Here at GAK, we have been on the lookout for some of the most talented Artists, Musicians, DJs and Bands that Brighton has to offer! This week we have caught up with SUPER Talented Artist Russel Kedian a.k.a. rudesaneskill.
Russell was kind enough to spend his time stripping a Gibson 2018 Firebird back to its natural finish and redesigning the top, back, sides and neck with a hand-painted custom design along with new chrome hardware. How sweet does this guitar look now?!
We wanted to find out a little bit more about Russell and his work, here’s what we found out!
1. Do you find Brighton to be an artistic hub to help nurture your creative talent?
A: It’s a fantastic city. Full of artists, musicians & creative people. I love the place. There are a lot of opportunities out there. But art & music is very subjective. We all have influences, but ultimately it has to come from within. Done correctly. It’s the purest form of expression.
2. What inspired you to apply your talent to guitar refinishing?
A: It’s hard to say really, I almost fell into it by accident. The first guitar I ever worked on was my brother’s esp explorer. Was in my early 20s, Must have refinished that thing 10 times over the course of a few years. Getting better and learning a little more every time. I finally finished the thing, settling on an electric blue & silver bull’s eye (Zakk Wylde) finish. (He was made up) But a few years back a client commissioned me to customise Gibson SG. (£1600 brand new) Was terrified, it was a huge risk but also an opportunity to showcase my talent, So I accepted. By the time it was finished it looked incredible and he was blown away. I then knew that this was worth pursuing.
3. Is there a genre of music that you feel is best captured in your artwork?
A: Ah man. If had to pick one. It would probably be hard rock or heavy metal. I listen to a lot of music. You’ll rarely find me without my headphones. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family with heavy musical influences. The Doors, The Clash, Pink Floyd & Iron Maiden to name a few. It’s been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember.
4. Your most recent pieces have been Gibson guitars. Do you prefer working with set neck instruments, or is this something you would apply elsewhere?
A: I’ve worked on other guitars before and it’s not an issue. But for me, Gibson’s are in a league of their own. You can always count on the quality of a Gibson guitar. They’re beautiful instruments to work with.
5. What process do you go through to create these pieces?
A: It really depends on the quality of the guitar. Striping it down first, bagging and tagging the hardware. Removing the old finish to assess and inspect the quality of the wood and construction. Sanding and working the neck and body to provide a decent platform to work on. Once that’s all out the way. It’s a case of designing and applying the illustration or finish to the guitar. Reassembly. And pass it over to you guys for the rewiring and set-up.
6. How long on average does it take to create one of your guitar art pieces?
A: Roughly 14 days.
7. Where do you draw inspiration as an artist?
A: I’m self-taught, with no real education in the field. My early influences we marvel comics & 2000AD as a child. I learned to draw by reading and copying the content. Obviously, as you grow up and learn new things, you start to pursue and find your own style. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do that. If you want to be taken seriously as an artist and illustrator, do your own thing. A lot of guys copy things and wonder why they never progress as an artist. A lot of my illustration today has heavy satanic/occult influences. I like the medieval, line work & dot work style of old illustrations from books and literature. They can be very intricate and time-consuming.
8. What are the future plans for your guitar refinishing?
A: I’d like to refine my style a little more and keep working on a commission basis. I work on around three or four high-end guitars a year at present, but I’m still heavily into my illustration work at the moment. So a happy balance between the two is ideal.
9. How long have you been making artwork in this style?
A: My style really developed in my mid-twenties, but it’s changed quite a lot since then as I’m always working on new things. I still practice a lot. Art is a massive outlet for my creativity. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.