Talenthouse recently collaborated with the Moxy Minneapolis Uptown Hotel for a new "Moxy in the City" Master Class experience! Using Marriot Bonvoy points, people were able to sign-up and attend an aerosol/stenciling class taught by local Talenthouse Artist, Rock 'Cyfi' Martinez. Cyfi walked the class through creating their own Minneapolis skyline painting and had everyone contribute to an overall mural that will be exhibited in the hotel. We caught up with the aerosol artist to learn more about his techniques, inspiration and of course his "Moxy in the City" Master Class.
TH: When did you start painting murals?
Rock: I have been painting murals for over 20 years now. I started out writing graffiti as a teenager. I’ve always known that I would be an artist and never I had a "Plan B."
TH: What is it about the aerosol medium that draws you to it?
Rock: Aerosol is instant gratification. Because of the speed you are able to achieve fine fades and depth with just a few strokes. I also appreciate the history of Graffiti.
TH: Where does your inspiration come from?
Rock: My earliest inspirations came from Mexican muralism, hip-hop culture, cartoon illustration, and science fiction films. I like creating site-specific works that draw on the history and culture of the location. Whatever that subject matter is, I want it to both reflect and inspire the community in which it is situated. Much of my work explores the relationship between humans and nature.
TH: What advice do you wish you had when you first started out?
Rock: If you want to be good, you better start now.
TH: How did you get your “CYFI” nickname?
Rock: I’ve always been drawn to science fiction and horror movies. The CYFI alias is a derivative of Sci-Fi. I always try to convey an otherworldly or imaginative aspect in my work.
TH: Do you have an all time favorite mural that you’ve painted? If so, why that one?
Rock: The Mayahuel (Goddess of Agave) is my favorite mural that I’ve created. It is the largest mural I've painted to date at 60’ x 70’ and reside in my hometown of Tucson, AZ.
TH: What was it like to teach the Moxy Master Class at the Moxy Minneapolis Hotel?
Rock: Teaching at the Moxy was great. I really enjoyed introducing Aerosol Art to the guest’s. It was interesting to see how hesitant people reacted to the use of spray paint, but once they had some direction they realized they could control this medium and became more creative and intentional.
TH: What are some quick technique tips for aerosol painting and stenciling?
Rock: To achieve can control, you must loosen your arm movement, but stiffen your wrist. It is about being intentional with every stroke. Beginners often have trouble balancing the finesse of the can with the pressure of the stroke.