One of my favorite parts of this project has been the connecting and learning about artists and their stories. We learned of David through his work with one of my favorite breweries Heist Brewery and the label work he had done for them. His label designs were fun and pseudo-cartoon in design, but when we learned about his other art it was a new dimension. The creative pieces he designs and builds are dark and weathered and bring to life old materials, a phoenix like recycling project. His excitement to be working with Heist and other breweries is apparent because like he said it is bringing together two of his favorite things - art and drinking. Our light hearted jabs for him to get his own website have been answered, but we now need him to post some content for us.


AJK:                  Yeah, exactly.  All right, so welcome to another edition of The 16oz. Canvas.  Once again thank you for tuning in.  On this week’s episode, we have Dave Kaminsky joining us from North Carolina.  Thank you very much, Dave, for taking the time to join us.

David Kaminsky:      Thank AJ.  Thanks for having me.

AJK:                  Excellent, excellent.  Now, what part of North Carolina are you in?

David Kaminsky:      I’m in Charlotte.

AJK:                  All right.  Cool, excellent.

David Kaminsky:      I pretty much grew up here.  I consider it home.

AJK:                  All right.  Well, yeah, you don’t have much of a Southern drawl, so that was -- I wasn’t sure if it was home or not.

David Kaminsky:      No.  I have been all over the world, but I’ve spent most of my time in Charlotte. Spent a little time in Oakland.

AJK:                  Excellent.

David Kaminsky:      I spent a little time in Germany and --

AJK:                  Oh, wow.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  Been -- I’ve been around.

AJK:                  Yeah, that’s excellent.  Now, what’s the reason for the traveling?  Are you a military family?

David Kaminsky:      No.  My dad -- mom and dad were engineers, so they traveled a lot growing up and they worked abroad a lot.  So, I got a chance to experience a lot of different cultures and actually my daughter is first generation American.  My family was all born in Tbilisi, Georgia -- Republic of Georgia. By the Black Sea or former Soviet Union.  And so, I moved here as a refugee with my parents when I was three and grew up in the States, learning English and Russian at the same time.

AJK:                  Excellent.  It’s a very interesting time for you and your family.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, for sure.

AJK:                  Excellent.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, especially now with all the testimony on the -- on Trump’s scandal with Russia and all that, yeah.

AJK:                  Right.  And refugees and, you know, deportation.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  So, it’s definitely -- you have --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, absolutely.

AJK:                  You have 360 degrees on that one I guess.  So, that’s really must be interesting.

David Kaminsky:      Absolutely, yeah.

AJK:                  Well, again, thank you for making the time.  The reason we’ve come to learn of Dave is -- do you prefer Dave or David?

David Kaminsky:      Dave is fine, yeah.

AJK:                  Cool, all right.  Yeah, the way we came to learn of Dave and his art is one of my new favorite breweries, Heist Brewery.  And they started just canning, you know, not too long ago and so there is some really cool art that Dave has done and he shared some of his other pieces with us.  So, we will definitely have that up for you in the website and we’ll be poking to Dave to get his website up or, you know, maybe some -- maybe the Instagram or something like that, so we can showcase more for you but we’ll definitely have it for you on the website.

David Kaminsky:      Sure.

AJK:                  Excellent, Dave.  So, as an artist you know if you’re kind of -- I always ask kind of like for the -- like the elevator pitch.  How would describe your art?  It’s really interesting, you know, the work that you shared with me definitely is a lot different than the label work you’ve done.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  How would you describe yourself?

David Kaminsky:      Well, I am -- you know, I studied graphic design in college and so I have a really kind of strict design sense, but also I have a very kind of rough and raw art sense as well, because I also do sculpture and painting and assemblage and things like that.  So, during the day, you know, my job, my profession is doing broadcast design, working for television, so doing animations, graphics and print work.  And then I also, you know, do sculpture work and digital illustration.  So, kind of run the gamut as far as design and art goes.

I would say that my aesthetic is very intimate and kind of tends to go a little dark and -- but I also I like to be very clean but aged at the same time, if that makes any sense.  So, you know, composition form is very important to me but also, you know, I like weathered things and old things and dirty things.  So, that kind of mix is often found in my work.

AJK:                  You said it better than I did.  So, yeah, I think that’s great.  And looking at the pieces, I definitely think the materials that you use are really interesting.  That, obviously, you know the choices that you are making, using words and text, not necessarily yours but just kind of the stories or you know -- yeah, textural and it’s really interesting.  I definitely see the weathered or, you know, kind of older -- I don’t want to say fade but, you know, kind of used and kind of traveled I guess materials.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  I mean especially in the assemblage work that I do and I feel like it relates a lot to my animation work because I’m finding objects to put together.  In animation you’re finding -- you know, you are also finding objects to put together and animate and move around.  And I feel like these objects that I find, they tell their own story and by combining them, you can change that story, and a lot of people can find their own meaning from it too, based on those objects.  I mean everybody has their own history and their own emotional association with certain objects and certain words, and so I like to leave things open to interpretation.  You know, it may not mean the same thing to you that it does to me when I put it together.  But there is a lot of emotional connection, a lot of intimacy in my work with lot of my 3D pieces; you know, they move or they open and they are small, so they have that -- you have to get close to them to see them.

David Kaminsky:      Actually, like a lot of my work.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      Especially, with the beer labels because you know one of the questions you asked was having that small canvas and I kind of like that.  I like working small, mostly with a space limitation but also just -- you know, there is some much you can put into a small space.  I think that a big space is intimidating because there is so much time you have to spend filling that space but small space you can take a lot of time on as well.

AJK:                  Yeah.  And I -- even just -- not to trivialize like the small pencils, you know, you just see it’s hard to obviously catch over audio but there’s just -- it kind of gives that -- you know, you can kind of see the size or the depth of everything and it kind of puts in perspective that these are smaller pieces and I do really like that.  And even just using the really tiny text, you know, that to me is very intricate and deliberate and it takes a lot of extra work to do that, and so it’s really -- yeah, it’s really interesting.

