Artist Interview: Joe Vetoe The Lazy Engineer?

I knew I loved Joe’s work the first time I say his take on Zoe Saldana for Columbiana but I absolutely knew I wanted him in the Poster Posse when I saw his Twitter tagline which says, “Engineer by day.  Artist by night.  Pretty lazy on the weekends.”  Blurppy got the chance to talk with Joe and see if he truly kicks his feet up on Saturdays and Sundays.  With his talent, I have a feeling he keeps quite busy. Here is what he had to say.

Columbiana-Joe-VetoeBLURPPY – How long have you been creating art in the pop culture scene? How did you get started?

JVI’ve always been really into movies and television and cartoons.  The first thing I can really remember is Garfield.  I’d say I’ve been creating pop culture art pretty steady for the last 4 or 5 years now. I used to do a lot of portraits and things like that and it wasn’t very gratifying so I decided one day I was just going to create things I wanted to create. Unless my mom asks for something and then I do what she asks.

BLURPPY – I’m don’t know…personally, I love the portrait stuff that I have seen.  Don’t give it up completely.  (Unless your Mom says so, then all bets are off.) Is art your full time job?  If not, what else do you do?

JVCurrently art is not my full time job.  I work for a small software company that’s really great to work for.  It doesn’t really allow me a creative outlet but it does pay those pesky bills that pop up every month or so.

BLURPPY – Bills schmills, artists can literally print their own money with posters, tees and such.  Quit the day job and venture into the unknown…the world… of full-time freelance!  Whose work do you admire or collect?

bounty_hunters_ken_taylor4Bounty Hunters – Ken Taylor

JVFor my money Ken Taylor is the best poster artist working today.  The detail in his work is stunning. The pictures of his prints never do the real print justice.  I think he’s brilliant.  And Martin Ansin.  Right now they are two of my favorites.

BLURPPY – This damn Bounty Hunter series will haunt me forever!  Absolutely one of my top 6 prints of all time.  Ok…. these ARE my top 6 prints of all time!  Here is a very sad story…I was standing at the Mondo table at SDCC a couple of years ago, they actually had them ALL on the wall along with the wood versions of Ansin’s Mummy and Dracula and I had… NO….MONEY!  They were right there!  Just out of reach but alas, it was not meant to be.  I figure some day I’ll just up and sell a kidney and buy them on ebay for a ridiculously exorbitant amount.  Ok, back to you….what one print, by another artist, blows your mind?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.42.24 PMFrankenstein – Struzan/ Taylor

JVI think the Frankenstein collaboration between Drew Struzan and Ken Taylor is the best thing Mondo has ever put out. I don’t have a copy personally (it is my dream print!) but I have seen it in person and it is AMAZING. I mean it’s DREW STRUZAN! How can you go wrong teaming him with Ken Taylor. Love that print.

BLURPPY – I know, I know. I can still remember when they went on sale.  My best friend Larry got one…me…another swing and a miss.  I covet it every time I walk into his office.  I would ask him to leave it to me in his will but I wouldn’t trust my actions if I knew that was in a legal document somewhere.  With so much art being produced these days, how do you keep things fresh?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.15.36 PMJVI try to do different styles with different prints.  If you look at the Bond one I did for Hero Complex Gallery (or the Into Darkness print for BLURPPY) and then look at my Inglorious Basterds print, they are completely different and you probably wouldn’t be able to to tell it was the same artist.  I just try to do some different styles so that it stays fresh for me. Some people think that may hurt me some in the long run because, for example, if you see a Tyler Stout print you know it’s a Tyler Stout print without question.  So my work won’t be recognizable in the same way, but I like trying different ways of creating so it works for me.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.16.32 PMBond Print by Joe Vetoe for Hero Complex Gallery

BLURPPY – Well it’s working for me too because I love your prints. Besides working on BLURPPY’s Poster Posse Exclusive, what is your dream project?

Star Trek Into Darkness - Joe VetoeStar Trek Into Darkness – Regular Edition – Joe Vetoe (Click HERE for Variant Version)

JVI would love to do a Die Hard print for Mondo.  It’s my favorite movie of all time and I think it would be so much fun to do.

BLURPPY – Mondo IS great, I drink the Koolaid on a regular basis, buy why wait?  Do a Die Hard print or series for yourself. Who knows, maybe THAT work will be the stuff that has them call you to participate in their next gallery show in Austin?  (Just my two cents, no one ever listens to me, figure it out on your own. Forget I even mentioned it.)  If you weren’t creating highly desirable works of art for adoring fans, what else would you do?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.31.53 PM12 Monkeys/ Bruce Willis – Joe Vetoe

JVI’d like to write screenplays.  I optioned a screenplay once that was a super exciting time.  The option expired and nothing ever happened with it, but I got to talk to some very cool people like Morgan Freeman. So it was totally worth it!

BLURPPY – Uhhhh yes…. Morgan Freakin’ Freeman.  You do know he is so good that he actually played GOD right?  We are going to have to talk more about this screenplay scenario.  I want to know what it was all about but lets continue.  What movies are you excited to see this year?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.34.11 PMIs it better to be feared or respected? – Joe Vetoe

JVIron Man 3 (which I saw and loved!) Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Only God Forgives, Elysium, The World’s End, Gravity, Anchorman 2, and I think Pacific Rim is the one I’m most looking forward to.  It looks like everything the Transformers franchise should have been and wasn’t.

