Exclusive Interview with London Digital Graphics Artist: BAREFACE

Bare Face

BAREFACE is a London based, vector graphic artist who is obsessed with real world pop culture. His art ranges from the fifties to the late nineties and beyond. Pulling inspiration from film, music, superheroes, fantasy and more; Bareface creates visually appealing digital masterpieces. He has always had a fascination with different aspects of pop and hip-hop culture, namely graffiti. Intrigued by graffiti but not wanting to vandalize buildings, the artist’s curiosity led him to exploring how to translate graffiti street art to digital canvas. Thus the BAREFACE brand was born.

His vibrant use of color and trademark drips pay homage to Pop and Spray Can art. His work has been featured on several blogs including the popular Michael Jackson Fan site MJWorld. His sticker designs have also received critical acclaim showcasing at the April 17th MLT SLAPS sticker Expo in Montreal.

The artist first caught our eye with his dynamic adaptation of one of pop culture’s most revered villains, Darth Vader.

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We had an opportunity to link with Bareface and find out more about the brand. Check out our exclusive interview below:

SI: Explain the premise behind the Bareface brand? What does it all stand for?

BF: The ‘Bareface’ brand refers to my belief that my appearance bares no significance to my body of work. It refers to a blank canvas and being creative as the mood takes me.

SI: Your illustrations feature a lot of cultural icons. How important is pop culture in influencing your work?

BF: I grew up in the 80s and as a child I spent a lot of my time watching TV shows, cartoons, listening to music and reading comic books. Pop culture was my education about life and helped shaped my vision of the world. I was inspired by the media of that time and I use this to bring my superheroes to life on digital canvas.

SI: A lot of times people down play the field of Art because they rest on the notion of the “starving artist,” What motivates you to continue creating your art?

BF: In the Bhagavad Gita [which is a collection of sacred texts from India] it says “You are not entitled to the fruit of your labor, only the labor itself.” I believe this means that if you rely on things like money too much, you will only be miserable.What is more satisfying than money is doing the work; that feeling of euphoria when you are in the creative zone and the joy or sadness it brings to others. Basically, what motivates me to continue creating art is my desire to grow organically with the world around me and the happiness I get from creating. Whether you are financially prosperous or not, you have to be “starving” to be successful. You have to keep on pushing yourself and have the hunger to do and be better.

SI: Where do you hope your art takes you?

BF: My mission?…”To chase the muse and see where she will take me.” I have no plan, I am just enjoying creating these pieces and sharing them with as many people as possible, whether it’s online or at a gallery exhibition, and the fact you have found me and I am talking to you means that it’s working. I’m hoping that my pieces will bring joy to people, who find and enjoy my work.

SI: What’s your Street Intell?

BF: Dare to dream, dare to believe.

 

To view more of Bareface’s work connect with him online and be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

 

And as always share the Street Intell.

Up Close and Personal with Fashion Illustrator, V.G. Waymer (Interview)

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V.G. Waymer is an artist living and working in Hampton, Virginia. She was born in 1960. Her A.A. in Fashion Illustration and Graphic Design was received from New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University where she studied with Frank Raneo, a noted fashion illustrator. Prior to that she attended Pratt Institute where she was enrolled as a Fashion Design major but soon realized that her passion lay with illustration rather than the actual construction of apparel. Subsequently, after raising three children, V.G. pursued a certification as a life coach focusing on helping artists to regain effective work habits and spark new avenues of exploration in their chosen medium.
 
As a result V.G. has spent the last ten years in experimentation and exploration of many other types of art including lampworking, mask making, visual merchandising, costuming for an Afro Cuban dancer, and lately body painting under the name of Besitos Body painting. She studied body painting in 2011 with John Vargas, a world renown body painter. As Besitos owner and chief artist V.G. has provided her services to photographers and dancers in her community. Spending time creating is an important cornerstone of V.G.’s life as an artist.

V.G. is currently preparing for a group exhibition entitled, Art Walk scheduled for later this Spring in Hampton, Virginia. She is working to reestablish her signature style as a fashion illustrator. In the coming months she will be collaborating with several blogs and online magazines, so stay tuned! In the meantime let’s take a closer look at V.G, in our exclusive interview below:

Who are you?

I have all types of labels as most women do. Three years ago I decided that I really needed to diligently pursue my art. I had to put in the time like I’ve never done before (due to family obligations). We’ve raised three beautiful people and I often didn’t have the luxury of being a “starving” artist. Instead I found jobs where I could put my creativity to work, learn about the business end of art and also gain an understanding of what I could do “instead.” It’s true that you can be very good doing something you’re not passionate about. The trick is to take those lessons and use them when you really get to do what you LOVE! I invested a lot of effort into perfecting my skills, time management, a great work ethic, attention to detail, and building relationships; I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Now I am working to find a balance between the desire to draw (every waking moment) and the need to get more sleep. I am beginning to understand more and more that self-care helps you to produce better. It’s always about balance.

Did you always know you had a gift when it came to creating art or did it take some event in your life to push you in that direction?

I’ve always known that I was an artist. My mother is a classical pianist and my dad played several instruments and loved Jazz. Their friends were musicians, artists and dancers so I grew up experiencing creativity. I used to draw the Sunday comics when I was a kid. I originally wanted to become a dancer and did so until I was 16, then I injured my knee. After surgery and months of physical therapy, dancing seemed less of an option than becoming an artist. It just felt right… better than right!