David Kaminsky:      Thanks.

AJK:                  Now, what’s the -- it seems the little pencils are kind of show up a  bunch.  So, what’s the -- are you a mini golfer, what’s the story there?

David Kaminsky:      Well, actually, there’s an interesting history behind those pencils.  So -- you know, in a lot of the pieces that I make the objects have a lot of history to them or they have a certain meaning or a memory to them.  So, the pencils, those are actually my father’s pencils and he is very frugal and he is an engineer and a mathematician, so he would actually work those pencils down to the knob and then when he was -- when they got so small they couldn’t fit into his little, you know, extender that he had for them, he would put them in a jar and eventually he collected this jar of pencils, and I was like I want those, I’m going to use them for my art.  He said sure.  So, you know, those pencils -- I mean how many calculations and thoughts was used with those pencils.  So, they have that kind of history to them.  So, they weren’t just sharpened down to that point, they were actually used down to that point.

AJK:                  Yeah, that’s great.  Yeah, I think -- yeah, the frugalness of your father brought you -- you said oh, another use out of these little pencils so it’s probably very excited there.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, exactly.

AJK:                  And they kept through, right, yeah, which is -- yeah, and again some of your -- I just, you know, see for the first time which is kind of exciting to me, to not have the prefabricated opinions on it at a time.  I’m not an art connoisseur.  I know what I like but I’m not as -- always the best with the words.  But, you know, just -- like to play out the last one, you were saying with the little pencils in the jar, you have the piece with the thoughts in it you know.  So, it’s kind of interesting.  It’s almost like a correlation to the pencils you know.  There -- each one of those having thoughts or an idea or innovation.  So, it’s kind of interesting.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  I mean -- and plus like the hours of pouring through books to find the word thought and cut it out, you know, meticulously and yeah.  I mean there is a lot of process that goes into it as well and, you know, as you are doing this process you are also thinking and your mind never stops.  So, you know, you can relate it a million different ways I think.

AJK:                  Right.  They must hate you at the library though.

David Kaminsky:      Well, you know, I don’t use new books; I use a lot of old-old books.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      No, my folks always frowned on that.  They’re like how can you -- you know, it’s that old world mentality.  How can you destroy books, they are so precious but, you know, some of these things just has to be used this way.

AJK:                  Yeah, it’s a different form of recycling.  So, it’s very -- yeah, very fitting.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  Excellent.  Now, how did -- now if you look at your pieces, they’re -- you know, they are very weathered and aged and you’re saying the old books and they kind of have that and then to go to the almost the complete opposite of the spectrum you are saying with animation, that to me is very modern.  It’s -- how did you come into -- to get into the animation aspect of stuff?

David Kaminsky:      You know what, animation wasn’t something that I studied or really pursued in school.  I just kind of -- there’s a teeny tiny ad in the paper and I applied for a TV job and got it and learn on the job.  But, you know, animation is -- it’s an interesting process because it takes a lot of organization and, you know, a lot of planning and I try to muck it up as I can and you know what, dirty it up somehow with textures and things like that, but I think that with the animation you have to put these things together so the special relationships of how things are going to move and where they are going to end up.  I feel like that relates a lot to the -- to fine art and to, you know, painting or sculpture because you’re having to deal with space and place things.  And I have these sort of -- it’s not really OCD, but it’s just sort of a desire to organize things and place things in certain fashion.  And so, animation allows me to do that in a very clean way.

You know, computers can just -- you know, you put in a number and it goes there or type and font is also very-very structured and organized.  So, I find that process very fulfilling and very different than art which, you know, a million things can go wrong.  And I’ve broken many pieces trying things but, you know, with computer you can just undo, which you can’t really do on -- you know, with your hands.  So, I feel like that relationship works well.  There is a -- you might not see that right away, but there is definitely a relationship between clean computer work and dirty sculpture work.

AJK:                  Right.  And I think the breaking of stuff and, you know, especially being so small and then -- yeah, I’ve come to learn a lot of things by the fact that I know I can undo or save a version of it on the computer and it’s like “Well, I have this point in time.  Let’s just see what we can do with this” and you know learning even just editing the show and -- back in the day with, you know, some of the graphics I would to do to help promote events or things of that nature you know.  So, it’s like okay, what’s this filter do or what’s this -- you know, changes in the settings.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, it gives you that freedom to experiment.

AJK:                  Yeah, I -- yeah, the boundaries are you know -- it’s not easy but at least you know like, okay, I have this point in time kind of a safety net.  So, it’s definitely helpful in that regards.  You can’t go back and, you know, put the fine art; go back and -- that’s why it’s so beautiful.  Sometimes, it’s just to think how I got to that point in time.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, absolutely.

AJK:                  So, you are an artist of many facets.  I really-really like it.  I find it really interesting and when you sent me the art today, I was -- you know, like I said I shouldn’t -- wasn’t able to research as much ahead of time.  So, I really like that.  You know, I didn’t have any -- I actually I was --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I think -- I’ve been waiting to get a website together so I could, you know, show that stuff off or show of the process as I’m making -- and I’m big fan of like taking screenshots as I’m working on these labels and just seeing that -- the evolution of them.  And I want to do the same thing with my 3D art and to be able to show off, you know sculptures in progress and I just -- I’m not very web savvy to be able to do something like that but, you know, one day.

AJK:                  Well, I can help you.  I can help you with that Dave.  I mean, I was -- I did that in previous life and, you know, we’re not sponsored by anybody but we do use Squarespace here and so it’s pretty drag and drop friendly. 

David Kaminsky:      Nice.  That’d be great.

AJK:                  Yeah.  The challenge is laid down and I’ll be more than happy to help with that.

David Kaminsky:      I appreciate that.

AJK:                  Now, how is your -- you know, how is your I think process when you creating the labels?  How do you do that?  Do you sketch this out?  Are all done in the computer?  What’s your process?

