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Logan Hicks: Stenciling Over Criticism

Stencil artist Logan Hicks chats with us about his "crackhead" work schedule, travel as brainstorming, and weeding out the shit-talkers.

Logan Hicks is a stencil artist with an obsession and love for the grit of urban landscapes. Hicks left college to start a screenprinting business, and after a move to San Diego left him without access to the equipment required to continue printing t-shirts for “lame” companies, he found a love for stencils. Now based in Los Angeles, he finds himself sustained by shows, commissions and what some may consider a fairly insane scheduling philosophy.

Hicks has found one of his greatest obstacles, creatively, to be critics who seemingly have no basis for their commentary. “For me the biggest frustration is weeding out the shit-talkers, and the people that are actually committed to getting things done. It seems like everywhere you turn there is some person with a mouth who has no hesitation using it. For me, it has been a challenge to find the people that have the hands to back up what the mouth says.”Like many self-described workaholics, taking time to defocus actually allows him to relax and enjoy the creative process. “I have never had a problem staying focused actually. For me the challenge is to actually relax and not be so focused on work. I just work through things. That continual ebb and flow of ideas is how I learn, and somehow in that mix of binging and purging ideas I find the ones that are most consistent to my aesthetics.”

When we asked about how he fits so much work into his days, we were met with a rather surprising answer: “If you could only spend a day with me you would see the irony of such a question. My tip is to stay awake 24 hours a day and work like a crackhead. That’s what I do, and it has seemed to do the trick. Not saying it’s the most healthy approach to a healthy lifestyle, but so far I haven’t found a way to get everything done and maintain a balanced life.”

My tip is to stay awake 24 hours a day and work like a crackhead. That’s what I do, and it has seemed to do the trick.

His work has allowed him to travel the world which, in turn, has helped him infuse his art with even more inspiration. “Travel is easily the single most important thing in my work. In the past couple of years I have had the fortune to see the world under the guise of showing my art. It is a bit of a weird dynamic when I travel though. I will work like crazy for a while, then be eager to travel to kick my feet up and relax. But then when I travel, I accumulate so many ideas that I can’t wait to get back home. I guess it is a classic ‘grass is always greener’ case.”Hicks describes his artistic philosophy quite matter-of-factly. “[My mission is] just to make art that has some integrity to it. To produce work that has a work ethic behind it, and to make work that is well-thought, well developed, and worth looking at. Who knows if others see what I do in my work, but I would like to think that I can make people stop for a minute and rethink their surroundings. To look at the dynamics of urban life in a slightly different way.”

Good old-fashioned tenacity and refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer has been Hicks’ main recipe for success — one that that he highly recommends. “I succeeded because I became oblivious to the reasons why I shouldn’t succeed. At the end of the day those that are meant to succeed will find a way to do so, regardless of what I (or anyone else) says, and regardless of the hurdles they face.”

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