Recently, back in October street artist / muralist HUEMAN came down to Los Angeles from Oakland for a very special instore at Montana Shop Los Angeles. Not only was she at the store for a typical in-store but it was also in support of the release of her NEW Montana Colors Limited Edition HUEMAN Spray Can.
Both the in-store and the limited edition spray can were a huge hit, with the first batch of cans selling out within 2 weeks. Luckily Spray Planet was able to get ahold of a second batch from Spain and they just restocked. At the same time we here at Spray Planet also caught up with HUEMAN in between Art Basel, mural gigs and gallery shows to do a one quick one on one interview to learn more about her background, process, influences and of course - favorite places to eat in LA!
Spray Planet: Can you tell us about the name HUEMAN (where it comes from/origin)?
HUEMAN: Hueman is a play on the word ‘Human’, as in a colorful human being. I started using it when I got serious about painting walls. It’s a story I’ve told many times so I’m not going to get into much detail, but I was unhappy working in graphic design, sitting behind the computer for 14 hour days and locked up in my apartment feeling like a robot. I was also fighting depression so I would constantly tell myself “I’m human not a robot” as a reminder to not get sucked into the bad place. So “human” also describes the way I feel when I’m outside painting walls.
Spray Planet: How would you describe your work?
HUEMAN: I’d describe my work as a dreamy mashup of abstract and realism, or
as I like to call it “etherealism”. It’s expressive, gauzy, candy-colored psychosis. I try to use color and wavy organic forms to create the sensation of floating in and out of a dream-like state. But I also like to throw in hard geometric shapes to keep the work grounded so it doesn’t float away completely.
Spray Planet: How long have you been painting?
HUEMAN: I’ve been into making art since before I can even remember—I was drawing on my parent’s walls at 3 years old. I started painting murals at 19.
Spray Planet: What do you want your work to convey to its viewers?
HUEMAN: Every piece is different. I try to make each piece relate to the environment it lives in, so sometimes the message is about the community itself, or the inhabitants of the building I’m painting on. Sometimes the message is literal when I use text into the work. I try to choose words that encourage positive growth (bloom, shine, evolve).
Other times there’s no message at all and I just want to beautify the landscape.
Spray Planet: Who/what is your biggest influence/inspiration?
HUEMAN: I find inspiration in natural elements like clouds, water, and rainbows.
A lot of the backgrounds in my paintings are inspired by the sky. As a kid growing up I was really into Rene Magritte, so I think that’s probably where I get my obsession of painting clouds from. And James Jean has been one of my favorite artists for a long time.
Spray Planet: Where is your favorite city you have visited to paint?
HUEMAN: Berlin, I really love the vibe there.
Spray Planet: What is your favorite movie?
HUEMAN: It always changes, but in the last few years it’s been somewhere between Moon, Interstellar or Ex Machina. Love the sci-fi stuff.
Spray Planet: How does it feel to have a limited edition mtn colors 94 can?
HUEMAN: Are you kidding me, it’s dream! I think anyone who has ever painted
on walls has secretly wished they could have their own can. I feel very very lucky.
Spray Planet: Where is your favorite place to eat in LA?
HUEMAN: Shin-Sen-Gumi Ramen in Little Tokyo
Spray Planet: Where do you see your work evolving in 10+ years?
HUEMAN: I see myself going a more three-dimensional route in the near future.