This is Paul Drohan's week. His show, The Wrath of Faith, opens Wednesday, April 28, at Little Italy's Salon Tonic, and it will feature live acoustic music from local band Transfer, his longtime friends, for whom Drohan has designed several album covers.
It's a blending of Drohan's personal, professional and artistic lives. The salon, located just down the street from where Drohan lives, enthusiastically offered to showcase nearly all of his paintings.
“It's a great neighborhood,” he says.
The opportunity to showcase his artwork from the past seven years is a bit serendipitous, too, much like Drohan's work, which can be seen at www.d5ive.com.
“Most of my art, I never plan it out,” Drohan says. “I might have an idea for a drawing, and then I just kind of run with it. The painting itself and how I integrate it into the painting is really just a how-it-feels kind of thing.”
Drohan, who works full-time as creative director at digital agency Digitaria in downtown San Diego, went to school for graphic design but never took any fine-art classes.
“The thing is, I'm pretty lucky,” Drohan says. “My job itself—I really love what I do; I've always enjoyed graphic design.
“My graphic design, of course, it's all visual and conceptual problem solving for clients, where my fine art is pretty much self-expression.”
Granted, up until seven years ago, Drohan's fine art consisted solely of drawing.
“I didn't really do very much painting or anything,” he admits. 'I was always a drawer, but in the last seven years, I've really started pushing myself into more of a collage style.”
No matter what Drohan does, there's an unmistakably vintage look—like the surreal Dick and Jane-esque drawings of children on the CD for Transfer's Faded Signal album.
“A common theme in a lot of my work is I try to literally make it look as aged and worn as possible; I just really enjoy that aesthetic about the process.”
And when it comes to inspiration, Drohan thinks of the children; specifically, his two sons and his daughter.
“My kids are a big inspiration in my art—there are a lot of pieces that have children in them,” he explains. “For the most part, they're in a very happy kind of blissful state.
“The thing with a lot of my art is my interaction with my kids, my love for them and how they spill into my art.”