Choosing Your Artistic Medium: Zachary Aronson

Are you an artist still grappling with what artistic medium to pursue? Some of us know we are creative, yet we struggle to find a way to express ourselves. Watching as other people pursue their dreams, envious of their artistic expression can feel kinda- depressing. Everyone has a dream but only some of us have found a way to channel it into a talent. So, how can we find our inspiration and then channel it into something artistic? 


Zachary Aronson is a successful freelance artist willing to give us his take on choosing a medium. So, how did Zach get where he is today? “I’ve spent my entire life focused on my art. I’ve been creating ever since I was five years old.” Zach explains, “My innovations and discoveries that have led me to where I am in my career today are a byproduct of that dedication.” To clarify, you don’t have to have been dedicated since you were a child to be artistic, but you do have to set some time aside for the craft of your choice. The more time you set aside, the bigger the payoff. 

Choosing a Medium

How does one go about choosing a craft that will coincide with their creative spirit? “ I just happened to find my current medium by accident, Zach explains. “I showed up to class unprepared and just made do with what I had, which was wood and a torch.” Zach has developed the art form of pyrography and continues to push this medium, claiming that fire is unlike any other tool or medium. As he continues to improve, it still feels new, implementing new techniques and mastering them.  

Zach elaborates, “This process of 2D or 3D art is immediate and tactile, and I am constantly working at it. I get in the zone and am really in it, until it’s done. Whereas other mediums really take me out of that. For instance, with painting, you have to wait for the medium to dry before you can continue to add details. One medium takes months and the other takes a few hours, but I like to go at it nonstop.” So, choose your medium based on the style that suits you and by the length of time. 

Stick With It

Try choosing something that you think you can stick with. “Another interesting thing about pyrography and stone carving is that they are subtractive mediums. You are taking something away rather than adding to it, Zach explains. “There are more consequences that way. Once it’s gone, you can’t put it back. I enjoy that part of the process.” Because Zach has a continued interest in his work, he is able to refine his skills.

“I now have a general understanding of how the wood will react to fire based on the grain, however, I’m still sometimes surprised at which areas burn faster,” he explains.”The entire process is very immediate and instinctual. There’s no formula. It’s all a matter of spontaneous decisions.”  Somehow the pieces are still consistent.  

You’ll Feel It 

Art can help us express an array of emotions, but it can also feel very calming and natural. Once you find your medium, it might feel as though you are more grounded when you are creating. Zach concurs, “Introducing an element that transforms a material into something else feels very organic. It’s’ like a collaboration with nature. I’m not imposing anything.” Before he starts, there are already various patterns occurring in the wood. “Based on that, I weave in and out of the wood grain,” He continues, “This might influence my decision as to where to start - maybe the eye, the nose, the mouth.” You’ll likely know when you’ve found the best way to express yourself. Zach ends by saying, “I know in my mind that I have the tools I need. I don’t need a conscious plan. I can trust that it’s happening. I don’t have to really think about it.” 

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Why Creating Art Should Be a Social Experience: Zachary Aronson

When you think of an artist, you can’t help but think of a shut-in that refuses to be disturbed. They endlessly pour over their work until it’s complete. Well, this may be the case for some artists, but art can actually bring people together, and not just after the piece is finished when it’s being seen by other art enthusiasts. Creating art can serve as another way to connect with people. Much like a musician connects with an audience. For this reason, we are consulting the most outgoing artist there is, Zachary Aronson, a freelance artist from Los Angeles to better understand how art can be a social experience. 

Zach literally paints with fire, using blowtorches to burn artwork into various types of wood. The LA native is the pioneer of this unusual medium and has spent the last ten years developing his ability to create realistic art on wood with blowtorches and flamethrowers. As his skills and expertise have grown, so has the recognition he has received. During this development, he has gone on to do numerous live events, eight solo gallery exhibitions, and countless group shows to date, most of which are featured on the website. 

He primarily focuses on portraiture and figurative work. All of his portraits are done freehand, from life, using only fire. Because there is so much detail that goes into creating one of Zach’s pieces, he will either work from the client’s home, ask them to his studio, or participate in live events. 

