CARTOON BEACH WORLD - Interview with Pharrow Stevens

What made you decide to become an illustrator?

I've always done a lot of drawing, but most of this kind of art has been inspired by my friend Dan Chaison, who helps me come up with some of my ideas.

Tell us a little bit about your style.

My work is sort of stylized, because I don’t have a lot of technical skills. I would love to develop my skills more and explore different styles. I'm open to using different styles for different ideas.

How has your style progressed, or changed, over the years?

My paintings have gotten bigger and brighter with less backgrounds. I'm starting to paint some more complicated scenes with lots of different animals and characters moving around each other.

What inspires your characters and subject matter in your illustrations??

I get inspired by watching people and animals doing funny stuff. The best inspiration for me is going snorkeling.

Has living in Maui influenced your art in any way?

Maui is a big part of my art. I'm very comfortable here and I have a nice routine that I think helps me be creative. I would love to do some traveling and see how other places inspire me!

How do you stay motivated and creative?

The biggest motivation to me is other artists. People who seem to have an endless flow of great ideas. Philip Kremer is always surprising me.

What is art to you?

I don’t know what constitutes art. I had a great idea to do this whole hoax on my Instagram. I said I had been taking these shady art classes on craigslist and lost a ton of money to this scammer. I kept posting updates that became more and more outrageous. I thought everyone would see it as an act and think it was hilarious performance art… I think like three people thought it was funny.

What is your favorite song, band, or artist to listen to while you're illustrating?

My favorite music to listen to while I work is Nigerian Gospel music. Very upbeat.