Digging Art With Steve Haney

It’s been a minute since I’ve made a home visit to an artist or creator that I’ve been following for some time and pop into their studio and creative space to chat it up on what they’re presently working on, their process, motivation and inspirations and where it all began for them in finding their niche and how it’s evolved over time in defining who they are to themselves as well as to the public. If you’ve been follow me here at Nostalgia King or any of the parties that I’ve played globally, then you have no doubt read a review or heard a song or two in my sets from Jungle Fire, and you’ll most like connect the dots with my next featured guest. Steve Haney is not only a member of the band but also the visual artist behind some of their cover artwork that ties the sound to imagery that makes up what Jungle Fire is all is all about.

It was great to catch up with Steve after several months of conflicting travel schedules and talk shop with him about his art which combines his love of music and some of the artists that made that music. The imagery that he creates is bold and beautiful, rich with design and oozing with culture that would make for amazing wall visuals hanging in any part of the home, office or workspace. Dive into the interview and get familiar with Steve and his works of art then double back to add something to your collection.


Skeme – How long have you been creating art and when was the moment that you got bit by the bug to start creating?

Steve – I have no visual art background. I started making paper collage art in mid 2019. My band Jungle Fire was ready to release our 3rd album, and we needed cover art so I was kinda forced to be creative to see if I could come up with a proper image to make the cover.


Skeme – Your present work is very cut and past collage work featuring singers and musicians. How do you choose who to feature and what visuals surrounding them to use?

Steve – Yeah a lot of my work is very music related along with experimenting with abstract and surreal imagery to the backgrounds. I mainly just cut up whatever images found in my collection of books, records, magazines, etc.. When I cut up old albums I just try to reimagine them in new ways. It’s kind of an experiment.


Skeme – What’s your creative process when you’re working? Where do you start and how do you know when a piece is complete.

Steve – Sometimes it will start with an image of a person or thing and sometimes it might just be a background of layering images to be a foundation for the top focal image. I usually do a few different variations of the piece and send to friends/family with a good art sense to critique it fast then finalize it with tweaks to my liking.


Skeme – Many of the artists that I’ve featured here at Nostalgia King say that they work in space that they call “creative chaos”. A space filled with books or photographs that inspire them while others say that they love a clean space that’s clutter free to work. What does your space look like?

Steve – My home studio is kinda a controlled creative chaos of loads of mixed media full of records, books, mags to pull from. Once in a while I’ll have an image printed from the internet if it’s high resolution.


Skeme – Creatively my favorite time to work on projects has always been late nights into the early mornings when the world is quiet. Do you have a time that you prefer to work on art more than others?

Steve – Anytime I have free time which is randomly in the afternoon or at night.


Skeme – You work within an analog medium and your work is very sharp and crisp. How much painstaking time do you dedicate to getting it so precise?

Steve – I thrive on trying to get the best clean cut outs possible with scissors and an exacto knife. It helps whenever I have to make prints of the originals to have a good clean reference.


Skeme – As a musician and music lover, does music play a part in your work outside of just the visual aspect?

Steve – Music is my first love, and now that I can tie in the visual art side sometimes it completes the puzzle in a way. I’ve done 10 album covers since I started experimenting with collage.


Skeme – You’ve chosen some of my favorite artists for your pieces. Do you have a favorite artist from these series which you had the most fun creating around?

Steve – I don’t really have one favorite artist collage. I like the John and Alice Coltrane , Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder


Skeme – What are you usually listening to when doing art?

Steve – I mostly listen to whatever stacks of records I have next to my cutting table that I’ve picked up from my travels, and some occasional DJ mixes on Mixcloud, YouTube or SoundCloud.


Skeme – What’s inspiring you creatively at the moment outside?

Steve – Getting to travel again after the whole Covid shutdown. It’s inspiring to hear new music and discover art, culture, architecture etc..


Skeme – As a visual artists as well as musically making music with Jungle Fire, what does the average day look like for you?

Steve – Average day is usually taking care of family and household things then digging into listening to music, practicing various percussion instruments, and seeing what I can come up within collage art. Sometimes I’ll come across an old image or something online that will trigger my creativity to make a new piece.


Skeme – What’s next and what should people be on the look out for in the future?

Steve – I’m inspired to work on making more original pieces in bigger sizes mixing paint with other media. I’d even like to do some street art blowing up some of the collage pieces to throw up somewhere. I plan to do some sort of solo art show to sell some originals and prints of select pieces. I currently sell direct from my Instagram page at @Visionscollage