Casey Folks, whose mythological drawings now appear in
Hello Galena's shop.
work was recently featured in a national art show. Visitors
to the 74th Annual National Exhibit to held at the Cooperstown
Art Association in Cooperstown, NY, found his work featured
there. The show was just across the street from the Baseball
Hall of Fame. More that 500 works were submitted for consideration
to the show, and a limit of 120 were accepted for dislpay.
more about the man behind the art in
his own words:
when did you get interested in art?
been drawing for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade
school I used to fill notebook after notebook with drawings
of soldiers, bi-planes, tanks and countless other images. I
remember this chalk board that my Great Aunt had at her house.
I would be at that chalk board for hours drawing dinosaurs and
was in middle school I immersed myself in comic books and the
role playing game of Dungeons & Dragons. It was also during
these years that a close friend at the time, Noah Geisert, introduced
me to the writings of JRR Tolkien. Super heroes, mythical peoples,
and fantastic monsters ran rampant in my mind. During high school,
another great friend, Rory MacDonald, and I pushed each other
through “drawing wars,” which really helped me to develop as
an artist. Rory is a quite gifted artist who very much inspired
me, and drove me to be the best I could be. I would do something
in pencil, and he’d fire back with a brilliant piece in colored
ink, to which I’d counter with a pen and ink work. We were always
feeding off each other’s artistic desire and drive to produce
the best work possible.
have any favorite artists that inspire you?
do you have a few days? There are so many truly gifted artists
whose work I’ve spent hours and hours pouring over in complete
amazement. The short list would include the classical greats,
Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Durer. In contemporary
times, Frank Frazetta, Arthur Geisert, Berni Wrightson, and
Barry Windsor-Smith are huge in my world.
did you go to school?
I attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, in Denver,
where I majored in Illustration. The entire program at Rocky
Mountain at that time was geared toward art. Traditional “academic”
classes weren’t offered. Figure drawing, anatomy, color theory,
graphic design, and art history were among some of the classes
that were part of the two-year curriculum. I studied under James
Valone, John Lencicki, and Phillip J. Steele, founder of the
intend to pursue art as a career?
yes. I was 19, just shy of 20 when I graduated from college
and moved to Minneapolis with my girlfriend, where I was looking
for work as a commercial artist. I had numerous interviews,
and portfolio reviews, which for the most part went fairly well,
but it was the usual, “don’t call us, kid, we’ll call you.”
The last interview I had was with this very elite advertising
agency. The portfolio review was with the owner of the agency.
He was an older gentleman, and it was quite obvious that his
agency was successful. I knew I was in way over my head when
I walked into his office. The walls were adorned with these
magnificent classical looking oil paintings which I presumed
were painted by the man I was about to meet. The portfolio review
was pretty short. He was gracious enough to make small talk
with me as he quickly flipped through my work. As he neared
the end of the portfolio he asked me where I was from. After
I responded, he asked me if there were a lot of farmers there.
When I stated, "Yes." He replied that I should go
back home and become one. I was completely caught off guard,
and could feel the blood rushing out of my head as I was quickly
ushered out of his office. Unfortunately, that one very sour
experience scarred me, and as it turned out, more deeply than
I wanted to admit. I pulled up stakes, and headed for home,
never interviewing for another professional commercial artist
position again. Twenty years of life later, I see how wrong
I was to let one experience, as horrible as it was in my mind
at the time, to affect me so harshly, but I believe that things
happen for a reason. Now I work in law enforcement and enjoy
art in my free time.
do you draw?
I get the chance! Between work and family, my free time is limited,
but I like to spend a few hours a week either working on a final
piece, or sketching out ideas for future works.
other types of art do you create if any?
Right now, pen & ink is my medium of choice. In the past I have
worked with graphite, charcoal and colored pencil, but the pen
& ink is, without a doubt, my favorite.
do you sell it?
2008 is the first year that I’ve tried selling my work. I’ve
done some art fairs this past year, and had some success. My
work is also on display at Hello Galena! I am a new member,
and I’m very excited to be a part of a very creative group of
people. I’m hoping to possibly get involved with some other
local galleries in the area.
art important to you?
Art is my release. An escape from a reality that can be quite
grim at times. Art is also an extension of my being. I can’t
begin to describe the feeling of creating a work of art. Beginning
with nothing but an idea that burns inside of you, that yearns
and demands to be released. When I’m drawing, my soul is singing.
you describe your style of drawing?
my world, my drawings are an epic journey. I leave a piece of
myself inside each one. Each work seems to have its own unique
tale surrounding its creation. I want the viewer to be able
to stand a few feet back from a piece, and appreciate the drawing
as a whole. But then I invite them to get up close and personal
with the work, freeing their mind, exploring the line work within,
and just having fun viewing the piece.
is your typical subject matter, if any?
In addition to the pieces featured on this page, titles of my
works include “Anguish of Heracles”, “Tempest”, “Mother Nature’s
Revenge”, “Heracles Defeats Antaeus” and “Meeting Her Father”.
Right now, I guess my typical subject matter would be of a mythological
theme with particular emphasis on the human form, and a little
Mother Nature thrown in for good measure. There is such a vast
array of magnificently crafted stories, legends and myths that
human kind has created during our relatively short time on Planet
Earth. An almost endless source of subject matter begging to
be explored. That fascination, coupled with my love and intrigue
with the human form, with all of its complexities, beauty, and
strength perpetuates my inspiration to create these works.
you decide to get into this type of art?
I would have to say that it was “the totality of the circumstances,”
that lead me to where I am today. A fabulous childhood, with
very supportive parents, tremendously gifted friends, and teachers
who supported my ideas, and challenged my creative mind. Followed
up by the freakishly talented people I met in college who shared
the same interests as I, (my college roommate, Steve Garcia
is a genius with the pencil), kept this genre in my heart.
artwork is for sale at Hello Galena, at 121 N. Commerce St.,
in Galena. Plus, you may reach him directly via e-mail,
or visit the Casey
Folks Mythical Ink Studio on Facebook. Find our online
map, store hours and directions.