Seth Armstrong is a friend of the Funkhaus Family and he makes beautiful art.
We’re pretty sure that his eyeballs can decipher colors in ways normal humans cannot. His mastery of the brush and the realism of his cityscapes is juxtaposed with psychedelic nudes and 2D superheroes. We had the chance to visit his studio in the Fashion District of downtown LA to snap some photos and marvel at his multitude of painted butts.
Born and raised in the Silverlake district of LA, Seth studied painting in Northern Holland and graduated with a BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He lived in the Bay Area for about nine years before he was kicked out of Oakland, at which point he moved back to LA and has been loving every minute of it.
Meet Our Fine Friend, Seth.
What is your Day in the Life?
I wake up sometime between the hours of 9 and noon. After some coffee and a light breakfast, I lather on the sun screen and hop on my golden bicycle for the ride from my home in Echo Park to my studio in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles. After another cup of coffee I start painting. 8-14 hours later I head home or look for trouble elsewhere unless I’m on deadline, in which case I might call the studio home for the night.
How long have you been painting?
I’ve been drawing for practically my entire life. My earliest memories of artwork were these big colored marker drawings on poster board of battle scenes between imaginary stick figure armies. There were paratroopers, ground troops, tanks, airplanes, helicopters, and most of the army bases had elaborate underground bunkers that took up most of the drawing below the action above ground. Then the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out and I started drawing those for a few years. In gradeschool I made comic books, and in high school I started drawing girls. Come to think of it, I’m still drawing superheros and girls.
What’s inspiring you right now?
The biggest inspiration for me lately has been the city of LA itself. I know that many people will disagree with me, but this place is gorgeous. There is no city on earth like it, and to call it home again after nine years away, I’ve found a new affinity for it. An interest in not only it’s aesthetics but it’s history that has definitely found it’s way into my paintings.
How do you like to take a break?
I’ve got a killer fire escape outside the window of my studio that provides for some excellent people watching. There are all sorts to see down in the fashion district, and I can spend a lot of time doing that. Also drinking.
What type of distractions do you like to have around while working?
I listen to a whole bunch of NPR and BBC. Lots and lots of music as well. I’m a particular fanatic of letting my iTunes go straight shuffle-mode. I got rid of the internet at the studio with the hope that I would spend my days painting instead of piddling away my time on the line.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you had received before becoming an artist?
Don’t take other people’s advice too seriously.
What’s your favorite gem of downtown Los Angeles?
The fucking rooftop pool at Funkhaus’ office!