David Kaminsky:      I do a little bit of both.  It just depends on what the mood is I guess, or if I know exactly what I’m doing.  Most of the time I either will sketch on paper or on my iPad and then just either scan it or transfer that and then do the rest of the work in Photoshop or Illustrator.  For Heist labels, I’ve been doing mostly Photoshop, because they have a more -- they are more hand drawn and painterly I guess.  So, Photoshop and then, you know, doing some initial sketches on the iPad or on paper.

AJK:                  Okay.  That’s -- yeah, I really liked the labels that -- I’ve come to -- yeah, I fell in love with them.  I have some friends down in Carolina and they always send me up some Heist and I fell in love with the beer and then -- and that was awesome and once they started having some of these, you know, with the labels and I really liked that.  They are such -- Citraquench'l, my favorite beer from them to begin with and I really liked the artwork of the -- kind of the hop guy with the, you know, the almost handlebar moustache which is pretty sweet and so -- but even jus -- even just kind of looking --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      So, good.

AJK:                  No, just even looking at it -- the background of it -- you know, looking at your other work and it being kind of weathered.  You know, it has that almost like burnt paper to it, with the city which I really like.  You know that’s when you don’t really notice as much when it’s in the can.  You know, I think maybe just I’m really-really excited to drink it but it’s really -- yeah.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  Well, thank you, I appreciate that.  And, you know, it doesn’t hurt that my label is on a kick-ass beer, that’s for sure.

AJK:                  Yeah, definitely.  How did you come to connect with Heist?

David Kaminsky:      It was word of mouth honestly.  I did a few posters for Salud, the beer shop and --

AJK:                  Yeah.  I’ve actually been there.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, it’s a good spot.  They are expanding right now actually.  They are starting up a brewery and they got a whole upstairs with their building.  It’s a sweet little place and, you know, the owner Jason is a great guy.  I did a little poster work for him.  And my friend, Jamey kind of recommended me to Eric, the brewer at Heist and he was like “Hey, let’s hook up and get some labels.”  So, I was very excited about that.

I did a few labels previously for a friend of mine named Ben, who’s starting his brewery now also, Divine Barrel Brewery.  So, I did some labels for some beer competitions that he did and those were -- that was a blast because -- I mean combining my two favorite things, drinking and drawing, you can’t go wrong there.  So, it’s been fun working on this.

AJK:                  That’s awesome.  Yeah, I’m pulling up to Divine Barrel brewery right now, while we are talking and -- yeah, which is like cool.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  That’s -- yeah, I like that with the -- you know, the wood and the -- you know, the hallowed out kind of look to it.  It’s pretty sweet.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  So, I did the logo for them and the branding for them, which has been fun and hopefully do some more things with them too in the future, maybe some labels.

AJK:                  Oh, great, yeah so really -- we’re already learning something new about you.  We didn’t even know that and we’ll put that up there.  You know, off to get some Divine Barrel Brewing beers and send them up this way, Divine Barrel Brewing group, yeah.  But -- yeah, that’s pretty great.  I think word of mouth is -- has been really -- a lot of it’s been really interesting.  A lot of the artists we’ve talked to and how they have connected, it’s been -- you know, somebody on social or just reaching out and saying, hey, like do what you are doing and kind of -- just kind of -- a lot of it’s really happening you know very organically which has really been interesting and so that’s always kind of nice to see especially --

David Kaminsky:      I think it’s you.  I think it’s you, I mean artists are terrible sales people.  So, I mean, word of mouth works pretty well for this brewery.

AJK:                  Yeah, I think -- I mean I think that -- and that’s one of the reasons -- yeah, it’s been different.  So -- I mean it depends on where -- you know we definitely caught with different artists who are at different kind of phases of their career and I think that plays a part into it too, is that -- I think unfortunately sometimes with art or, you know, web design, the things that are hard for people to monetize or look at it like it’s a tangible, that sometimes that makes it difficult to monetize it or kind of make it your own brand.  It’s like, okay, I need a website but then if you really want a good website sometimes it’s like okay and if you go to somebody who does it for their job, you know, it can cost thousands of dollars and even that’s -- it could be a deal and depending on what you want to do.  So, with art sometimes or just kind of branding and logos, I feel like that’s the hardest part, is that kind of that breakthrough pivot point to -- you want people to take you seriously but you also need to build a portfolio and so I thinks it’s --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, absolutely.

AJK:                  It becomes difficult and, you know, in trying to sell yourself and then as you age to try to get -- not more money but just kind of just to get paid -- you know just get paid.  So, it’s definitely -- it’s a tough craft, I mean especially art in general.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, absolutely, to be able to sustain yourself and also sell yourself at the same time, it’s hard to do.  That’s a tough balance.

AJK:                  Yeah.  I think we’re going to get that website up though.  That’s the new goal, yeah.  I have to -- I’ll GoDaddy the shit out of it afterwards and make sure -- I’ll buy, I’ll put it up and I’ll see how different, yeah.  But no -- yeah, that’s been -- I think this is kind of -- and the fact you are doing stuff on the iPad, I think that’s soI mean it’s so -- to me, that’s so cool.  I mean, just a lot of the different artists, everyone has -- you know, some of the guys have been completely raw materials and they just scan it in for the touchup.  And others -- you know, one of the guys that I met down in Virginia was doing work for Vale.  You know, he just got like the new iPad where he drawing, and so like he was just like a kid at Christmas and so everyone has their different process, and I think it’s really interesting to learn about that.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, for sure.

AJK:                  Now, when you --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  I think the iPad is the -- I mean just to touch on that for a second, the iPad for me was -- it was such a cool thing because it’s the ability to be able to sketch and immediately transfer that or share that.  I think that opens up such a possibility because otherwise, you know, when you are at home you’re going to take a picture of it, or you’re going to scan it, or something like that.  But you are working on the IPad, you can take it to go and then mistakes are easily corrected.  So, it allows you to experiment and always have it with you.  It’s kind of a really -- it opens a whole new world I think for artists.

