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Picasso once said “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth,” and after a year like 2016, we could all use some more of that. I’ve scoured the web for a handful of great artists that you might not know and asked them some questions about what they do. If 2017 isn’t going to be any easier, it may as well look nicer.
Danielle is a freelance illustrator from Savannah, Georgia who graduated in 2015 from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her current work is digital, but she uses traditional art practices in her approach, and it shows. She describes her work as a mixture of classical portraiture and contemporary fantasy art.
“I’ve pretty much been drawing since the day I learned how to hold a pencil,” she told the Daily Dot. “I figured I wasn’t much good at writing with it so I started drawing instead. People and nature tend to be the driving focal point within my art, but I try to look beyond the person as a mere reference. Rather, I attempt to capture the subtle nuances that one doesn’t see at first glance. To make it even more interesting, I add fantastical elements, with hints of mystery, often using symbolism to express a certain emotion or tone for the piece.”
Newhive, with its uniquely expressive platform, continues to be a place to find new, interesting artists. After seeing School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Terrell Davis’ impressive collection there, I was surprised to find an entirely different artistic direction on his Instagram. There I found an entrancing collection of desktops covered with various items in thematic colors. He assures me these are not impeccably lighted photographs, but 3D renders, which seems an even more impressive feat.
“I had always wanted to do stuff involving 3D modeling but never had a computer capable of handling it. I started using Cinema 4D in 2013, after being gifted an iMac,” Davis explains. “I’m at a phase where I’m finding out what else I can do with them, by deconstructing them into a sort of abstract vibe or even flattening them, blocking the details with solid color.”
And the story behind his art is just as compelling as the art itself: “My work paints a picture of what affected me growing up as a gay, black, American teenager, exploring themes of femininity I couldn’t freely express as a young boy. I’m very inspired by pop culture, luxury items, bright colors, and pop artists such as Michel Majerus and Andy Warhol, as well as newer artists like Karim Rashid, Micha Klein, and my friend DV-i.”
You can find Terrell on Twitter.
3) Beth Yirtaw
In a year saturated with adult coloring books, it’s not easy for line art to stand out, but this work is a different creature. The precise geometry, intricate shading, and balanced sense of movement caught my eye and didn’t let go.
A photo posted by Bety. (@bey.te) on
Raised in London, Toronto resident Beth Yirtaw has been doodling and drawing for years but never considered it to be anything more than a hobby.
“When I started sharing my work on social media, friends began to show an interest and would ask me to create pieces for them. When I left my job in retail and started travelling, I had more time to create larger and more detailed illustrations. All of my work is created by hand and then edited on Photoshop and Illustrator to make a sharper, bolder image. With the encouragement of my family and friends I started my own Etsy shop in August selling my artwork as prints. Reading positive feedback from happy customers is the best thing and I can’t wait for my work to grow in the new year. ”
4) Abel M’Vada
If ever there were a time for the S P A C E M A N A E S T H E T I C, it is now. These subdued neon looping GIFs are where the despairing emptiness of space collides with our existential dread to find resolution in the soothing nostalgia of a time yet to come. Switch on some vaporwave and let the experience wash over you as you drift into the void.
“I’m a digital artist (but you knew that already), a lapsed musician, and a self-proclaimed citizen of the internet,” M’Vada says by way of introduction. “I was born with a severe and incurable case of irreverence, and a general disdain for authority. My education includes a brief and uneventful interval in film school followed by a more productive, but ultimately pointless stint in business school.
“These days I’m a perpetual student supporting himself by doing mostly non-art related work. Right now I’m attempting to focus more of my time and energy solely on artwork, so any exposure I get is greatly appreciated. Also, I like sandwiches. More than is considered normal.”
Jason Reed, better known online as Challenger, is the Art Director of the Daily Dot.