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Dustin Eckhardt
Rockford, IL

Dustin’s no stranger to the Stateline art scene. You may have seen his designs on buildings, electrical boxes and even beer cans throughout the Rockford area. He’s also no stranger to DEVIATE. Dustin made his DEVIATE debut at the inaugural event and he’s ready to come back bigger and better the second time around. He’s bringing his bright, bold and vibrant vibe back to Beloit where he’ll be live painting a mural out on the Ironworks Spine.  


Dustin is giving us a firsthand look at his creative process and allowing us to get up close and personal with him as he creates a one-of-a-kind mural just for DEVIATE. You won’t want to miss his interactive display on September 16.  

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September 16

How was your DEVIATE experience last year? Why did you want to come back again? I thoroughly enjoyed participating at DEVIATE last year. The artists and crowd both were a joy to spend an evening with, doing something I found was truly unique to our area. It was one of the most fun shows I have been involved with. It was more so a very well-organized art party/event and less so your traditional “mosey around” art fair.

Do you plan on doing anything different this year at DEVIATE? What can we expect to see? I wanted to come back this year to accomplish something that I wasn't last year, which is to live paint instead of just setting up visual displays, and I'm super excited. Attendees will get to see me while coming and again when leaving the event to see the process of painting a mural, and I'm setting the stage up in a unique way with potential for interactive aspects.

What are you looking forward to most this year at DEVIATE? I am really excited to participate and interact with everyone involved. The roster of artists looks just as unique and diverse as last year, and I am expecting there to be a lot of fun to be had.

What’s your background? How did you get into art? Give us a little history! I am a self-taught artist from Rockford, IL. I became heavily interested in tattoo culture coming out of high school and set my aim for becoming a tattoo artist myself. I dropped out of college after one year and threw all of my eggs into the basket of tattooing. Shortly after finishing my apprenticeship, I decided to walk away from the shop I was working at and only did commissions and art fairs for a few years. After seeing a round of murals installed for Rockfords first CRE8IV season, I was inspired all over again and started to learn how to paint. Since then, I have painted murals and gallery art all around the midwest earning my merit.

Is this your full-time job? If not, what else do you do? I am a full-time art-tender and part time bartender. I find a great balance in being able to choose which art opportunities suit my goals for growing my business, while still being able to have a job that allows me to socialize and have a little extra walking around scratch.

Why should people come out to DEVIATE? DEVIATE isn't your usual art show. There are things happening all around and appropriately spread out. If you are an artist yourself, if you appreciate art, or you just like to have a good time, this is an event that everyone will find something they enjoy.

How would you describe DEVIATE to someone who’s never been? Energetic, unique, art centric, party. Expect to have fun!

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