Seeing the World as an Artist: Zachary Aronson

Ever wonder how people learn to harness their artistic abilities and make a name for themselves? How does one start to see the world through an artistic lens? For the freelance artist, Zachary Aronson, it’s always been natural for him to look over and draw the person sitting next to him. He can’t help but notice the way the light falls on a person’s face or the way their facial expression shifts in conversation. 

Zach’s hope is that his artwork will inspire others to consider other unorthodox approaches to art. His medium has evolved from scotch tape and printer paper to various types of wood and blowtorches. He has always felt a strong desire to create with his hands.  

Zach’s Vision

Zach developed a novel art form called open-flame pyrography. He has spent the last ten years developing this art form.“ Working with fire is a direct result of working with what was accessible to me.” This was the most effective way for Zach to carry out his artistic vision.

His work continues to progress as he uses different elements of wood and torches. “There has been no one to draw inspiration from in regards to pyrography, Zach explains, “It’s been trial and error this entire journey.” Most of his techniques came about unintentionally. Because this element can get out of control, he had to really push himself in order to understand and control the fire. The larger-than-life faces he creates are exposed and vulnerable, visceral and raw, created using a traditionally destructive element. Zach views his artistic practice as a collaboration with nature, instilling new purpose and identity by transforming wood to ash in the primal fusion of fire and earth. 

Being Personable

Zach’s artwork has always been a very social experience. He is not at all someone that draws inspiration from being alone. When he begins a piece the goal is to capture the essence of that person. His art is the result of really listening and seeing the person for who they are. 

Zach explains his process, “I don’t ask that the models sit completely still and not engage with me. Because my pieces are so intricate, they can take a few hours to complete and perfect.” “It’s a deeply personal experience and people really seem to enjoy it,” Zach explains. “We laugh and talk the whole time. Because Zach is inspired by people, he finds that he actually thrives in these situations. 

Finding Your Voice

Being a freelance artist means that you have to put yourself out there. This comes naturally for Zach, but others might have to learn how to get their name out there and articulate what they’re about. Zach has been talking about his art for a long time. He speaks about it in a very natural way. No doubt his education has something to do with this how easily he can discuss his work. Even still, it takes practice. Be open to speaking about your work at exhibitions. He is able to translate his artistic process into words. This is an important element in seeing the world as an artist. You have to verbalize what’s happening in your artistic mind. 

As a Los Angeles native, Zach received his undergraduate degree in fine art from USC in 2012 and his graduate degree from CalArts in 2016. He currently works as an artist, producer, and set designer in Los Angeles and has had 8 solo gallery shows to date. Zachary Aronson is available for commissions and live pyrography for special events.

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