In this episode, you have the opportunity to meet Sean Coffey. Sean owns and operates The Coffey Shop, which is a full-time creative studio in the Edgewood area of Pittsburgh (www.coffey-shop.com). Sean grew up in Chambersburg, PA and moved to Pittsburgh at the age of 18. He integrates his traditional art background with contemporary techniques, pulling from his rural and urban life experiences. With the use of a variety of mediums and unique styles, Sean’s work blurs the borders between realism and abstraction. He has done the murals at both Doce Taquerias, The Yard, Bridge City Fitness, just to name a few.
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welcome steps of 0234 rawness of reality. I'm your host, Kevin Stocker, and in this episode you have the opportunity to meet Sean Coffey. He's the owner and operator of the coffee shop. It's a full time creative studio in Edgewood area of Pittsburgh. Sean Coffey is an all around creative. He works with industrial products like furniture, housing, equipment, steel and things alike. I must point out that Sean tries to use all recyclable materials, and if you visit his website, you'll see the breakdown of the numbers. And it is amazing. During this episode, you'll have the opportunity to hear about his roots and where he's from, what his upbringing was like. His relationship with a fellow painter and artist, John Marie's Muldoon and his ideas on future events he would like to be a part of. But enough from me. Here's Sean Coffey. Welcome to Rawness of Reality. How are you doing today? Thanks for having me. Sean Coffey is a muralist, painter and designer,
yet we didn't we do a lot of things. The coffee shop specializes in custom creative solutions, so we do everything from interior renovations, toe mural layouts to application of the murals design of custom artwork that you can't get anywhere else, all kinds of different things. It's really like the the one stop shop. If you want to get something cool made, we can help you get it from your brain to your house, you know,
And something cool about the coffee shop that I recently found out while I was visiting his website was, I didn't know. But you working with a lot of recycled material? A. And now more than ever, that's so important. And that is really powerful what you're doing. I'm just gonna drop some of these numbers that I thought were amazing. So £2855 of recycled steel, £3641 of the cycle would £378 of recycled plastic, all recycled materials. And those are all materials he used to make his are working that that's a part of 378 jobs he's completed and 286 canvases, and that's up to date.
That, that is, that's only the documented ones that I've actually been able to track since we opened about seven years ago. so, I mean have spread over seven years and a lot of different work. Some of the metal pieces that I do range from £5 Thio summer only, like a pound. But some of them are 50 £60. You know that some of the sculptures ca NBI upwards thio hundreds of pounds. You know, a lot of the material I was I'm fortunate enough to get locally from a friend to who works at a steel facility which I will not name. Just confess if certain aspects of his career. But I'm able to get it from them for a pretty cheap price, and they're gonna take it, and they're going to recycle it anyway. So it's going basically to the same thing that instead of being melted down, I'm turning it in artwork. But over the last couple years, I've had multiple facets to get materials, you know, with the wood. It's it's everything from fallen trees, toe old bridges that they've torn down. You know, I've recently just built three tables out of one. Was 110 year old bridge down Waynesburg P A. That it was that one of the things like number 80 something on the covered bridge list and p a p a has a covered bridge list. If you look it up, you could drive all around p a and look at these cool, covered bridges. But this one was falling apart. He's on a friend's land. We went down and when they toured all down, they stacked it up on their land. And, uh, we went in and we sourced all of these huge timbers from 12 by 12 beams down to just two by four planks of old oak and ah, hickory and all kinds of different different species of wood that they used to build these bridges 110 years ago, probably whatever they could get locally. I don't travel too far with it, but it was cool to be able to build three different tables. I think I have something on my website on the portfolio section that highlights the three different tables on how how they all have a different style. But they're made from the same bridge,
the initial the first look at all this material. That bridge. Is it a little overwhelming? Are you excited?
I'm more excited now. When I was younger. We built log cabins for living. My stepfather had his own log cabin company. So when when I was younger, it was overwhelming. You know, we're like 14 and you'd walk up to a stack of logs. That's three stories high that you're going to turn into a house and he's like, All right, get started. Here's the chisel. And three months later, you're done peeling.
What was it like working with your dad on this time?
Um, it was a little different. Causes my step dad and not my my father, but, uh, that we all get along and stuff like that. But ah, it's different. You know? It's family is with him, I guess. Being my step dad, he could yell at me a little more than normal or I don't really know. It was fun. Yeah, when you look back at it, it was fun. Really. All was. I learned a lot
and you apply what you've learned then now to your work?
Definitely, definitely. And I still go back and try to incorporate some of the people that I worked with back in Chambersburg and my projects when I can, That's a little far, but when I can I try to you
Do you have a lot of support from your family? I
d'oh ay dio When I was younger, I, uh I've been drawing since I was, like, five. So they've always tried to help me, uh, go in a direction that I wanted. At least they might not have been able to help me as hands on as they would have liked to with the drawing the art aspect. But there are other areas with the My dad builds houses too. So I've worked on multiple things with him, like my real father. Not my step, dad. Yeah, like he built a house that my mom lives in. Uh, So there's a lot of different traits that I've learned through the family. Like my one uncle's a mechanic. I learned how to work on cars, and I used to have ah, 65 Mustang that we fully restored. That my mom has now is that she's driving. She's does not drive it, unfortunately got damaged in the storage shed. It was in this barn and they rented 1/2 of the barn for this guy to make Italian dressing in. They're shit Italian dressing. I guess when you make it gets, like, really sit like the air gets kind of, you know, like I don't know what comes out of it or the different dressings, but it's just ah, chemical that gets near. And it started rusting these cars and stuff that we're in there. So, yeah, they ended up having Thio doing insurance claim to the owner of the barn that the storage barn. But, uh, it's it's getting brought back to life.
That barn was that also built. But you guys know this is
just so Chambersburg, if you don't know much about Chambersburg, is kind of like country area. So there's its farms and Barnes and things like that everywhere. So you could rent a barn out there that's like me and three times the size of a house here for what you spend for. Probably your apartment.
