Ten Questions With Jeff Soto

Wow, I am more than honored to have another one of my favorite artists stop by for the Ten Questions treatment.  As is the trend lately, this one is a seriously good read, I can’t thank Jeff enough to taking time out of his hectic schedule to answer the questions to the fullest.  Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jeff Soto.

Age: 33

Location: Riverside, CA

Years Doing Prints: Hmm, I tinkered with screenprinting in high school, but my first real screenprint was by Nat Bloom in 2002. For a few years before that I made xeroxed wheatpaste posters, does that count?

Favorite Poster / Art Print You’ve Done:  My favorite huh? I like my giclees but they look just like the paintings so that’s no fun. I really enjoy screenprinting, but I feel that I haven’t fully explored the possibilities yet. I’m supposed to be working with Decoder Ring, it’s just been hard to get our schedules together. I’m hoping to make some awesome prints with them. I think right now my favorite would be a monoprint I did last month. The monoprint process produces a one of a kind print, you put ink down on a plexiglass plate and roll it through a press. I was working with a Solarplate which is a type of metal etching plate. There’s so many possibilities.

I think my favorite screenprint was the Complete Domination print I did back in 2003. It was only the second screenprint I designed, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was printed by Wes Winship for Ox-Op Gallery and the colors turned out all crazy, I think somewhere along the way they ran out of certain colors and mixed new ones as they went. That turned out to be what was so cool about it, the randomness and the way the layers weren’t registered perfectly. I like that, when things are a little off.

All-time Favorite Poster / Art Print that Someone Else Did: That’s tough to make a decision, at one time I had about 20 prints on my studio walls, but I took everything down so I could have more wallspace. The one print I left up was my Dre Day poster by Burlesque. I like that one but I don’t know if it’s my favorite. I made a post on some of my favorites a couple years ago on my blog. I can’t really decide on the fly like this. I like Aaron Horkey’s stuff, Tara McPherson, Jordan Crane, Mark Todd, Kinsey, Choe, Dave Cooper, etc…

Music Currently In Rotation: I have a ton of music, and I probably have bad taste but this is what’s been on today Grandaddy, Adam Green, Violent Femmes, Danzig, Snoop Dogg Doggystyle, and I listened to a Fecal Face podcast interview with Jeremy Fish. I’ve been listening to an MF Doom album alot too, I think it’s called MMM Food. I recently got a new iPod (wow a color screen), so I’ve been listening to a huge variety of music while I work. I usually put it on random and there’s like 11,000 songs or something like that.

Last Print, Poster, or Toy Bought: Last toy I bought was a pink ugly doll for my daughter at the Comicon. I don’t really buy too many prints (or toys) these days. I’ve completely run out of room in my flat file, so the newer prints I have were free or traded ones. Kinsey hooked me up with a bunch of prints, he’s awesome. The thing I do like to buy is art books. I just ordered the new Robert Hardgrave, Clayton Brothers and Monica Canilao books from Rojo.

Art Hanging On Your Walls: We collect art but have slowed down our buying the last year or so. I also used to trade a lot of my work, but I’ve been bad at that lately. We have a huge Souther Salazar, three David Choe pieces, a small Camille Rose Garcia, Alex Gross, Rob Clayton,  Robert Hardgrave, Esther Pearl Watson, Michael Sieben, Bwana Spoons, probably about 15 more artists. We only buy artwork we like but also, I like to get nice pieces from friends- it makes the work more personal . The most recent piece we picked up is from my good friend Regino Gonzales. He’s doing some amazing work. Last year we bought a beautiful Mike Bertino piece. It’s probably my favorite piece and Mike’s a great guy.

Upcoming Stuff: My new book, Storm Clouds is about to be released. We had 100 copies sent by air for the Comicon but they sold quickly and now we’re waiting for the remainder- they’re somewhere on a boat in the Pacific. I’m really happy with how the book turned out, I think it shows the evolution of my work over the past few years, and I think it will give my fans better insight into what I’m doing and where I’m headed. David Choe wrote a pretty crazy intro, it’s bound to open a few eyes.

