David Soukup is one of the select few of stencil artists who have what it takes to win the Stencil Art Prize! Soukup won the 2013 Stencil Art Prize for his work Vertical Escapism #1(fifth image). David Soukup’s work is a mirror to his everyday life, which is why there is an urban thread throughout his work borne from Soukup living in Chicago. Each of his works exemplifies the level of precision and perfection David Soukup has become well known for. David’s artworks have gone all over the world and have been seen in in many film and television productions. We were fortunate enough to have Soukup take some time out of his day to answer our questions. Here is what he had to say:

Describe to us the feeling of having won the Stencil Art Prize?

It was obviously a huge honour. I’ve been working with stencils for about 7 years now, and it was nice to be honoured, especially among so many other talented artists. I also won the competition right before having my first major solo show in Australia at the Espionage Gallery and it was nice to be able to meet so many people that were (literally) on the other side of the world who knew who I was.

What was your winning artwork about?

Chicago. No, seriously. I love my city and the daily grind here. It’s an old-school industrial city that is one of the most beautiful architectural cities in the world. I’m never bored walking down any street in this city, as there’s always something to look at.

What would you say to those entering this year’s Stencil Art Prize?

Think about what it’s going to look like before you even print or cut out your first layer. I think the addictive nature of stencils leads many people to just want to cut and spray as fast as they can, without regards to composition or style. I tend to find that more successful begins with thinking about the artwork as a ‘piece’ rather than as a stencil. Also, take your time. You’ve spent all this time cutting out a stencil, why do a rushed paint job and ruin it at the end?

What have you learnt from participating in this art prize?

It’s opened me up to a whole lot of new possibilities and other artists I’ve never heard of before. I’m a pretty quiet and reserved person in general, but it’s nice to have a competition that brings all of us together.

What have you been up to since winning the Stencil Art Prize?

Too much, honestly. I think I’ve had 1 solo show since then, and am currently preparing 2 shows for 2016. I’ve been fortunate to have my artwork featured in a variety of groups shows across the world, and have been actively working on bringing new and different pieces to the stencil genre. I’ve starting working with full-I pieces, using upwards of 25-30 colors apiece.

What do you hope the future holds for you as an artist?

You never really know. I’ve learned that hard work leads to opportunity, and I continue to work as hard as I can to try to get where I want to be. I also try not to be unrealistic with my expectations.

What has been the most challenging thing you have done since winning the Stencil Art Prize?

I honestly couldn’t tell you. I balance so many projects and ideas that I think everyday are harder than the one before it. I’d have to say, from an artwork perspective, it’s got to be working with full-I as opposed to using just monochrome I schemes for me. Balancing out how 10-30 different colour values stock up against each other has been pretty challenging, but rewarding when it all comes together.

David Soukup website



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