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. Yeah, on that's where you're from, right?
Yeah. Chambersburg coming up there, uh, graduated high school and three weeks later, moved here to start school with the Art Institute, which was interesting that that's like a whole nother day of stories there, but graduated. I was fortunate to have a job right out of school. I was an engineer and a designer and a fabricator for four years for company and then similar position for another company for another three years. And then I decided that I would try to work for myself. I was young enough. Had enough spunk, toe work, those long days. Yeah, but now here we
are. Here we are cast with you. Yeah. I'm happy. Happy to have you. Yeah. Thanks for having me appreciate 11 thing I really do like about your work. And I want to get back to this. The recycled materials. What encouraged you to do that? Was it because you were saving money or because you had a goal to actually help the environment?
So there's a lot of things that play into that. I worked with a character named Rick Box, which was a very, very nice guy. Super great artist. He's local here. I don't know if you've ever met him. Remember, Dog, I haven't yet, So if you've ever been to a mad Max, you have heard of him. Okay? He does all of the artwork. The majority of the artwork in the madness and the minerals that that the crazy characters
everyone I work with is, like the biggest man Mex fans. So, yeah, we got a man. Yeah, he's a
local legend. So actually worked with him on a few projects as I got out of the art institute when I worked for, ah, local fabrications firm, and I saw what he was doing with metal and recycled materials that he was getting. And I took my fine arts background and kind of started playing with a couple of things. And then we did this job for, I guess. What is it now? PPG Arena, PPG paint. Sorry. Yes, it's changed its name. Zo
Console PPG. And something else? The other one? I don't know.
Yeah, there's a government. When it first opened, it was something else. So when it first opened, we did a bunch of stuff in there. We did. So when you walk through the building, all the signs, you know how that, like, rust color with the nice chunks, like a glass around him all the way. Finding signs. You really don't realize it until you
like. I'm gonna go next sometime in there.
Yeah. Check it out. So those signs, there's rusted signs. We made maybe 30 or 40 different styles of rest pattern for these. Like for the architects to look at, pick which one they want. And I was like me and look at all these colors and stuff. You can get it. I was like, Oh, here we dont start playing with a little bit of steel that I have laying around over here on the side from jobs. And I took maybe five minutes a grinder couple chemicals and I drew this Rose and I took it to a little show and I before I even said it out. I said it out before I put it where I was gonna show some lady walks across the parking lot buys it in my day, it was over. I was like, All right, there's something here. Yeah, so I just kind of started playing with scraps and stuff like that. And you realized here in Pittsburgh that there steel everywhere, you know, it is everywhere. I'm really There's so many materials that people throw away that can be reused down toe electron ICS, you know, which I wish I knew a little more about electronics. But, you know, I just started playing with steel and doing, uh, incorporating my fine arts background. In all the years that I had of painting and things like that, I found out that we could make artwork with steel, you know, and come to find out there's actually a few other people in the world that I have met and interacted with. It do a type of steel artwork, but there are a little different. You know, there's nobody that teaches it. There's like everybody's own little take on it. It's kind of interesting to see. I'm anxious to see if these people will take on apprentices and it'll turn into like, its own style of
11 aspect of this still work that I really liked is the way you incorporate the rust, right? And I I don't know. But can you tell me, do you create that rust on your own? Or is the rust already there and you work around
it both? Okay, so I'll get clean sheets, and if I have an idea, I know where I want the rust I can. I I can control where it goes and how it grows and there's different things that we use water, salt, peroxide, vinegar, the basic things. You know, they're a couple other chemicals, like a steel black inner, which is basically kind of the same thing. They used to blue a gun barrel, Okay, but, uh, other than that, it's very basic that the stuff that I used, the rain around here, it's very, uh, corrosive. So it will make the steel rust in a certain way. So we'll take different textures and patterns and laid on the steel and get it to do certain things. But that's kind of just like the texture and the layering. It all comes back into me, taking the rotary tools and grinding away and then re arresting those sections and then grinding away in re arresting those sections, which has taken me very about six or seven years now to figure out how to do those layers like I started with one layer and I was like, Wow, that's cool. Two years later, psycho. But let's try to do too. Now we're like 40. Yeah, to create peace is that when you walk by, they have a lot of movement to have a lot of depth tomb and through, ah, seeing some other people's work and what other people are doing and threw a lot of vintage car painting techniques. I've seen what people do with, like, candy paints and the translucent paints. I'm gonna try to start layering the steel with those candy paint, you know, to create depth, but still have this ability to see through the paint and catch the medal movement behind it.
That's expensive. You have the candy paint? Yeah, the car automotive stuffs. What? Expensive. I believe it. I'm working on cars that you I should be getting paid more to do a car? Yeah, I would hope.
Well, I'm trying to incorporate that on the flat steel work. You know, Not even painting like a cardinal comes techniques people have used for 50 years.
So you do murals as well. And you've been doing murals with a fellow artist named John Johnson. John John. Yes. All right. It's one. So, yeah, and his colors are popping. They're looking very bright, and your colors are more earthy. It seems right. So the combination is like two worlds collide almost from my purse spray for it. What is that relationship like, And how has that kind of prospect for you both,
So it works well. John has very, very heavy. Ah, topography. I guess that is what the literal word for it would be. But I guess street art, street style street writing, uh, background. So we take a lot of that, and we blend it with what I do, which is that the style is really fine. Arts based. You know, it's really traditional, slightly realistic, but but the medium's what's abstract. So if you take my artwork and then switch it over to acrylic paint, it's not as different. You know, the medium's what really makes it pop out. So it's nice to work with John because as I'm working with John, I'm able to take this experimental medium and explore more abstract and stylized subject matter. You know where before I spent five years practicing this medium and not really working on my artwork ability. So now I'm able to go with John and actually work on painting faces, painting like cars, all of these other different subjects to where, before I was working on, Well, how do I make one object looked really good on steel Yeah. And now I figured out how to make one object look good on steel, which I used a rose and I painted. Probably did, like for 1000 of them. Were those the bookmark? Yeah, I used that to experiment with steel, you know? Then you take that and you incorporated into, uh, like the dawn. If you saw the panda piece that I have seen, it's a recent one, right? Yes, something like that that has so many layers from like silver toe black team rest rearrested layers, toe poetry going over their different pieces, you know? So it's It's definitely an evolution of something that's just going to keep evolving. And I hope to someday meet somebody that's interested in learning what I'm doing so they can take it involved into their own style of art working because the medium's really the exploratory thing. Anybody that does any type of artwork can really take that transfer to the metal. It's just a different style of, uh, medium. You know, instead of having your paints in a water bucket, you've got chemicals and a respirator and a grinder. It's a little more grungy. It's a little more beefy or you know, hands on.
