I want my artwork to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. I want it to shed light and call attention to beauty, coherence, and unity; and, I want it to cast doubt on falsehoods, oversimplifications, and absurdities. I’d like to be instrumental in deepening our awareness and appreciation of the fullness of life, including its complexities, ambiguities, and paradoxes.
I draw and paint on an iPad with an Apple Pencil or my fingers using a variety of drawing/painting apps; although, I still work in wood and clay as well. iPads are portable and versatile, require little set up, and there’s no clean up. They’re the perfect medium for what I do. I can quickly convert ideas into illustrations and share them or time-lapse videos of them on social media. I can also prepare the images for printing on metal, paper, and canvas surfaces in a variety of sizes.
Paul Longo has lived a relatively unconventional life. In his youth, he plowed through dyslexia (before teachers had ever heard of it) and learned that there is, indeed, more than meets the eye. In college, he read Don Quijote in Spanish for the first time and discovered an interest in anthropology. He went on to complete 3 graduate degrees and has lived and worked in 7 countries and 9 states since then. Paul has taught anthropology, education, Spanish, research and evaluation methods, and ESL at 6 different universities. These days he teaches digital art to adults with developmental disabilities and workplace ESL to nonprofessional university employees.
Paul was also a Benedictine monk and lived in a monastery for nearly 8 years, until he met and married his wife. Together they were survivors of Hurricane Katrina as residents of New Orleans. But it was not until 2013, while living in a downtown loft in Des Moines, Iowa, that Paul complained to his wife, a CIO in higher education, about not having either a basement or a garage in which to make art. A few days later she gave Paul her old iPad with an installed drawing app and said, “here’s a studio for your lap.” Since then, not only have iPads become larger and more powerful, but the number of drawing and painting apps has increased and each one offers a unique set of features to create original artwork. Nowadays, Paul takes his “studio” everywhere he goes.
Throughout his eclectic journey, Paul has created and shared his art to make sense of the world, to give voice to new identities and experiences, and to engage more intentionally with others. To view more of Paul Longo’s works, digital and otherwise, visit his social media sites: www.portfoliolongo.com, YouTube, and Instagram.
Findings from a 2017 Survey of Supporters Whose Opinion I Value
People who have purchased or otherwise collect my digital illustrations and artwork say they find them humorous, satirical, insightful, and quirky. They report that I make them think twice, smile, laugh, and sometimes feel nostalgic. They point out that I maintain a looseness and playfulness of line and color work with the digital painting and drawing apps that I’m already familiar with or exploring.
Question1: What aspect of my artwork creates the most impact in your opinion?
- Your use of line. Your use of muted colors. Your completely unique voice. By that I mean—I can identify a Longo because it is distinctly you
- When you make astute observations about politics, society and current life/day situations
- You’re a stylist. It’s identifiably you.
- Familiar and/or pleasant places and everyday objects
- Humour, clever insights – ideas – which is also part of the humor. An original drawing style – use of color and composition – all so very interesting
- I Love the creativity of your works. Everything that I have seen you do makes me think. That ‘s what I especially love about the salt truck!
- Currently, I feel the biggest impact of your work is satire. Previously, the biggest impact was in your daily observations, while coping with the transition to living in the area, observing the different and the familiar.
Question 2: Please describe the value you get out of viewing or owning one of my art works.
- I learn from your art. I study it because I am in awe of how you combine looseness of line and color with a sense of humor (sometimes) and depth. Hard for me to explain here, but your work impresses me more than you know.
- When you make me think of something I sort of knew about, but you articulated clearly and succinctly
- Well, until my computer crashed a couple of days ago I was greeted with your drawing of the guy at the mirror with the software question about downloading a new version of yourself. That made me smile. In addition to making people ponder Isn’t making people smile a big part of what you do?
- They make me smile and/or feel nostalgic
- Smiles, laughter – visually, interesting, enjoyment.
- Part of the value to me is that a friend of mine created it. I have had the privilege of getting to know you, and I see your mind at work in every piece you do.
- The same value I get from viewing any artworks.
Question 3: What do you love best about the process of my art works?
- The sense of line and color, as I already said. But even more—I have watched you in action and how you imagine and create so effortlessly and with a joy. It’s as if line and color are your language and you know it (your language) extremely well.
- Creative visualization combined with a “word message”, making an overall statement.
- I know little about that though I do wonder why you’ve abandoned toilets? You’re at your best with those.
- Aesthetic interpretation of reality
- Inventiveness – in composition, line, color work – and in use of the different apps. Unique.
- You have poured your entire being into every piece you do. They are thoughtful and intentional.
- You’re constantly exploring new tools, and trying to improve your craft.
Question 4: if you were to describe my work in three words only, what would they be?
- Personality. Voice. Looseness.
- Astute, relevant, needed
- vivid, exploratory, mocking
- Enjoyable memories enhanced
- Clever, humorous (a lot of the time), and unique
- Engaging. Thought-provoking.
- Sketch, sociopolitical, Paul
Question 5: How would you best describe the underlying message in my artworks?
- Life is surprising and funny and quirky and underneath the surprising quirkiness is humanity and compassion
- Contrasting the worldly realities against a more noble approach of “stewardship and responsibility”, which are sorely lacking in most things.
- Well, you’re not an absolutist. 6) *And I always prefer your own hand script to anything you can copy and paste.
- Real places and real objects are intrinsically beautiful and/or whimsical
- Insightful – (someone who is thoughtful and kind). Various messages all seem to come from the heart and head, genuine.
- Humor backed up with a meaningful societal message.
- I’m exploring this medium to express myself.