Interview and Photography by Jorge Lara
VIMMAG: Greetings Frankie! It's almost a year since we were both RAW Vegas artists semi-finalist nominees. Back in 2012 we were both part of the local and national artist award show here in Vegas. How was that experience for you?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: It was great to showcase at RAW with you Jorge, we sure had a blast! It was amazing, as I was semi new to doing art shows. The Blend at the Royal Resort was my 2nd art showing, Art with a Heart at the Mesquite club headed by D'Nese Davis was my first. I was very excited to see the positive reactions to my pieces during the show. It was a great honor to be chosen as a semi-finalist for Photographer of the Year for RAW. Thank you to the fans of my art and to RAW!
VIMMAG: You were a nominee for Photographer of the year for RAW, now one year later you are prepping to open your own art gallery space, tell us about it.
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: Owning my own fine art photography gallery has been a dream of mine for five years now. Ever since I seriously got into photography and started visiting the fine art photography galleries here in Vegas, I've been inspired to keep pushing my limits to get to this level. My gallery is called DarkstAr Subculture LTD and is located inside Veteran's Village at 6029 W. Charleston Blvd.- Upstairs in space #9. I will be having a grand opening soon.
VIMMAG: How would you describe your art to those who have yet to experience it? Where do you get your inspiration from?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: My art is a combination of precision shot landscape style photography mixed with certain filters to enhance the artistic effect. I consider my framing a part of the overall piece, and have developed various methods of framing that give each original piece a unique twist. My art can be described as a combination of fine art photography mixed with painted and textured backgrounds, then uniquely framed using only the finest framing materials.
VIMMAG: This past year you were also VIM's first Art Editor. I want to thank you for all your experience and support. Tell us what has been going on in your life.
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: Thank you for the opportunity to be the first Art Editor for VIMMAG. It was an honor. Aside from VIMMAG I have been a Licensed Optician for many years and have been in the optical field for 10 years. Also recently I am in the process to get re-licensed for massage therapy. I am a big health and wellness advocate and loved working as a massage therapist from 2001-2004. I put massage on hold for Opticianry school, but now am re-licensing and plan on being a massage therapist for a few key clients part time. Along with art, I suppose you can say I do love to keep busy lol. Honestly I do it all to push the creation of my business dream of DarkstAr Subculture LTD- A combination business combining tattoo culture, fine art, photography, health and wellness, and more.
VIMMAG: Along with your art you also do photography. How did you get started?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: Photography has always fascinated me growing up, but I didn't truly get serious about it until I became a Licensed Optician. The schooling to be an Optician involves a lot of lens technology and light theory so to me it was a natural progression to apply that knowledge to photography.
VIMMAG: What are you most looking forward with your gallery? How are you planning on utilizing it?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: The greatest challenge with my art has been how underground it has been. There have been a few reasons for this- I have been constantly developing new types of pieces and experimenting with many different materials in the framing process in order to give people the highest quality that I can deliver. As soon as I have a finished style, I come up with a new idea. I believe I am finally up to a level that I can present solidly. Also- I participated in 5 art shows last year. The art pieces are greatly appreciated during shows, but I have been in great need of a permanent showroom where art collectors and fans can view the pieces on a regular basis.
VIMMAG: Tell us a bit about your young life, are you a native Las Vegas resident? What was your first experience with art?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: I was born in Las Vegas. This is quite a wild town to grow up in, let me tell you! My family moved around quite often, so I ended up getting to know the various parts of Vegas very well. Casinos and lights were very normal to me as a child, it was only after I moved with my family out of state that I realized the uniqueness of Las Vegas. At the age of 12 I moved with family to an area between Carson City, NV and Reno, NV called Washoe County. My uncle had 300 acres of forest land purchased, so this is where I gained my love for the open woods and nature. Those woods gave me my artistic inspiration. At the age of 17 I returned to Las Vegas and have been here ever since. Gotta say- I do love Vegas!
VIMMAG: Any local art, music, or artist that has influenced you?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: There have been many artists, musicians, and poets that I have met along the way that have influenced myself and my art in various ways. On the photography end fine art photographers such as Cameron Grant were a great inspiration, on the painting end I loved the creativity of some of my favorite painters around town such as James Henninger, Teresa Maharaj, and Scott See. On the music front I gotta give a big shout out to Lucky Cuss for being so supportive of my art. Their constant unique creativity keeps me thinkin fresh. Love the performance of their shows. Poetry wise I look up to you Jorge, your poetry is top notch and your dedication to the poetry shows in your character.
VIMMAG: Besides your art and photography, what other passions fill your life?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: I truly enjoy hiking and traveling, which goes hand in hand with photography and art. I also love to play video games, and go to concerts and shows around town when I am free to do so.
VIMMAG: What's next for you?
FRANKIE DARKSTAR: I am making my dreams happen on day at a time. Every day I work towards my goals in some way, and believe in myself and in my abilities to accomplish great things in life. Nothing excites me more than to be a positive part of the artistic community, and to work alongside my peers and friends in the arts scene. Thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way!