Hands on. Yeah. And, uh, I know a lot of religious centers. E that does say right. They did. And they love does. Say, uh, one more thing that they love about does say is they are working there.
Yeah, John, I really spent a lot of time. And
did you do both doses?
That new one in South Side? Yes. And then the one out on McKnight Road? Yes. There's something many, many days out there, and we're actually possibly gonna be painting some other things in both locations. They have a couple other spaces that they'd like to fill up with some artworks, but yeah, John and I will know how John met the owners. Uh, I guess it's Andy and his brother Alex. But once we started working with them, it was just after the races. We started sketching forum, coming up with the different ideas that they would shoot us a couple different things and that there's there contemplating opening a couple more spots. So hopefully we get to do a little more of that. Ah does say inspired artwork. It's kind of nice. Where, as we're doing, a different locations were able to kind of like to start to tell a story with the artwork. You know, we get into more locations, we can incorporate, like the different spaces and, uh, I guess worlds that we've already created, you know, out of McKnight, you see, the one outside that has, like, the three crows and the band and the different cars, you know, be cool to incorporate those same characters throughout all of the, um, the restaurants, which is what I believe they're trying to do. We did. Ah, what the character we did for them is that neon sign the pepper we designed that for. Do you know that s o That pepper was actually out of our sketch book for the one wall? That's it. McKnight road. He's in the black scene That's up on Oak Island, covered in the brick and stuff that pops out there. So they actually took that and had a friend of theirs add color and vector rise that they used. That now is one of the main. Logan
now is not feel just having that company kind of embraced
your artwork. It's nice. It's nice, you know, given tacos and looking sharp working Yeah, Talk is really good. I would say Go get Go get them. They're very good.
Yeah. If you ever catch yourself in, sell side on a weekend night, be waiting quite some time, but it is worth
It was worth a try to get down during the day when nobody's Yeah, that's that is it s on the move. When they first opened the one hour McKnight man, there was a line out the door every day for the first month is gonna stay opened. It was pretty
it sze great place. And, uh, I just just the simple idea of like it was called Dose, I think because it was on 12 Street, right?
I am not sure. Exactly behind.
Maybe it just happened to be, like, right next to 12 Street and all right, I assumed it was those eight, but I don't know that I am not sure
about that. I really didn't. I should ask him that the next time I see him.
Yeah, I will. I know it's also the original one is next to 12 which is also on 12th Street, which they own as well. I
think they did own 12 whiskey barbecue, but I believe a friend of theirs purchased it. So it's still in there. Yeah, knit, close knit friend. But I don't think they personally on 12 was more, but we were there to paint some artwork. We got to paint a bunch of cool stuff, so that was fun. And that's like you were saying some of the working with John. I get to paint a lot more. You don't get to paint huge cars on a wall where normally I'm not getting to do that. Yeah, I have a few murals that
was a sixties and Pollard
63 Lowrider Impala. Yeah, And then we added a couple other characters and stuff in the background, which is I kind of just, ah, smashup of things that they sent to us the next one, if we get to if they open another location will be those same things, but more in a storyline and tomo piece, which will
be kind of nice. So speaking of stories, I believe stories are the way to connect with people on a level like no other. I think it is the ultimate way to connect and telling a story through art is powerful, but it takes time for you to really focus in on that story and really hit all those elements. So going through a place like does say, how How do you maintain that story? And what's it like to kind of see the story come to life free? Well, you
have to look at the clients and talk with them and really take their experiences and the story they're trying to convey, you know, as an artist, sometimes you get to convey what you want. But when you go out to meet with clients that have a blank wall, you really want to tell their story, you know, unless they specifically air like give me your soul. Most of the time they want to see something that connects with them, which it's really It's really easy to sit down with a client like, Well, what kind of things do you like? And just take some of their ideas and throw it into the artwork that they're about to see? That's kind of what we did there, you know, they had a vision for what they wanted their their layout in their store to be, and, uh, that's what we try to give them. You know, in the beginning week we sit down with pictures of the location and we sketch everything it out so they can see what it's gonna look like basically before we put it on the wall. Then they get the pick and choose what little pieces they want if they want to change some things, and that the whole story is definitely an aspect of the artwork world that people really enjoy. They want to read a story and they want to relate to it. Did you, by chance, watch any of the YouTube videos I had and watched the one show? That is It's a show that I did a couple years ago, but it's a story
I didn't know. I was looking on YouTube and I couldn't find too much under. Maybe I just overlooked your channel.
Maybe if you get on my website, there's like Lincoln stuff on there for it. But I don't really don't push that stuff super hard, either, because I work so much when I have a little time. I tried to actually just redid that website because Web site ahead for three years got lost to the Interwebs. Yeah, somebody server went down Then I tried to change it. And when I changed it with Go Daddy, they switched my domain name before I was ready so much when their server went down and they backed it back up. I had already switched my certain my doorman names. It was just, like lost. And they wanted money. And this Ned? Yeah. No. Yeah. No. Uh, yeah. So I I just rebuilt the whole thing over the last like week.
So this story there on YouTube and it's a video. What exactly?
