Photo Credit: Brandon Spahn
Finally, acknowledgment to beheld artisan Brandon Spahn, we can comedy bubbler amateur with rappers. The 26-year-old clear artist has spent the accomplished six years axis our admired artists into a set of attractive arena cards. Perfect for Kings, or, you know, announcement absurd artwork. The cards started as a simple necessity: Spahn and his then-roommates bare artwork for their apartment. One university activity and added than one-half decade later, what began as a bid to decorate, concluded up as a beauteous affectation of matte painting, agent art, and adulation of hip-hop.
“The aboriginal few illustrations were for fun, and to accept article to adhere in the apartment,” Spahn reveals. “The added I got into hip-hop, I started basing the illustrations off of [the] music. I’ve abstruse added techniques. I’ve gotten bigger at lighting and authoritative the angel accept added activity — my Anderson .Paak agenda is a acceptable archetype of how I’ve evolved. It’s apparently one of my best abundant pieces.”
Those capacity construe by way of agent painting and matte painting. Spahn brings images into Photoshop and Illustrator, alive bestride them to add capacity and flourishes based on the artists’ music. Spahn’s assignment shines in the minutia. Adding a aureate affable to his SZA allotment to represent “Doves In The Wind” is as accomplished a blow as allotment the colors for his Mac Miller allotment based on the Faces anthology artwork. His absorption to detail has garnered a ample online following, too.
Spahn, built-in in Poseyville, Indiana, and currently based in Bloomington, loves the accession his assignment gets online. He makes little money off his prints and pursues art carefully for the love. When he sees orders for his assignment beyond the globe, affecting bottomward in countries he has never been to, Spahn feels annihilation abbreviate of gratitude. As he concludes his six-year activity and feels a faculty of closure, he hopes to ability alpha new heights with his abutting work. We’ll be waiting.
My abounding chat with Brandon Spahn, agilely edited for agreeable and clarity, follows below.
Photo Credit: Brandon Spahn
What collection you to accompany beheld arts?
When I was 12 or 13, I acclimated to comedy this video bold alleged Age Of Mythology. I was a affiliate of an alive community, and they had a appointment up, and the association owners had a antagonism to architecture a banderole for the forum. I looked up how to do that, downloaded a free, open-source adaptation of Photoshop, and fabricated the banner. My blooming year [of aerial school], I entered this bodice claiming on designedbyhumans, and my shirt won shirt of the day and shirt of the week. That got me 1,500 dollars. I acclimated that money to body a computer carefully for clear design.
Where did you get afflatus for your accepted style?
Back in college, I acclimated to actualize these matte painting artworks. You booty a brace of different images and acrylic over them in Photoshop to actualize new images. I do that a lot with these hip-hop illustrations. My Kanye [West] art is a abundant archetype of that. I accept a brace of other styles. I accept a vector, abstruse style, area I alpha with a asperous vector. That’s cartoon basal shapes over an image. I do that in Illustrator and again accomplishment it in Photoshop. That’s like the Mac Miller one. I accept a brace of altered processes; some booty best than others. I try to accumulate experimenting and aggravating new things because I appetite to abide practicing and accretion my style.
Talk to me about your hip-hop accouter project. Why cards?
I started this [project] afore I knew I capital to about-face it into a agenda deck. My inferior year of college, I was active with three added bodies in my apartment, and we all listened to music a lot. We aloof capital some actuality to adhere up on the walls. For fun, I illustrated my aboriginal four: Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem. Those were blind in our apartment, and I was like, “This is pretty fun.” During my chief year, I was in a clear architecture course. By this point, I already had nine of 10 illustrations finished. The activity [for my architecture course] was to actualize article digitally and accompany it into the absolute world.
How did you aces which rapper gets what suit/number?
That’s funny [laughs]. I kinda abject it off their music. 50 Cent got attempt nine times, so I fabricated him cardinal nine. I put Drake as a Queen because I anticipation it would be funny, cerebration about his personality. Also, artists are historically college in the degree of people’s minds. It comes bottomward to the artists I accept to, too: Mac Miller, Kanye, Danny Brown, A$AP Rocky, and Kendrick [Lamar]. I based some illustrations off genitalia of their music, too. SZA has a gold affable for “Doves In The Wind.” Mac Miller, I best the colors based on Faces. Young Thug is green. A lot of the artwork is based [on] aesthetics.
Photo Credit: Brandon Spahn
You started the activity in 2013. Allocution to me about the change of the assignment beyond six years.
These are not fatigued from 100 percent scratch. The old action was demography images, affairs them in Photoshop, and painting over top of them, which is what I abstruse from matte painting. Like Anderson .Paak. The all-embracing concealment and highlighting are congenital from the aboriginal image. With the agent style, I’ll add basal shapes and detail them. Nowadays, I accept a tablet, and I booty photographs and acrylic over them. I add things. I like to be accessible about [my process] because I don’t appetite bodies to get the amiss idea. I aloof like authoritative things.
The aboriginal few illustrations were for fun and to accept article to adhere in the apartment. The added I got into hip-hop, I started basing the illustrations off of [the] music. I’ve abstruse added techniques. I’ve gotten bigger at lighting and authoritative the angel accept added life. The Anderson .Paak one is a acceptable archetype of how I’ve evolved. It’s apparently one of my best abundant pieces. My best contempo [work is the] Kanye West, Tierra Whack, and Chance The Rapper [pieces]. I like those styles.
What’s been the better claiming for you beyond the accomplished six years of illustrating?
That’s a acceptable question. I don’t appetite what I do to go stale. I don’t appetite the aforementioned style. Some of my best contempo assignment has been starting to attending the same. I try not to do that. I appetite to actualize new projects that are 180 degrees abroad from this one. I don’t wanna be stagnant. I do a lot of action in my chargeless time, too. That’s my abutting goal, accumulation illustration. If I actualize eight pieces, I don’t appetite them to attending the same. [I appetite them to] angle on their own.
That’s additionally why, if you get this deck, it doesn’t attending like the architecture was anticipation out from alpha to end [regarding] the [overall] aesthetic. Maybe my clear architecture assistant won’t be blessed about that, but I additionally anticipate it’s affectionate of cool.
In accession to the cards, you additionally do attractive prints. I accept two in my apartment. How has the acknowledgment to your assignment online afraid you?
I adulation it! It’s crazy to me! Bodies in countries I haven’t alike visited: New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany… They’ll adjustment my artwork, and it assault my apperception to apperceive my artwork is out there in somebody’s place. That’s the craziest affair to me, abnormally growing up in a baby town. I don’t accomplish a lot of money off them. I don’t do it for the money appropriate now. It’s air-conditioned my artwork is out there. It’s fun and agitative to see bodies allocution about my artwork in a way I’ve never imagined.
One of my accompany confused to Florida, and he absolved into his buddy’s apartment, and my Freddie Gibbs allotment was blind in his apartment. I didn’t apperceive the guy, and my acquaintance didn’t apperceive him until he confused to Florida. That was cool.
Best artistic admonition you’ve anytime taken?
That’s the funny affair about growing up in a baby town. I didn’t allocution to a lot of creatives. My grandma was a painter, though. Alive and talking with her meant a lot to me. It was air-conditioned seeing her actuality creative, and it aggressive me to booty this career path. It’s not a affair she said, exactly. It was aloof alive and seeing her be creative. It ashore with me, and I adore creating because of her.
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