AJK:                  Yeah.  I think just the mobility of it.  You know, the fact that you have all those brushes or pens or inks with you at all times, I think, that’s pretty --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  I think just logistically some of the -- yeah, some of the folks were just like I don’t have to carry, you know, ten different pens, you know or --

David Kaminsky:      Exactly.

AJK:                  It’s like they are ready to go.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, basically it.

AJK:                  Yeah, it’s good for mother earth too I mean.  And those pens aren’t cheap either, that’s another thing I keep hearing.  It’s not the easiest, so --

David Kaminsky:      No -- definitely no.

AJK:                  Materials, right.  And so, that’s -- so, how -- when you worked with, you know, when you talked to Eric in Heist, how was it, how was it -- how was the process?  Was it, these are the beers that we’re going to be canning, you know, and just kind of Eric, did he have a vision in mind or how did you guys kind of figure that out?

David Kaminsky:      Man, it’s been so great working with those guys.  They’re so laid back and just easy to work with and they are open to suggestions and usually the process is that they would call me up and say “Hey, we got a beer we’re going to be brewing and we need a label.”  And so, I’ll come down and talk to them for a little bit and I’ll taste a little bit and -- yeah, we’ll seed some ideas back.  Sometimes they have a few ideas and sometimes I’ll throw out ideas.  And then sometimes I’ll go back into drawing and completely change it and surprise them and luckily it’s been a great process; not too many revisions or tweaks.  So, it’s been a great relationship and very-very satisfying to work with them and --

AJK:                  Oh, that’s great

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  Now -- yeah, now, you sent me one that’s -- that I haven’t seen out yet.  Is that one that might be coming down the line?

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, Brunch Junkie.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  They have not canned that one yet.  And I’m also working on two more.  I actually just finished one that -- I haven’t heard from them yet about it.  I sent it to them last week.  I’m sure Eric’s busy, but I’m excited to see what they are going to say about it.  It’s for a Jack the S.I.P.A.

AJK:                  Okay, cool.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  That’s exciting.  Now, did you -- there’s two that I was curious about, the Cataclysm.  Did you work on those labels?

David Kaminsky:      No, I did not.

AJK:                  Okay.

David Kaminsky:      No, they had another artist working on those before they took me on.

AJK:                  Okay.  Yeah, I think that was -- and I kind of like that they’re both -- they are different and I wasn’t sure; it was a little different style, but I wasn’t sure and -- and the C-Bams one, is that you, is that -- that looks to be --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  I did C-Bams for them.  That was their commemorative for a friend that lost his battle with cancer and they wanted to kind of do a special-Can release and benefit the family and so that was an interesting project.  I’m glad to be a part of that.

AJK:                  Yeah, that’s great.  I mean, I’m a humungous Phish fan too, so I mean I love that and so, that was pretty awesome and just -- it was a super limited release but a few of the -- my North Carolina crew which is -- you know, got me into the beer trading game, so I always thank them and -- but I always like just --- not only was it really cool just knowing why and the imagery was really great, I mean I thought that was really nice drawing of the guy you know --

David Kaminsky:      Thanks.

AJK:                  And so it was cool and just the subtleties like the tie-dye and obviously that the circles are pretty, you know, famous and so it was a nice touch.

David Kaminsky:      Well, you know I don’t listen to Phish but I have a lot of friends who do and I knew he was a big Phish fan and I had to pick their brain and be like what is -- tell me about Phish, tell me about some imagery, what kind of associations.  I heard about the whole, you know, doughnuts and the moo moo that he wears.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      I was like that would be perfect background.  It will set the colors and everything, so.

AJK:                  Yeah, I was like -- yeah, so I remember when they released it, it was like that’s just -- I didn’t even know or read anything, I just foresaw the images somewhere and I was like “Oh, man, that’s definitely Phish.”  So, that was Mission accomplished, and yeah -- and just the tie-eye, you know, it’s really -- especially that -- the way it looks, it looks pretty sick on the cans so --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I think so too.  Thanks.

AJK:                  Yeah, I know it’s a one-off and they probably won’t do that again, but that was definitely was very well enjoyed.

David Kaminsky:      Thanks.

AJK:                  Now, was the vibe to kind of make the -- like each of, you know, the cans kind of have like a -- kind of, some of it just comes a cartoony, kind of like personify the hops and was that a decision you guys worked on together?  How did that come?

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  I think that -- I can’t remember honestly how that came about.  I mean, the cartoon is just kind of my own style on it.  I mean I love cartoons and I love comic books.  I’ve always grown up reading comics books.  But, you know, making a hop’s guy was kind of -- I don’t remember if it was Eric’s idea or my idea but I really wanted to pursue that and I didn’t want it to be kind of cheesy, you know, like -- so, I went with this decisions to have them be floating like without legs, to kind of maintain that hop form and kind of integrate his facial features with the petals of the flower.  And so, that’s why the first one kind of with the moustache kind of all fits together.

AJK:                  Yeah, so--

David Kaminsky:      And then it just kind of went off from there and then, you know, every beer that has hops on it, obviously, we’re going to continue with the hops guy and maybe change him up.  I guess, those were his family, I don’t know.

A.J:                    Yeah, I was going to ask you, yeah, do you have a name for them or something like that but yeah.

David Kaminsky:      No, I don’t -- I don’t have names for them.  But it’s funny how it evolved you know.  I thought I’d just be doing this one can and then it just went on from there, and so I was like “Oh, I’m going to do -- and do more and more hops guys,” so.

AJK:                  Yeah, the hops guy in space.  Yeah, it’s pretty good.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  Yeah, I really like the hops guy in space.  I thought that one -- that was one of my favorites.