Said this is a story that I had an opportunity to use this art space. I had about 35 days to get a show together and back on the recycled thing I had Oh, my gosh. You know, the big signs that are in front of, like, new stores that are going up there canvas that they put up understands, Like now? Yeah, stuff like that. The big banners s o for a little bit. When I first started my company, I did just side contracting work for sign work because a cz an engineer in a fabricator. We did a lot of that at my old company and there's a lot of money inside work. And I would middleman through a company that did a bunch of work for Western P, and I would go take these signs down and put new ones back up. And as I would take them down, I realized that the back isn't painted canvas. So these things are huge, like some of them were like 10 foot tall, 15 foot tall, by like 40 feet, you know, So I would just cut him all up in the little canvas isn't paying on him. So there's a There's a Siri's section on my website in like Instagram Timeline that just goes from metal work, all canvas to metal works. I took all of this canvas and we did a story show with it. All of these pieces of artwork are based around just a rough Romeo and Juliet story that I painted, like 40 pieces in, like, 30 days or something like that, and you had to walk through, read all the pieces and then figure out at the end what happened to the people. And then I didn't reveal the peace till the end of the show and you had, like, this list of things that you had to figure out, and then you, like, at the end put in what she thought happened. And then you either figured it out, didn't weigh, like did this whole entire show over 30 days. And it was pretty cool. But it could have been so much better if I would have taken, like, six months to really figure everything out because we had actors and we had outfits and people like people, like showed up at certain times, and they were a part of, like, the show. And then there was a soundtrack that went the whole way through. So John Wall Doon there was like, a part where the music just kind of like and he just comes stomping up the steps with, like, a tray of his goods. And he's like artwork for so artwork for sale. And he has to go through and interact with everybody, you know. Yeah, there's a part where I have two of the characters. There's, like the two main characters, and I have them dressed up like the main characters, and the paintings look just like them. That's also when they're walking around through the show. Seven people are noticing. Well, yeah, and you have to walk up and talk to them to get some of the clues, figure out some of the story. So it was this, like, whole interactive thing. It was kind of cool, but we did it in 30 days, so it was kind of rushed. I learned a lot. Someday we're gonna do,
I was gonna say, going back on doing it again. Now, you you kind of know what you want to work on. Yeah. Incorporate different elements going forward,
right? There's so much that we could have done better. But it's such a fun idea, and I don't just have people come. And what
was the name called?
It was temptation and seduction, compeition that it was. So there was all smiley faces, the two characters, and I want to
say I saw a few pieces, although we have. But I didn't see the overall. I think I was looking through your instagram and it said, like, this is the reality, like, 30 plus pieces
that we have. Yeah, it ended up being this whole entire thing. There was, like, one that you had to open a closet and turned the black light on. And then it had all this black light stuff on the I didn't know to turn the light on if you didn't get the card from the guy. I am like,
Okay, that's it. That's it was It's like an interactive artificial
it really Waas? Yes, really? The fact that we had it together in, like, 30 days, I was exhausted. It was fun. I wish we would have had a little more time. Like some like that over six months over, like, two or three stories. You know, where you got stuck in a room and you weren't allowed to leave. So you figured that out. Like an escape room are escaping. It could be, Yeah, you could make it very intense, You know, like where you have to figure stuff out before you get to the end. And if you don't figure it out, you never get to the You know, I'd like it to be something like that where you pay like a dollar tow walk through. You know, maybe it's some point you can get a drink if you don't get a drink. Maybe you don't get a clue for later on or something. You know, there are all kinds of weird little things, but it also because I tried to incorporate other artists. So John, at the time I was working heavily with him. If you look at the some of the pieces, there are pieces of his artwork painted in the artwork like there's, ah, part where the two people are having dinner and like, there's a piece of his artwork behind them in the painting, you know? And that's why when he came up selling his little wears, he kind of interacted with peace. All the different pieces
when you incorporated like his art in art. It's like art inception on this. But when I did that, did you paint it or did he
paint? Yeah, I painted. Okay. It was kind of like back in the day, other artists, if they had, like a a quarrel with another artist, they would paint them is like sea, like one of Satan's little demons over in the corner, like weird and creepy. Or if they had a good friend and he'd be like the right hand man of Jesus. Yeah, that would be his face you know, like that all the old artists used to do that all the time, and I don't see too many of my friends do that when they do Realistic style are weren't you know they don't incorporate other people into as much as they could? Would
you have kind of cool? That's cool that you're kind of bringing that back or you just try incorporating where you can.
Yeah, it's It's hard with steel unless you do like a big show like that where there's places to incorporate our work like that. I think we also had John hang a few of his pieces to in between some of the artwork, so it really stood out about that. We used him like, take up big spaces and stuff. Yeah, but it was cool like there was. Ah, there's a part of the the King. He was like the bad guy, and that's who I was in. The show's not gonna walk around and be the bad guy the whole time, but he has like this whole closet of guns, and there was just like this whole rack of like graffiti guns that we painted on. They all sold. That's pretty funny. They were like the only things from the show. The actual pieces of artwork that people bought. I was like, Oh, interesting people.
That is cool, Thio. See, like going into the street. You don't exactly know what people are going to kind of go to resignation with and post shows. You can see what people were feeling and
what kind of what kind of people you had there who were interested in the work. So it's really interesting to see what what somebody was interested in. How or why did they like it and going forward? How can you incorporate those elements more of your work in order to some
more? Unfortunately, when I did that show, I knew from the get go that I probably was not gonna sell much of it just because of that, the whole story, you know, what we did do is we offered Prince of Little Pieces for, like, 10 bucks of the different things. So a lot of people would buy, like a couple of the pieces that they really liked in a small version. Yeah, because the pieces of artwork, it's like it had this random part of a story on the background that didn't really mean too much to anybody. But it did mean a lot to the whole entire show. Yeah, but there were excuse me, a couple pieces that, like I said, I didn't that they went with the show, but they kind of had their own character like and there's with the gun pieces everywhere. The rest of them all had Smiley for his characters throughout. Yeah, that's that's also like people went to jail. There was like, smiley face, people in jail getting killed.
