Art Whore

Art Talk – Beau Van Greener of ‘Credenda Studios’

Credenda Studios - Logo
Mr. Beau Van Greener is an American artist and designer known for his art toy and screen printing works – all executed with a fine attention to detail.

(Picture below of ‘The Gatekeeper’ resin on wood piece from Credenda Studios)

CS - Resin - Gatekeeper - On Wood

 Beau creates works of universal resonance thanks to his skill, vision, sense of character design and a willingness to work with others.

Indeed Beau sums up his personal philosophy, stating:

You should do what you want and not give a shit what others think of it. As long as you’re happy then that is all that matters.

There is always going to be someone out there that thinks you and whatever you do is absolute crap. But brush it all aside and do what makes you happy.

You’re living your life for you. No one else.

 With lots ahead in 2015, including sculpted works, new mediums and a collaboration with Mr. Alex Pardee, now is the perfect time to get to know Beau and ‘Credenda Studios’, by reading the Art Talk interview, below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

 Beau Van Greener, January 6th 1988.

City, State n Country you’re From?

 Born and raised in good ol’ Idaho, USA.

(Picture below of Beau hard at work making toys)

CS - Beau - Making Toys 001

Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Van Greener’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, crime… ANYTHING man.

* age 10 – beginnings:

 Horror Movies and Power Rangers.
 Also trying to redrawing the Iron Maiden covers of my dad’s cassette tapes.

(Picture below of Beau in his youth – bootleg Superman style)

Super young Beau

* age 15 – getting serious:

 MTV, Skateboarding, and making my own fireworks. Oh and Horror Movies!

(Picture below of Beau in his teens)

Teenage Beau

* age 20 – adult mode:

 Getting married and going to college.

Personal motto?

 “All it takes is determination.”

Favorite band(s)?

 Well shit, how does one choose a favorite.
 I grew up on a healthy diet of Rock and Roll. So that’s always going to have a place in my heart.
 But I’m always down for some classic blues or old school hip hop like Wu Tang.
 I can’t stand the new crap that’s coming out now.

Favorite TV show(s)?

 Tales from the Crypt.
 That Cryptkeeper knows how to entertain!

Favorite sport(s) + teams?

 Too scrawny for sports.

Favorite movie(s)?

 Shaun of the Dead, Nightbreed, and the Re-Animator.

Favorite books and comics?

 Sin City, The Walking Dead, and Blankets by Craig Thompson.

Art Questions

Why the name ‘Credenda Studios’?

 I’ve always been a firm believer on putting your all into whatever you do.
 Sign your work and stand by your work. There is no need to hide behind a curtain. Have confidence in what you do. It might take some time to get to where you’re happy. But don’t give up and cut corners.
 Credenda Studios derived from the word Credendum which is basically something to believe in.
 So for me it’s a reminder that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Super corny but it works for me!

Favorite other artist(s)?

 There’s too many! Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Harvey Pekar, and Ben Templesmith.

Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

 Like any hustle, it would have to be politics.
 When you lose the comradery between artist, it loses it’s appeal.

Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

 For toys, it would have to be how open and laid back everyone is.
 It’s a fairly small scene, so it’s nice to see everyone being so supportive of each other.

Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?

 I’m still trying to figure that one out.

When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?

 I’ve always been into art.
 I came from a very artistic family and so it has always been a part of my life.

What did you draw and make as a pre-teen child?

 I remember I would try and redraw a lot of album covers.
 Also a lot of monsters and dragons.

What did you draw and make as a teen?

 Probably boobs but I’m horrible at drawing people, so it was usually monsters.

Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?

 I’ve always liked working with my hands and building things.
 My dad and I were part of the Idaho Woodcarvers Guild growing up. It was there that I saw all the different things people made out of a hunk of wood. There were people who did these cool character carvings of cowboys and then there was a guy who could carve these incredibly realistic birds. I was always in aww with how everyone saw a block of wood. Then from there it just grew.

Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?

