Ian Ferguson, otherwise known as HYDEON, is a contemporary artist, designer, and print-maker currently living (and working) in Brooklyn, NY.
He was born in National City, CA in 1985, and grew up in San Diego. He received his BA in graphic design from The Art Institute of California (San Diego) in 2006.
I recently had an opportunity to connect with Ian during a chance meeting at SPRING/BREAK Art Fair in Manhattan – and was captivated by the heart and soul in his drawings.
Learn more about the intermingling of dreams, reality, shamanism, and fantasy within Ian’s work in our interview below.
PHENOMENALISMS’ INTERVIEWS ARTIST IAN FERGUSON
JS: How has art influenced your consciousness? How does your consciousness influence your art?
IF: I look at art as being found in literally everything. Having awareness of this and its presence to me is inspiring and profound. Sometimes you have to uncover the stone to see the real art beneath it. The influence of my consciousness is being totally aware of the moment and feeling it completely. Having a fully realized stream of consciousness is to be a full time observer.
JS: Your art seems to bridge the gap between astral and physical realities, do you find that the dream state helps inspire some of your work?
IF: Dreaming absolutely inspires my work. The subconscious dreaming mind can be a powerhouse of inspiration. Sometimes I’ll have these super vibrant lucid dreams in full color that feel more real than real life.
When these types of dreams happen they tend to stand out for days after. Those are usually the ones I turn into drawings or paintings. I have always felt a strong relationship with dreams and reality.
Maybe the dream world is the real world and the real world is the dream world? Or maybe not, but I like to think about stuff like this. Having this deep internal relationship is a huge conduit for my work. Trusting this unidentifiable force, which creates dreams within and feeling its presence in dreams and knowing that my head created this thing is what leads to many ideas and ways of re-creating this inner dream state into visual narratives.
JS: Can you tell us a bit more about the Mural project you are a part of in the World Trade Center?
IF: Fall of 2016 I was invited by World Trade Gallery to create a mural on the 69th floor of the World Trade Center in NYC. The 69th floor is a bare bones office floor with nothing in it, but the raw walls of the building.
There was a few dozen other artists that were also invited to produce murals and as time went on more artists filled the walls and floors until the whole floor turned into a giant floating street art museum in the sky. Thats what it feels like at least to me.
When I came onboard to the project there was only a few wall spaces left, and I chose to paint the corridor entry way to the women’s bathroom. I really liked this space because I was able to utilize the whole corridor, including the floors.
I created a dream based scene with a motif of New York City on one wall, and then I have the Hudson River flowing through the middle of the floor and then the ancient palisades on the adjacent wall. Essentially you can walk on water and be fully consumed in the mural when standing in it.
JS: Some of your work has a very shamanic vibe – have you had any experiences with plant medicines that have helped unleash new levels of creativity?
IF: I have always been deeply inspired by ancient civilizations and native peoples of the Earth. I am very fascinated by ancient botanical forms of healing and shamanistic lineages.
Everything from the ancient mythologies to the garments to the symbols to the cosmic worlds of the native peoples and they’re spiritual existence inspires me. I also have a deep respect for the horticultural healing agents as I have had many positive experiences with them. I am very interested in ancient forms of botanical medicine and seeking higher levels of consciousness through the use of plant medicines.
JS: Who are the “Herms”? Can you give us a deeper explanation of these characters?
The Herms are short for “Herm-troglodytes”, and they are the characters I’ve been drawing for the past 12 years or so. They have a whole mythology I created behind them.
The Herms are basically hermaphrodite cave people from the middle ages (somewhere in the 14th Century). They have a bunch of crazy chin deformities and all sorts of other bodily deformities from living in the caves.
The Herms all have magical powers that let them travel through time via crevasses in their caves. The Herms mostly wear pointy boots (by choice) and travel to different significant periods in history to gather knowledge, resources, and experience. The Herms return to the caves with their new resources and deploy their newly found knowledge and gifts back to the other Herms.
It’s like a cultural enrichment program. The Herms love things like burgers and wine and dairy products (the Herms will try almost anything). A lot of them are super crazy and I like to draw them as a form of mental therapy and a way to release stress in my life. The Herms all are story tellers and love to tell stories, and often use them as conduits to tell stories from my own stories.
JS: What can you tell us about your upcoming show in Brazil?
IF: Over the past year I have been collaborating with a clothing brand in Curitiba, Brazil called 1994.
Together we created a clothing line collection based off of Victorian Era imagery I have been drawing. Next month (April 24th) I will be having a solo show opening in the 1994. Atelier in Curitiba.
I will be showing all new works on paper and we are also going to release our new Victorian Era collection. More info visit: www.instagram.com/
JS: What to expect in 2017 – future projects on the horizon?
IF: I have my first wallpaper pattern coming out this year with Flavor Paper in Brooklyn. I designed a Brooklyn Brownstone repeating neighborhood for my wallpaper pattern.
We are working on installing the Brownstones in a row of elevators in the World Trade Center. I am also working on new drawings for my 2nd book to be published and released next year in Chicago with Featherproof Books. I plan on making more prints and expanding my online store this year as well.
JS: Parting words of wisdom for aspiring creatives:
IF: Do your best possible work you can. Don’t stress about social media. Let people come to you. As long as you’re doing your very best you can’t lose. Make the work for the right reasons. Believe in yourself. Never give up on yourself and never let outside influences cripple your game. Always be true to yourself and strive to operate in the spectrum of the light.