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Portrait #14 : the Playful and Imaginative world of Neato Rodriguez 🤟🏻 -

Portrait #14 : the Playful and Imaginative world of Neato Rodriguez 🤟🏻

Hello Neato Rodriguez, could you tell us more about the person behind this pseudonym? 

Absolutely! In a nutshell, I would say I'm a kid that grew up on 80's and 90's pop culture that never really grew up. I've been doing this for a long while but I like to take breaks from it so that it remains fun and not a job.

I'm a big supporter of our local community. I am lucky to work with a team of talented artists here in Houston with a goal of bringing artists together where we can have a great conversation and explore our creativity.

And about the choice of this pseudonym?

Neato was a word I always said as a annoyingly always said. Growing up, most of the things I thought were cool I would always yell "That's Neato!!" So now when people find my pieces in the streets I hope they're yelling "That's Neato!" as well.

What was your first contact with urban art? What made you want to get involved in it? 

I think of a combination of seeing graffiti in movies and also being around my sister and her friends that would also do artwork and tag. I've always wanted to be a graffiti artist, but as much as I tried, I'm more of an artist in my head than what I'm able to produce on a wall. It wasn't until I discovered Invader and reading in an interview that anybody could do what he does. So, I decided to see if I could do what he does. 

If you had to define your style in 3 words, what would they be? 

Fun, Unexpected, and Imaginative.

Can you tell us more about your creative process? 

Where everything is now HD and realistic, my art is simple and basic. I like to take things that are near and dear to me and just simplify them. It's like an image that hasn't been fully uploaded correctly on the Internet. You know when the image is pixelated so you're trying to guess what you're seeing before it fully uploads. It's up to the viewer to finish uploading my pieces in their mind.

What are your main sources of inspiration? 

Pop Culture, Houston and of course the Artist Invader. Everything I put up is usually an image of something that's near and dear to me. I was lucky enough to grow up in the era of arcades and video games so I try to make my whole art process a game as well.

What is the ideal spot for you to stick your works? 

My ideal spot is just somewhere that nobody would think of putting artwork the Mayor's office downtown. The more challenging or the more exposed the better. 

Which cities and countries have you invaded? 

As of now almost all of my pieces are in Houston but I have put some up in Alaska and other cities in Texas. Houston is massive in area, so I have a lot of area here to keep me busy.

Do you have an idea of how many mosaics you have installed? 

Honestly I would say about 140. Of course I don't post all of them because they seem to disappear when I do. 

What is your favorite mosaic? 

Never really thought about it but probably my hand pieces. That's the image I put up the most. I switch out the skin color to match all the skin colors in Houston.

What are your artistic projects and desires for this year? 

I've slowed down for health reasons (back injury) but I plan on finishing my Loteria project and starting a variant Pokemon series that includes the different neighborhoods in Houston. 

And finally, which artist would you like me to interview for the next portrait?

@Moorecraftsnz Love his work. And also @Dxtrtheweird he doesn't do tile work but he is the absolute best at pixelated street art.

How can we follow you (website, Instagram account, Flasher pseudonym...)? 

You can find me at @NeatoRodriguez on Instagram and Facebook.


Thank you for your participation!

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