 After I graduated college I was determined to make a living doing what I wanted. So I just started experimenting.
 I never can settle on one thing. It’s almost as if I like to collect skills. I’m always fascinated by learning how things work.
 But I guess in regards of the toy art hustle, I’ve always loved toys and then one day I decided “Fuck it, let’s just make some scary toys and see where it goes.”
 And so far it’s been pretty great and I think it’s been well received.

Describe the method of making a ‘Credenda Studios’ work? (dot point all o.k.)

* your resin sculptures?

 Last year it was a lot of kit-bashing and then sculpting on top of that.
 But this year I’m moving towards fully original sculpts.
 Once I have the figure in a way that I feel happy about, I will work on the packaging.
 Sometimes I’ll illustrate it myself. But usually I’ll find an artist that I feel would be a good match for the figure and have them do the illustration work.

* your recently released wood backed works?

 Those ones were a lot of fun to make and were very well received. It was an experiment to try something different.
 Plus wood grain is the shit!

* your screen printing?

 Self taught on that front.
 Basically after I have my illustration created, I’ll transfer it to a transparency and burn it onto a screen. You do that for each layer/color. Then just build up the layers on top of each other.

(Picture below of Beau hard at work screen printing)

CS - Beau - Screen Printing 001

* your cartoons?

 I’ve been drawing a lot of these little monsters I’m calling “Brutes.”
 They’re ugly little guys that fumble around on their fists and bring trouble where it’s unwanted.

(Pictures below of some sketches by Beau)

CS - Art - Cartoon 004

CS - Art - Cartoon 007

CS - Art - Cartoon 003

* your paintings?

 Haven’t really painted in a while unfortunately…

You have released many resin works so far under the ‘Credenda Studios’ label – What are the character’s back-narratives and bios for…

 When I decided to start creating resin toys I wanted to create this universe that they all live in.
 I wanted the to figures to interact with each other. So whenever I create a new figure, I’ll try and incorporate it into the backstory of the other figures as much as I can.
 I’d like to eventually create a little zine down the road that has a more in depth story about the characters and the world they live in…

(i) ‘The Gatekeeper’?

 Demons despise him and he’s the only one in hell willing to challenge the forces of evil.
 Because of this the Gatekeepr was exiled to the outer most regions of hell and is set to spend eternity guarded the gates of hell in solitude.

(Pictures below of The Gatekeeper by ‘Credenda Studios’ – one off black edition)

CS - Resin - Gatekeeper - Black One Off - Mounted

CS - Resin - Gatekeeper - Black One Off - Fig

(ii) ‘Crimson Kobold’?

 This guy is another creature you wouldn’t want to cross paths with.
 A gun for hire, the Grey Goblins sought out the Crimson Kobold to help bring down the infamous General Geddon who has been on a rampage killing any and all goblins he meets.

(Pictures below of Crimson Kobold by ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - Gatekeeper - Crimson Kobold - Carded

CS - Resin - Gatekeeper - Crimson Kobold - Fig

(iii) ‘Hammertongue’?

 HammerTongue was once the ruthless kingpin of the Underground Black Market. He bathed i the tears of the dead.
 With 13 wives and the reputation as being a charismatic lady-killer, HammerTongue is always seen with multiple women hanging around him.
 Eventually he was betrayed by his apprentice and cast out of the UBM. But now he is back and ready to claim what is rightfully his.

(Pictures below of Hammertongue by ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - HammerTongue - Package

CS - Resin - HammerTongue - Fig

(iv) ‘The Further Zone: Frank N. Stein?

 We’ve all seen the 1931 Frankenstein movie.
 Well what they didn’t show is the monster never actually died in the windmill. Instead he was intercepted by the CIA and placed into witness protection under the name of Franklin Norman Stein.
 Being as though he was the first zombie ever created, the government felt they should protect him. So now he works as an auto-mechanic at Franks Nuts and Bolts Automotive living peacefully in a quiet little town.

