“I’m a vessel. If you allow yourself to be open without your ego and what the world is - If you can connect to the energy, the force. Being one with everything. The most amazing things will emerge out of you.”
Derek Cook also known as The Junkyard Chef, has been creating ever since he was able to wield a pencil. His passion for creating started with color pencils and drawing, but as of 2020 he has been exploring the creation of digital art. Derek believes that all the extra time that he had on his hands in the beginning of the year led him to starting to practice his digital artistry.
“Painted and created way more; way better. More intricate and heartfelt pieces this year,” said Derek as he reflected on the work he’s produced throughout 2020. As unpredictable as it may have been, “it’s magic,” to him. With commissions on the rise for him this year, he has pushed his own boundaries and broadened his stroke. He aims to create a whole universe around his signature characters and use colors to tell the story. A pupil of his artistry he continues to study what is it to create and exist with a creative gift and utilizing it for its highest potential.
After all, art heals. It transcends. Derek aims to provide a sense of escapism through his work. Taking you out of this reality into a new one that mixes his imagination with the audience’s own intention. This year, he’s felt closer to his childhood vision than ever before. Although he does not ever see himself making it completely to his own “promise land,” Derek emphasized the beauty in the process.
“I just want to get better in general. That’s art in itself. You have no choice, but to get better when you put your energy towards it.”
He described “the force” as the energy between the raindrops and the connection to all that is. That energy is how he aims to create art that is thought provoking and an escape from the way we normally may perceive the world around us. The feeling precedes the creation and the thoughts the art invokes, are meant to be as uniquely tied to the each individual that comes across it.
Derek spoke passionately as he reminded me to, “Never look at a project as energy wasted.” His philosophy is that all energy is interchangeable when it comes to creation.
“You’re creating an existence, an entity. It’s all universal. The universe has the ultimate control.”
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