1xRun Thru Interview
Mushroom Kingdom by Jordan Mendenhall
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, when was it created and with what materials?
Jordan Mendenhall: This piece was started in 2010, finished end of 2012. It has a humorous and dark story that goes behind the artwork. Mario didn’t choose to end up this way, it was his addiction, his addiction to “power ups” (aka mushrooms). He fought through multiple kingdoms looking for his love of his life Peach. Day after day out he started to lose hope, thinking that he will never find his love again. He started using “power ups” as a way to escape. The world as he knew started to change. His pet Iguana Yoshi turned into a dinosaur that he would ride around. His pet turtle Bowser became an evil enemy that would keep him away from his true love by hiding her in his castles. What he didn’t know was that the world he came to know was in his head. It was the power ups that were creating these hallucinations.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Jordan Mendenhall: I started with a basic sketch below. I started to elaborate on the idea by adding details through photoshop and did some color studies on the computer. Then I transferred the line work to canvas and painted with acrylics.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Jordan Mendenhall: It actually took over two years to fully complete. It was a project that I would work on for a while, taking time out to work on smaller pieces but, because this piece means so much to me, I would come back to the piece with new ideas and would change older ideas.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Jordan Mendenhall: It is actually one of my first paintings I have finished that was purely for myself. I put a lot of thought, time, and effort into this piece and have changed many of my initial ideas from when I first started which makes it sort of a time marker of my life. I remember working on it and coming up with new ideas in different times of my life. Plus who doesn’t have a childhood attachment to such an awesome gaming legend?
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Jordan Mendenhall: To help me as an artist and keep me creating while I am fighting against all odds trying to follow my dreams.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Jordan Mendenhall: Trippy.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Jordan Mendenhall: I can’t remember not creating art. My first piece was probably some finger painting back when I was really young. My mom in my younger years used to do arts and crafts which always made me feel like I could do that sort of thing. I was inspired by the skateboard graphics from my time like the old Tony Hawk Birdhouse ones.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Jordan Mendenhall: About 5 years ago I started to discover artists that I really enjoyed and admired. After a few years, I was able to get the awesome opportunity to apprentice with some of my favorite artists. I began with Greg “Craola” Simkins. He introduced me to other artist such as Dabs and Myla, Mike Stilkey, and Bob Dob which I have helped and have learned from. It is a dream come true to work along side and learn from the artists that I have admired for so long. Now I’ve learned that it is any artist, good or bad. I don’t believe there is any bad art. Any art that inspires you to think in a different way and escape reality is a success in my mind.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? What is your environment like when you work?
Jordan Mendenhall: I tend to have a quite messy workspace and have Netflix running in the background watching all sorts of tv shows, movies, documentaries and a lot of YouTube videos. I usually listen to music when I am starting a new idea or need to focus.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Jordan Mendenhall: That’s a tough one! Don’t have any specific names but any artist that inspires me. For the deceased, I would have to choose Leonardo da Vinci. He is a genius… literally!
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last piece ?
Jordan Mendenhall: The first, I can’t remember to be honest. The last would be a print from Dabs and Myla’s “Marvelous Expeditions” at Thinkspace Gallery.
1xRun: What else have you been up to? What are your upcoming plans?
Jordan Mendenhall: I recently finished some work for an awesome nutcracker show in Salt Lake City, Utah at Blonde Grizzly. I plan to keep making art and keep working on a large body of work that I will be able to show within the year.
1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Jordan Mendenhall: Website – Instagram @jordanmendenhall