Be Willing to Travel

Zach is willing to travel with his tools to create art anywhere. You can tell by looking at the models and the finished work that a great time was had by all. Zach states, “I am not one of those stoic artists who insist you sit perfectly still. I have conversations with the person and get to know them, which helps with the portrait. I can capture more of their essence this way.” The artist and the model have an exchange of energy in the process which truly makes it an unforgettable experience. Zach explains, “They learn about something new, and I believe that when they leave, they do so having had an unforgettable experience.”

Ice Breaker

Asking if you can do someone’s portrait is a great way to initiate a conversation with someone.  “I’m also not the kind of artist that locks himself away not see the light of day until my work is complete,” Zach shares. “My art is really the byproduct of what makes me excited and happy - being able to socialize and take the time to get to know someone.”

“In the past, I would bring a sketchpad with me to a bar and just ask strangers if I could draw their portrait,” Zach reflects on a woman he met one night. “I asked her if I could draw her portrait. Though she seemed genuinely surprised, she said yes. After I completed the sketch, I gave it to her, and she just started crying. I was kind of scared. I thought “wow she must really hate it.” I mean the lighting was poor and we were talking so I didn’t think it was very good. To my surprise, she actually hugged and me and said she had never felt beautiful before. She thought the portrait was lovely. It meant that much to her.” These kinds of experiences are priceless. So, consider it. Consider using your artistic ability to meet people. You will form more relationships and maybe even create a piece that reaches the depths of someone’s soul. 

For more information about the business and to see the gallery visit: and

Zachary Aronson: How to Create Something from Nothing

Although having the most professional and expensive tools and materials to create your art would be helpful. It’s not as important as you might think. As cliche as it sounds, creativity comes from within. That’s why we are asking the successful artist, Zachary Aronson, what struggling artists can do to fulfill their creative desires without breaking the bank. Zach has been painting with fire, using blowtorches and flamethrowers to burn artwork into the wood. He explains, “I focus primarily on portraiture and figurative work. I create all of my portraits freehand, from life, using only fire. I’ve developed this unique art form that I have dubbed open-flame pyrography over the last 10 years.”

Zach always knew he’d be an artist. “I decided I would be an artist at five years old,” Zach explains. “I just started working with materials that were available to me such as printer paper and scotch tape.” This method kept evolving until the artist stumbled upon his current medium by mistake in college after forgetting to bring paper to class. 

Zach used a torch to burn a silhouette into a sculpture. The results were so intriguing that he started using wood panels instead of paper. After trying to draw on wood with lacquer on it and getting almost no results, the artist picked up a small butane torch and proceeded to illustrate. This became the artist’s tool rather than pencils or brushes. This ultimately helped him create portraits with increasing complexity. 

Zach says he now has a general understanding of the reaction the wood will have based on the grain. Although, it still surprises him which areas burn faster. Zach explains that the entire process is very immediate and instinctual. “There’s no formula,” Zach shares. “It’s all a matter of spontaneous decisions because he is still amazed at how the wood reacts. Somehow his pieces are still consistent in the end.”

After accidentally discovering this medium, Zach explains, “I know in my mind that I have the tools I need. I don’t need a conscious plan. I can trust that it’s happening. I don’t have to really think about it.” This came from not having the essentials he thought he needed in the beginning. 

Zach likes working with his hands and finding materials to manipulate. “Working with fire was just an extension of working with what was available,” Zach explains. “This was the most efficient way to create - the tool that made the most sense to me.” He continues, “My work then evolved with different torches and different types of wood. I am in a constant process of innovation and discovery.” 

Zach explains, “I have no one to draw inspiration from in regards to pyrography. It’s trial and error the entire way. Most of my techniques started by accident. I have pushed myself and learned to control the fire. I enjoy working with fire because it appears to be physically impossible because it doesn’t seem like something you could contain or control.” Zach continues to explain that it feels very organic and natural like a collaboration with nature - not imposing. Before he starts a piece, there are already various things happening in the wood. He then weaves in and out the wood grain. This might influence his decision as to where to start - maybe the eye, the nose, or the mouth. Zach’s creativity truly comes from within. He might have nice tools now, but that wasn’t always the case and it hasn’t stopped him from creating art and being successful.

For more information about the business and to see the gallery visit: and

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