(Pictures below of Frank N. Stein by ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - Frank N. Stein - Carded

CS - Resin - Frank N. Stein - Card Back

CS - Resin - Frank N. Stein - Bio Sheets

(v) ‘Tree Forest Monster’?

 This little monster was created by a local video crew based out of Boise for the Treefort Music Festival.
 He loves people and immediately starts dancing whenever he hears music. He may seem scary but he’s actually a pretty rad dude.
 If you ever attend the Treefort Fest, be on the lookout because the monster can usually be spotted around town gettin down.

(Pictures below of the Tree Forest Monster by ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - Treeforst Monster - Carded

CS - Resin - Treeforst Monster - Loose

(vi) ‘General Geddon’?

 Born in the heart of a volcano and raised by the Grey goblins, Arma Geddon or General Geddon leads a life of misery.
 Upon losing his true love to the goblins, his heart blackened with tar. Vowing to enact his revenge on the very goblins that raised him, he travels the galaxy destroying anything in his path.
 He is the meaning of Death, Destruction, and Mayhem.

(Picture below of the General Geddon figure from ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - General Geddon - Carded

CS - Resin - General Geddon - Fig

What was it like working with and providing designs for the band ‘Coastwest Unrest’?

 Those guys are great!
 One of the promotion companies I work with in town contacted me about doing a poster for CU. I had never heard of them but I went for it.
 After listening to them, I got really into it and created the poster. We ended up hanging out after the show and they asked me to do their merch and a couple tour posters.
 Then from there the rest is history.
 I still do a bit of work for them. They’ve always been really supportive of me and I’m thankful for it.
 So now go check them out.

(Picture below of some t’s and a poster designed by Beau for ‘Coastwest Unrest’)

CS - Art - Coastwest Unrest - TShirt

CS - Art - Coastwest Unrest - Poster

Highlights and lowlights from your April 2014 solo show, ‘Rise of the Brutes’?

 That was actually my first solo show. It took place at a little gallery we have here in Boise. It had a great turnout.
 I saw that show as an introduction to the world of the Brutes that I created. Those will definitely rise again in the future.
 I have plans to expand on them with trading cards and all sorts of other goodies.

(Pictures below from Beau’s 2014 show ‘Rise of the Brutes’)

CS - Art - Rise of the Brutes Show 001

CS - Art - Rise of the Brutes Show 002

Please go into detail regarding your friendship and collaborative work with Lance from ‘Renone Studios’?

 Oh man Lance is great!
 When I first starting getting into the resin scene I didn’t know anyone. Lance helped me out with that. He helped me make some great connections that really helped me get to where I am today.
 Everyone should know Lance/Renone if you don’t already.
 One of the nicest dudes out there.
 He has these FUK series coming out soon that are great!

What was it like slinging your wares at the ‘Tenacious Toys’ booth at New York Comic Con 2014?

 That was pretty crazy actually. I had never been to Comic Con before so I had no idea what to expect.
 So coming from a small town and going to NYC it was a little bit of a shock.
 But I had a great time and was able to catch up with some old friends and make a lot of new ones.

(Picture below of Beau slinging his wares at the ‘Tenacious Toys’ booth at the 2014 NYCC)

CS - Beau - On THe Art Hustle - Tenacious Toys Booth NYCC

How does it feel to have your art displayed publicly for the City of Boise’s painted traffic box campaign?

 Ha that was a fun project.
 I had been trying to get into it for a couple years but just kept missing the deadlines. So this last round I got serious about it and the city ended up going with my idea.
 It transferred to the box nicely and now it’s there for everyone to see.

(Pictures below of the Boise traffic boxes painted by Beau)

CS - Art - City of Boise - Painted Traffic Boxes

Why the decision to release a resin tribute to ole Sam Raimi – and how did it feel when he not only saw, but approved it!?

