The colorful Day of the Dead paintings on this page are the vibrant creations of Seth, a full-time artist living in the San Francisco Bay area. Seth's Dia de los Muertos art is bursting with vitality and charm. His skulls and skeletons are alive with the magic of Dia de los Muertos!
And perhaps most fun of all, his artwork is available for purchase on items as far-ranging as candles to wallets to flasks.
Seth was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his artwork and inspirations. Check out this exclusive interview for a glimpse into the mind of this talented contemporary artist:
What medium do you work in?
I like to work with whatever is available to me. Most typically acrylic paint on wood, which is a habit from my time as an icon painter. The painting on wood part at least. It has a very different feel than canvas, and I would recommend it to any artist looking to change things up.
My most recent project is carving out blocks of linoleum for ink prints. I am hooked! Should have the first prints in my shop soon.
What sizes (generally) are your Day of the Dead paintings?
Most of the images you see in the prints section of my shop were originally around 9 x 7. But I like to paint on all sorts of stuff. Right now I am in the middle of painting a wallet, a set of wood sugar skull eggs, and a meat cleaver.
When did you start making Day of the Dead art?
I think I started doing it seriously a couple years ago. I was painting mainly icons of the saints, and Mary and Jesus for churches. I was looking at pictures of sugar skulls and felt almost hypnotized by them. I painted one and couldnt stop. Actually, I have been told that I tend to pose my skeletons as if they were one of the saints I painted on the wood plaques.
What does Day of the Dead mean to you?
Mostly it means fun. But on a slightly (or much) deeper level it is about acceptance and even celebration of death. To me, the Mexican people have the most healthy attitude toward death in the world. There are mysteries beyond our mortal lives that can only be unraveled through death. So death becomes an exciting adventure and something to look forward to. Sort of.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your art?
People have different feelings about the holiday itself, and Im sure those opinions play a part in the way they feel about my paintings. I like that the art is more about celebrating the holiday and some of its deeper meanings than celebrating the artist. And I like that with my artwork and all artwork, people are free to think what they want about it.
I woke up one day (a few years back) and thought, I can paint whatever I want. There is no art monitor that is going to shut me down if I paint the wrong thing, or use the wrong colors. People who like what I do will support it and that is a great feeling. Others won't like it, but thats okay too. There is a freedom in that attitude, and if the feeling of fun and freedom come across a little then Im extra happy.
Do you create custom Day of the Dead work, if someone is interested in commissioning a personalized work of art?
Absolutely! I have done a lot of custom Day of the Dead artwork. Sometimes a couple that I paint as skeletons. Sometimes leather wallets, sometimes I will paint a special message on the back of a flask and seal it on. I always like hearing peoples ideas for custom work and most of the time I can do whatever it is they want.
If you are planning a Day of the Dead wedding, why not commission Seth to create a custom painting just for you? Or if you know someone who is throwing a Day of the Dead themed wedding, a custom painting from Seth would be the perfect (and totally unique!) gift for the happy couple.
You can see more of Seth's Day of the Dead paintings at his etsy shop, flowerofthedead.etsy.com. In addition to original Day of the Dead paintings, Seth also sells prints, candles, wallets, flasks, light switch covers, jewelry, and a whole range of other cool things!
Sugar Skull Coasters available in Seth's Etsy shop