“I want to share with people how creative I am and talented I am in many different ways”: an interview with Gerone Spruill

An artist at Creative Growth in Oakland since June 1993, Gerone Spruill is a Bay Area native whose body of work grounds the fanciful and fetishistic in the precisely-lined environs of Chocolate City. Inspired by his narrative prismacolor and ink drawings and his multidisciplinary aesthetic—Spruill, a funk enthusiast, is a musician and DJ as well as a visual artist—Davey Davis wanted to learn more about his influences, process, and plans for the future. What follows is an excerpt from their interview.

Davey Davis:  It sounds like you’re really influenced by George Clinton & Parliament. Who else has influenced you? Are there any visual artists you admire in particular?

Gerone Spruill: Overton Loyd, a good friend of George Clinton.  Pedro Bell also a friend of George Clinton.  He did mostly the Funkadelic Series. I like the album cover artists from the 70’s.  Tom Nikosey and Dennis Miller who did the Cameo illustrations.

DD: You’ve been at Creative Growth for more than 20 years! What do you want to accomplish artistically in the next 20?

GS: I hope to start Chocolate City of Oakland Records and Filmworks.  It will include comics, movies, music and comedy.  I will still do artwork too, comic books and drawings.  I want to share with people how creative I am and talented I am in many different ways.

DD: What’s the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

GS: How to learn animation on the computer.  Once I get the hang of it I’ll have to practice and practice until I get it right. Getting the right pose for each character. I like to pose my cartoon characters the way the old school people did in the 1970’s.

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