As far as shows, I have an upcoming show at the Riverside Art Museum in December. I’m working hard on that at the moment. Working pretty big. Then sometime in 2009 Stolenspace, London… I can’t wait!

Words of Wisdom: For the aspiring artists out there, work hard! It’s a long tough road to make a living doing this, it’s awesome but be prepared to sacrifice some things and it’s also good if you are okay with living the poor lifestyle for a while. For the art buyers reading this (you guys are awesome, you are what pays my bills and puts food on my table), buy what you love, fuck eBay, don’t believe the hype. For everyone else, try to be nice to your fellow human! We’re all in this together…

To see more of Jeff’s work, visit JeffSoto.com.

19 Responses to “Ten Questions With Jeff Soto”

  1. Jeff is the one artist who truly makes me wish I could afford originals. I can look at his stuff all day.

  2. i can’t wait for the decoder ring design concern Jeff Soto print! That will rule faces

  3. Yikes, is that small solarplate printed on a full 32×40 sheet?! I would hate to frame that!

  4. Thanks for intrpducing me to Woodroffe.
    Is the website:

    To be trusted? I wouldn’t mind one of those Water From the Hourglass prints.

  5. Riverside is a shithole. He should move.

  6. “fuck eBay, don’t believe the hype” quote of the year,

    when is Soto gonna do an Obama print?

  7. Great read! Thanks Mitch & Jeff!

  8. Fabulous interview, my favorite yet…

  9. Please notify us as soon as the Decoder Ring print comes out.

  10. just sign up for their mailing list at http://www.thedecoderring.com.

  11. One of my fave artists! Great read!

  12. Can anyone tell me what print is being printed in the images? The smiling robot one.


  13. It’s a monoprint he did for the Riverside Art Museum auction.

  14. Hi thanks for the comments..

    palehighway- My schedule is always so jacked up but I’m working on getting out there to Texas to work with Decoder. Hoping we make something pretty special.

    Matt- Yes, they’re big. I wanted to use a half sheet or smaller but they were printing on full sheet only. I’ve sold a few, I don’t know if people are cropping in or leaving it full…

    Stoney- Riverside ain’ that bad nowadays. Where do you live that’s so awesome?

    Bo- I’ll definitely be voting for Obama, I think it’s great that our country might finally have someone that’s not an old rich white guy at the helm. It’s about time. Also he has young kids which makes me relate, I read there haven’t been kids in the White House since Kennedy. I was asked to do an Obama print a couple months ago but it was still in the primaries and I decided against it. Though I prefer Obama I decided not to choose sides that early as he was neck and neck with Clinton and I was comfortable with either as president (It would also be awesome to have a woman president). I might do something now, I haven’t decided yet. I am a very political person, I vote as often as I can, and I wonder about some of the artists making Obama posters. Are they political? Do they actually vote? Have they researched Obama? Or just jumping on the Obama art bandwagon? Just a thought anyways…

    Bongobongo- Yeah it’s a print I did while taking a class at the Riverside Art Museum. I made about ten of them, and each one was a different experiment. I still have the plate so I might do a small set of 10 more but actually make the pieces similar, mak them an edition. Maybe some elements will be hand colored or something cool like that. I’m just getting into the mono print process but it’s a lot of fun!

    Thanks for the comments…

  15. Love your art & mindset, Jeff. I don’t know why I’m telling you on this site, but oh well. Been a fan for many years! Keep on rockin!

  16. “Where do you live that’s so awesome?”
    That was dope. Keep kicking ass, Jeff.

  17. Hey Jeff,
    Looking forward to the new book- and its awesome to hear you’ve got a show coming up in London!. Been to New York twice, and just missed your shows at Jonathon Levine (twice!).
    It’ll be awesome to see your stuff in person (and in the UK).

  18. thanks to the internet, even people from halfway across the globe (like me) can view works of other artists and be awed by their wonderful talent. am an instant fan of jeff soto. i love his works. 🙂

  19. Who is the artist between the second piece pictures under “Art On Your Walls”?

    The one with all the faces.

    Reminds me of the album art for the new Kidcrash album.

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