As a first in the artist spotlight series, artist Kyle Mosher takes a moment to do an exclusive interview with Diary of a Perfectionist Wannabe.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Nothing like an ice breaker to get us going here! My name is Kyle Mosher and I am originally from Canada. I moved to the States when I was about 7. My entire family still resides in Canada and I go back and fourth quite frequently. I would spend part of my summer living with my grandparents going to hockey camp at Standstead College in Stanstead, Quebec until I was about 15.
I grew up in New England, but I’m currently residing in Charlotte, NC.
2. How did you get into art?
Being the only child of Canadian parents, art was never seriously encouraged. I always had a natural eye for being able to render though. I would draw a lot as a child, but stopped probably around high school when I made my varsity hockey team. The team was a very competitive Division 1 school. Our sophomore year we were the 7th rank public team in the US and were state champions. So I really had to focus on hockey. Don’t get my wrong, I loved hockey, but it got difficult the older I got and it really stopped being fun in University. I couldn’t stay healthy and my injuries started to take their toll on me, not just physically, but also mentally. I had to stop playing because of injuries. I had a lot of down time and started to read and reflect. I took a serious look at my life and made the decision I have too much of a wild spirit to make it behind a desk and I was too broken to do physical labor so I decided to leave the University I was at and enroll in an extremely traditional Fine Arts institute. My parents had no idea. I took a summer drawing class at a community college on my own dime and told the teacher, “I need you to condense 20 something years of everything I missed into this one class.” I then took my “portfolio” to the NH Institute of Art and somehow managed to get in! As I look back at it now, it’s pretty crazy. I guess it was just one of those things that was meant to be.
3. Having interviewed hockey players for the last 7 years, I know how hard it is to move your life in a different direction. Was it difficult to focus on an art filled life instead of a hockey life?
I was very resentful of hockey for a long time. Walking away was easy. I was really trying to separate myself from that person and that life. I wanted to be my own person and carve out my own life. I spent a lot of years searching for who I was without hockey. It was very therapeutic and allowed me to exorcise a lot of demons. I really liked the person that I have become. I’m proud of what I was able to do and I did it 100% by myself with no support. No one really gave me a shot doing this art thing, but I used all the negative energy to push me. I am definitely very mediocre in terms of talent with art, but my passion and drive is what has allowed me to become a full-time artist. I would describe myself as a 3rd or 4th round draft pick that just worked my ass off, ha! It’s funny because I have so many great memories from hockey. I traveled all over, won championships, lost championships, and formed a brotherhood with some amazing friends. [They’re] memories I’ll cherish forever, so I really miss it now. Looking back there are a million things I would’ve done different, but I’m comfortable with my life. I’m just grateful and thankful I was able to play hockey for as long as I did. I wish I could’ve done it on my own terms though without the pressures from my family.
4. What was the first painting you ever sold? How did it feel to sell that first piece?
I think the first painting I ever sold my mom bought, haha! Typical mother! The first painting I ever sold to a client was….not until four of five years after I graduated college. I spent those first few years bouncing around from one shitty job to another (the typical artist story). I actually stopped making art for almost a year. I had another life changing moment and decided I didn’t want to be another statistic, so I kicked my ass into gear and really started focusing more on how to make it as an artist. Life was very humbling after college. I can really appreciate now all the hardships I was dealt. It made me a stronger person, a more humble person, and definitely made me a better artist.
5. Where can people see your work?
Google: Kyle Mosher. Ha! Or you can go to www.KyleMosher.com.
6. How can they buy your work?
People can view the art on my website. If they are interested in purchasing a piece they can shoot me an email: Me@KyleMosher.com, with the piece they are interested in or I can send them the list of available pieces with other details. I also have a “Rent-to-Own” program, which, is an honor based payment plan that allows people to make a down payment, have the painting hang in their home, and they make payments at an agreed upon amount and frequency. Alternatively, I am currently accepting commissions, but there is a 2 month wait list.
