Swimming in the Deep End - Interview with David Gerbstadt

I first heard about David Gerbstadt at Hugs & Kisses from Studio B, an art show where I had my jewelry set up.  Carrie (my friend who was organizing the show) showed me the these awesome match sculptures by David Gerbstadt and told me about his $1 art by mail.  [Send him a $1 and a sase and he’ll send you art.  See his $1 Art Request facebook page for more info and to get your own $1 art!]

So, I got on facebook and found him and took him up on his $1 artwork by mail offer!

And this is what I got:

And that's just the envelope! 

And inside was not just 1, but 2 amazing pieces of art!  (I felt like I won the lottery or something!)

(and the chicken love piece at the top)

Somehow he knew just what to send me at that time, too.  Is it because he’s a mind reader?

Probably not.  It’s because he’s such a positive person.  He’s been through a lot – survived – and has decided to live each day positively.  

He makes "happy, accessible art for everyone!"

I asked David a few questions:
(his answers are in red)

What is your favorite medium (or mediums) to work with?  What are your favorite art supplies?

I work with materials I can find at any drug store or supermarket: crayons, markers, ball point pens, pencils. 

How long have you been creating art?  How did you get started?

I have been making art since I was a kid... building stuff in my dad's workshop.  I really did not think I was any good until I took a studio fundamentals class in college.  The professor said, "I was swimming in the deep end!" He said that I should take more classes.  So, I did and found my passion.  Art is in me and it has to come out.

I love your positive and uplifting message in your art. What inspires your pieces?

After my accident with the bicycle--- my life changed.  I knew with out a doubt WHY I was here and why I did not die!  I learned WE all are loved, we all matter, and we all are important!  I inspire my self... the fact I can get out out of bed and take care of my self.  For a long time I could not do this... Passion.  The people who have passion in what they do helps me go on.  The art I create heals me...

How does each piece begin?  Do you have an idea of what you want your pieces to become or do they progress as you go?

I begin by just doing the work...  I just let the art come out of me...  I repeat ideas and from repeating new ideas come. 

You make an astonishing amount of art.  Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?

I get stuck for  a moment.  I just keep going anyhow...  Right now I am drawing 51 drawings a day.  With a goal set at 10,000 drawings.  I read a few books, watch tons of movies, and just play... 

What made you decide to offer your art for $1 through the mail?

I had my art for sale at the first Dumpster diver art gallery on South Street in Philadelphia.  I noticed that on average 300 plus people came in on a Saturday.  Few people were buying art. I thought I had a ton of art at home.  What if I just sold a painting or drawing for $1?  I took my wall space and put up a bunch of paintings and a few boxes of rammed with drawings cut out of my sketch books on a shelf. Added a sign that said: "ALL ART $1".  People thought I was not going to do well.  I came back the next week to an empty wall...  Word traveled fast!  I kept the space as full as I could.  Then the gallery was to close.  So, I sold the drawings for .25 cents.  I remember  I sold a huge sculpture about 7' tall I made from my broken shop vac and made a monster out of it.  I sold that for .25 cents!  

People visited South Street on holiday from: France, Spain, and all over the USA.
Tons of people from L.A. and West Coast.  Tons of college students from Philly! 
they all went home with $1 art. 

I was sad when the gallery closed.  I wanted to keep the $1 art going...  I was on face book one day and saw I had over 500 friends and thought what if i did $1 art through the mail!  I posted if people send me a self addressed stamped envelope and $1 I would send them a piece of art 8"x10".  Within just a few minutes I got several replies.  Three days later I got the first wave of mail delivered to my house!  A couple days later I got requests from England, Whales, and Scotland.  

So far I have gotten requests from: England, Whales, Scotland, Norway, Canada, Rowanda.
In the USA: over 20 states.

My goal is to mail to all 50 states and as many countries as I can!
Anything else you’d like to add?

I am a full time artist.  I have a children's book 'the red heart book' on amazon.
I am also a motivational speaker, and artist in resident for schools and organizations.
Please contact me to book or for more information.

Find David on facebook or on etsy.  
David Gerbstadt's Website

To get your own $1 art:

Mail a self addressed stamped envelope and $1 and David Gerbstadt will mail an original piece of art to you! Send SASE + $1 To: David Gerbstadt, 54 Aiken Ave., Berwyn, Pa. 19312 USA. Outside USA - will accept paypal for payment: davidgerbstadt@gmail.com

I’m more than thrilled that I’ll be offering collaboration pendants with David’s artwork very soon!  This is one image that will be used:

Watch this website or join my newsletter to find out when they are available.  (Probably 1 or 2 weeks.)  Or email me to pre-order!

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