We had the good fortune of connecting with Fuzz E. Grant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fuzz E., why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It was never a choice to pursue an artistic career. I always artistic but have tried everything to NOT be and artist because of the stigma around it. However, everything I tried left me miserable and the only thing that makes me happy is being an artist. It took me a long time to discover this but I am finally able to proudly tell people I am artist.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
“The animals are watching” is my guiding motivation of my artwork.
Always in love with animals, and the way that looking into their eyes subjugates the human, a pivotal point in my artistic career was spending time with brown bears in Alaska. The subversion of the power balance, with human on the bottom, brought home to me the need for a more equitable balance of non human and human animals. When there is a bear in front of you, they have right of way. I realized this anxiety is what most animals must constantly feel in the ever expanding human world.
This experience pushed me forward to create art. Previously I had worked as an illustration field and while this was rewarding in its own way, I was not creating anything that was permanent in the world or had great meaning to me.
My art is a vehicle to connect humans to the non-human world, while providing joy and humor. Discarding saccharine or cliched imagery of animals, I portray them as characters, watching over humanity, in silent judgement. While they may appear to be cute, take a closer look and see the truth in their eyes.
The ‘Disapproving Bunny’ series has been very popular and has encouraged me keep pushing myself. Working with the characters allows me to bring a connection with you and the art, at a personal level, and provides comfort and support. I’m often told from someone that they “need this work to be in their lives.”
Being an artist is hard. Especially as for me, it is important to have a lot of thought behind the work. I cannot create something that is just decorative and it drives me crazy when people call my work “cute” or “fun”- grrrrrrrrrr. And that is just the making part, there are so many other aspects to having an art career that are not making art. But I wouldn’t be doing anything else.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Francisco is constantly changing and can get hectic so I love finding where the animals hang out and the old school SF. 1. Golden Gate park is a massive park with wild Coyotes, Raccoons and Squirrels galore.
2. Crissy Field is a small bay beach under the Golden Gate bridge is where you can see Seals hanging out.
3. At Pier 39 Sea Lions have taken over the marina for sunning themselves.
3. Riding the Cable Car is super touristy but worth it.
4. Walking to the top of Telegraph Hill is a great way to see the city.
5. If you need an art dose head to SFMOMA.
6. Most of the art studios and local galleries are located around the Mission District, Valencia St. is the main drag there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I work in a studio building called 1890 Bryant St. in San Francisco with a bunch of other fantastic artists who have been wonderful in helping me along my art career and even to realize that it is possible. It’s been really important to me to have peers who are in the same industry. Of course, my biggest supporter is my husband who has always encouraged me to be myself and pursue my art. He is really the one who showed me that art may not be the most profitable career, but that artists are one of the most productive members of society.
Profile Photo: Lydia Danellier