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Creative Spotlight: Carlos Soto

Oil study

Small Bison
Carlos Soto - Small Bison

Artist Carlos Soto's new art exhibit Beat of a Drum, focusing on different influences in his life represented by oil on canvas opens on December 6th at CityArts. 



The Train
Carlos Soto - The Train

Born July 2, 1979 Fort Worth, Tx - no real art education except life drawing for two semesters with John Oehm at Butler Community College.


Biggest Influences

When I was about 7yrs old I would love watching my brother draw; I absolutely loved it. And one day I asked him to draw a cartoon named Thrilla Gorilla from T&C Surf so I could give it to my teacher... and he kept forgetting to do it, so finally I sat down and drew it, and gave it to my teacher, and she loved it. After that, I just didn't stop drawing.


Favorite Artist

When I was about 16, I would go to the museums in Fort Worth as well drive my mother and I to the Nelson Atkins museum in KC. Seeing a Rembrandt or Sargent portrait, Georges de La Tour’s storytelling and depiction of light, and (even though I'm not heavy into western art) Remington's nocturnal paintings would knock me out. There is something about the textures, the lathering of paint around the surface to create a dynamic portrait or a rugged scene. As for contemporary artists, I've enjoyed and learned from painters like Jeremy Lipking, James Tennison, Jon Swihart and currently Mark Tennant.



The Overpass
Carlos Soto - The Overpass

I find a subject for whatever idea I have and take pics. Sometimes I'll pose myself for a painting. Sometimes I'll paint from life (also a big influence). A lot of what I know and understand about painting comes from painting from life. And then there are times when I just want to study an old painting just to break things up or find a picture of my favorite actor James Dean and paint him. Once I have a subject, it is all painting, scraping, restarting, getting depressed, saying a prayer and then finishing the piece or pieces. Or leaving it alone for a while and then returning to it.


What I Want to Communicate

I want to communicate a bit of sadness, and/or happiness in my work. You find these in most songs and films, and it is something I enjoy painting - subjects with a bit of both.


Advice for Aspiring Artist

Learn all you can, especially how to deal with rejection and failure. And paint, paint your ass off, not to be famous, but because you love it and you want to inspire others and be inspired yourself.


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