 Oh man that was a little surreal.
 I’ve always been a big fan of the Evil Dead series and Benny (Tenacious Toys) and I decided to just go with it.
 So I hired Tyler Ham (HamFX) to digitally sculpt the head, Steve Willhite to do the illustraion and I took care of the rest of the figure.
 We tried to reach out to Sam Raimi to see if he’d be interested in signing some of the figures, but we didn’t have any luck. Then the second day of the con I received an email from him saying that he liked them and that he would like to have a couple for his personal collection.
 I sent him a few extras to sign for me and now I feel like I have the Holy Grail sitting on my shelf.

(Pictures below of the Sam Raimi figure from ‘Credenda Studios’)

CS - Resin - Sam Raimi - Carded

CS - Resin - Sam Raimi - Fig

Odds n Ends

What role did toys play in your childhood?

 A pretty big role actually.
 I was really into Star Wars and Horror movies growing up. So anything with monsters or Star Wars I was all about.
 But I was a 90’s kid so I was stuck with the weird buff Star Wars figures. I still loved them but whenever I found a original figure, I kept it.

Please describe your experiences growing up in America?

 I haven’t lived anywhere else besides Idaho so I can’t really compare it to anything else. But I’m happy here.
 The politics can be frustrating at times. But in reality it doesn’t ever affect me.
 Being able to shoot all kinds of guns is pretty awesome too.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

 Juliette Lewis.
 Because she’s Juliette Lewis and she doesn’t need an explanation.

Does sex change everything?

 If you haven’t had it then fuck yeah it changes everything.

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

 I can’t remember my last dream but one that has always stood out to me was a dream I had when I was 6 years old.
 I had just watch Bram Stroker’s Dracula that night.
 I remember dreaming about the part when you’re looking through the eyes of a flying bat and that just really freaked me out.

Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?

 I’ve had LSD and Mushrooms. Both are a lot of fun to do every once in a while.
 I prefer Acid to Shrooms though. Even though I’ve only tried it once. But  you don’t get sick on acid like you do with Shrooms. But I tried Acid at a Further (Grateful Dead) show with a friend. I felt like that was the best place to do it. Everyone was really nice and tripping on something.
 Although I do remember a guy in front of us had a major freak out because this lady had passed out and his first assumption was that she was dead. Then after a minute or so he freaked out some more when she rose from the dead.

Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?

 That’s a good one.
 I guess if I had to be remembered for one thing I would hope that it would be for being a genuine person. I always try and make myself available for anyone that needs help.

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

 Haha I guess it depends on what drugs you’re taking.
 I do think they open your mind a bit. But there are some dirty ones out there and those will just destroy your life and ruin the ones closest to you.
 But I do think everyone should smoke weed at least twice in their life. It’s just like alcohol and NO you aren’t going to go on some rampage like commercials say.

Please describe what you think the American Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?

 In my opinion, I think America has fallen into a state of fear.
 It seems like everyone is afraid of their neighbor and losing their freedoms.
 I think religion has clouded people’s judgment of how the world works and everyone is so worried about offending each other that we are losing our sense of individuality and independence. Too many things are becoming censored.
 You should do what you want and not give a shit what others think of it. As long as you’re happy then that is all that matters.
 There is always going to be someone out there that thinks you and whatever you do is absolute crap. But brush it all aside and do what makes you happy.
 You’re living your life for you. No one else.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

 Alex Pardee of ‘Zerofriends’ and I are working on a figure that should be coming out here very soon.
 Other than that I’m just in talks with a couple other artists. But nothing is set in stone.

(Picture below of Beau and Alex Pardee AND a pic of their upcoming collaboration)

CS - Beau - w Alex Pardee

CS x Alex Pardee - Toy - Teaser Pic 002

Any major projects you want to hype man?

Keep an eye on ZeroFriends. Pardee and I are cooking up something real nice.
I will also be in the Clutter In-Action Figure 3 show this February. So be sure to check that out.
Also Credenda Studios will be expanding. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself as just a toy maker. So be on the lookout for a bunch of new stuff from Credenda Studios!
 And lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone for the amazing support you’ve given me. All the kind words and motivation I’ve received. I couldn’t do this without you. So thank you to each and every one of you.

Links

CS - Resin - Boxed Toys

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