6. What are your favorite pieces you’ve created thus far?
Such a difficult question! I hate this question, because I really love them all. The Kanye and Pharrell pieces hold a special place in my heart because they really set it all off for me. They are definitely 2 of the crown jewels in my collection and the pieces most people associate me with. My most recent series, Heist and Showroom, are really rad. I love the direction I went with those and had some major breakthroughs. I really can’t pick a favorite though!
7. What work are you most excited about sharing right now?
I’m working on an epic painting for Andrew Ference (captain of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers). I’m not giving away any other details other than it’s going to be epic! It’ll be finished in a month or so. I also befriended a really well known gallerist and art-critic based in NYC. He’s taken me under his wing and we are working on some really exciting paintings. Probably the most difficult paintings I’ve ever worked on. I say paintings, but we aren’t even really in that phase yet. I’m still in the planning phase of sketching and conceptualizing. I usually have insane amounts of clarity when it comes to my work, but he’s really pushing me, which, I love, and putting me in this uncomfortable space I’m not used to. The idea is create more dialogue, rhythm, and intrigue, and also more sophistication to my work.
8. Your work focuses on a lot of branding from hip hop artists to commercial items. Can you explain your appeal to these subjects?
I love pop-culture. I’ve always been really into music and I joke a lot about that being my real calling in life. Music really inspires almost more so then visual art does. I’m inspired by the stories I hear of musicians who “make it” so that’s why I like to portray them. I dig the “rags-to-riches” story as I can relate. More so the rags, not yet the riches, ha! Believing in yourself and putting your all into your dreams and overcoming adversity is a beautiful thing. In terms of the logo and branding, I started as a graphic design major when I was at the liberal arts university so graphic imagery also holds a special place in my heart. When I would work contract design jobs, companies always had these brand guidelines, which specifically stated, “DO NOT EDIT OR CHANGE THE LOGO IN ANYWAY.” There are 2 things about that which intrigue me: 1. I’m rebellious so immediately it’s like the forbidden fruit, and 2. I am very much drawn to the idea of taking well-known logos or branding and putting my signature look on them. I am my own biggest fan. 100% I love my work so to create a “mock” marketing campaign or a piece of fine art using my signature style is very much self-indulging, haha. Plus, I think these companies could leverage my signature style and learn a thing or two from this rebellious artist!
9. What do you do when you’re not creating masterpieces? What are some of your other passions in life?
I fumble around with music, but I am far from a musician. That would be an insult to musicians. I like staying active, go to the gym and such. I’m into fashion so I like staying up on that. I aggravated another major injury a couple summers ago playing pick up with my college buddies so I’m still saving to get my second shoulder surgery. I’d love to eventually start playing hockey again. I haven’t played in over a year, probably the longest I’ve ever gone without skating in my life.
10. Any exciting announcements or projects you want to share?
Lots of exciting things in the works! I signed a few NDA’s so I cannot go into anything specific, but I’m in talks with a few major brands to do some cool work with my signature style. The Ference painting is really rad and the new series I’m working on for the NYC gallerist is going to be really different from anything I’ve ever done, but still in line with my brand. I’m constantly working, always pushing myself, and always pushing my art. There is no Plan B so it’s just about finding ways to make it happen as an artist, but never compromising the morals I have as an artist or as a person.
You can find Kyle on Instagram and Twitter (@TheKyleMosher) and on his website.
For those who would like to purchase a Mosher painting or print, email him, follow him on Instagram and Twitter (sometimes he has flash sales), reach out to him and work a deal using his Rent to Own program, or you can commission a piece with him. You’ll find that the majority of artists out there are looking for ways to get their artwork out there, and they realize that not everyone can afford art. You never know what you can afford from the artist unless you ask. You’ll find a lot of times they’ll work with you to make their work more affordable for you.
You can read more about Buying and Acquiring Art here.