Chad Bolsinger didn't plan to become a professional artist. "I started with art when I was nineteen by flunking out of business college," he says.
Since then, his art career has taken him all over the world and allowed him the freedom to create whatever he wants. Bolsinger has painted many murals around Denver, and recently created several inside the new Westword office. One depicts a 3-D bird; another shows a butterfly. The largest of his murals in the space shows a woman wearing headphones, encapsulated in a brooding landscape. He also painted a bull, an image that graces the cover of Westword's Best of Denver edition each year.
Bolsinger often arrives at his designs through mistakes; at other times, they come to him while he paints, almost creating themselves.
"All of my mistakes paved the path for the rawness of a painting," he explains. "I have a lot of visions and a lot of very vivid dreams. I think it's one of those things that is kind of innate in my being. I see things a different way than most people. When I go to paint, it's like this door is opened up to where I'm seeing things in three dimensions. The art wants to communicate through me for other people."
Westword caught up with Bolsinger over email to find out more about his creative journey.
Westword: When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
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Chad Bolsinger: Nine years ago, I was in a super-depressed state that I couldn't seem to get out of. I was sketching every day in class, and my friends would zone out and watch me draw. It felt powerful, because I knew I had somewhat of a gift. I spent hours consumed by what I was feeling as I would sketch or paint. Finishing my first painting was exciting, because I completed the vision I saw ahead of time. It sparked something in me.
What is your favorite thing you have created?
Usually, the pieces that are my favorites would be less popular or noticed by others. I can't even think of a favorite. I don't know if it's about a finished product as much as the experience for me, and that rush of creating something out of nothing is rewarding in itself.
Briefly describe a moment when you were proud to be an artist.
My proudest moment is when I see my art positively affect others around me in a powerful way that extends beyond myself. Pain can come with the process, and I learn to be proud of small things, too.
What is your favorite part of your career as an artist?
The freedom to do whatever I want, even travel to new places because of my craft. Living a dream and having the means to take this as far as I choose to. I am who I am — that's what's nice about being an artist.
What exciting projects do you have coming up?
I just got back from the Flint Mural Festival in Michigan. I've got projects in Hawaii waiting to open up because of COVID-19, a giant wall with friends in September, lots of fun projects around town — even a giant jungle wall with Tukeone coming up.
What goals do you have for your career in the next five to ten years?
I want to carry more humility, or at least remember to be humble through every accomplishment in my career. I want to be completely fearless with how I approach all my dreams and experience/create something much bigger than myself — art that heals people and speaks on its own. I want to paint all over the world, mostly.
How is Denver a great place for making art, and how has the art scene here helped your career?
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So many reasons — especially being in a place where the path to public art, street art or graffiti is already paved by many brave artists who pioneered the way to make what we're doing possible. There were people on a governmental level that made street art take off in Denver. Thanks to Mary Valdez and many others.
Who is another artist that inspires you?
Too many to name right now, especially because there are so many different artists I admire in fine art, graffiti, murals, tattoos, etc. Many of my heroes are now my friends.
See more work at Chad Bolsinger's website.