Holden Mesk is a creative designer residing in Asheville, North Carolina. Splitting time between illustrations and collage art, Mesk properly satisfies the two routes zig-zagging within his skull. While his illustrations are minimal, brightly-colored creations, his collage pieces are intricately layered and deeply hallucinatory. It's great to browse through Mesk's social media channels and see the contrasts between worlds that his mind creates each day. Along with a plethora of quality art, be sure to check out the interview with Mesk below, where I spoke with the recent college graduate about his history with both mediums, his participation in an upcoming art festival, a handful of mockumentaries, and yes, a song about garlic bread.
How has 2017 been treating you so far?
It's been a dream! I graduated college back in May and I've just been chilling and being creative as much as possible.
How long have you been taking your art seriously?
Great question! I've been into doodling and cutting up paper for as long as I can remember, but it was only back in 2011 when I made a conscious effort to take my art seriously. It all started with my handcut collage work! I began going to thrift stores and antique shops on the regular and collecting as many vintage magazines as possible. I then posted my creations to social media and loved all the feedback/connections I made and the rest is history.
You tend to split time between illustrative work and collage art. Do you have any additional styles?
Right! So like I said, collage work was the first incarnation of my art that I really focused full force on. It was actually only towards the end of last year that I put more focus on my illustrative work. I really only stick to those two forms of creative expression, although every now and then I like to mess around on GarageBand and make sick tunes. I did one track about garlic bread last year that currently has over 300 plays on SoundCloud and I am pretty stoked about it. Hopefully I get sponsored soon by a garlic bread company and strike it rich so I can buy a jet ski.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
The biggest news is that this month I am participating in an art festival downtown called The Big Crafty! I'm so excited to actually start getting prints, stickers, pins, etc. made so I can start selling my work! Once that event is over, I am going to open an online store so all the cool peeps in Asheville and beyond can own a creation of mine. Besides that, I have a whole bunch of killer collabs lined up with some amazing brands that I can't wait to see come to fruition. Oh oh, and my girlfriend and I are finally taking some time for ourselves and going on vacation!
What's the art scene like in Asheville?
It's super awesome and inspiring. I've made some great connections with fellow local artists and it's so neat to be in this little hub of creativity that exists in the mountains of North Carolina. From tattoo artists to photographers to musicians, there are so many solid people here in Asheville that are totally slaying the game. I really do enjoy living here and being surrounded by them all!
You tend to keep your drawings simple. Has this always been the case?
For sure. Minimalism plays a big role in my life and in my art. I love keeping it simple and making people feel all sorts of feelings with just a few lines and colors.
What are some studio essentials?
For me it's all about my surroundings and the vibes that are present in my workspace. Since I work from home my space is exactly how I want it with lush houseplants and chill furniture that speaks to my soul. Nice headphones are a must too! Gotta have music. Oh and La Croix. Lots and lots of La Croix.
What have you been listening to/reading/watching as of late?
Music is hands down my favorite thing ever, so forgive me for listing so many artists. But lately I've been cycling through a steady listening stream of The Obsessives, Superbody, Denzel Curry, Kirin J. Callinan, Hoops, Joey Bada$$, Alex G, Prefab Sprout, Andy Shauf, Dam-Funk, and Mild High Club — also super excited for the new Toro Y Moi album!
As far as books go, I haven't actually read anything since I left school. I wanted to give my brain a break from the constant storm of textbook reading that I was subjected to! That being said, I recently picked up a graphic design manual for restaurants that's from 1991 and its blowing my mind. Oh and I finally got my hands on a real deal vintage copy of American Trademark Designs!
I just finished up watching the greatest television show of all time. It's called Nirvanna The Band The Show and you need to go watch it right now. In addition to that I'm all about Nathan For You and the My Brother, My Brother, and Me show!
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
My advice is to not get bogged down in what other people are doing and to just go out there and do what fulfills you and speaks to you. If the art you're doing makes you happy and you're having fun then keep at it and the rest will soon follow. Be persistent and don't give up!
Any final thoughts / words of wisdom? Thank you!
Shout out to my girlfriend, my parents, my lil' bro, my friends, and all my followers on Instagram -- I greatly appreciate all of your love and support and am forever thankful to each and every one of y'all. Also big thanks to you for having me for this interview, I really enjoyed it! Peace. <3