy and I guess it has something to do with my anxiety. I’ve been reading a lot on stoicism in particular and I’m very interested in their theory that every situation is natural, and that you just have to accept things as they are. I am also very interested in Buddhism and I often practice meditation.
I am also fascinated by the 60’s and the 70’s, especially by punk music and punk style, and by the flyers that were made at that time. There was so much energy and life in it.
When I create, I don’t have a precise plan with the message I wan’t to convey. I let my subsconcious driving me. It’s like a catharsis because you take all your sensations, your feelings, your inspirations and get it out in a creative way.”


A sample of his work

Escape, Tyler Spangler

“You never know where life is gonna take you. Life is crazy and there is no straight path.”

Wired, Tyler Spangler

“On your computer, every action is documented. You can have the feeling that everyone is watching you and that you are deprived of your privacy. I wanted to contemplate the anxiety it can bring.”

Through space and texture, Tyler Spangler

“This work is the creative expression of the feeling I get when I’m at the beach. I’ve done it after surfing while I was very inspired by the mists of the waves, the feel of the sun on my skin. It’s a sensation of freedom and wildness.”

Any advice for the aspiring artists ?

“Make something everyday. Experiment. Even if it’s not art, just try to make something new. it’s not good to wait for ideas to come. Force you to sit down and go through your brain to see what you find in there.”