Chuco Relic

Joseph Finch on Getting Back to Art Basics

Joseph Finch—a retired combat veteran, self-taught pyrographer, painter, and skilled tattoo artist—gathers influence from the city of El Paso for most of the subject of his pieces.  

Finch’s work is a result of his extensive time and devotion to understanding/perfecting a new medium.  

”There is really only one right way, but it is your own interpretation of that way,” he says.   

He documents the progression of his work on his Instagram @artwork.by.finch. 

Finch believes that to know art is to take your time with it.  

To start at the beginning and stay true to the basics of art is how every piece will result in perfection.  

His interest in pyrography began during his time serving the country.  

“I did a lot of art while in the military, I created challenge coins, t-shirts, and a lot of personal awards which is where I got into pyrography.”  

While in the armed forces, Finch learned to tattoo at Diablo Graphics which kindled a long partnership with the profession from 96’ to 2012.   

Tattooing took him across the globe to Korea, over to Virginia and then Colorado. 

Once retiring from the military and with a winding-down career path, Finch decided to pursue art full-time. 

“I just try to learn every medium I can, perfect each medium to my own abilities. I kinda went back, started over and now I’m on oils,” he explains.  

With his natural skill for art, Finch reflects on the certainty he felt toward as his calling.  

Regardless of what form that art may have manifested itself, Finch found solace in producing his pieces in any form.  

“It was when I was drawing pictures for the walls up in the tattoo shops, and I was drawing and selling them all over El Paso,” he continues. “That’s when I knew I could do it for a living.”  

   Though El Paso was not the only city to contribute to Finch’s growth as an artist, it was the one city that convinced him to stay.  

After retiring from the military Finch and his wife realized there was no reason to stay away from a city that they loved.  

Now officially a part of the steadily growing art community in El Paso, Finch states.  

“It’s like every city tries to do what El Paso does but they can’t,” Finch calls it “unnatural.”  

His only wish for the city of El Paso is that it lets its growing artist population do more.  

He hopes that his art conveys the ability to participate in art, “I want people to know they can achieve the same things, which is why I like to show progress pictures,” he concludes. “I like to let people know they can do it too, that this was made by hand and its possible.”  

Finch works locally out of El Paso. If you would like to purchase any of Finch's pieces, he can be reached via Instagram. 

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