1xRUN Thru Interview
Megaman by Jordan Mendenhall
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this original painting, when was it drawn and created?
Jordan Mendenhall: It was sometime around 2011 when I started to apprentice with Greg “Craola” Simkins. I had been helping him get ready with his solo show and he had some time to start teaching me how to paint. I remember sitting in his studio surrounded by all of his paintings and drawings for the upcoming show. He told me to draw an idea for a painting and of course I couldn’t think of anything. Plus everything I would draw looked horrible next to all of his huge, perfectly rendered paintings.
I started sketching up some ideas while he was working and he would critique certain things and help me improve my ideas. I finally started to paint and would watch how he would blend, glaze, and manipulate the acrylics to do what he wanted. I tried to imitate his technique but was nowhere close to mastering the techniques. I spent hours trying to get blends right and started to pick it up eventually. Recently I reworked areas and now it is finished 2 years later.
1xRUN: What materials was this piece created with? Is it still for sale?
Jordan Mendenhall: The original is made with acrylic paint on canvas. It is not available. The prints are archival pigment prints on 300gsm fine art paper.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Jordan Mendenhall: I first started with a Mario drawing because he looked quite fun to draw. After working on rendering the drawing out, it felt good to work on something that I grew up with as a kid. Yeah I may have not been actually playing the game but watching my older brothers play was quite magical. After drawing Mario, I thought I would do some other video game characters such as Megaman, Link from Zelda, and Bomberman, which some later became paintings. At the time I was being taught so many new techniques about how to paint all at once while I was apprenticing, I needed to start trying to master all the techniques through hours and hours of practice behind the easel.
1xRun: How long did this painting take from start to finish?
Jordan Mendenhall: It actually took a few years to finish since I revisited areas of the painting that needed to be upgraded. The initial painting took about a week of working on it nearly everyday which you can see on my speed painting video of this piece.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece compared to some of your other work?
Jordan Mendenhall: This is actually my first finished painting out of high school that I did purely for myself. Also when I first started this piece, I just started apprenticing with Greg “Craola” Simkins. He was teaching me how to use acrylics. Blending, glazing, and all the techniques were quite new to me.
1xRun: Any struggles or issues that you ran into creating this piece?
Jordan Mendenhall: Just like every single piece of art that I make, this had its number of struggles and issues. I struggled with the actual painting techniques since I was new to painting with acrylics. Everything was so new and strange to me at first. Painting on canvas was new, using acrylics, and painting a larger piece was difficult at first. When I later came back to redo the painting I had to resurface the canvas since I had previously varnished it. I used a few coats of matte medium which white washed everything I had painted. I had to go through the whole painting reworking and coloring it all over again (not shown in the video). I also tried adding an abstract background, which was tough since the foreground of the painting had been painted. I had to mask all of the small characters off and after all of that, I didn’t care for it. After wanting to pull out all of my hair and spending almost a whole day working on the background, I painted it black again.
1xRun: Why should people buy these prints?
Jordan Mendenhall: Firstly, they should if they like the art. Also to support me as an artist and to help my dream of making my art a career.
1xRun: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.
Jordan Mendenhall: Nostalgia.
1xRun: For your first print Mushroom Kingdom you paid homage to the Super Mario series and with this one you’ve chose the iconic Megaman in his various stages. Tell us about your fascination with the original Nintendo.
Jordan Mendenhall: I think it’s me refusing to grow up. Even though I am quite young still, I don’t want to grow up and deal with responsibilities. Through video games you can escape for a little while and be free from life’s problems and difficulties. Like video games, art is quite similar for me. When I paint, I escape from everything for hours at a time and combining both art and video games just made sense.
1xRun: Bring us up to speed what you’ve been up to since your last Mushroom Kingdom debut RUN?
Jordan Mendenhall: I have finished tons of drawings, some smaller paintings, and am working on a few larger paintings. I was able to get my first tattoo by At0m from Artcore Studios at the SLC tattoo convention. I am continuing to help/learn from a number of different artists and still working as a pizza delivery driver while working on my art.
1xRun: You’re always putting up great sketching/drawing on your Instagram, how much time do you spend a day drawing or painting?
Jordan Mendenhall: On average I draw/paint for about 4-8 hours a day. I don’t always post the work that I am doing though. Sometimes I will only be able to draw for an hour but I make sure I get my creativity flowing everyday. Staying consistent and making an effort to progress is crucial.
1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Jordan Mendenhall: Website – Instagram @jordanmendenhall