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Artist Spotlight on Tim E. Bush: A Philadelphia artist fulfills his family’s legacy.

June 8, 2014
Tim E. Bush: a self portrait

Tim E. Bush: a self portrait

I’ll happily feature on my blog, here, the work of others who have mastered their craft, and who have inspired me to persist in my own little business. The goal for you, dear readers, is to visit them at their respective websites to see if they might serve some need of yours. This premier of my Spotlight Seriesfeatures the work and thoughts of Philadelphia artist Tim E. Bush. We went to high school together, where his artistic talents brought him near celebrity status in some circles. I did not see him as much after we graduated high school, but encountering him on occasion has always been a treat. Since the advent of le Web 2.0 and social networking, my virtual encounters with him have become more frequent. This is fantastic because Tim E. Bush a fascinating individual.

Tim authors a website entitled Abstracts and Angels at TimEBush.com. He shares his art, comics, poetry, and memoirs there, as well as his Zazzle shop, where you can purchase a variety of useful items bearing his colorful designs. I’ve found Tim’s Zazzle shop to have been inspirational from a small business and marketing standpoint. Tim has made a great use of this resource to get his brand out there, and so I have on occasion considered doing the same. I haven’t put that together quite yet, but maybe I will some day.

I’ve conducted an e-mail interview with Mr. Tim E. Bush, and he gave so generously of his time to answer my questions that I will divide his interview into no fewer than three installments. He may well become a regular in this series. Without further ado, I present to you the first installment of my interview with artist Tim E. Bush: 

TIM G.: Take us back to your childhood. When did you first begin to develop your artistic talent, and on what types of projects did you work as child?

TIM E. BUSH: Okay, so I would say that my childhood was not all that great, but you probably already knew that. One thing that a parent does for a child is give them some crayons and paper. I was so mesmerized and astonished when playing with the crayons when I was a kid. I thought it was pure magic that something you held in your hand could make something else happen. I remember my sister or someone else saying that “you can make anything you want to when you draw”… It stuck with me and always made me dream about other worlds and places.

A surrealist piece more characteristic of Tim's earlier work.

A surrealist piece more characteristic of Tim’s earlier work.

I remember always asking for paper and pen or pencil wherever we went. Anyone who we visited wherever I went, I would always ask for a piece of paper and pen or pencil. I am sure I got on the nerves of my parents with that. Luckily, pretty much everywhere I went, there were free- or what seemed like to a kid- free art supplies. I never really played with toys all that much either. If I did, it was mostly legos. I liked to make stuff with the legos. Before I was born, my grandfather died when my mom was a young girl, 14, I think. He was a professional artist and from what I heard, a pretty good one. I haven’t seen many of his works, but I do know that he worked for Morton Salt Company doing advertisements for them at some point. My grandmother, (whom I did meet and spend time with) was a model for artists and that is how they met. My grandmother was even sculpted by a famous artist whose work of her was on display in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Quite a legacy to uphold!

So this was always on my mind, I always dreamed of what my grandfather made when he was alive and I always wanted to do “just as good as him” even though I never really knew what he did. My father also had talent and was quite good at sketching birds. This made me want to be an artist even more. So, everyone around me was pretty creative from my uncles on my mother’s side to my father and even my mother was interested in ceramics for a while. I guess it was a given for me to become an artist.

A lot of the work I did when I was young were just random objects around the house. I would draw any and everything that was in front of me and would go to great lengths to find something to draw. Eventually, I was able to pull from my brain just about anything that I wanted to draw. There were always knick knacks around, random things on shelves and random things that I thought about. I remember being inspired by the movie “Legend” with Tom Cruise where there was a giant devil. I drew the devil and it made everyone worry. I followed this up with a picture of hell and then a picture of Jesus going into Hell to clear and purify all of Hell. It was a bit of a trip for everyone and for me as well.

TG: Forgive me if I butcher these art terms, but I remember your work in high school as more surrealistic. I would describe much of your more recent work as abstract. Describe for us some of the artistic phases you’ve been through in between, and what has prompted the changes in your artistic focus.

TEB: So, as I said in the previous question, I started out as any kid would and then went into realism and then I started to think on my own and come up with surreal (you were right on the term) drawings and paintings. I joined an art class in Fairmount Park and got my first taste for an art class as well as abstract painting. Everyone thought a painting I did looked like Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings and I had never seen any of her work before then. It stuck with me the idea that I was as good at least in idea as a famous artist and I tried from then on to always be amazing. (It didn’t always work) .. From then, I went to high school and was in the surrealism phase you knew me from. I would draw the strangest, most bizarre things and people would worry about me, but a lot of people also thought I was the greatest artist ever. This gave me enough conviction to know that I was a true artist.

Some art school homework

Some art school homework

After high school, I went on to Tyler School of Art where I studied realism and came upon some new artistic ideas and thoughts. It was a real eye opener. I became ill and was unable to work. After a while, I needed to go back to school and learn something for my own peace of mind, but I could only do a certain amount back then, so I had to join an online school. I went to the Academy of Art University and learned mostly traditional topics – mostly the figure. Because it was online, I got used to photographing and cataloging all of my art online, so I started a blog. It was around this time that I really started to get into abstracts, I think it was a reaction to always having to work in realistic subjects and not really wanting to go back into surrealism. Plus there was no real attachment to what others would think about what I was drawing with the abstracts. I think I learned more about myself and who I was when I did the abstracts.

While working on this, I became interested in spirituality and psychic senses. I studied and learned, on my own, about the sixth sense and angels and spirit guides and then I started a comic book, or graphic novel, actually two which I am still working on and this led to the comic strip that is at the top of my blog. So that is where I am at now. I posted on the title of my blog- timebush.com Abstracts And Angels. So there is still that odd juxtaposition of things in my work.

TG: Of course, when I think of our friendship over the years, my most prominent memory is our past musings about how objects might appear and behave in four spatial dimensions. These musings were of interest to me, at the time, as a student of mathematics. Did these discussions influence your art at all?

An abstract work of Tim's more recent inclinations.

An abstract work of Tim’s more recent inclinations.

TEB: Yes. I would say they did. I became interested in thinking in more abstract ways from our discussions. I became interested in what it meant and what it means to be different and what it would be like in another dimension. I think that a lot of the abstracts that I do feel like what I would imagine it would feel like to switch from 3d to 4d. As I became interested in spirituality, I realized that there was a lot of talk about moving from 3d to 4d to 5d and beyond in terms of a person’s spiritual understanding. This really struck me and I kept reading about these sorts of topics. It turns out that a lot of people who write this stuff actually channel higher beings (Or so it seems) that would talk about some great awakening in terms of moving the entire planet into more evolved and higher thinking. This esoteric thinking got me thinking about life and what it means to be a person and I thought more and more about my artwork and what I was putting out there and decided I just had to make art that was more loving and spiritual in nature. I fell in love with angels and this type of “magical” thinking and the whole world that was involved with this sort of thing.

That concludes Installment No. 1 of my interview with the great artist, Tim E. Bush. Do look next week for the next installment. In the meantime, check out his website at TimEBush.com, and his various shops, including his Zazzle shop.timebushgiftbox

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