Originally from Miami, FL, I went to art school in Sarasota, FL at the Ringling School of Art and Design and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Dept. of Computer Animation. From there, I began a career in animation working at several studios around the country and finally ending up at Nintendo’s Retro Studios in Austin, TX for 13 years. All the while, I continued working on my art and comics.
Somewhere in the middle there, I began to visit New Orleans for shows and vacation and the city seduced me in a way no other place ever had. I started visiting multiple times a year, for several years, before I decided that I had to live and work here.
I’m happy that I did….
Now approaching my 2nd year living here, I am a senior character animator, making video games for InXile Entertainment and I’ve curated and exhibited work in several art shows all over town. New Orleans has provided everything I had hoped for and continues to surprise and amaze. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Carlos Mendieta is a New Orleans artist living and working in Marigny neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Introspective, Heavy, Cathartic
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
Everything about New Orleans inspires me. It’s why I moved here. From the people, the architecture, the music, the artists…There is no shortage of inspiration here. Every time you walk out the door, you know that you’re coming back with a story.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
Ideas come from daydreaming and getting lost in my own head. It’s usually thinking about something that’s going on in my life and/or something I’m feeling at that moment. From that, there’s usually an ‘aha!’ moment where an idea stands out. I then process the idea more while at the same time trying to figure out what the best format to put it in (illustration, comic or story). Once I figure that out, I keep working the idea until it starts to take shape. Solitude and music are key to my process.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Inspiration comes from anywhere (particularly here in New Orleans)…..You just have to always keep your eyes and ears open to catch it.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
There’s way too many to name here, but here’s a short list (in no particular order)….
- Jean Michel Basquiat - Andrew Salgado - Frank Miller
- Francis Bacon - Gottfried Helnwein - Vincent Van Gogh
- Edward Hopper - Android Jones - Brandon Graham
- Salvador Dali - Kevin Llewelyn - Clive Barker
- Andy Warhol - Shawn Barber - Vincent Castiglia
- Jenny Saville - Image Comics Founders - Joseph Arthur
- Conrad Keely - Alex Grey - Lana Guerra
- Jason Brubaker - Gustav Klimnt - Mike Mignola
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I listen to all kinds of music, but I’m generally drawn to more moody/atmospheric stuff, like Sigur Ros, Joy Division, anything by Greg Dulli, The Black Angels, The Velvet Underground, Interpol to name a few.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Reading, Traveling, walking my dogs or in a bar
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
The Fall/October in New Orleans is my favorite time of the year…..wandering around the Quarter at twilight is also pretty magical.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I nearly beat Dylan Thomas’ record of drinking 18 straight whiskeys once, but the bar closed
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.