Artist of the Week: Madeline Hurst
We have artists among us all. Our good buddy, Cole, went out and interviewed his friend, Madeline, about her art and creative process. Here's an in-depth look into her life and how she chooses to live it.
I heard you used all of your money to buy a Vanagon.. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Yeah, being a pretty impulsive person, I kinda blew it on the whole spontaneous, carpe diem thing but that car is basically my child since I’ve poured my college tuition into fixing it. I bought it from Paul, the owner of a skateboard company called Annex in Oceanside CA. Almost immediately after buying it I texted Cyrus Sutton for some advice on converting it and right away he told me to sell it and buy a sprinter—which pretty much sealed it’s fate as the coolest piece of shit around.
I love it though and in no way do I regret buying it although going to junior college to save money is nothing more than a cliché to my bank account now. My Vanagon has earned me a lot of boy scout badges, some physical scars, and endless interesting stories—just last week; I was sitting at a coffee shop with some friends and a guy with a leather vest lined with lighter clips and propaganda patches asked if he could bum a cig. After I gave him one he proceeded to get in my car, chant out of Dante’s Inferno, and “summon the spirits” because my “eyes revealed my nature” (whatever that means). Sure enough the next day it broke down and my mechanic Joe became $300 richer. There is never really a dull moment.
What is your style and how do you infuse it into your artwork and lifestyle?
Honestly, I don’t think I have developed a unique enough style yet to say I have just one style whether it’s clothing, art, skating, or whatever. My car is from the eighties. My clothes are either thrifted or hand-me- downs. My music taste is all over. My art is usually a mixing of digital/film mediums and paint. A lot of my art has nudity (which is obviously nothing new in the “art world”) but I like to mix it with random memories of my family or stills of skateboarding or surfing.
If you could only have one album, what would it be? and what medium (vinyl,
Holy shit. Uh Forrest Gump Soundtrack on Vinyl
Do you have a mantra or theme for your work? something universal in all of your pieces?
Everything I’m painting whether a board, TV screen, wall, blank canvas, photo, wood panels, etc. has a word or phrase from something I’ve written since I consider myself a writer before an artist. Also, most of the time I’ll glue a page of random midnight ramblings on to the back of what I painted—some are really embarrassing half-asleep thoughts but I never edit them and in my opinion it’s the rawest part of the painting.
Beer or wine?
Beer—preferably St. Archer or Miller High Life (unless I’m writing than wine). My favorite tradition is every Wednesday my friends and I get a pack of beer and sit in the back of my van between classes. We play music and talk about everything from poetry to sex to Netflix binging to professors. It usually ends up with me painting smiley faces on their shoes.
Street or park?
Street because it demands a level of creativity that a park can’t artificially produce. Street skating is also a lot more engaging and fun to film. I think not coming from a super skate-filled background (besides my dad in his girl jeans and dragon graphic board) gives me an advantage when finding spots because I’m an outsider who doesn’t know all the tricks so I look at spots differently than someone who has their favorite tricks and has been skating handrails for years or something like that but other times I just come off as an asshole.
• best late night food?
Cereal with chocolate milk, coffee, and a cigarette.
How do you see the world of surf and skate changing?
I could rant about this for hours and I would end up repeating a bunch of bullshit I don’t necessarily deserve to say let alone believe, but overall it’s good changes. Creativity is at the essence of both surfing and skateboarding. Everyone at some point in their life is going to pick up a board and ride whether surf skate snow whatever, but it’s the people with a cool unique style and attitude that make that world what it is. Especially now with skateboarding and surfing so “trendy” or whatever there’s so many genres (for lack of a better word) that constitute it that I don’t really care to pick apart. I get told almost daily that I’m hipster with my van, skateboard with a yin and yang graphic, and checkered shoes; but I also find myself judging people that I deem as hipsters so its just a weird transition time I think.
• If you could have anyone in the world and history as your best friend, who would it be?
Patti Smith for sure. She’s the epitome of not giving a shit and I just read her book Just Kids a couple months ago and the way she writes and organized it had huge influence on my life and writing. I found one of her records at Programme and pretty much listen to it daily.
How do you spark your creativity? Music? What type?
I have a playlist on my spotify called “thrash her” and it’s basically a bunch of songs from my favorite skate and surf videos. It has music from every genre. And then another one “101n beer blues” which is always blasting in my van no matter where I am. If we’re driving to a spot it’s hip hop.
Basically, from the second I wake up I have music on and what I’m in the mood to listen to changes so fast—one minute Gangsta’s Paradise and then the next Amy Winehouse. When I’m stoked I listen to Paul Simon, Allah-Las, Babe Rainbow, Lou Doillon, Asteroid Galaxy Tour, Bowie, Black Angels, Buttertones, Devendra Banhart, Mazzy Star, Foxygen, the Frights, LCD Soundsystem, etc. I have playlists for when I’m sad, pissed, sleeping in my car, just surfed, editing, hungover, doing homework, everything pretty much—I’m pretty obsessed with making people playlists and stuff like that.
• favorite surfer
Dion Agius probably. He’s such a legend and Noa Deane is always super fun to watch. Tuff is a go to when I need to stoke myself up. Craig Anderson is really sick. They all have really cool styles to watch. Easier question is my favorite skater and that’s Dolan Stearns. I have a bunch of his stickers and little doodles and shit.
• Where did you grow up? tell me about that place.
I grew up in Fullerton, which my friends and I more frequently refer to as the butthole of Orange County but it’s a pretty nice place to grow up all in all. Less than an hour from the beach, the snow, and Los Angeles. Downtown has McClains coffee shop where I spend countless nights. There’s a few local shops here, like Programme which always has bands playing shows at night and Terrace which has a super chill environment and always good videos playing.
What attracts you to art?
Creating has always been a natural thing for me and luckily I grew up in a family that nurtured and valued things like story-telling and drawing. I’ve reached the point where I’ve been creating and writing for so long it feels weird not to do it everyday. I guess what attracts me the most to art is that one painting/photo/film conceals an entire person. I get the same feeling with reading like when I read a sentence in a book I am in conversation with that writer and the diner they were sitting at when they thought up the idea of the book or a line in a poem and in a weird way I’m living in the air Charles Bukowski breathed as the girl from the night before shuffled out of his bed. There’s an immortality in the art where a part of me and the artist and every onlooker live in this ever-changing utopia.
Day in the life of Madeline Hurst?
The only real constant in my day to day life is getting coffee. I’d say I drink 5-6 cups of coffee a day, which range from instant coffee to Americanos to triple shots, and I probably spend more time at coffee shops than anywhere else besides maybe my van. I also go to school at OCC in Costa Mesa, which is alright—the film and photo department is rad and they let students use some of their equipment. I force myself to write everyday and my best thoughts for projects usually happen with a cup of coffee in my hand and my Ricoh gr-1 in the other. Lately I’ve spent of most of my free time attempting a bunch of different animations, which is like a whole nother realm of art for me.
Any current / future projects?
Yeah, my current project is actually my favorite couple things I’ve ever made. It ties together my favorite musicians with skateboarding, a ton of my old forgotten about rolls of film and vhs tapes, a mass of acrylic chaos, unfinished poems, and spray paint.
Favorite movie and why?
Moonrise Kingdom or any film by Jim Jarmusch are definitely my go to’s. The way they’re filmed and the everyday-natural scenes they appeal to are my favorite. Finding Vivian Meier is my favorite documentary. The rest of the time I watch foreign films because Italian and French directors have mastered a really raw feel that I haven’t seen in American films where it almost feels like I shouldn’t be allowed to see into this much intimacy.