You’ve started off as a balloon artist, you are also classical guitarist and a comedian. What was the moment you’ve realized you’ve wanted to become painter?
Sean: My grandmother Marion Urquhart taught painting in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. I always thought at some point I would paint. I was forced into learning to draw while I was performing as a balloon artist. I would make Princess Elsa and try to draw the face. Go to my website theamazingseanb.com to see what I mean. Instagram is also full of my examples.I learned that if you can draw Pikachu’s face just like the kid expects it to look you will do well as a balloon guy. I also have a YouTube addiction; I can easily spend twelve hours learning some drawing or painting exercise or creeping through somebody’s life story. As of late I’ve been studying psychology on there, I can diagnose you for five dollars.
Tell me more about that.
Sean: YouTube is the best thing that ever happened to the world. For the first time knowledge is truly free. You only need the desire to learn. If you would prefer, we could learn something together then practice on each other. How about face tattooing?
What does a typical day look like for? Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture?
Sean: Before covid-19 most days were busy with balloon stuff. I had five gigs a week, the phone was ringing constantly with pop up parties. Now nobody wants a guy who blows up balloons with his mouth. People use to be impressed by my lung power now I’m a public health risk. After covid-19 a regular day is me complaining to my dog about the state of the world. I do try to paint or draw daily. What else am I going to do?
Why did you choose acrylic as your medium?
Sean: I chose acrylic because my mother who abandoned me, painted with oil. She pronounced it like earl. I had a tragic relationship with her. Because of the memories I have of her turpentine smells like abuse. Mineral spirits smell like fear, the sound of metal tubes bouncing around in a wooden box feels like anger.
John Myatt the famous art forger used cheap acrilic to fool art historians. How could I not adopt this medium? I can use my fingers in it without getting sick. My affair with acrylic is the most stable relationship I have.
What is the most challenging part about working with acrylics, and what is the best part about working with acrylics?
Sean: I use liquid acrylic, the challenging part is knowing how to mix it with retardants, glues, glitter, alcohol, silicones, dish soaps, products like Floroll. The incredible possibilities of this medium is also what I love about acrylics. I have even done complex acrilic poring some of it intentional.
How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your acrylic pieces?
Sean: I paint fast, the longest time I have spent on any project is five days. If I let something go for $120.00 I don’t have half my life invested in it. Everything I have sold it’s been from art fairs and Instagram. Or someone contacting me out of the blue about a certain peice. You also need to paint subjects people want. Rap artists, animals things that cultures around me hold in high regard. The religious stuff sells like candy. If they only knew what a heathen I am. At this stage I make most of my money from balloon art. I just did over a hundred centerpieces for a country club and that paid rent. For me the trick is not getting a regular job even if it means turning to prostitution.
Any prophet will be made by my girlfriend selling my paintings after I die.
What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Sean: It’s the mental illness! I overcome it by self-medicating!
You have epilepsy, and I hope you’ve got it under control. Tell me more on how you’ve managed to incorporate the visual symptoms from epilepsy into Your paintings?
Sean: I have a great line about; every time I turn on the garbage disposal I see Grandma & the baby Jesus….The thing about my brand of epilepsy is you can feel seizure-ish or you can actually be having seizures. Even amongst the seizures there’s full grand mal and picking fuzz off your imaginary sweater or for a couple hours. September 5th of 2020, I had a full-blown stroke. I have a giant spot on my left parietal lobe now. These conditions come with photophobia. I fear light. A strobing light is like a hammer to the face. If I could describe this visually, it’s like auras and rays of light emanating from a subject. I remember one seizure; I had a hallucination I had fallen on top of a spotlight the blinding light was passing through me. I could see some creature; an unseen being hiding in the light that wished me harm. Shadow feels like home, it’s the place you run to escape the horror of existance.
What is the work you’ve done that you’re the most excited about?
Sean: The work that I’ve done that means the most to me are the paintings I’ve done if people that have died. The time between the death and their funeral service is usually short so you must work fast. The piece must look better than they looked in real life or the family won’t be happy. The background needs to look like someone’s conception of heaven. I think this will be the stuff that gets me noticed. That reminds me I should paint myself before I drop dead.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Sean: I have developed true friendships through painting. A woman named Donna Posey commissioned multiple paintings of her son Ryan Posey who passed away on 2019.
My holiday day core work always leaves me on an emotional high for months. I did an arch of presents made with cardboard and wire. People told me it was magical to see their kid’s reaction. It’s on my Instagram.
The balloon decor gets fantastic reactions as well. Nothing will ever beat a mother whose son has died telling you how much she thinks of the painting you did of him.
Share some interesting facts about your art with us.
Sean: One time I tried painting sober.
Sean: I’m going to do a mini comic. I’m going to print it out and make it myself. I will be using an animation program called Toon Boom Harmony. It is going to be called The Comedic Adventures of the Slippy Gibbler. It’s about a guy who just stopped caring. It should be available for purchase winter of 2021.