David Bollt was a child prodigy who began producing art at the tender age of seven. By his teens he was creating art for various rock bands worldwide. Following countless magazine covers and posters Bollt developed a loyal fan base that has been expanding ever since. His work in the field of Tattooing has also solidified his reputation as a master of the trade. David has been appearing in books and magazines leading a conversation about beauty, art, creativity and consciousness. Now, he is passionately advocating a positive message that aims to change the way the world relates to human beauty. With a clear vision of appreciation, he is helping transform how people see themselves and each other. His recent project Model Society features some of the world’s most talented models, photographers, and artists. The elegantly sensual site celebrates the beauty of the human form in all its forms Be sure to check out Model Society at: http://www.modelsociety.com And visit his personal website at: http://www.davidbollt.com
What were you like as a child? What first led you to want to be an artist?
I was mostly serene and quiet. I liked to have time to sit and be with my imagination. At night though, this was often scary for me as I had a tendency to imagine ghosts and monsters. I remember the day I decided I would be an artist. I was probably five or six and was playing a with a kid in the neighborhood who wanted to draw. It was the first time I ever sat to do that and it changed my life. Landscapes full of monsters and adventures opened up for me. With nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper, suddenly anything was possible. I realized that all the dark creatures of my imagination were of my own creation, or at least I had some sense of control over them. From that day on I knew I would spend my life as an artist. From that day on I was dedicated to exploring imagination through art.
You were designing covers for rock bands by your teens, did you always have a love for the genre? What did it feel like to see your work featured on merchandise from some of the most prolific musicians of our time?
I love it! I’m a musician myself and I always related to creatives of all types. Music and visual art go together beautifully. As a teenager I remember listening to music while looking at an album cover. The experience of the songs along with the artworks seemed like one thing. It was like the art would invite me deeper into the music. It has always been a thrill for me to create artwork for bands. It did not matter if they were starting out or well established, either way I just enjoyed the process.
Are there any of those works that stand out most in your mind?
I’ll never forget going to a Queensryche concert and taking a friend back stage to meet with the band. I had been working with the drummer (Scott Rockenfield) for months creating a line of custom drum graphics. When the band came on stage, I got such a thrill seeing Scott rocking on a set of drums with my artwork. I turned around and saw en entire stadium of people moved by the music. The entire line of drum graphics went on tour with more bands than I even know about. It feels good realizing that the images have been part of such a powerful and diverse musical experience for so many people.
Why do you think music and art have always been so…well suited to one another?
Because they both are purely creative expressions. One is a journey of hearing, the other is a journey of seeing. They both can tap into emotions and imagination. They both can inspire us and fill us with a sense of wonder.
You also took an interest in the world of tattoos. What do think people find so appealing about wearing art on one’s skin? Do you have any yourself?
We are mortal creatures. Our lives are temporary. People often think of tattoos as permanent, but they are not… they only last as long as we do. I think of tattoos as a way to celebrate this mortal journey with images that have meaning for us. They become a part of us, a part of our life story that we can carry with us until the end. No matter what happens they will always be with us until we die. In a world where there are few things we can count on, I think people like to have something they can depend on. I have some tattoos that mean a lot to me. I feel like I have earned them.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Michalangelo, HR Giger, Simon Bisley, P. Craig Russel, Becksinski and Mucha are the first that come to mind, but there are dozens, even hundreds who have inspired me and who have helped me shape my own artistic vision.
Is there any one subject you love to work with most in your work?
I love exploring the human figure. I think of our humanity as a miracle. I’m amazed every day that this amazing organic creation is the home of my thoughts, feelings and ideas. I think of the human body as the source of all beauty, because it is the home of our consciousness. It is our conciseness that brings beauty into the world by seeing things as beautiful. I am endlessly fascinated by this. In particular, the female form is deeply inspiring to me. I find it so incredibly elegant and graceful. As a man, I think of my natural reaction to this beauty as the force that brings new life and new awareness into the universe. It’s a spiritual practice for me to celebrate this in my art.
Can you tell us a little about Model Society? Do you think the human body as a work of art in and of itself has been somewhat diminished by modern societies ideal of what beauty…is?