AJK:                  Yeah.  I mean that hasn’t come out yet so we were like, you know, obviously we can like -- make sure we can post it but we won’t be live probably for about a six-day weeks, so this one is really -- it’s how far out we are recording.  So, you know, just we love the -- I love the Brunch Junkie one.  Again, it’s kind of -- just says that, you know, coffee and cigarette with the faded, you know, look to it, kind of little smoking; perfect kind of stout especially for oatmeal stout with coffee.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  But yeah -- so that’s -- and that’s -- and if you look and compare that to the other ones, it’s kind of -- it’s -- like I said it’s pretty nice to see how -- your ability to do your different things and even just to -- I like how you subtly -- you know, you tag the decay in there.  You know, it’s kind of like trying to find it but it’s always -- it’s always in there.  You know, it’s somebody with initials for names.  You know, I probably spent thousands of pages in my books as a kid growing up and I’ll tell you I still do it, just trying to find cool ways to write my initials, so for self --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, that’s something that came over a long time ago and just -- it’s always been my little tag that I put on stuff. It’s interesting and there is always a debate in art on like -- you know, people maybe sign the paintings as a part of the artwork.  I’ve always considered it not part of the art work.  Especially when you’re making like a sculpture, you don’t want your name on it because, you know, it’s not a part of it.  So, I’ve always had this kind of struggle with that but I feel like with something like this that’s more commercial, you know, I don’t want it to be super blatant, I don’t want it just sticking out there; I want to hide it in there, but still kind of tag it as my own.

AJK:                  Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s a cool of saying -- yeah, it’s like -- yeah, you’re tagging it.  So, it’s good, because they are subtle.  Man, like I said, it’s not -- reminds me of a -- like different magazines and we try like find the things -- not like Where’s Waldo.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah.

AJK:                  But, you know --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah, like find the -- find the hidden items or whatever, yeah.

AJK:                  Right.  Yeah, exactly -- yeah, like, oh there is a -- you know, in the tree there is like a trumpet.  It’s like okay, I see it yeah.  Yeah, because on your 3D pieces, I think it’d be a little tacky but I think it works for with the other stuff.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  Now, some of these folks -- obviously, I mean, I think that with your animation background, I definitely can see a little animation with these folks.  So, if Eric and the guys are listening, you should have a little -- you know, for a big release, have a little animation action or something.

David Kaminsky:      That’d be cool.

AJK:                  Yeah, definitely.  Well, kind of give them names.  I think by the time you’re done with it, you’ll have a whole family of these hop group.

David Kaminsky:      No, I was telling Eric, we should do little plushies.  I think it makes it cool.

AJK:                  That’d be pretty funny, yeah.  Now, how the first -- you know, the first time you were doing the cans like the -- like a -- from a packaging standpoint, was that something, you know, working with the printing -- how was that for you?  Was it difficult or was it a smooth transition?

David Kaminsky:      No, I mean I have -- I mean, you know, in my job I work with printers and vendors all the time, so I m -- I mean, print work is old hand for me.  I’m very familiar with it, so it was no big deal, you know, setting up documents for print and all that.  I’m very familiar with it, from screen printing and, you, all the way to banners and all that stuff.  I have a lot of experience, so that was nothing.  I was -- you know, drawing the can was so -- it was the most intimidating part really but, yeah.  Yeah, I had no issues with that.

AJK:                  That’s good.  Yeah, I think -- yeah, I think that would probably -- that’s -- that’d be intimidating.  I thought I told the story before about when I was working with a band, we -- myself and the guitar player, one of my best friends, we were doing -- you know, we did the posters.  We do everything and we had a new album coming out and I had Photoshop and I had no idea about high resolution or anything like that and I remember I created an image and he loved it and was like “That’s what we’re going to use for the cover,” and I was like “All right, cool,” and so I just like -- he’s like; can you send me the like whatever -- I forget what file, it was like multi -- - he went through a lot of layers and --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah.

AJK:                  I was like; I don’t know what you’re talking about man.  I’m like “Well, you guys, what you got.”  And so like -- we tried for like -- for the story sake I’ll sound cool, but I think we tried for like a week to like recreate it, so we can do like multi-layer, and I -- we couldn’t get it, until finally we were just like ‘fuckk it’, and we just sent it to whoever is going to do the printing to see.  And I hadn’t saved it on Web DPI, I think I had saved it a little higher and so it was able to work but it was like -- I was -- that was my first kind of trial by fire and the fact that like that’s not how it works.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  Yeah, yeah.

David Kaminsky:      No, there’s definitely like Print Lingo and I mean, you know, web graphics and print graphic, that’s all -- it’s all different worlds but --

AJK:                  Yeah, it was not good.  Like I was a web guy, it’s -- I always knew 72 DPI, like I just I knew what I needed to know and I was like, what are you talking about.  He’s like oh -- he’s like, do you send me a JPEG and I was like; yeah.  I’m like sweet, I’m like done-done.

David Kaminsky:      And?

AJK:                  Yeah, and he’s like “No man, there is like all these layers.”  I was like; I don’t know what you -- I’m like -- I think I was just working on one layer.  Like I would even multi-layer that.  I was just terribly -- it was terrible but, I mean, it worked and I -- when I look at that, it’s like -- it just makes me smile.  It’s just because it worked.  I was like “Oh, thank God.”  I think it was one of the things you sent it off or you kind of like slide it across the table and hope for the best and it was like --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah.

AJK:                  It works, I’m really -- it works, yeah, because I would do -- not like animation to a new level but just like animated gifs and stuff and I have like this, you know, crazy transitions and changes and then these files be massive and like they’d be an advert running on like a music website and it’s like “Sir, you only have like 800 KB,” like “You just said it’s a 12-Meg file.”  I was like “Oh.”  And it was like nine-day, like the pic -- it was just -- it was terrible.

David Kaminsky:      No, you have to crush it of course.  Yeah, like --

AJK:                  Yeah, it was like one transition.  It was basically like one image change, like I had everything moving and like it was -- yeah, I was like so proud.  It was -- yeah.  So, I used to buy these old -- like I used to buy an old album cover books like from like the, you know, like the ‘40s and ‘50s and the Jazz stuff to look at how they would do this cool art work, and I used to always use those as kind of try to -- it’s like to mimic of like that style or like homage to it and --

David Kaminsky:      Nice.

