Photo by Ben Pulver
BY MAGGIE WHITMORE ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR
Francisco Corbett, or as most people call him, Fran, is always working and striving to create more and be better. He has put out five albums before the age of 21, has had art shows at the Tett Centre, in Toronto, an fashion/living art event scheduled for February 8th, and is working on a lot more. When his son was born, he dropped out of high school and found himself working harder for him. Fran is the type of person you can sit down and talk to for hours and never have a moment of silence. So, when the opportunity to feature him presented itself, I asked him some questions about his art, and himself: the artist of chaos, Francisco Corbett.
What made you want to be an artist? Did you grow up wanting to be one?
The idea of having such freedom with art and being able to do what you want to do drew me into the idea of it. Ever since I saw Banksy I thought Oh well that’s really cool. And then you know we were all doing the stupid things like spray painting and stuff like that, it really helped me to see the carefree aspects of it all. After dealing with a darker period and surrounded by drugs I became sober and realized I needed an outlet of sorts, one that wasn’t just a numbing anymore, and it really just presented itself. The first couple of paintings I ever did were on sheets of Bristol board my Dad bought me after an art show for Jean-Michel Basquiat in Toronto. I would definitely say that I fell into it and never really was the prodigy kid that grew up painting. Nobody would have guessed I would be a painter or artist.
What defines your art and who you are as an artist?
I find that chaos is really the thing that defines me at the moment. The way that everything is just kind of happening and I’m really working on new things, and great ideas are coming… My good friend Georgina said that’s how I should define my art- chaotic in a way. But not in a frantic uncontrollable way, I like to think it is controlled, but it’s free I guess, it’s just who I am right now. I’m not too worried about what anyone else thinks of it. When I create music, I create what I like and I don’t listen to what people have to say. A lot of my friends are also creating different forms of art and so they have an opinion on mine. The other day I tweaked one of my songs a little bit and asked them what they thought of it. They told me that they really didn’t like it, so I took it out for a bit and then snuck it back in. I’m just not worried about what other people think of it.
Do you ever find world events or politics ever shape your art?
My opinion is that- okay there’s a lot of bad stuff going on- but let’s just do what we can and enjoy ourselves. I’m not very political and I don’t really have a lot of opinions on the matters because I don’t know enough about the problems, I don’t have the facts. I find that most of the people who even talk about it don’t know what they’re talking about anyways. As selfish as it sounds, it isn’t deeply affecting my life. If some catastrophic thing were to happen, that’s out of my control.
Did you choose to not go to school?
I’m actually still thinking about school. It’s always in the back of my mind. For other people it’s a much bigger deal. I would love to go to art school, but it was my choice to not go to school and I don’t regret it. I have the choice and that feels good. I don’t feel I need it, I feel confident with what I’m doing right now. My dad supported it, he said Do what you want as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else and I find I live by that saying. I’d like to go to school for acting or fashion, something that I could have a lot of fun doing. I wouldn’t tell someone to drop out of high school, but when I left I found that I was being put down a lot, I felt stupid and it wasn’t enjoyable for me.
Would you still be doing art if you didn’t have your son?
I would definitely be doing crazier things, more outlandish stuff. I would be creating different art I think. Possibly putting myself out there as a target more, like ‘I’m doing the are the way I want to and the way I see fit, come at me, try and stop me.’ I would be making more aggressive moves. With Luca I sort of feel as though I’m building up and building up, and slowly getting to where I need to be and want to be, and I really enjoy doing things this way. I’m not rushing, which is good. I would still be doing art regardless of Luca but once Luca existed, that’s when I realized that ‘wow I should really be taking this more seriously.’ I would love to make money off of my art, and that’s my plan. It doesn’t even need to be painting, I just would like to make a living off of being creative and thriving through creative ideas. I just want to be a creative person.
Do you think Kingston is a good place to be doing art?
If it’s going to come out it will. Like a nature vs. nurture idea. I want to change the art scene in Kingston though, it’s too tourist focused and commercialized.
Who are your biggest influences?
I listen to everything really, and my inspirations change a lot. I really enjoy listening to loud stuff that allows me to stop thinking. People who are themselves are important to me, whether they’re famous or just a friend. People always laugh when I say this but I love people like Lil’ Uzi who just don’t give a shit what anyone says. He makes me laugh, he does what he wants and what can in order to get his thoughts and feelings across. This 100% has inspired me to create my art.
Do you ever find yourself struggling to be creative?
I used to but now I love that blocked feeling, I learn more from the dip than I do from the rise. I find it is really attached to my mood as well, when I’m happy I’m creating but when I’m upset I sink into the dip. I don’t really know when the next dip is going to come about. I love being panicked to find new ideas. I’m not scared of the dip.