Meet the artist: Chris Wakefield

Current Hometown: Harvey

Where can we see your work?

The best place to start is my website: From there, you can follow me or buy my work on Facebook, Etsy, Society 6 etc. I have my work on display at Grain Bin Coffee on main street in Harvey, and have done several murals on buildings in Harvey as well. I also participate in art shows at 62 Doors Gallery in downtown Minot.

Do you have work for sale?

Always. I have a variety of original work, limited edition prints, open edition prints, note cards and I also do commissioned work.

In what media do you work?

I use acrylic, oil, watercolor paint, spray can, one shot paint. If it’s paint, I use it.

How would you describe your style?

I would say it is most accurately described as pop art.

Who would you say have been influences on your work?

Chuck Close, David Leffel, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, The Electric Company

Are there particular themes you like to explore in your work?

No. I just like painting. I enjoy color, so most of my pieces are very colorful.

What do you most enjoy about the creative process?

I enjoy the inspiration and the process of actually putting the paint to surface.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I got to be a kid during the ’70s and ’80s. I can’t complain, really. Compared to a lot of other places, the U.S. is a pretty great place to grow up. I grew up in a very visual and instantaneous world. I watched a crap load of TV, read comic books, listened to music all the time. I remember the very first music video on MTV, my parents buying our first microwave, my first Whopper.

I loved the good parts of being a kid, never wanted to grow up. Parts of me never have. I like to have fun, and don’t much like the responsibilities of being an adult. I was never any good at school or much else for that matter. I think that is why I like to paint so much. I get to just have fun, get lost in the color, no rules. It’s where I feel the happiest, like I’m doing what I was meant to do. I feel like I’m the luckiest bastard in the whole world doing somehting I love and making a living at it.

I have never thought much more ahead than what was in front of me . This has gotten me into a lot of trouble but lets me paint without fear. Making mistakes doeesn’t bother me. I have done that my whole life. I have screwed up my share of paintings, but have got a lot more up that work. I don’t follow rules well and try to break as many as I can when I paint. I think that is why my tearchers in college didn’t like me much. I wouldn’t do anything the way they said and then I would come in at the end of the semester with all of these great paintings.

Ever since I can remember, I have thought about art. It isn’t forced at all. It just comes out of me. I can’t help it. I have painted my whole life, nothing serious, just playing around. People ask how I decide on which colors to use. The truth is I don’t. I just paint. I can’t believe all of the stuff I have painted, because I really don’t know how I do it.

How do I define my work? It’s colorful. I know that, but beyond that, I want to manipulate the common and ordinary, to stand out from the crowd, for people to say, that’s a Wakefield. I want my work to be art, for people to love it for what it is, not to match their couches. I don’t give a damn about that. I like to tweak people’s noggins, get them to look at life from a different angle.