Ben Cuevas – Art and Cake

What does a day in your art practice look like?
Sleep till 10am. Breakfast & shower. Work till 8pm. Dinner & relaxation (and maybe a little more work). In bed by 2:00am. Repeat.

What inspires you?
I pull inspiration from my identity and lived experience. I’m constantly amazed by what it means to be a human, in a body, in this world. It’s a huge source of inspiration for me.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Lighten up. It’s supposed to be fun.

Artist Portrait During Works in Progress 2023 Photo credit: Stacey Meineke

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Kill your darlings. Don’t get too attached to your work just because it’s yours. Let go of what the work doesn’t need to be.

If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be?
I’d break down barriers to entry, especially economic ones. The art world can be hard to penetrate at times, and I think we miss a lot of great talent because of that.

Artist Portrait—Non-Binary Code 2023 Photo credit: Stacey Meineke

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
I just try to keep booking shows! Deadlines motivate me more than anything, so having a deadline to make new work for any upcoming show keeps me motivated and interested.

If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose? and why?
I’d live during art nouveau, because it’s one of my favorite art movements and I think it would have been a dream to be part of it.

Transcending the Material (detail) 2010 Photo credit: Ben Cuevas

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
Consistency is everything. You don’t have to be the best, but if you keep showing up, you will get better! Keep showing up for yourself.

How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce?
If an idea hangs around long enough, then I know it needs to be put into action. I usually wait for the right opportunity to present itself—a show, a residency, etc.—and then I pounce on it and go into action.

Masculine/Feminine 2013 Photo credit: Ben Cuevas

Knit Veins 2013 Photo credit: Ben Cuevas