Artist Survey #8: Tim Musso

Tim was my instructor in Computer Graphics at CSULB. He is well versed in the letterform, printmaking and design. His work is saturated with nuances and details, personality and nature. Under his guidance I learned to experiment through method and to look for the art in everyday experience. If you ever get a chance to attend his classes I suggest you do. It is priceless.


(UNTITLED : wood engraving : 8″x10″ : 2007)


(UNTITLED : silkscreen : 22″x30″ : 2007)


(UNTITLED : woodcut : 4’x8′ : 2007)

Name: Tim Musso

Location: Riverside, CA

Medium(s): Printmaking & Typography

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? Artist

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? I’ll have some of my typographic work as well as some prints on display at the Brandstater Gallery, La Sierra University, Riverside. Nov 10-23 and Nov 30-Dec 11

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? I’ve always enjoyed making things and working on creative projects, so after high school it only made sense to study art in college. There is something fundamental to the human experience of working with your hands to express yourself.

Who/What inspired your interest? Natural forms are my primary source of inspiration.

Where do you first remember being exposed to art? I remember being entranced by the work of the graphic artist/printmaker M.C. Escher when I was very young. The strong contrast of the woodcut line with the interesting compositions and optical illusions really set me down the artistic path.

What is your day job? Professor of Art & Design

Why do you create? I would rather create than destroy.

Is there any recurring theme in your work? Natural forms and the written mark in its many various forms are elements that have been a focal point of my work for many years.

What do you want from your work? A means of working through ideas and the satisfaction of expressing and sharing these ideas through the creative process of mark making.

What do you want viewers to take from your work? Any chance to view the art/design of someone who has dedicated their life to visual expression is always a worthwhile experience. Art expresses the human condition in a way that nothing else can and therefore it has great value. I believe that anything that can open a person’s mind or engage their imagination ultimately has a positive role in our lives whether that be music, film, literature, art, or design.

How often do you work on personal projects? Since this semester has begun, about one day a week, usually Saturdays.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? Rarely.

Does your art support you financially? Teaching art and design supports my more personal creative explorations.

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? I look forward to sitting down and carving on my woodblock most often when I am busy doing something that I don’t want to be doing. Most people rot their minds with television to unwind from the day, but I usually find peace and restoration from carving on a block either engraving or cutting a block for a woodcut print.

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? Watch films, listen to music, read about economics and history, hike and take photographs.

Which musicians are you currently interested in? Black Diamond Heavies, Michael Franti, Aggrolites, Black Francis, Pressure Drop Soundcast (podcast), Mobtown Ska Sounds (podcast).

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? I hope I can make it to the Southern Graphics Council (a big gathering of printmakers) this spring.

How long do you generally take on a piece? At least 50 hours.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? No.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? I usually try to limit myself to one or two projects at a time.

Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? The great thing about printmaking is that you can make multiples, so I never have to part with my only copy of something that I have done.