I didn't see a couple of Yeah, I was thinking. I saw that
somebody threw themselves off a building. It was it was an intern, intense.
I mean, it's kind of relevant to with our society in the sense that we live in a Motor Kong culture where, um, allergies don't dictate our feelings, but showcase how we feel. And a lot of times, some, not a lot of sometimes those emojis could be misinterpreted. And I don't know of what the story was necessarily about. But the fact that each individual character was the smiley face character right is great. Did this smiles change or they were always smile. I kind of forget.
No, it was self test in a long time ago. I think there may have been a few changes, but the majority of the time, it was just like I believe them smiling just to make it kind of awkward. You know, like, I'm about to throw myself off
a building, you know what I mean? Yeah,
but it was weird. It was just like a basic Romeo and Juliet type story. So in the beginning, when you walked in nervous this like a there was like, an intro that was kind of narrated by these three God pieces that talked about, like, temptation and seduction through Zeus Arrows and Aphrodite is point of view. And then it came into, like, a picture. A big, um, skyline of like, Pittsburgh then actually was, like, painted into the side of the steps. So when you walked up, it looked like you were looking out office side of steps, like into Pittsburgh, you know? Then you walked up into this room and you walked around and succession, and it was just one family against the other type. Deal, You know, real
well you say that it's like a Romeo and Juliet.
Yeah, just with different things. So it's like a car scene where they're like racing cars. And we painted the two people in the cars and him getting arrested. It was it was interesting, would be kind of cool to take that idea, turn it into more of a comic books and area, you know, doing on huge sheets of steel. You know what I mean? Do you know, like, so you'd have a four by eight sheet of steel? It looked like a comic book page. So you walk into the room and there'd be a comic book page.
I can't even fathom that because I can fathom it. I just can't even truly picture it because I've never really seen, you know, really interesting.
But you've seen my artwork. The kind of I can I can see it all, like metal carved and shimmery and shiny with people doing different things. Maybe each room has, like, three pages in it. So no comic book would be like, what, Maybe 15 20 pages? Yeah. You could have a couple rooms with a couple pages, cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to do that would be very interesting. There's a There's a lot of things that we have ideas for. I don't have you. Have you ever seen any of the underwater pieces that I've kind of done? Where I blew the steel and then the animal?
It's like the, uh there's an octopus.
Yeah, there's a good woman. So it be cool to do something like that where you take this steel build like a tunnel and have random lights inside of it. So when you walk through, it's all like underwater, like your aquarium. Almost.
I did. I did see a post that you had about that, and you even wrote in the Post. You wrote. I would love for this to be at some type of one accord, right? Yeah. No, I I do remember seeing that, and that's
it would be kind of cool, like you're walking underwater and over There's lights and stuff. Maybe you walk through with a flashlight and you as you're walking through. That's what shines the pieces. Be cool to do something like that, but that the amount of money and just the area in space, you'd have to have a museum are back. You
well, it's good we're planning around here, right? Yeah, I
know, but I gotta have bills. Yeah, No bills. I believe that we have so many good ideas for art exhibits. The Did you see the bus? We painted
the bus. I have no
mean John and I, along with two others. I forget their their names at the moment. Is this the bus? That was like sitting outside of a festival. There were a bunch of red fish bowl things. It's got the Octopus on the side of it, all kinds of different things.
I want to say I was in this, but probably
have Nick drives it big, crazy Harry guy.
Okay, so wait, He drives it as a party bus now, right?
Yeah. He, like, goes from here to Oregon and Jersey.
Any tapes? People in the bus, and yeah, just like it's a party. But
he tell you about like that how he can, like, fuel it while he's driving and like, it goes like, 800 miles before he has to put gas. And so what? We want to dio I'm really good friends with his brother, and they both have buses and they drive back and forth across the country. I want to take cameras and put them in different views off of the bus and record a trip the whole way across the country. And then I want to get into a junk yard and I want to get
Yeah, that's it. I was in the I was actually drinking with them in the Boston
Red Fish is like one of my best friends. Okay, so we want to put cameras on top of this thing and then go to the junk yard and get like, a bus seat, just the seat, and then, like steering Leo in a section of the dashboard and then like the door and then build a wall beside it and then project out on the wall. So when you're sitting there and you're looking out the window, you're seeing what they would see us. They're driving across the country. Oh, that's often so as you walk into a room, all there is maybe like 15 different car seats with a wall in a different position, playing a part of the ride. You sit down and you're like, Oh, this is Colorado going through three foot of snow, you know, And maybe maybe you hit a deer or something. Are you just all kind of Whatever you see as you're driving across the country? You know, maybe it's you're lucky enough to see them drive past something really interesting, like one of the national monuments, because they go all over the place. They go to salt flats and stuff and hang out. You know, it would be cool to just have different sections that people would just sit in and be like, I wonder how long I have to sit here to see something cool.
Yeah, and so would you. Would you, then, like you have that recording, right? Yeah. And you would have this would be on YouTube.
No, no, no. This would be like it seemed like it. The museum, like Carnegie Museum. So you don't walk in and personally sit in the seat and grab the steering wheel and look to the left and see
how it was actually. Really? Okay. Now I fully understand. So we would have to
go to the junk yard and physically get car section's, cut him out and bring them to the museum and settle down so people could sit in on you. Like like maybe there's Maybe it's out this window.
Maybe you'd like to take a trip across America And the what? What does he call the name of the Baja?
He caused that thing something, but But I don't even want to call it that. I just want to call, like, a trip across America and just have different types of car seats, whatever car seats we can get. Maybe one was like a convertible.
