Art Star Interview with: Paul S. Heath a.k.a. “Dumb Won!”

self portrait of Paul Heath, Dumb Won!

Self portrait of Paul Heath, Dumb Won!

Fun stuff!   We are talking with Paul S. Heath a.k.a. Dumb Won! His website is  Paul is a designer/Independent Artist under the business name: Empirical Art.

Dumb Won! is the pen name for artist Paul S. Heath. The name embraces the concept that even the dumbest ideas can win!

Paul lives in Kingston in upstate, New York and sells his artwork online here: and  He has shared the past five years of his life with his lucky fiance Marleina Booth-Levy (soon to be Heath!).

I enjoyed a spirited discussion with him this past March at the Fountain art Fair in NYC.  There we were, two “Upstaters” arting it up in the Big Apple.  He was so gregarious and we had a rollicking great time.  He is an instant mood elevator, better than any cup of coffee!  However, if you ARE going to have coffee, drink it out of one of the wonderful mugs he sweetly bestowed upon me.

(photo credit: Chris Rahm (Rustwerx))

☆☆☆☆☆  Enjoy the interview!!  ☆☆☆☆☆

How long have you known you were an artist?
☆ Most of my life. Elementary through high school I was always pulled aside to be part of some art program or competition.

What sparked your interest causing you to pursue this career?
☆ I don’t know if it was so clear that I was pursing a career at first. I always felt I just was an artist. Compelled to create more than worried about feeding myself. It was when I took a year off from doing art shows and still managed to sell 4 large paintings without trying, that I realized my career was taking care of itself.

Dumb Won Puking Beauty

Dumb Won!’s Puking Beauty

What is your favorite project or artwork that you have done to date?
☆ My ‘Puking Beauty’ series are still my favorite and most popular. Each original sold and the second print run of Puking Beauty #4 is nearly sold out.

What would be your dream job?
☆ Just being able to paint and make music without financial concerns is dreamy!

Puking Beauty #5 by Paul Heath, aka Dumb Won!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you like to be doing for a living?
☆ I would focus on my record label more and touring more with my band (Dead Unicorn) – also, I’ve always said that if everything in my life goes to shit I would become a cab driver in NYC.

Where do you think your talent came from?
☆ My talent mostly came from my mom and her support of my doing art throughout  my life.

Do you have any specific ways to keep the creativity flowing when working on a project?
☆ I drink a lot of coffee and smoke joints. That, and good company. Typically I’ll have a few friends hanging out in my studio while I work. It keeps things fun.

Who is another artist that you look up to? Why?
☆ One of many artists I look up to is Jeremy Fish. We were roommates for a while during the one year of art school I could afford at the San Francisco Art Institute.  He has a great sense of humor in his work and has always kept a fine art feel while being commercially accessible. I admire that he has been supporting himself with his art for well over a decade now.

Why do you use these particular materials?
☆ I started using acrylics because of their fast drying time. It allows me to execute several paintings in a night when necessary.

What music do you like?  Name three favorites.
☆ I love music. Music is as much a part of my life as art. I like so many genres – hip hop, punk, hardcore, indie, rock, jazz… some quick favorites: MF DOOM, Drive Like Jehu and Neurosis

Studio Coffee

A coffee mug by Dumb Won! hard at work keeping our artist going!

What is your favorite dessert of all time?
☆ That’s tough, I have a serious sweet tooth! um, my mother’s chocolate cheesecake is sooooo good with a cup of coffee! Yum!

What’s been the hardest thing you had to do in the past year?
☆ Plan my wedding! ~Still doing it!

What’s your favorite drink?

What was the last movie you saw in the theater? How was it?
☆ I saw MIB3 last night. I’m a sucker for sci-fi comedies. It was good!

What do you drive?
☆ Before the engine seized on me, I was driving a Ford Windstar. Mini Van’s are great for shipping art and for touring with my band.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, for fun?
☆ I like playing music, skateboarding, frisbee, watching movies, going to shows, and eating good food

What’s your greatest accomplishment so far?
☆ Illustrating author Bruce Littlefield’s children’s book ‘Bedtime Book for Dogs,’ published by Grand Central Publishing      ->

What can’t you live without?
☆ Art and Music

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
☆ Graphic Design/Layout/Publishing, Screen Printing, General Contracting, and Camp Counselor

Does where you live influence your work?
☆ Yes, Kingston has had a profound effect on my work and my approach.  There are so many talented people in the community along with the grit that comes with any city. Most people here struggle to get by and have little spending money. So I tend to create fun work that lifts spirits while offering prints  and other works that are affordable.

Dumb Won!'s art studio

Dumb Won!’s art studio, where the magic happens! (photo credit: Chris Rahm (Rustwerx) )

What comes first in your work, pleasure or pain?
☆ Pleasure.

Where did you study art?

artwork in progress in Paul Heath's studio

Paintings on canvas in progress in Paul Heath’s art studio (photo credit: Chris Rahm (Rustwerx))

☆ The San Fransisco Art Institute (1 year), Dutchess Community College

What is your studio space like?
☆ I live in an awesome 2200 sq.ft. studio apt. with 11 ft. ceilings – half of which is my studio and office. It’s awesome to have so much space to create and live in.

Tron, studio cat of artist Paul Heath,  Dumb WOn!

Tron, studio cat of artist Paul Heath, Dumb Won!

What is the view out your studio window?
☆ I see a Dunkin’ Donuts, an Indian restaurant (which I wish was good but isn’t), a weird balloon store with a misspelled sign that says ‘Air Ballons’,  and train tracks.

Do you have any pets and do they keep you company while you create?
☆ I have two cats (Iggy and Tron) – Tron is the studio cat. He follows me around all day.

What would be your best advice to anyone wanting to pursue this career?
Be in it to win it.  Do your own thing. Promote heavily.  Never stop.

Paul Heath, Dumb Won! hard at work, doing what he loves and does so well!

Paul Heath, Dumb Won! hard at work, doing what he loves and does so well! (Photo credit: Chris Rahm (Rustwerx))


~ by The Gallery Goddess on June 14, 2012.

One Response to “Art Star Interview with: Paul S. Heath a.k.a. “Dumb Won!””

  1. […] artist friend and this month’s interviewee, Dumb Won! (Paul Heath) needs to sell 20 tickets to the Brooklyn event. Want to […]

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