november & december exhibit

Duane Flatmo

For Winter 2018, we're featuring the killer works of local artist Duane Flatmo.
Free posters of eight select pieces will be available starting November 19th.

For the Holidays, we’ll also be selling limited edition boxed cards and a 16x20” matted print on our luxe cotton paper. A set of 10 boxed greeting cards is $30, and the art print is $60. A majority of proceeds will go to the artist.

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Duane Flatmo:

Did you have an interest in art before coming to Humboldt County?

It seems that I’ve been interested in art for most of my life. From a very young age I was always wanting to create something whether it be paintings, sculptures, building crazy bikes, or playing music. Growing up in Santa Monica, Huntington Beach and then going to high school in Big Bear Lake exposed me to many different situations. Some of the places our parents brought us to inspired me back then—Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, being around the surf scene back in the ’60’s, and growing up in the mountains.

Which artists, if any, influence your work and why?

My favorite early art influences were Mad Magazine, Robert Crumb, Cracked magazine, (Mr. Contraption Rube Goldberg), Walt Disney, Picasso, Basil Wolverton, Jack Davis, Roger Dean, George Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Heavy Metal magazine, Francis Bacon, Milton Glaser and Robert Grossman.

In high school I was lucky to have a great art teacher named John O’Hare. He taught me a lot about composition but mostly about sign painting. He said if I learned this trade I could go to any town anywhere and make money. I also went to College of the Redwoods and took a class that was recommended to me, Graphic Art with Jere Smith as the teacher. He was a very big influence in my life and really set me on the road to being an artist.

The logo I designed in his class was for an imaginary business I made up called FlatmoGraphics. I was working at Sears at the time and was wanting to start working for myself someday. So I printed up 500 cards and handed them out. Little by little I was getting more jobs and that was the start of my career as a paid artist. I went on to paint murals and design on the computer. Photoshop mostly.

No matter how much I have advertised…word of mouth seemed to always be the best tool. Whenever I was out painting in the public, I ended up with more jobs.

How do you go from concept to finished work?

Most of my work starts with pencil and eraser on paper. I still love the direct application of this method. Then, once I have the sketch worked out and the client approves it, I scan the drawing for the computer or I project it on a canvas for finishing. Most of the painted works are acrylic on canvas.

Any advice for the up and coming struggling artists?

To become a successful artist means that you meet your deadlines, keep your reputation intact and try to find a style that you can call your own. No matter how much I have advertised…word of mouth seemed to always be the best tool. When ever I was out painting in the public, I ended up with more jobs. People love to see the work being created and then having that human encounter with the artist.

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About the Artist

Duane grew up in Southern California, but when it came time for college he chose Humboldt for its rivers, oceans and redwoods. While in school, he was working at Sears in the drapery department. He moved to the hardware department and finally to displays, where he wanted to be. “I had a real cool boss there and I learned a lot about color and composition”. Then, while in a class at College of the Redwoods, he found the inspiration to plunge into self-employment. He became a sign painter and within a year he was sign painting full time.


Flatmo’s reputation as a sign painter eventually led him to larger and larger projects and he found himself drawn to murals. With the completion of the Bucksport mural, as well as murals at Mazzotti’s and Los Bagels, he established himself as a true muralist. The Los Bagels mural was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and after the story came out, he was contacted by an agent in San Francisco to do a number of jobs in the Bay Area.

In an effort to share his talents with the community, he started the Rural Burl Mural Bureau. Founded in 1993, the Bureau worked with local teenagers to paint murals in the community. Some of the murals completed with the Bureau include Animals are People Too at the Courthouse Market, No Barking Anytime at the North Coast Dance Studios, The Gray Victorian at Times Printing, Building Architecture at Expert Tire, Climbing Plants at the Vision Center, and Alley Cats at the Living Light Center.

Learn more about Duane’s work at his website or find him on instagram & facebook.

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