I you mean that you kind of like a merge yourself in that car. That and then it shows you the environment,
right? Driving the nurses like a little projector. Maybe the walls curved, you know? So it looks like you're actually you don't see too much, but you see what they see
you driving. That is definitely a unique idea, I think. Yeah. No, it definitely
would. As an artist, you know, it's just hard to get the time together to do something like that. Well, your bills were over here because nobody's other than the little bit. I don't even know how that works. When you do a show with a big museum like you paid for ticket sales because nobody's gonna buy that and put it in their house. Yeah, I mean, they might Thea
the right buyer, but that that person is this wonderful random Paris and I
get upset. I guess there's people out there that by banana taped to Lawson
that was absurd to handle this. But, I mean, it's
all right, right? It is. So evidently the banana will let curl up and get real gross and just stay there for a long, long
time. Yeah, it's super weird. I don't know. I don't know. I do, though, when I see bananas, I'm not gonna lie when I see them. And art, for some reason I'm like this is really cool. Like I appreciate the banana Gray really did. Especially now, the extra Yeah, no, definitely. I want to talk about one piece specifically, and that piece is the Tiger tiger. That was a metal piece. It's smaller piece. Is it the blue of orange? And it looks like the little rusted I may have taken a.
There's only two tigers I think I've done. There's one where he's like sideways. And then there's one with like words in the back. That's all. Rest. There's one that's rust and blue.
And then there's one that's orange. I I want to say it's the orange tiger. This is
the one looking, like, straight at it,
looking straight at the, uh,
at the tires face. Yes, one is still in my studio. Really? Yeah. Interestingly, that's out of ah Siri's of, like five that I did. I didn't Yeah, that's that. That's the only one out of a series that I did have, like, five that didn't sell.
This one didn't sell.
Yeah, said I have that. I did an octopus. I did a shark. I did an elephant. I did that.
And you did saw blades.
And there were some saw blades. I haven't seen this play just like what?
What gave you the inspiration to do these type of animals?
Well, I like the ones that relate to people and people can relate to. You know, everybody sees like a tire your inner like Oh, I could be a tiger. Some days everybody sees, like the Octopus, and they see these like, underwater, whimsical type thing. So a lot of those have poetry that my girlfriend and I have written in the background of the poem will actually be written out on the back so you can kind of try to decide about the rest. Do
you write poetry in order to incorporate itself into the art, or do you write it, uh, away from the heart and then incorporated on your own? He
goes both ways. Sometimes I'll read a piece, and I'll be like, Oh, that needs to have some artwork. Thio,
could you Is there any chance you could just, like, spit a poem right here on top your head? If not, that's cool. Probably. Okay, now, that's fine. Yeah, I could I couldn't do that either. Said that? That's fine. I
mean, so I actually used to have a band. Okay. Oh, man. We played around the city for, like, two years was called coat rack. Lifejacket.
Is this before you were involved in the art here?
Um, kind of. So when I was doing my, like, real jobs, I had, like, a 9 to 5. Yeah, he went and sat in front of a computer all day, and then I come home and I did a little artwork, but we had a band for a while was me and my buddy and we played all over the place Club, Cafe, Alter Bar before they shut down.
He's a place
like Iraq to place and stuff that plays nowadays. But there was another band, three dudes chilling, you know, it was just like a like a reggae rock type thing. But, uh, in your spare time, check out my soundcloud.
Okay? Not today. What's the name of it?
It would be coat rack, life jacket, coat rack life, Jack. Yeah. Yeah, we'll check it out after that.
Yeah, I know it's
different, but, uh, that there's some poems on there like we could freestyle someday. I gotta be ready for it.
Yeah. So, personally, the reason I'm interested is because I've been writing poetry for the past three years and it's really given myself an outlet to express myself creatively. I think that because this culture we live in, we consume so much we, as individuals, need to express ourselves creatively. Definitely. I don't think I'm the best artist and the way of pain or things like that. But when it comes to my words, that's that's where my heart lies, right? And poetry really speaks volume. So I really taken interest in other people's poems.
When you listen to the music, it is very lyrically based, but they all kind of tell stories and stuff like that. Uh, I really enjoy my girlfriend's writing. She writes a lot of, Ah, unique little poems, and she writes on the bus and stuff. I've been trying to get her to put that out more. You know, whether she does it through like a private instagram, that nobody knows that's her or whether she writes like a Children's book or something like that. Yeah, I'm trying to just be, uh, very just supportive and that outlet
and with with your girlfriend, You did say that you incorporate her poetry into your work, right? That brings it to a whole new layer is right. And what What is that? What is that like?
It's fun. She helps me a lot. She's really good at writing. She is going to school to get her PhD and immunology at pit right now, so she works in the lab and doing a lot of like, monotonous, just like pipe heading and reading. So when she gets to do something creative, you really get to see her eyes light up. She like it's enjoy that. So when I have a piece like that, Tiger, uh, that I don't have a poem for I like Thio Let her help me write it or even just let her write it. I think she wrote the one for that. She's written. It might not have been that one, but she's written a few of them, and she, uh, she really likes that. She gets to incorporate her thoughts. It's a lot of my artwork, but before I met her, I did a few pieces that had a bunch of different words and stuff that I took, like quotes and stuff from other movies and things. But after I met her and saw the type of writing that she did a kind of straight away from using other people was quotes and things and trying to use more of like what she would write, or like what I would write just like, But I'd say just because it's more say people relate to that more, you know, where they see something like, Oh, you wrote that while that that's me, you know, But it's hard, you know, There's so many different people that, like so many different things, but it's it's fun to work with her. You know, I've been trying to get her to paint more with me. I got her, Ah, watercolor kid. So she's been paying with that Jeff. So it's it's nice,
and it's nice to see that, uh, you guys can incorporate each other's art together, right? Really? Grow with that. That's really cool to see,
and she's very supportive. Thio man was out her right now. It's tough, you know, if you're out here trying to be an artist and trying to do your own thing, if you don't have a ton of support on your side, it is really tough. You know, she's definitely my biggest supporter.
