Interview with Mark Jeffrey Santos for ‘Uncharted Paths’ | Exhibition August 5 – August 26, 2023

Photo by Birdman

Thinkspace Projects is proud to present Mark Jeffrey Santos‘ (aka Mr. S) U.S. debut solo exhibition Uncharted Paths in our main gallery. His new body of work is based on his personal experiences traveling, creating a body of work that evokes the certain feeling of excitement when you find yourself in a new place. Complete with a dreamlike environment and his wide-eyed characters, Santos is not only technically skilled, but also gifted with the vision to construct imaginary, bordering on surreal, scenes. His characters can often be found on an adventure, accompanied by larger-than-life creatures. Such talent in world-building and character design only comes natural for Santos, who did works in video and film before becoming a visual artist.

Our interview with Mr. S shares his creative influences, which skill he would easily download in his brain if he could, and what he hopes viewers take away/experience while viewing his work.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

There’s isn’t any specific routine to my workflow. I like to be spontaneous when it comes to my schedule. I noticed that I come up with great ideas when I’m doing mundane tasks. Still, I make sure that I meet the deadlines.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

Besides the painting itself, my favorite part is solving how to achieve a certain mood in my paintings. I have a lot of influences in terms of painting, but I think Andrew Hem really inspired me to learn how to paint landscapes and understand more about color temperature.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?
What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

Learn a new language. I want to be able communicate better.
When I paint, I usually like to look at my subjects to have a feeling of calmness in them. And I hope that’s what the viewers would feel when they look at my paintings.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

I actually do a lot of things. I try to stay away from painting but still try to be creative in other ways. it’s important to live life and be present in the moment because I’d like to think that my art is a representation of my life experiences.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I would definitely collaborate with an animator. Seeing my characters to life would be awesome. Think of the movie ‘Kubo.’

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

No comment. 😅

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

My playlist is super random. But usually I listen to korean and japanese musicians like Ovall, Kan Sano, Tsubaki, Sweet william, Nujabes, and yes I listen to Kpop as well.