Welcome back to another 5Qs with… interview. Normally we only run this segment once a week, but you have been a good reader so we thought you deserved a bonus one. We also wanted to introduce you to Josh Stebbins today because you were introduced to his artwork yesterday on this week’s edition of T-shirt Thursday.
Josh Stebbins: I believe I saw a Day of the Dead parade in a movie years ago, and thought it was so interesting, I have a sort of fascination with death anyways, so to see it celebrated with such extravagance was very great…and I, of course learned more about it later on. The true meaning of it and the traditions that are included in the celebration; it was the perfect makings for creating art based off of it.
DD: What is your favorite Day of the Dead tradition?
JS: I like the fact that “death” is considered a transition rather than an end (to life)…you continue on, i guess i find that comforting in a way…I realize that’s more of a belief than a tradition, but it’s a favorite of mine. And of course, the sugar skulls, the facing painting as sugar skulls, the beauty that is translated through death and the decay of the body.
DD: How does your community respond to Day of the Dead?
JS: Being that I live in Oklahoma, it is somewhat lacking in the celebration of Dia de la Muertos, for the most part…but the part of my community that actually know about it and have seen my artwork really think its wonderful, not to say they get into as deep as i do, but as far as the as aesthetic beauty of Day of the Dead, they really love it.
DD: Do you have a particular Day of the Dead artist whose work you admire?
JS: I have to say, and I’m positive everyone says this that knows about her, it would be Sylvia Ji. She absolutely floors me with her work, and quite frankly upsets me because I wish I were as good as her *haha* I use ink predominantly, she paints these amazing pictures. I find that such a hard task to take on. I admire her immensely.
DD: Is there anything else about Day of the Dead that you would like to share?
JS: It would be nice if more people learned about the holiday, the actual meaning of it and what it represents rather than just thinking sugar skull makeup would make a good Halloween costume…knowledge is power.
DD: If you would like to learn more about Josh Stebbins and his artwork, visit facebook.com/pages/Artist-Josh-Stebbins or you can click on either of the above pictures to buy this awesome shirt. Thank you Josh, and I’m sure we will be seeing more of your awesome artwork in the future.