Yeah, that's awesome. That's really cool. Nice. You do unique and tables, coffee tables, things that like and I was looking through some of them. They are extremely unique, and I just want to know what made you get into, like those specific, like uniqueness of the tables. And you have like these. These curvature sze to him that just like different, you know, and like there's like a next to a piece of wood there, but it looks sweet there, you know, like something like this. You table you didn't do. But I could see something like this coming from
right, right, your shop. So I take a lot of different cues and inspirations with woodworking. There's a lot of traditional styles of woodworking that did people really, really fall in love with a lot of traditional Japanese handwork. A lot of log cabin work which most of it falls back into the older hand style work. So going back to the log cabin work, most of that was by hand. You know, you're taking these big logs and hand cutting, and not just with the chainsaw. So everything fits together nicely and going in with hand chisels and that, you know, hand drills and making sure everything's perfect. And with that, I try to just, really, really stay away from what other people were doing, you know? You know, there's a lot of people doing like the epoxy poor table, so I try to stay away
from Yeah, I heard an interview that you had about two years ago with Josh writer and you were hitting on that idea. You want to create something that no one's ever seen before,
right? Right. And that's like with the barn tables. You know, I tried to give the people three different style tables that you're normally not gonna go see at any other anywhere. Really? You know, the one table with the end gets a little farm table, ask where it's just the kind of standard farm table, but that's just what she wanted, you know? But, uh, it's really nice when I get to incorporate the different worlds that I have. I had my hands and, you know, like the rat Rod or custom car world. Then you have the log cabin world. And then you have this, like, modern design world that we, uh I kind of got introduced to when I got into my, uh, my professional jobs, you know, like I said, a designer and an engineer on a fabricator. But those jobs at the end there really showed me what the modern world is capable of. Even if you've ever been to the Andy Warhol Museum,
I have not actually I need to have. When
you walk in there, there's like a desk that's this huge purple like metal formed desk with like inch thick top. That's like acrylic. That's all form and stuff. And I That was one of the things that I helped build and injuring. You see stuff like that and it's just like, Wow, you can really make anything Yeah or you like my buddy own. If you watch TV or D'oh, watch the What is it that the street outlaws? True? I have not know what I'm talking about. I'm not familiar, you know. It's a It's a Discovery Channel Thio show where they like race these ridiculously fast cars down the street. One of my buddies from back comes on there. Okay? It took his boat motor, Put it in a car like ended up on that show with it. Yeah, it's like 130 mount an hour down the road
with the boat motor. That's that's unreal. It was it, like in the
front of the car for that, Yeah, yes, it like boats. If you buy a big motor for it's basically the same motor. Just how the propulsion of that motor's. It's just different transmission and how it drives. But yeah, and that you pretty much build anything you put your mind to it?
Yeah. No, I definitely appreciate that months
set. But as I'm getting older, though, the woodworking was kind of losing its ah appeal. Kind of like that. The artwork is kind of picking up a little more, and I get to experiment with that more. It's a lot more fun, you know, that would working
when you're collaborating with someone who enjoys right just as much as you did. So that's that's gotta bring life a whole new meaning to your art and what you do
it for. It's also not is monotonous. When you're doing the woodwork, it's like you design it. You cut the wood, you playing the Would you sand the would. You finished the wood. And there those take a long time. There's like hours of just sand in the wood. You know, our hours of just running shit through the table. So it's just like, man, I wish I was painting pictures. Yeah, let's make sense. Be nice. Someday if I could, uh, get more clients in that and then just have somebody else build it, you know, kind of like the middleman design work and then have a side fabricator that does that work on that someday, you know, it's hard to do it all. It is. Yeah, yeah. Need teamwork. Makes the dream work, right? Right. Man, if I could get, like, 30,000 extra dollars, which isn't really a lot when you can think of, like, the grand scheme of things, I would be able to get myself to where I could take, like, a month, maybe two months, and just focus on forwarding the business. You know, we're getting there. Yeah, we're getting there.
I believe in you get
30,000 isn't a ton, you know, a couple of decent jobs. And that's but that's, like the type of level that I would have to get to before I can really push things, But, uh, and I'm probably only gonna be in Pittsburgh for, like, another three years like that. And then my my girlfriend has to move for her postdoc because there's, ah, variety of nice areas that we could move to New Orleans being one of them, So I'm kind of trying to set things up to where I am. Ah, but my footprint is bigger, you know, like my artwork can be somewhere without me. Really? Actually being, you know, like where I can just ship things and lay the groundwork. Yes. So Pittsburgh is kind of one of those places now where I can always fly back into fly out of my friends, have nice a nice base for the
visit. The coffee shop? Yeah, that's Ah, that's really cool. And I'm glad to see that you're ambitious going forward and you're not just trying to plant. Oh, I want to take this moment to thank you all for listening to my podcasts. I hope you enjoyed listening to the first part of this episode. If you do, don't forget to subscribe Greatest five stars and let me know what you really think about the podcast. I do enjoy constructive criticism. Now strap in for the second part of this discussion, This is called Burst on. This isn't the first time for burst on, but let me break it down. The way it works is me and the guests with a pack of Star Wars and I burst out some questions and I expect some fast answers. Sometimes I don't always get that, but that's okay. During this burst time, Shawn will talk about poetry and art pencils and pence rock papers and scissors. And if you happen to have miss a phone Eah, please don't continue. You are not gonna enjoy this part of the episode. So I know you recently did have some. Like to surgery of some sort. So typically, I give guest Starburst. That's on. But if you don't want to go this I could probably chewed a starburst if you don't want to go the Starburst. I did have Belvita crackers. I can probably choose. Excellent. Excellent. Various time, Tropical Starburst. The way it works is I'm just gonna ask some questions. First amount. You hit me back with the answers, and we'll just go from there, so yeah, it's a tropical pack of starburst. Um,
you get the crown next week, so we're good. Oh, excellent. Yeah, it's gold. Golden Crown. Never know. I fit with term of being great. I told the dentist I was like, Man, I could make my own tooth because we have three D printers. That was like, Just give me the scan. I'll come back with a nice gold one. Evidently they're not allowed to do that anymore or they're they're allowed to, but they just don't because heavy metal content is not really going to have it in your mouth. You know what I mean?
