“Art is the most important thing, second only to love, but that doesn’t mean it needs to take itself so seriously.”
We first met Brent Rodgers and Derek Cedena probably close to 15 years ago. They were indeed a creative couple, two very dapper gents, but this was well before Two Little Fruits was even a glimmer in their eyes. It wasn’t until recently that we became reacquainted with them and their colorful body of work at a handmade market. We were initially drawn into their booth, eyes wide over their collection for prints centered around Lakeside Amusement Park, The Bluebird Theater and other local iconic scenes. Needless to say, we are so grateful to have had our paths cross again after all of these years. They were delighted for us to tell their story and we hope you find their bright and humorous works as inviting as we do.
Tell us a little bit about your background…How did 2LF come to be? Who were your early influences?
Two Little Fruits really came to be the moment we created our first art/craft project together, which were these crazy plaster-covered pickle jar head things. They were painted gold and looked like they belonged in an Indiana Jones movie. We both fell in love with spending our time creating together. We know it sounds super corny, but love and joy are what influenced us. We were both so happy to have found each other all those years ago, 16 to be exact.
Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process?
Currently, we have some local Denver favorites, like Cody Kuehl with his action packed western paintings, and the work of John Vogl, who was recently featured on your cover. His use of color and line work is amazing, he really knows how to tell an epic story.
The thing about other people’s work that always intrigues us the most is their process. We love seeing how creative people use materials, techniques and/or machines in new and interesting ways.
Just to be in a good mood with a clean studio. We just like to infuse humor, and for work to be fun!
The thing we love most about our art is that we make people laugh. We never try to take our work too seriously, life is already heavy enough.
What’s your take on the Denver art scene?
We hear it’s thriving! We’re pretty busy, popping up at makers markets or street fairs almost every weekend. It’s been a minute since we’ve been to an actual gallery or art opening. Denver is full of talented artists and makers creating amazing things.
Hmmm… draw everything we see, make it colorful, then edit until we both agree that it’s the best it can be. The image should translate well from a print on the wall to the products we make like mugs, magnets, tea towels and other cool shit.
Where do you find inspiration?
Our mountain and urban surroundings, mostly. Our obsession with technology, as well as other things like food and cocktails, old toys, tools, bicycle parts, varmints, outer space, and science documentaries seem to find their way into our work.
Some days it’s Bollywood, surf guitar or 70’s butt-rock, and then the next will be what we like to call a “50’s housewife” kind of day and only listen to Patsy Cline and Francis Faye.
Hands down, our biggest musical inspiration would be Björk. Everything that woman touches is art, it’s hard not be inspired by her.
How has your art evolved from when you first began?
When we first started making art together, it was very much us working on separate projects in the same room, giving each other feedback. This is how we started cultivating how to collaborate on projects, as we do now. Art is the most important thing, second only to love, but that doesn’t mean it needs to take itself so seriously. Art can have a sense of humor. It can be dynamic, useful, and affordable. We don’t even get mad when someone buys a Two Little Fruits piece because it matches the sofa. You’re absolutely right – it looks amazing above the sofa!
We have a design that is of an elephant walking on a telephone wire that we feel like needs some new friends. So we are working on a couple of pieces that are going to be part of a “Urban Safari” series, we hope to debut it sometime later this year.
Brent and Derek create pieces designed to make themselves at home wherever they end up. We have seen their wall hangings in Open Houses throughout Wash Park. You can find them at Hope Tank on South Broadway or the I Heart Denver stores, among many other shops across the country. You can find their art online (twolittlefruits.com), but they are most at home when they are in their artisan and maker communities. This is where they imagine, create and mingle. They will be at the upcoming Super Flea in RiNo on August 11th and Firefly Handmade in Downtown Boulder on the Pearl St. Mall for Fall Fest, September 16th and 17th. We are big believers of shopping small and supporting local. These markets are the perfect venue to get up close and personal with local artists. Go check them out and say hello!