AJK:                  Yeah, I learned pretty quickly that they weren’t doing animations back in the ‘50s and so --

David Kaminsky:      No, they were not.

AJK:                  A lot more flat files.  So, I mean, I’m jealous with the -- probably the frequency, you get to have Heist but what’s -- what are some of your favorites over there?

David Kaminsky:      At Heist?

AJK:                  Yes, sir.

David Kaminsky:      Man, I love Citraquench'l.  That beer is ridiculous.

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      And the Über Quench’l is also -- I mean I just -- you know, that kind of -- that cloudy hoppy IPA is just one of my favorites.  I just love -- I love that style of beer and then New England-style IPAs.

AJK:                  Yeah.  I mean, I can say -- I mean, other than obviously the Brunch Junkie which I haven’t had, I mean all the ones you’ve done labels for, I’ve been lucky to have a few.  I wish -- you know, I’m always texting or calling my boy Seth for the Citraquench’l and, you know, he is friends with Eric and he put me in touch with you and it kind of just comes full circle, whether -- yeah, that I mean the Citra -- you know we have -- the big Citra one up here.  At least for a while it was the Fuzzy Baby Ducks by New England Brewing Company and it was a single hopped IPA and those -- before like Citra was as accessible as it is now.  So, now that -- now it’s kind of a new dawn of the Citra hop and it’s kind of exciting that folks were able to get it and use it.  So, keep crushing at Heist and --


David Kaminsky:      And brew it.

AJK:                  Yeah, yeah.  So, the first time I think I got it was in Crawlers and so -- I mean, I just got a few recently.  I think I got not from -- not very concentrated, I think Version 12 and Blurred and then the -- you’re talking about Salud before, you know, the collaboration -- more Citra, more Tiako problems I think is what the other one was --


David Kaminsky:      That’s right.  Yeah.

AJK:                  That was it -- that was a great period too, so.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I didn’t try that one but -- yeah.

AJK:                  Oh, look at that!

David Kaminsky:      It’s good thing.

AJK:                  Look at that, the Yankee has got one up on you.  What do you think of that?

David Kaminsky:      Let it go.

AJK:                  Yeah, come on.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  You’re doing work for a Salud.  Come on -- yeah, yeah, I’ve -- I think I still have my Salud sticker somewhere.  We drove down south and I was like -- I took over the GPS because we wanted to hit up NoDa for when -- like the hot dropping rollers like crushing it --

David Kaminsky:      Oh, yeah.

AJK:                  And we went to Salud and, yeah, my wife’s like “You just took us like an hour and a half completely out of our way to getting back home,” and I was like, “Oh, come on.”

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.

AJK:                  It was worth it.

David Kaminsky:      Well, Divine Barrel is going to be down there as well.  They’re opening up in the summer.

AJK:                  Excellent.

David Kaminsky:      That’s going to be like beer central for sure.

AJK:                  Excellent.  That’s awesome.  Now, I mean you are just creating art work all -- you know art all day.  Your animation and you are creating stuff, then the label work -- you know just kind of -- what’s your setup like, you know, at home or you’re just kind of depending on the day you know?

David Kaminsky:      Well, I mean, I go -- you know, I go to the office during the day and work there at the TV station and at night, I’m either on the computer drawing or animating or in my studio making sculptures.  That’s pretty much it.

AJK:                  Pretty much it -- pretty much it.  You do like five different art, you know, mediums in like a day and you’re kind of just like ---

David Kaminsky:      I can’t get enough.

AJK:                  You’re just “Oh, yeah, yeah.”  You just like yada-yada, like half of your work right there.

David Kaminsky:      You know, my -- I’ve actually been packing up my house and I’m moving.  I’m looking for a new place but my art studio, my sculpture studio was like my pride and joy, just because, you know, it’s -- assemblage is art itself.  It’s so -- it’s cumbersome because you have to use -- you know, you’re not drawing, you are using materials that you find.  So, all day long, all the time, my life, I’m collecting stuff, just collecting shit all the -- like everything.  It’s like -- you know, from rusty paperclips to animal bones to broken glass to, you know, all the stuff that I can find whether wood, and so I have to organize these things very meticulously so that I can then find them again.  And so, they’re grouped by type, by material, by size, all these different containers and it’s like a mad scientist’s laboratory but, you know, I know where -- I know exactly where everything is.  Oh, you need a fox tooth, I know it’s over here in this in the tooth drawer and, you know, all my hand tools and hammers and raw materials and things like that.  So, it’s the -- I love being in that space just because it’s like my little laboratory.

AJK:                  Yeah, it sounds like -- it sounds a little crazy like all sorts of stuff and the tooth --

David Kaminsky:      It’s a little crazy, yeah.

AJK:                  But I think -- yeah, I think we’re all a little crazy, right.  I think, you know, it’s a good -- in a good way.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, you have to be.  You got to embrace your crazy.

AJK:                  Yeah, exactly.  Yes.  So do you -- now, do you have all your stuff cataloged on the computer too?

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I do.

AJK:                  That’s pretty awesome.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah, I’m super organized and -- yeah, almost plainly so but --

AJK:                  Yeah, we -- but yeah we can’t get you a fu**ing website.  I mean, come on, what’s the deal?

David Kaminsky:      You know, I used to have one a long-long time ago and this -- a friend of mine put it together but it was -- you know, it was back in the days like over 10 years ago.  So, I couldn’t edit or add to it or anything like that --

AJK:                  Do you --?

David Kaminsky:      Like do you have a blog and like --

AJK:                  Yeah, GeoCities, you know like -- yeah, you know, growing up.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I don’t know -- I don’t remember it how it was hosted but, yeah, it was just like -- it was very stagnant website and -- but I think I still have my domain registered.  I just need to like -- I need to -- I don’t know how to build the thing that goes on there.

AJK:                  All right.  We’re getting -- just get the Instagram out.  Let’s get that.  Let’s get -- if you all --

David Kaminsky:      I got an Instagram.

AJK:                  What do you got?  Where you are at?  How are we going to find you?