BLURPPY – Pacific Rim looks insane and I agree, if Transformers had come out looking like this… well, I can’t disparage the series, I HAVE watched it dozens upon dozens of time with my son.  I’m pretty handy with a NERF sword thanks to Optimus Prime so I have THAT going for me. What is your favorite print from your portfolio and why?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.25.32 PMJeff Bridges – Joe Vetoe

JVIt’s probably the print I did of Jeff Bridge’s from the movie, Crazy Heart.  The pic I used for reference (especially that beard) and my “swirl” technique I feel just really worked well together.  I really like the way that one turned out.  AND I got some great advice from fellow PosterPosse member Tracie Ching on that one! She had no idea who I was. I just sent her an email and asked for some advice and she was really kind and gave me some pointers.

BLURPPY – She’s great.  She is actually the very first artist Blurppy EVER spoke to and she couldn’t have been kinder.  Her art hangs proudly on my walls.  What’s your biggest pet peeve about the pop culture art scene?

The Life Aquatic - Tracie ChingThe Life Aquatic – Tracie Ching

JVeBay flippers! There are a lot folks who are really passionate about prints that get released and because of the short supply and heavy demand eBay flippers try to gouge them.  Mondo sells out in like 2 minutes and 2 and half minutes later they are on eBay for 3 to even 10 times the original cost.  I just feel bad for the true fans that can’t get them because of that.

BLURPPY – Wait a minute…I have some decent stuff in my flat file, are you saying I can sell it on ebay and use that money to buy my beloved BOUNTY HUNTER SERIES and keep my kidney in the process?  Nah…kidney’s are overrated, that sucker is GONE!  What has been your best experience to date, in the pop culture art scene?

JVIt would have to be Hero Complex’s Righteous Rides.  Because it was actually my first show.  Adam was great to work with and he took a took a chance and allowed me to be in the show, and I’ll always be appreciative of that.

BLURPPY – I’ve met Adam and he is a great guy. I have a strong feeling you two will be working together again before the calendar reads 2014. What was your most embarrassing moment?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.50.14 PMI like the way you die, boy – Joe Vetoe

JVA few years ago my friends got me “slightly” intoxicated and somehow talked me into participating in a toga contest at a local bar.  Turned out I was the only person who participated and since I was “slightly” intoxicated I didn’t realize my friends had made the toga of a Bambi sheet.  That’s right. A sheet with scenes from Bambi on it.

BLURPPY – I actually talked to your friends after you and I spoke and they sent me a picture of the Bambi toga evening.  Click HERE to see it. What is the best interview question you’ve ever been asked and what was your answer?

JVThe one I just answered. Bambi sheet.

BLURPPY – Yeah…kinda hard to top “Bambi toga“.  What do you have on tap for the rest of 2013 and don’t give us that line, “Lots of stuff , just can’t talk  about it yet

JVI’m doing a couple of more show for HCG and I have 2 prints in the Daft Punk show coming up at the Gauntlet Gallery.  And hopefully some more things will pop up along the way.  It’s been a great year so far!

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 7.37.19 AMDaft Punk piece for Gauntlet Gallery Show- Joe Vetoe

Ok, here are 10 quick questions…GO!

-DC or Marvel? Marvel’s got the best movies.  Love them. DC has the best comics, but they’ve really dropped the ball on some of their movies. I’m looking at you Green Lantern!

-Most Desired Super Power? Regeneration.

-Who is your favorite Star Wars Character and why? Han Solo. He’s the coolest cat in the universe.

-Best movie snack? Popcorn mixed with peanut M&M’s.

-Growing up, what was your favorite TV show? The Incredible Hulk and Moonlighting in a tie.

-What’s the best way for fans to keep up with all you have going on? They can follow me on Twitter @TheCanvasLens or on Facebook. I’m working on website right now but will be a few months.

-What’s your favorite pop culture event? Any time Steven Spielberg releases a new movie.

-Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and why? (Can be comic books, movies, literature, etc) John McLane. I’ve probably seen Die Hard 200 times. I was it every couple of months and always at Christmas. He’s just such an everyman in the first one and it’s the closest you can get to feeling like if you were in that situation that’s how you would really have to perform to survive a terrorist take over. And he’s funny, and cool and he’s Bruce frickin’ Willis and Bruce Willis is awesome!

-Happy or leery about JJ Abrams directing the next Star Wars? I think it’s great. He’s done such a great job with Star Trek that it gives me hope for Star Wars.  Would have loved to have seen Brad Bird get a crack at it, but I think Abrams is going to do great.

-Would you rather design the poster for an upcoming Star Wars movie or the upcoming Blade Runner sequel? I‘d say a Blade Runner sequel actually just because I think the visuals of a Blade Runner movie are much more interesting than that of a Star Wars movie.  Was that sacrilege? I love Star Wars. Don’t judge me!

Not bad, he only got 4 out of the 10 wrong.  (Solo is a “scoundrel” everyone knows that Lando is the coolest cat in the galaxy!)  Blurppy would like to thank Joe for taking the time to participate and deliver 2 outstanding pieces for our second Poster Posse Project.  I truly hope he takes my advice, I want to see a Die Hard series from Joe Vetoe!


About blurppy

Blurppy is a constantly changing, always evolving web entity that features articles, reviews, interviews and such from my perspective. Who am I you ask? I'm DT and if you see it on here, I like it, have it, want it, need it, lust it or simply can't afford it. How about you take a gander at my lil part of the massive web universe and if you see something that appeals to you, share it with your friends.
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