In conversation with: Tray Fisk
Tray Fisk is a visual digital artist with a deep love of culture, art, and music. While his primary creation medium is for the eye, he’s long had a taste to use his voice and love of sound to connect with audiences. For the past year, he’s used Blast Radio to scratch that itch.
Hosting a weekly show every Friday, Tray takes fans on an audible journey through his picks of the week, art news, opinions, and experiences as an American ex-pat now living in Istanbul. More recently, he’s even been giving away a NFT for one of his works of art to a lucky listener.
We recently spoke with Tray to learn more about him, his inspirations, and his love of the movie Labyrinth.
Make sure to follow Tray (https://blastradio.com/trayfisk or ‘trayfisk’ in the app) to catch his weekly radio show every Friday afternoon Eastern time.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Originally I got my BFA in Film and Photography. Apparently it's the second worst degree according to Forbes' "The 10 Worst College Majors," which explains why the majority of my career has been spent working in people's basements. Thank god I didn't go for Anthropology. I moved to New York City in my early 20s and began working in yet another basement, although this one was arguably better since it was under an art gallery. For about a year I paired frames with pieces, stretched canvases, and performed home-installations all around the city. It was during this stint of my life that my artistic endeavors were reignited and I started my own independent practice. After leaving NYC, I moved to Istanbul with my wife. Now, my days are spent teaching English (not in a basement), and my evenings are spent art'ing away.
As a digital artist, where does radio fit into your online presence?
I'm not sure I've found a way to fit the two together, but there's a part of me which has done this intentionally and is happy about it. When I'm creating there's a lot happening up in my mind, but my mouth is shut, most likely with a cigarette in it. The only thing people see is the final piece of art with a tweet's worth of characters to accompany it, but that hardly covers who I am as a person. I've used my radio show as a way to uncork those thoughts at the end of a long week, to connect with my audience in an entertaining way that is far less filtered than I normally am.
How do you feel about sharing your voice on a social platform as opposed to visual content?
It's the best thing ever. So much of my business is conducted on Instagram, Twitter, etc. and by the end of each day my eyes are EXHAUSTED. Everything starts to look the same. I spend up to an hour thinking about what to say in a caption before posting it, and when I finally do I'm pissed at myself for caring so much. My time on Blast Radio has remedied all of these issues. Instead of using my eyes, I use my ears, I'm able to be relaxed and casual due to the 24 hour expiration of each broadcast, and I can experience a less-filtered version of other people too. I'll be bringing a Blast Box with me if I ever get stranded on a desert island. Likes are overrated, Good Vibes are forever.
How would you describe your art?
I'm primarily a visual digital artist that specializes in surreal, abstract, and psychedelic works, although lately I've been dabbling in programmable generative art. When I make any piece I focus on a few factors: color, texture, and gesture. If I feel something has an interesting combination of all three I call it a day and move on to the next idea that's gotten in my head. For me, art is less about making something coherent for my audience, it's more about confusing them in just the right way that they might want to see more.
What single piece of art has had the biggest impact on you personally?
The Labyrinth with David Bowie. The first time I watched it I was 8 years old. I can still recite the whole film from start to finish, musical numbers included. It's rare that an occasion calls for it but I'm glad to have that baby locked away in my back pocket. Looking back on the film as an adult there are a lot of questionable themes but they haven't been stronger than Bowie's camera presence...so yeah, I still watch it from time to time.
What steps do you take to prepare for a broadcast?
I roll a bunch of cigarettes, get into my sweatpants, and hope for the best bahahahaha.