Eureka, CA: July 7, 2021: I met Ceak (pronounced like seek) painting on 2nd Street and F in downtown Eureka during the wind down of COVID about a month and a half ago. His outgoing personality and welcoming smile easily draws in anyone passing by. Hours can be spent, staring at his artwork, deciphering the larger picture. I had the opportunity to interview Ceak at my home while he was working on a tribute piece to African American Women athletes, starring Sha’Carri Richardson. This is what Ceak had to share.
Me: Today, we will be interviewing Ceak. Please introduce yourself and your social media accounts.
Ceak: Hello, my name is Ceak.I am a visual artist that uses paints, more than likely acrylic paints. You can find me on Instagram at @CeakKytrelll and @Visions_Channels_.
Me: Thank you very much! Where are you from?
Ceak: I am originally from Virginia, North of the seven cities. Shout out to them. Do I miss it? No. But, it’s cool to visit my peoples whenever I can.
Me: What is your history in art?
Ceak: My history in art is pretty much. I grew up drawing a whole lot in school when I was a young whooper snapper. I just sort of, I didn’t take any classes. It was just something I really loved doing. It gave me motivation and gave me energy. It gives me the feeling of life, pretty much, when I do it, and people like it, so I keep doing it.
Me: That’s beautiful. What style do you paint?
Ceak: Well, I don’t know, really. There’s a couple people that say I’m an impressionist. There’s a couple of people that say Im a comic. I do a whole lot of cartoon work or whatever. I just do what feels right as far as the colors is concerned.
Me: Can you tell us more about the colors?
Ceak: Well, for me, when many people ask me which my favorite one is, I can’t really say just one color because literally all of them. It takes every color in the spectrum to make what is so called one color, red, green, blue, yellow. Any color, it needs every color, every shade, every hue to make that one color. I can’t really say I like either one of them. My colors on my paintings reflect that, and they just come out as far as how I feel.
Me: I know you said you use acrylics but can you tell us a little more about the project besides acrylic on canvas? What else can we see you painting on?
Ceak: You can see me painting on wood, on a school, or painting pretty much anywhere. Anywhere I get an opportunity to paint, that where I choose to paint and everything. I paint on canvas, but it’s not limited to, and I’m not in a box as far as that’s concerned. I go where the art takes me.
Me: What influences your style?
Ceak: What influences my style is, I would say, a heavy background in a whole lot of comic book art, honestly. There is this one guy named Joe Jusko which I really love the way he brings out the characters that he displays, Julie, and there’s this one artist, I can’t believe I forget, people keep saying, oh yeah, Alex Gray, people keep telling me ohh you’re just like that. I swear to god I’m not trying to be like Alex Gray. I’m nowhere near his fucking talent, but yeah, he just sort of influences the flow of my art pieces sometimes. It’s really awesome, honestly.
Me: Do you feel like your style has changed since you lived on the East Coast compared to the West Coast?
Ceak: Absolutely. When I was on the East Coast, I was doing nothing but working my fucking butt off for people who didn’t really care. Over here, it’s kind of the same, but you can kind of feel the love more so out here. But maybe for meit has just been a growing journey experience. Nobodies really got to care about you for you to make who you are, who you are, and everything. It really boils down to what you want to do. You know what I’m saying? Your passions, your life, pretty much. It really has nothing to do with anyone else but you and what you’re trying to display in your art, you know. I see some of your art and stuff, and it blows me away some of the things that you do, you know. Keep doing it, keep going. For me, it’s just, like I said, a constant maturing and growing, what I know, and incorporating what you see.
Me: That’s awesome. What gets you in a flow state-
ME: -When you’re painting for hours at a time-
Ceak: Mushrooms!! Okay, I’ll stop.
Me: No, that’s okay. Be honest with it.
Ceak: It definitely has a lot to do with the people that I hang around. Shout out to Joel and Carol Lily and their children. Shout out to you, too. If I get around people who are generally down for being cool like that, it really motivates me to paint and continue to shine my light, my particular light, and just have a good, good camaraderie. That’s what helps me and motivates me.
Me: That’s awesome. How long does it take you to finish a painting?
Ceak: Depending upon the size, it could take me from a week to, it can take me from even a night, depending on how motivated I am, to a week, pretty much.
Me: Is that like a medium-sized canvas or like a large-sized.
Ceak: Yeah, it’s like a medium-sized canvas.
Me: So between a day and a week?
Me: Wow. Where do you see your art career in 10 years?
Ceak: Wow, thats a good question, actually. I don’t think of the future when it comes to my art. I would like people to. I would love it if, not necessarily be known, but like, it would be nice for people to want more of my stuff honestly and constantly gravitate toward it, you know. That’s crazy. I mean, ten years…. I’m thinking five. I’m thinking like one.
Me: Okay, in five years, where do you see it in five years?
Ceak: I see myself blowing up in five years. I see a whole lot of people, literally, getting my stuff.
Me: That’s great.
Ceak: And wanting more of me.
Ceak: And all of that, my growth honesty, in my artwork. Maybe within five years-
Me: Well, in five years, it’s gotta look like Alex Gray.
Ceak: It has to be. It has to look like Alex Gray. Not that I’m trying to look like him but-
Me: When you’re painting everyday.
Ceak: He wants people to be influenced by his stuff, so- why not? Absolutely, I’m down. I’m definitely cool with that.
Me: Alright, we’re almost done here. Any advice to amateur artists?
Ceak: Hmm. Keep moving, keep going, don’t stop. If this is what you like to do, I know life happens, and I know that things will get in the way, but if you love doing it, don’t stop doing it. It’s the worst thing in the world. Sometimes, I’ve seen people have a great awesome talent. They show me their own stuff, or they do a little sketch, but their lives are pulling them elsewhere, and it’s okay. It’s what happens. It’s almost like a wasted god’s gift that you have, that you really need to capitalize on and that people will buy and people will gravitate to. They will love it. It’s the conundrum of the century. Life, you have all this talent. I’m not even talking about art or painting or anything. I’m talking about raw talent. They get left behind ’cause, not even left behind, but they let their artwork falter just because, simply because, quote on quote, people don’t want to buy it or see it or whatever. You should always sharpen your sharpest blade. You know what I’m saying. You should always keep it on point, on fire.
Me: You never know, huh?
Ceak: You never fucking know.
Me: Where can we catch you next?
Ceak: You can catch me- outside. You can probably catch me anywhere, I say anywhere, but that’s where I’m trying to take it too. I’m trying to expand beyond Arcata and Eureka. You know what I’m saying, but nine times out of ten you will see me in those areas. Yeah.
Me: Alright, thank you so much! I appreciate it! Anything else you want to add?
Ceak: I love you guys. That’s it.
Me: Until next time.