Do you take time to sketch out your illustrations first while staring at an image or is it produced on the spot through your own creative interpretation?

I mostly use photos and fashion videos for reference, generally I block out the pose with an initial sketch. From there, I lay in color quickly where everything seems to fall into place and then I have to be careful to just leave it be. It becomes very hard not to add, just one more line! Sometimes, depending on my mood, drawing can be a release but I seem to tread a thin line between letting my creativity take over and being overly critical of the finished product. As I mostly work digitally, I usually peel back the layers once I’m done. Often the best drawing occurs in the first few minutes.

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Where does your inspiration to create such beautiful pieces come from?

Thank you for saying that! Inspiration is everywhere but it takes living in the moment. That can be hard to do when you’re moving through everyday life. Sometimes it’s something that you see in passing and other times it’s as a result of watching a video, flipping through a magazine or for me listening to some House music!

Name some artists that inspire you and explain why?

I am always inspired by Gustav Klimt and Aphonse Mucha. My heroes during college were and still are Antonio, Viramontes, and Stavrinos. Antonio for his use of color and stylization of great models like Pat Cleveland who I adore! Viramontes because of his spontaneity and how he would lay down a line or swath of black like nobody’s business. As a student I was awestruck by him and used to draw with graffiti markers just to keep myself from doubting my line and my style. When using graffiti markers once your commitments are made, you can’t erase them. Stavrinos’ attention to anatomy and drawing from Polaroids is something that I’m still mindful of. My professor’s mantra was, “Remember there are bones underneath that skin!” Today I am inspired by David Downtown, Donald Robertson and Stephen Stipleman. If you want to do fashion illustrations then you have to study the “masters.” What they saw in the model and the fashions are often represented in a nuance of color, a pose and a simplified brush stroke.

If you could teleport anywhere in the world where would that be?

I would like to go back in time and have an hour with Diana Vreeland. I would love to watch Antonio draw. A place … teleport me to that house where Julia Roberts lived in Eat, Pray, Love in Italy or Indonesia; as long as there is a space to draw and do the things that make me happy.

(See next question)

What makes you happy?

“What makes me happy?” Fage yogurt with blueberries and honey… An avocado in the afternoon… honestly, I think of all the things I could say in addition to my family and my dog Mojo… remembering that moment when I realized my goals are within reach is what makes me happy. I find happiness in someone being interested in my work. Ultimately, happiness is finally being at peace with who I am in this moment.

As an artist, what impression do you hope your work leaves with you audience?

That’s a hard question. I want people to feel something when they look at my work. Whether it inspires them to want to try a certain style or feel the intent of the clothing that I’m drawing… I think that would be enough for me. I think most artists draw for themselves first and then their audience. It’s a very “inside” game. It’s how you develop your own style.

 

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Waymer’s Street Intell:

20140417-134656.jpgMy mantra and advice to other artists is to create. Paint, draw, sketch, write, blog, dance, sew, sing, act, cook, crochet! Anything that gets at the heart of what an artist’s true forte might be. This exploration has enriched my understanding of an artist’s work process and has allowed me to utilize my experiences to guide young artists in my community.

http://www.vgwaymer.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DC| 04.04.14 Emerging Jazz Singer and HU Student LeNaiya Blackwell Live in Concert at Columbia Station

Naiya Flyer

We shared Le’Naiya Blackwell story just a few short months ago, now she has met her goal and it is concert time! On her behalf we want to thank everyone who read our article and were led to contribute to her success. Grab your tickets and a smile and meet us down at Columbia Station this Friday.

 

On the Radar: TSoul (@TSoulMusic) -Best of Me


Virginia’s own Terry Packard best known by his stage name TSoul has a compelling and powerful voice. He delivers sweet yet strong emotions that can easily sweep any girl off her feet. TSoul was recently recognized for his talents last month as he performed live on the BET Music Matter’s stage. He performed tracks from his 2010 debut album “Love & Music” and even incorporated a smooth little remix of Usher Raymond’s 90s hit “Nice & Slow”. Check out more of his music here and don’t forget to comment below to let me know what you think.

2 of the Best Viral Beyonce “Drunk in Love” Covers

Emmanuel Houndo is a Pennsylvania, PA High School student of West African descent, who’s violin rendition of Beyoncé’s famous track, “Drunk in Love” went viral earlier this week. His cover was so phenomenal that it even gained the attention of Mrs. Carter’s camp. As seen on her facebook fan page, his rendition was recognized and noted as “Amazing!”. Check it out below.

Fortunate is a Sydney based male singing group consisting of members Joseph Kalepo, Izayah Mariner Fuimaono, Jaye Mariner Fuimaono, and Jakiel Mariner Fuimaono. They have had global success as independent recording artist and continue to keep audience entertained by covering  popular artist tracks like John Legends- “All of Me” and the viral Beyoncé’s “Drunk in love”. Check out their soulful cover here.

New Release: @PHZ_Sicks – Black Women (Official Music Video)

A perfect addition to the current Black History month celebrations; Virginia based rapper PHZ-sicks drops the visuals for the track ‘Black Women’ off his latest studio album, The Moment. Featured in the video are dazzling women including his mom and DC’s own DJ Heat. We hope you enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment below to let us know what you think.