June 14th, 2017
Jesse Gussow

We here at Chaotic Utopian are extremely pleased to bring to your attention one of the most versatile Lowbrow artists we’ve come across. Artist Ziv Lahat has done it all. He’s made toys and digital art; he’s worked with canvas, aquarelle, pastels, wood wine boxes, cigar boxes and papers, cardboard, and toilet paper rolls, turning those items into some fantastic art, with his bright bold colours and fun wacky characters! His unique material and style make me a huge fan of his work.


Where are you from?

I'm from Israel.


How did you get started on your artistic journey?

I started to draw and to create stuff at the age of 6...I always loved culture, tribes, tattoos, history and art, and always wanted to create and make something special.


What drew you towards creating Lowbrow art?

I got a lot of influence from the geniuses Ed Roth, Von Dutch, Robert Williams, Tiki culture and a lot of Japanese artists that brought me to this.

They gave me the idea that I can be a Lowbrow artist that can mix other things together and to create something unique with good vibes and happiness.


Where do you find your inspiration for your work?

I get inspiration for my work from culture, tribes, tattoo, Tiki culture, music, Kustom Kulture, the Rastafari movement, urban art, graffiti, vinyl toys, the exotic, Polynesia, Japanese, Hip Hop, Lowrider, the skinhead movement and many more.


What's your favourite animal and why?

I love the Green Sea Turtle ("Honu" in Hawaii) because I love the meaning of what he is...good luck, endurance and long life, guardian spirit, and they say that the Green Sea Turtle guided the 1st Polynesian settlers to the islands.


How do you make a piece? What is the process from start to finish?

Searching for ideas, put on some music and start to sketch...before that I'm studying what I want to create or to draw and understand it.

Sometimes I work using digital ways (Wacom) and sometimes on canvas...drawing, coloring and having the piece with a lot of harmonies, happiness and good vibes.


What materials do you prefer to use and why?

I love to work with a lot of materials. Sometimes I work using digital, like Wacom [ed. note: pen and graphic tablet] and sometimes with markers, spray, acrylic, pastel, gouache and aquarelle. Sometimes I love to mix them all together or put 2 things together.... I love to feel the materials and to see all the colors together...because all my life I was a colorful person :-).


How has Social Media helped or impeded your career?

Social Media has helped me to publish my works all around the world and brought me a lot of customers, too.


Should artists have a personal website? Or do you think just using Social Media sites is sufficient? What are the advantages to having your own site?

I think it's a good thing when you've got your own website because you make your own portfolio and you can have all the stuff that you want people to see or buy.

The advantages to having my own site is that people understand who I am and know what I love and they can feel my vibe on each piece that I create, or talk about something that I love.


How did you get started in making the resin toys?

I always wanted to have my own figures and I started to draw a lot of characters and finally I found the [right] ones.... I started to send a lot of email to vinyl toy companies and I found one that I really loved, Mighty Jaxx. We collaborated and they created my Figures Mr E and Mr Finki (3 series of colors).


What medium would you like to work with more ?

I'd like to work more with digital, markers, spray, acrylic, pastel, gouache and aquarelle.


How have you grown as an artist from when you first started, to now?

I was born in Ivory Coast from Israeli parents who worked there. My family always loves to talk about culture, art, history from there I took those spirits and that influenced what I am today. My Mom is an artist too, and she brought me to love what I'm doing and not be afraid of anything!

I started to create my own universe and creation at the age of 6...the pen, brush, marker or spray can't leave me now!


What are you currently working on?

I'm working on a few collaborations:

1. Sneakers collection, with a Russian company.

2. Bags collection, with a company from France.

3. Skateboard collection, with a Brazilian company.

4. Working with an important tattoo artist to make body tattoos.

and many more things...


Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O Cookies?

Oreo but the Oreo Strawberry.

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