Over the past three years, artist Steve Casino has made over 200 pieces of art from peanut shells. Yup. Peanut shells.
One of the biggest rewards so far from shucking peanuts was when HBO came calling, commissioning Casino to create 12 characters from the hit show "Game of Thrones" to promote Season 5. We caught up with the artist to get to know him a bit better.
TH: Tell us about yourself.
SC: My name is Steve Casino and I am 49 years old. I currently work in Cincinnati, OH as a toy inventor and sculptor.
TH: How much planning goes into each of your works?
SC: Since most of my art is portrait or caricature, I do a lot of photo research on the subject.
TH: What’s your greatest source of inspiration?
SC: Artists who I've crossed paths with on a personal level in my life. Lisa Petrucci, Jason Freeny, Philip Burke, and Trent Reznor to name a few. They've all given me something to take away, whether it be their work ethic or a certain worldview that I didn't have before I met them.
TH: Once you finished an artwork, what do you do?
SC: I'm always working on 3-5 pieces at once, so I just take photos and move on to the next one. If it's a commissioned piece, I usually mount it in glass. I also do a lot of "making of" videos that people online seem to like. My favorite place to post is on Instagram. I usually have updates every day on my page.
TH: Do you think artists see the world differently than people who do not create art?
SC: That's really tough to say. I've found that artists are often as different from each other in their views as they are from non-artists. More than one evil dictator was a self-proclamed artist! The only thing I can say, with a small amount of certainty, is that artists are way more supportive of the arts than non-artists.