Wino-Strut: The Power of Practice

The Editors

August 22, 2015

Issue 001 – Wino-Strut

David Phillips is Wino-Strut, and to put it simply, he is addicting. His wild artistic style is a mix of vintage prints with modern patterns, and the combination takes us places.  We’re hooked on watching his looping short films and finding  new, intricate, and even confusing details he’s crafted. When he’s not busy working on rustic paintings, prints, and films, he’s fronting The Buffalo Grass. In other words, this artist does it all, constantly. We can only wish he finds more space to house his paintings. 

The Interview:

How did you get started?

I was born an artist. My mother would drape colorful scarfs over my eyes over and over when I was a baby. She told me it was the only time I would smile and eventually fall asleep. My dad skipped town at an early age and my grandmother would have to help watch me and my little brothers. My brothers and I would eventually get into trouble and my grandmother would have to separate us. I was always banished to her studio. She would tape a picture of a car or fruit to her easel. I would have to recreate the photo with oils. The smell of her studio has never left me.

What are you doing now? Please give an example of current work or projects.

Well, I am completely devoted to my craft and keep multiple projects going at once. I ran out of space for painting so I started making videos. Right now I am working on a series of :15 second Instagram videos. I am trying to create composition through video with a time limit of :15 seconds. I have shot them in LA, Oregon, New Mexico; wherever I go I film. I love making movies. I am currently showing them at an experimental film festival in Spain.

What inspires you?

Personally, I do not believe in inspiration. I believe in relentless hard work. I believe in practice. I believe in complete devotion and complete dedication to talent and skill, period. I no longer need an “ah ha” moment or  “ideas.” Now, that is not to disgrace “discovery” or progress. Any “vision” or composition that comes into my mind I can create in any medium, and accidents or happenings only lend themselves to the final work. It happened through practice.  

Future plans: what are you doing next?

I have been writing a shit ton of songs. I hope to record the songs, which will enable me to create in another medium. After that I will work in literature and writing scripts/stories. However, I will never stop painting daily. Ever.

What does art mean to you? In other words, define art for us.   

For me, art is a physical manifestation of an expression or idea.

Tell us about your most favorite piece of work that you have done. Why is it meaningful to you? 

Ugh, man, what a question. When you create with high frequency that becomes a very difficult question. I made a mixed media piece titled “The Most Beautiful Part Was The Fall.” The piece incorporated painting, found object, drawing, and photography. A client was so struck by the image that he paid to have it made into a billboard. I was a little worried about the billboard thing but he insisted. The day the image was hung in LA on a 24 ft. billboard I went to go see it.

The feeling was stronger than any drug I’ve taken, any drink I’ve had, or anything I’ve fucked.  

I suppose it’s my favorite piece because of the scale and genres it crossed.

 Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 11.12.01 AM

“The Most Beautiful Part Was The Fall” 12ft x 24ft Billboard – Los Angeles

A photo posted by David Phillips (@winostrut) on

The Outlyers:

Tell us a deep dark secret.

I had a painting inside MOCA and a painting inside Carnegie Hall at a charity auction during the same week. My cell phone was shut off that same week due to non-payment. I guess that’s my secret. I am tits-up broke. Complete financial ruin.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you travel? And why?

I would travel to Oklahoma with my girlfriend and propose to her in front of the house my parents got divorced in.

Finish this sentence……

I’m the happiest when…I make money from selling my art

I feel most fulfilled when…I make money from selling my art

If I had it my way…I would be capable of maintaining a normal life making art with a wife and 2 kids and 2 dogs in Los Angeles. That’s all I want really.

It’s happy hour, what are you ordering?

Ah fuck, that’s easy. Bourbon with an ice-cold beer chaser. If I’m flush with cash and you want more specifics and the world is fucking perfect, then I’d order a Pliny the Elder IPA with a Pappy Van Winkle neat. Goddamn, I can taste that right now.

A more common or everyday order for me would be a Flying Dog Snake Bite IPA with a Bullet Bourbon. Basically if it says Bourbon or IPA on the label….you can get me to do whatever you want. Now that will get the creative juices going!

David Phillips is based in Los Angeles, CA.

The Buffalo Grass
The Buffalo Grass
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