Even if you haven’t heard the name Aaron Brooks, you’re probably familiar with his work. From painting stages live at Infrasound Music Festival to his creation of Subtronics’ Cyclops— You can find his psychedelic party animal cartoon characters all over the Colorado Bass scene. As the visual artist works on a huge new project for Subtronics with his wife, Ellie Paisley, and also gets ready to launch a new website that will mainly focus on 420 themed merchandise; Aaron was cool enough to take time to talk to Rooster about his art, his bong and calling his Mom.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Both unfortunately. I love waking up and getting my day started but it takes me almost the entire evening to get into the zone and start working and that carries on past midnight most nights.


What’s the strangest thing in your fridge right now?

How many different types of Arizona tea I have… like 8.  I signed up for something apparently and they come in the mail… and I’m not stopping it.


What was the last dream you had?

The details are fuzzy but I was EXTREMELY fast…like sonic fast.

What would your theme song be?

It would change every season….but right now Amnesia by the dude Subtronics.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop buying so many CD’s, clean your bong, eat your vegetables, invest in various obvious stock choices, sit up straight, and call your mother.


What’s going on inside that brain of yours?

That’s tough terrain up there. I tend to overload my plate but it seems to bring me a weird sense of calm to have a lot going on.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got your start as an artist?

Well, I have always been someone who loved to draw since I can remember. I took it seriously but never with a desire to pursue it as a career. I actually went to school, after graduating, for recording arts. I really wanted to record albums for bands and I found the mixing process fascinating. Yet I was always making art and I had plenty of friends that pushed me to make an instagram just to show people. With the little following I had at the beginning it still gave me so much motivation and filled me with such joy that there were people, some complete strangers, that actually liked things I created. In all honesty if it wasn’t for those people at the beginning- my family, friends, and early social media followers, I doubt I would have ever had the confidence to pursue it. I have created art steadily for 12 years straight, maybe taking 2 to 3 weeks off a year total and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.


How do you like to describe your style/genre of art?

Fun, emotional, self reflective, psychedelic party animal cartoon characters with some flowers erry now n’ then. Hahaha. Honestly, I have trouble describing my work. I really do cherish the fact that my supporters are so responsive and open to me trying new things and new mediums.

How do you come up with your characters?  

Most of the time if it’s one of my original characters it will be a direct reflection of how I’m feeling at the time. Maybe something I know someone else is dealing with as well will play a role in a character. But people around me and our life experiences will always be what inspires how these characters feel in the end.


Your wife Ellie Paisley is also an artist, what is the best part of having a partner who is also creative?

Well, I’d say the best part is the understanding. By that I mean the understanding of how it’s not easy, what it takes to go from concept to creation and the blessings and burdens of being your own worst critic. We build each other up, show each other things we learn on our own,  and push each other to do the best we can on the business side of things as well. I’m very lucky.

What does your creative process typically look like?

Bongs, my dogs, Ellie, and the most important thing of all: MUSIC.

When Ellie and I work together, we love sitting at a big table and watching a show we have seen a thousand times and we both paint and before we know it 10 hours passes by. For some reason we always get more work done when we are together.


What are your artistic weapons of choice that you work with the most?

My absolute favorite thing to have on me when I go on vacation is watercolor paper and a fresh pack of micron pens (archival ink) sizes 003 to 12.

You created Cyclops for Subtronics, can you share with us how that came about and what it has been like working with one of the biggest EDM artists in the world?

Yeah, for sure. I was approached by his manager and Jesse had mentioned to him that he liked my work that he had seen online and the first project was 3 cyclops to represent Subtronics. I had a blast creating them and figured that was that but I was called back for another project which was very exciting. Cut to about 5 years now and countless cyclops later. It’s crazy to think about honestly. I am very thankful to be apart of his team and enjoy all the projects they ask me to be apart of. The whole crew couldn’t be nicer and easier to work with. It’s really a fun thing to see how happy his music makes people across the country and to be able to contribute to that in the slightest is an honor on my end every time.


What are you working on next? 

Well funny enough I have a huge project for Subtronics that I’m working on with Ellie. I have a new website I’m launching with my brother Alec Brooks on April 13th (ShopAbrooks.com) that will mainly focus on 420 themed merchandise. New items with my sporting goods department (Harvulla.com), which is run by two of my best friends Doug Harvey and Beau Frulla = Harvulla! Always new drops coming with GroundScore around the clock. New prints with Cik Printing located right there in Boulder, Colorado! And a bunch of other fun stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting.