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Image: Joseph Steininger

Artist of the Week: Joseph Steininger

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
I've been seriously pursuing art for about eight years but growing up I loved to doodle constantly. I primarily started out, and still mostly identify, as a print maker. I started with relief prints and I think my current process of hand cutting stencils is incredibly similar.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
The most simple way to describe what I do, to people who ask about my process, is that I get all the detail with spray paint by cutting small holes in paper for hours and hours and hours. The longer version is that I start with a photograph that I've taken, design anywhere from 8-20 stencils that are the full size of the painting, hand cut those stencils, and then spray paint them in a particular order.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
As seen in a lot of my work, I I try to celebrate the cities I am in and find some of their grittier/industrial areas to draw my inspiration from.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I don't get too attached to any of my work since I know that it is destined to be adopted into a good home. I do however have a few pieces that I've held on to. Mostly some of the portraits I've painted. The portraits are always the more sentimental pieces of mine.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Both of my mother's parents were artists and their art hanging in the house I grew up in are probably some of the most memorable things from my childhood. In particular there is a painting my grandpa did of a lighthouse that has always hung above the fireplace. Of course when I was 16 or so I mentioned how much I loved it to my grandpa a few years before he passed away, and like most artists do, his first comment was, "Oh that? It wasn't even done. I never painted the handrail at the top." Most of my family have their own creative outlets so I think growing up in that kind of environment, and with incredibly supportive parents who now display many of my works next to my grandparents' work, it has really set me on this path.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
The easiest way to see more of my work right this second is to pull up my website or on instagram. You can also come see my work in person as part of the First Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk at my art studio in the lower level commercial spaces of the Tashiro Kaplan building. I'm always open!

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Right now I am in the middle of wrapping up several proposals for different projects/exhibition opportunities and applying to a few new calls. Nothing set in stone at the moment but excited to figure out where I'm going to be hanging work next!

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!