L’artiste: How Pop Culture Saved an Artist’s Career

Painting by Derick Kurtz

In a city full of so many unique artists, how does one stand out these days? For Derick Kurtz, it’s all about enthusiasm and determination. Derick is a Boulder, CO artist with a lot of drive and a lot of personality. He’s been creating art since he was young and believes art plays a major role in his life.

About ten years ago, Derick experienced a medical condition no artist wishes to endure; Derick went almost completely blind. With only 15% of his vision left, he relied on bright colors to keep his art going. Derick’s artwork is very loud and incorporates a lot of pop culture. It was painting with these bright colors that allowed him to continue creating art without having to let his condition get in the way.

Hollywood, in honor of Derick’s first Hollywood showcase summer 2013

Most of Derick’s paintings are done on wood canvas using acrylic paint. Once the painting is complete, he coats the piece with epoxy resin which gives it its glossy shine. One of Derick’s strengths as an artist is creating smooth, straight lines. By the time the painting is finished, it is almost unrecognizable that it was done on a grainy canvas like wood.

Along with being a painter, Derick is also a self-taught tattoo artist. For five years, he worked for local tattoo shops in Fort Collins and Loveland, CO creating works of art on the human body. “Creating art is a different world for me,” he says. “Painting a piece that makes people’s mouth drop is the best feeling any artist could ask for.”

So how does Derick stand out from the rest? He never gives up. “It’s taken my whole life to become a great artist,” he says. “Keep your head up, get out there, promote yourself, and find what makes your art unique.”

You can check out Derick’s art in the upcoming Pancakes & Booze event April 26th in Denver, CO. For more information on Derick himself, please check out his website at liquidclaritystudios.com.



IMG_7023aGiulia is a hard core yogi who loves city life and local art. She is the Director of RAW:natural born artist in Boulder, CO and a big supporter of the underground art scene. If it was up to her, Giulia would spend the rest of her life on a yoga mat while having intellectual conversations about human rights and where to get the best tasting local food in Denver.

  1. I really like to see new and emerging artists! Kurtz is now one of my favorite working artists! Thanks for the great insight on this budding talent!

  2. Why in the HELL can't I find the picture of Johnny Depp that he did ANYWHERE online? I BOUGHT the thing from him at least 8 years ago or more, and now I can't find an example of it on here—or ANY other celebrity art from him. WTF, ZOEY?

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