Yeah. Take as many of these as you'd like. Don't let your dentist I've been showing on the side for a couple of years on the Late Show. Yeah. All right. So first question, who is one artist you'd like to collaborate with whom you've yet to?
Um, this is somebody that I am. I just supposed to burst out. That's up to you. Somebody that I don't know or somebody I do know
that is also up to you. Very vague, questioning
that be hills guy only know how you say his name. You know who I'm talking about? A house in the hills. Be h I l s. He just had a show in Cincinnati. The hills? Yeah. Does all that? Yeah, if you look like, does all these cool things where he grew up, like, takes concrete walls and chisels out imagery and stuff of them. A very interesting character.
Okay, Member Meadows. But you will. Hopefully someday. You had a lot of attractions here. Um, so favorite book to read when you're feeling sad.
Oh, I don't know. That's really hard. All right, All right. So I have a bunch of poetry books on my on my toilet that it's just a wall of poetry books. The, uh, the, uh, Edgar Allan Poe on it gets kind of deep and dark. It's real sad with it. Gotta be sad with something. Yeah, right. He's about a sad as they get right, gets real deep and dark and some of them that I'll just get from that rate to the Calvin and Hobbes that's behind him. He was always really nice. Don't cheer you up.
Yeah, um, favorite word you like to incorporate into artwork. Um, if there even is one. If not, that's cool too.
Well, I feel like now there's, like, peace and love. You know, those are some big topics that people like to see in the artwork. But anything on the drastic end of the spectrum like that is always interesting. Does he express love? Hey.
Yeah. You, uh, sorry. I get sidetracked. But you do have this awesome piece. It's two people. There's a big heart around them. And then there's a crazy amount of worried
that was just a new Amsterdam. Oh, really? I think somebody just bought that, actually,
Yeah. Brilliant idea. I genuinely love them. There's so much
going on in that piece up. It's actually my take on the Vitruvian Man, but instead of ah ah, circle around them which Leonardo Divinci and some other guy before him painted to try to paint like the perfect person in the circle. You know, that's what I'm talking about. The guy has, like, four arms and stuff. D'oh! All these notes around it. Why did it around the heart and then the song that's written in the background? This atmosphere's yesterday, which is about, uh, missing his father because Dad's dead. But it's also about just kind of, ah, seeing somebody on the street, and you kind of like glance and think it's somebody, but it's not them. It says, Like I thought I saw you yesterday, but it wasn't you. You were walking the opposite way, and it's just something like that, Um, that with the two people like walking, it's supposed to be them to casually walking past each other, thinking like, Oh, is that somebody that I should talk to you know that this whole idea of you know you could be walking past the person that's meant for you without even knowing it. Uh, but there's also is extremely deep It is. There's a lot that goes into it. So the Vitruvian man is also like an old story based off of how Zeus created humans and then was like, scared of them because they had four arms and four legs or something and that he was, like, scared of them. So he ripped them apart into two separate bodies a man and a woman, and like, spread them out across the world, so they weren't as powerful. And your goal was to get back to your perfect self like to find your soul mate, to begin that, like, perfect creature again. All kinds of weird stuff that went into that. Yeah, But there I also used my one friend Nick as, ah, inspiration for the one character. Hey, it is not that he's not an artist or anything. Just a random friend. And then the other person was just a one. Another random friend from college that Nick was friends with this wells. She fit the the character description. Very.
And a plant that you like. Just like a type of plant, if you like
plants. I like a peppermint. Peppermint Peppermint meant you can make really good tea with it really quick. If you grow some peppermint, take novel The leaves boil on real quick. Little bit of sugar is fire.
Okay, Alright, peppermint. And if you were playing rock paper scissors shoot, What would you choose first? Probably rock. I also choose Raya. But if you're listening and I've ever played you, I'd probably go paper.
That's what it really depends, though I kind of just like five minutes. I said Brock now, and it's probably paper later. You know, I look at the person I'm up be like, man. Are you a paper person? Or, you know, I'm gonna have to profile them before pen or pencil. I like pencil.
Yeah, Yeah. You do have a pencil it All right. And, uh, is there anything coming up in your life or anything that you'd like the listeners to be a part of?
A man? I do not. And unfortunately, I have so many projects book right now. I'm just trying to fit everything in there
Where should they keep up with you, then to see what you're doing.
The instagrams, usually the best man at my coffee shop. I try to update the website as much as I can, but I just updated. That's and that's about was updated. It's gonna be for a while, but he had The instagram is definitely the best way.
And what is wrongness of reality mean to you,
Uh, rawness of reality. You know, I actually just started following you today because I didn't realize that you had a separate page from this. I do? Yes, I actually got on there, And, uh, the last month of my reality has been pretty, well raw with face pain. So, like, I feel like I'm personally again. You know, uh, but the rawness of reality proof, man, there's so many aspects of that. Just life in itself. Just being a person, right?
Yeah, just just living. Yeah, just be.
It's just out there being a person. You're out there being a person that's pretty roll
a simple act of being you All right. All right. I like that. And, uh, that's really all I have for you today. Really glad you came really loud. We get this together and yeah, thank you, Thank you. And we'll see you guys later on. Once this episode is over, don't forget to subscribe to our Channel Greatest Five stars and leave some reviews. I'd really like some feedback on how we're doing and how we can prove this guy's a limit. Our episodes can on Lee get better from here. I want to give a big thank you to Mike Campus, our production manager and Joe Cow on the Beats and one more big thank you to Shawn Coffee. He was an awesome guest, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. If you didn't get enough of Sean coffee through this interview, and I doubt you did check out his instagram at my coffee shop through there. There's a link to his website and you'll see all of the wonderful work he's been a part of. And remember, stay raw with reality.