A post shared by Dave the Slave (@decaydave) on

David Kaminsky:      Let’s see, what’s my Instagram -- I think it’s the Decay Dave.  Let’s see whether -- I can’t remember.  Isn’t that sad, I don’t even know my own thing.

AJK:                  You’re too -- yeah, yeah, you’re a humble man.  You’re a humble man.

David Kaminsky:      Oh, Dave -- I’m Decay Dave.  Yeah, D-E-C-A-Y Dave.

AJK:                  Wait.

David Kaminsky:      The Decay is my initials, D.K.  So I’m -- I go with Decay.

AJK:                  Have you --

David Kaminsky:      So, I think my website used to be Decay Design but it’s gone --

AJK:                  How do we spell that?

David Kaminsky:      Still got the name --

AJK:                  D-E- E-K-Y Dave?

David Kaminsky:      D-E-C-A-Y, like decay, like rotting decay.  Yeah.

AJK:                  More happy thoughts from Dave.

David Kaminsky:      There you go.  I’ll work with you with my --

AJK:                  Yeah, dead animals and fox teeth.  Yeah.  That’s for your new website,  It’s like “Here you go.”  Oh, yeah, see now we’re talking.  All right, good, there we go.  Say, it comes full circle.  So, when you promote make sure, you know, if folks are out there like myself or like what Dave is doing, make sure you get in touch with them.  Yeah.  Follow along.  We’re going to follow along now and we -- you know, we appreciate it.  Now, what is your -- now, when you’re creating and you are mad scientist, how is that -- how -- in your laboratory -- are you a music guy?  Are you a --

David Kaminsky:      Oh, yeah.

AJK:                  Sounds guy?  What do you -- what’s going on there?

David Kaminsky:      I mean I could not live without music.

AJK:                  All right.

David Kaminsky:      I listen to music almost all the time.  I would say that I’m a music snob, even -- I’d even go there.

AJK:                  But you don’t listen to Phish, come on.

David Kaminsky:      But I won’t -- I don’t listen to Phish though.  I know, right.  Like it is funny like I went to school in Boone.  Like I’ve -- my life, I’ve been surrounded by hippies or whatever.

AJK:                  I was going to say -- yeah, that’s all right.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah.  But you know I love all kinds of music.  I love Ambient music, I love Indie Rock, I love electronic music, I love heavy rock, I love jazz, funk; you know, Radiohead is one of my favorite bands.

AJK:                  Well done.  I’ve seen them --

David Kaminsky:      I love -- I love --

AJK:                  That was it, I’ve seen them.

David Kaminsky:      You’ve seen them?

AJK:                  Yeah, I saw them at Madison Square Garden; it was mind-blowing.

David Kaminsky:      Wow, wow, I’m jealous.  Hope it was a great show.

AJK:                  No.  All right, one point for me, ten points for Dave.  What else you got?

David Kaminsky:      You know I’m really digging the new Spoon album.  I got tickets to go see them in July, so I’m excited about that.

AJK:                  Oh, that’s pretty awesome.  Yeah, I get turned on to Spoon.  I don’t listen to them as much bit now you mentioned, and I’m likeoh, I’ve read -- I remember it -- they were on -- I was in Nashville and they were like on the radio and it was like this is great and so -- I definitely had a Spoon period of time, so that’s pretty awesome.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I mean, they just came out with a new album a little while ago.  It’s fantastic if you haven’t heard of it.

AJK:                  Oh, no, good.  I’m always looking for new music and one of the things we try to do with each episode is, you know, take music that the artist listen to for inspiration or whatever, you’re just kind of -- when you’re rocking in your studio and we just kind of -- you know, we include it in the episode some of the background music.  One, to -- it takes away --

David Kaminsky:      Awesome.

AJK:                  It takes away from my voice, so it’s usually helpful in that regards.  So, it’s good.

David Kaminsky:      No, it’s good.

AJK:                  Yeah.  So, what else do you --

David Kaminsky:      I also like to --

AJK:                  Yeah.

David Kaminsky:      I like a lot of the ambient and instrumental music like Tycho is one of my favorites.

AJK:                  Yeah, I did -- I got turned on to Tycho from doing this show.  And artist Dean Mckeever who does work -- talking about the northeast IPA, he doesn’t work for Tree House.  A lot of the work you see now for Tree House and so

David Kaminsky:      Oh, cool.

AJK:                  Yeah.  And what he does is pretty cool.  Once a week, he’ll do like a live Instagram kind of thing and he’ll like do a drawing live and so -- you know, once or twice, he was listening to that and I was already digging that.  So, yeah, so that’s pretty awesome.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I saw Tycho play and they just -- they blew my mind.  They’re so good live.  Also, Com Truise. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Com Truise.  They are a great -- kind of -- maybe like retro 80s sound, but modernized and just crazy.  It’s just -- they are just -- they are crazy.


AJK:                  Yeah, that’s a good one.  So, I only had in New York.  I’ve been there.  Man, it’s pretty good.  Yeah.  It has to be -- has to be.  People are that creative, and that’s awesome.  Well, I -- yeah, I really appreciate Dave and I think it’s really, you know, interesting and you’re definitely -- even just your photography, it’s really -- you have a good eye so I think that it’s kind of cool to see your perspective and how you look at things and just -- and then on top of that to think that while you’re capturing these moments, that you’re also, you know, looking at these moments as fun, if you can take some pieces away with you and make some more with them.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, thank you, appreciate that.

AJK:                  Now, if you’re -- you are in a way -- I don’t want to call you a hoarder but you have a lot of stuff and you are mad scientist, you know, your laboratory.  How is that for you when you kind of -- okay, I see this bone, or I mean, you just know that this is something cool and eventually what its use in your art, it will come to you and you just know that it’s more that you’re capturing that because it’s a pretty cool piece?