Model Society is a social network for the very best models, photographers and artists in the world who create images of models as true works of art. I created Model Society with the desire to restore human beauty to it’s rightful place as a subject of fine art contemplation. I don’t like that beauty is used to manipulate us and that nudity is associated with porn. There is nothing more beautiful and natural than our naked humanity. I want to give people a place to celebrate and enjoy what we are, presented as fine art. Every individual has their own concept of beauty. I want people to feel free to love what they love, and be attracted to whatever they are naturally attracted to. If people could free themselves of shame, they would see far more beauty in themselves and each other. If we learned to simply love what we love, and enjoy what we enjoy, then it would not matter what culture or society has to say about it. AND, I think it’s likely that culture and society would have a far more inclusive expression of beauty if people made choices for themselves as to what they find beautiful.
How do you think the art world’s view of the human form has changed most through the ages?
There are fashions that come and go. But I think it’s misleading to characterize beauty like this. No two people will even find the same things beautiful in the same way, just as no two snowflakes (that have ever fallen) have been the same. There is an opportunity for each and every one of us to look at the world and ask ourselves “What does beauty mean to me? What do I find beautiful?” People put way too much attention on what other’s think. It’s a waste of time because we can never control a person’s or a culture’s perceptions. The only perception of beauty we can every truly know, explore or heal is our own. And… I think I understand why people concern themselves with what others think. We all want to be accepted and loved. Instead of rejecting what culture projects, the opportunity is to create the world we want to live in by accepting and loving ourselves and each other. Part of that is accepting and loving what we each individually find beautiful.
What do you think makes a person most beautiful as an individual?
The thing that makes a person beautiful is my ability to see them as beautiful. There is only as much beauty in the world as any one of us is capable of seeing. Beauty does not exist outside of us. We create beauty, just as we create ugliness and judgement… it all occurs inside of us as we make assessments and interpretations. There is no beauty where there is no pair of eyes to experience it. Beauty is not a set of attributes for me to define. If I tell you what makes someone beautiful (inside or out), then I’m doing the same thing that people accuse culture of doing. We are all responsible for our own experience of beauty. We are all responsible for our own judgments of each other and ourselves.
Have you been surprised by the public’s response to Model Society?
I get messages every day from people who tell us that Model Society has given them the opportunity to see human bodies as beautiful… for the first time… without shame. I’m deeply moved and inspired by this. Model Society is here to help people wake up from the lies and hypnosis that would have us think of ourselves and each other as anything other than being perfectly beautiful. I am gratified that so many people have been moved by these amazing works of art. Many people are taught that nudity is shameful. When they have an experience of beauty that is finally free from these painful ideas, they are often moved to tears by the amazing miracle that they suddenly see in themselves and others.
Do you enjoy creating a project that reminds people to love their own body, however they may find it?
I’m pleased whenever people have a deep experience of beauty. No matter if someone sees beauty in themselves or in someone else, they are creating beauty. It’s really true (on a deep level) that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s the ONLY place that beauty actually exists. Accepting beauty in others is part of accepting beauty in ourselves. If I can’t embrace someone else’s body as beautiful I probably can’t embrace mine as beautiful.
How can other artists, photographers, and models join Model Society?
Simply go to the website and fill out an application. We are looking for model, photographers and artists who create images of models as true works of art. https://www.modelsociety.com/becomeamember.aspx/Register
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I like to draw. I love spending time with my amazing fiancé (who inspires me every day). I like to spend time with my dogs and I like to savor beauty in the world all around me. I love making music and connecting with people form all walks of life. I’m very curious about people and enjoy talking to them to uncover their own unique perspective on the world. I find people beautiful and I enjoy the contemplation of beauty… so I truly enjoy connecting people.
What projects are you most looking forward to showing the world next?
I’m looking forward to slowing down with all the administration and busy work associated with my projects so that I can put my attention back on what I’m best at… making art. I look forward to creating some new paintings and digital images. I’m feeling incredibly inspired and can hardly wait to see and share all the art that is ready to burst out of me.
Is there anything you’d like to say before you go?
Thanks for your interest in my art and in Model Society. (smiles)