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On the Cover: Seeker: What you seek is seeking you by Bollee Patino

Interview | Marcus Webb

What’s the story behind Seeker: What you seek is seeking you?

Seeker… is really personal. I see myself in that kid: the adventurer, always looking to see what’s out there on the horizon, constantly looking forward and wanting something bigger and better. The piece is a reminder that if you’re too focused on the future you can miss the present.

You feature a lot of recurring characters in your work…

Yes and I have a personal connection to all of them. They’re the same person, just in different scenarios or different eras of life.

Patino at work in his studio

What inspires your art?

I try to make sure [every piece] contains a positive message, something that can lift you if you’re having a bad day. A lot of the street art I see today is amazing, but it tends to focus on what’s wrong with society. Which is important, because somebody should be calling out these issues, but sometimes we also need a little bit of positivity. We all know what’s wrong with the world, so sometimes it’s nice to present what’s right about it.

How is your work created?

I do everything on canvas. I use acrylic as well as spray paint, usually with stencils, and then I layer on anything that feels right to give the piece texture or layers. It could be acrylic markers or house paint, wood or cardboard, but something that makes it look a little different. I don’t want anything to be perfect, things are a little grungy and that’s okay as that gives it personality.

Mona Lisa

How long does a piece usually take to create?

It all depends on whether I have a creative block!
You start with a blank canvas,
and you wait for the feeling of what you are going to do with it.
After that it can take anywhere from a week to four weeks.

How has your career progressed?

I started off as a graffiti artist, spending my teenage years running around expressing myself on things that I shouldn’t have. Not the smartest thing to do, but I was out there creating and that’s how I started to love art. That led me into design school and then I went into the corporate world, climbing the ladder, you know. And then six years ago I missed art, so I started again as a hobby. I had the suit and tie during the day and I was painting every night, every weekend.

What pushed you to pursue art as a career?

I was juggling the two and then it got to the point where the reaction I was getting from the audience made me think “Okay, I might have something people enjoy”. It was terrifying, but I decided to focus primarily on art. I still dabble in corporate work, because it’s still creative in its own way, but I was ready for a transition. But it all started with a kid with a can of spray paint up to no good.”

Gold-digger risk it all

You can see more of Bollee Patino’s work at


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