Please introduce yourself. Who are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live?
Gregory Urban. I was born in Colorado but grew up in Florida. I have lived in the Bay Area since 1987 & reside on my 57’ yacht Élan in the Berkeley Marina.
Tell us more about what you create. What style(s) do you work in, mediums, etc.
Marine Industrial Photography/Art is what I’ve decided for a label for what I do. I’ve been printing my photography on canvas & metal, as well as matting & framing prints. Recently I’ve started to laser cut or burn images, including my photos, edited in Photoshop, on whitewashed birch or driftwood. I’m very excited about working in this new medium.
Where can we find your art besides at 4th Street?
How long have you been creating?
I’ve been taking photos from the tugs I work on since 2010 & have only recently been encouraged to follow my art and do something more.
When you're not making your art, what do you do?
Push or pull big ships around.
Is creativity a luxury or necessity for you? Tell us more about that.
Both. Or just a natural instinct. My parents met in art school. Since I opened my eyes to the unique view/perspective of my office view I have been compelled to share it.
Did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
I grew up with photography & art all around me.
Where do you find inspiration?
Looking out the wheelhouse windows.
What’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
No idea. The possibilities with the laser cutting seem to be endless. Loving playing with the new technique.
If money wasn’t an issue how would your life change with regards to your art?
I’d devote much more time to it.
What inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Try to see things around you differently. I’m drawn to color & texture. Everyday objects or things you see, framed differently, or with squinted eyes, take on a beauty often not expected.
Anything else you'd like to share?
The Office View Series
In 2010 I started a photo series on Instagram that I titled the “Office View Series”. My sole inspiration was to share my work or “office” view with people.
This series is an invitation for the viewer to step out on the tug with me and to see what I see, how I see it, as an artist. Some days everything seems wonderful and different, the light almost magical. Other times it’s trying to see an ordinary thing in an extraordinary way. Everything is subject to the eye’s interpretation. My work celebrates my day to day out on the water. Please join me in my wheelhouse and let’s take a short boat ride.
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Recommended Artist Resources
Frames - Cheap Joes
Matboard - REDImat
Paint - Blick Art, Cheap Joes
Plastic bags - Clearbags
Shipping supplies - Uline
Shoe Making - blog
Supplies - ASW Express
Postcards - PS Prints