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I mean, I think I find pieces and sometimes I’ll know right away that this is going to be central.  You know, this is going to be a key element for something or I just -- I don’t know at all and it’s just a beautiful object.  I mean a rusty paper clip to me is something that -- you find them.  You know, I don’t know if people look,  I look -- I’m always looking down when I’m walking around but I find these things and they may appeal to me and just have a beauty to it and, you know, it’s lost function in a way.  Because it’s now rusty nobody wants to put that on a piece of paper, but it still has use.  It’s a natural resource.  It’s a piece of metal that can be bent, that can be reshaped, and then it has that age.  It has that -- to me the beauty of those objects is that mix between manmade and nature.  So, nature has had its force put upon those objects that man has made and changed it, and so this is the child that man and nature have made together.  And so, I find all these objects that have been weathered and destroyed or discarded and then, you know, I can repurpose them and give them new life.

AJK:                  Well said, yeah, I think that sometimes -- yeah, I think it -- I think now and just in general like slow things down and take things in, you know, look around the world around you.  I think it’s really-really great.  I know with my two boys, they’re six and three.  You know, I’m very -- my -- you know, your day job, right, I’m in sales and it’s very fast paced and moving but when I’m with them or doing things, you kind of get to see that first moment in time that X happened and say “Okay, this is thefirst time that they ever-ever did this.  The first time they ever saw this or the first time they ever saw this ocean or whatever.”  It’s -- it resonates and kind of makes you think again.

David Kaminsky:      True.

AJK:                  So, I definitely -- I definitely, yeah.

David Kaminsky:      And then, you know, my girl was nine and one thing you’ll come to find is not the first thing but the last thing.  So, the last time that she’ll ask you to read her a story or the last time that she’ll ask you to hold her hand, and those moments too are kind of scary and interesting; they’re unpredictable in a way.

AJK:                  Yeah, I’m going to cry because I just read my three-year old.  He asked me for a second story tonight and I was like “Let’s do this.”  And so, if -- yeah, I can’t -- yeah -- that makes me -- that’s the reality.  I hear you, it’s amazing.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, yeah.

AJK:                  Yeah, my -- the go-to story is Grand Central.  I mean I’m traveling to New York City twice -- three times a month if not more.  I -- and I just hit Grand Central.  I go through the main atrium and either go to the subway or the taxi line.  I took the boys the first time and it was -- their eyes were, you know, as big as saucers and it was like “Wow” and I was -- so every time I go in there, kind of all of a sudden my brain kicks off and I think about that until -- or maybe --

David Kaminsky:      Cool.

AJK:                  I know I still have to get to that meeting or I still have to get to, you know, wherever I have to be but it’s just -- those, you know, even five steps slower I just kind of like go back to that moment, and so -- even just the train, right?  It was just like, “Oh.”

David Kaminsky:      Yeah?

AJK:                  Like that was -- I was like, “Ah, the train.  I’m like this -- you know, it’s like, oh, it’s such a pain in the ass.”

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, but you see it through their eyes in different ways.  That’s true.

AJK:                  Yeah, exactly.  I was just like that was a -- yeah, if I could do that all time, I think, you know, things would be a lot easier.

David Kaminsky:      I agree.

AJK:                  But, yeah, so got to take time and that’s great.  It’s a nice way to appreciate your art even more.  You know, I think they’re just -- especially the fact that, you know, find the things that people are throwing away or maybe they can’t bring themselves to finding the use for it, so that’s pretty awesome.

David Kaminsky:      Thanks.

AJK:                  Well, thank you.  I really appreciate it.  I learned a lot today.  Hopefully --- you know, hopefully, it wasn’t as painful as you thought it was going to be.

David Kaminsky:      No at all.  It’s been a pleasure.  Thank you so much.

AJK:                  Excellent.  Well, once again, we have Dave Kaminsky with us, North Carolina based artist doing the great label work down there for Heist Brewing.  He’s also working at a brewery that we’re -- hopefully, we can get a chance to check out soon; Divine Barrel Brewing.  A multi-facet artist and, hopefully, by the time this goes live we’ll have something but in the very least you can find him on Instagram, Decay Dave on Instagram.  We’ll have links up on the website to show you some of his art that we’re talking about.  And, again, if you get a chance to go down North Carolina, make sure you get your hands on some Heist cans, at the very least get some Crowlers.  You should work on a little Crowler sticker or something like that.  I do like the “Hello, my name is,” but I think --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I like the -- I like the Crowlers stickers.  It’s pretty cool.

AJK:                  Yeah, I was going to say -- I’m like we’ll play that out because I do like those but, I mean, I was just -- I’m like, yeah, you know what, that’s not really that -- that’s not fair but, yeah, definitely -- yeah, hopefully I’ll get down there soon and visit Seth and some of the crew down there.  And if I do, I’ll make sure I can reach out in future.  We can have a beer in 3D at Heist.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, man, that’d be awesome.  That’ll be awesome.

AJK:                  All right.  Well, keep us updated, you know, with your -- where your new studio ends up being where you end up and I’ll keep you updated as we edit things and, you know, get up on the site.  If there -- if you’re working on some new, the new labels -- I know you said there are some you’re doing now, you know, if --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, I’m doing the Jack the S.I.P.A.

AJK:                  Jack the S.I.P.A.

David Kaminsky:      And actually -- I finished that one.  I just haven’t heard from Eric about it, but it’s -- I’m excited about it.  I think it’s really -- it still -- it has a hops guy.  The hops guy is, you know, Jack the Ripper and he is murdering in orange, so it’s interesting.

AJK:                  Now, it’s not you, did they tell you what kind of hops it is that’s going to it?  Like is that planned, how you --

David Kaminsky:      I don’t know, I don’t know.  I know it’s a session IPA, but I don’t know what kind of hops they are using --

AJK:                  All right, Jack the S-I-P-A, last -- okay, I don’t --

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, S-I-P-A.


AJK:                  All right.  Thanks so much Dave, it was -- I really enjoyed talking to you.

David Kaminsky:      Yeah, you too man.  Okay, thank you so much.


: DecayDave
Beer: Heist Brewery
Website: COMING SOON - Bookmark