Since launching his hugely successful art blog Booooooom! in 2008, Vancouver-based artist Jeff Hamada has been on a mission to share awesome art with the world. Connecting with a huge community of artists and art lovers, Jeff has put together a variety of art projects, online and out in the world, designed to get everyone involved in having fun being creative.
What inspired you to start Booooooom? How has it grown and changed since it’s inception? Where do you see Booooooom in next few years?
I want people today, tomorrow, 20 years from now to be able to look through it and be inspired by a giant archive of creative work. I try not to post too many things that are time-sensitive, flyers, kick-starters, things that you’ll have to scroll past a year from now. In some ways it hasn’t changed a lot, my mission has been the same, but it has grown bigger than I ever imagined it could or would.
I’m really inspired by The Creators Project. If someone could just hand me a bunch of cash and say go and make creative things with this money, I would do that for the rest of my life. It sounds like a fantasy but I actually feel like I’m only a half step away from being able to live that dream.
You’ve connected with a huge community of art lovers and artists online, encouraged people to go out and make things for Booooooom projects, curated several art shows in galleries. Have you ever wanted to start a Booooooom gallery, or other offline projects to further bring the community together?
I’ve thought about it. I would hate to have to be somewhere from, 9-5 or whatever gallery hours are, so I’d only look at doing something like that if it was with someone else. I want to have a physical space here in Vancouver just to show films and have games nights. More of a public living room than a gallery.
Your own personal art and design work is really fun and graphic. Has your approach to your own work changed since working on Booooooom became a full time part of your life? Do you think of the two separately, or do they feed off each other?
Working everyday on Booooooom does take away from time to make my own work, so I do see the two things as distinct in some ways. They both inform one another but I am trying to make more time to just concentrate on producing stuff for me, for my own enjoyment, maybe not even to be shared.
You’ve initiated some pretty extraordinary projects through Booooooom that all focus on inviting everyone to get out there and get busy creating things. The recent Made of Imagination project challenged people to invent and make new kinds of musical instruments. How do you come up with project ideas that you think will really spark people’s imaginations?
I have always found it easy to come up with an idea that will bring people together. Most of them come from a very naive, child-like sense of wonder, type of place. I think I’ve just exercised that part of my brain the most.
Where would you say the most interesting art/music/animation/photography is coming from today? Who are some artists you’ve seen lately who have just blown your mind, and inspired you personally?
This is an impossible question to answer, it’s not coming from any one place, those topics are so broad. I enjoy Mimi Jung‘s weavings, Matthew Dear‘s music, Hoji Tsuchiya‘s animations, Jennilee Marigomen‘s photographs.
What are your 5 most memorable Booooooom moments?
1. Pow Wow Hawaii art event – living together in a house on the North Shore with artists from around the world, making work and making life-long friendships.
2. An email from Brent Hines, a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia who heard about my Little Drifters project and brought a group of kids to a river to make little boats out of twigs and do the same thing we did.
3. Anytime I meet a stranger who knows about Booooooom and is genuinely excited about it.
4. Speaking at Creative Mornings recently, meeting a lot of people in my own city who really made me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
5. Getting a book deal with Chronicle Books.
S&TM: We’d like to thank Jeff for taking the time out of his crazy-busy schedule to do this interview with us. We apprieciate it!
All images © 2013 Their respective owners.