50 States – Pennsylvania with Artsy Kiddo
Artsy Kiddo – “We often need to engage forms of decay and even death in order to discover life”
This week Creative Chair is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania talking with artist/illustrator Artsy Kiddo for the 35th Edition of our 50 States series.
Artsy Kiddo’s portfolio uses simple geometric shapes that create an engaging visual story.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do
I am an artist, graphic designer and an illustrator with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. My first job out of college was a curator at an art fair company organizing international art fairs. After a couple of years working there I found myself wanting to go back to being a full-time artist.
Initially, my focus was painting and printmaking but as my interest in graphic design and illustration grew, I started working across fields of art and design. Since then I decided to take on new challenges as a multi-disciplined freelancer under the alias, Artsy Kiddo.
How has your state influenced the work that you do?
I first moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend college, which was famously known for bringing the world a lot of well-respected artists, such as Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Mel Bochner, Deborah Kass and Ryan Mcginness etc.
The school program really taught me to be a forward-thinking individual, constantly experimenting with unconventional materials and challenging traditional aesthetics. Apart from the school, there are tons of source of inspiration to be found across the state from large museums to local art galleries showcasing works by well-established artists as well as new emerging talents.
Constantly being exposed to such artistic attractions encouraged me to challenge traditional boundaries between disciplines and freely work in design, mixed media, painting, photography, and print.
Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?
One of my favorite projects done recently is an illustration series titled ‘Deer Skull’. This series was done in homage to Georgia O’Keeffe, who is one of my all-time favorite artists. Her works are not only aesthetically pleasing but also constantly remind us to look closely into life and celebrate it by facing the symbol of death.
Despite the broad scope of my subject matter, the cycle of life and death is a recurrent theme in my work. We often need to engage forms of decay and even death in order to discover life, freedom and beauty that encompasses all layers of our world.
And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Nocturne C Sharp Minor by Chopin. This masterpiece is also known for being played by Wladyslaw Szpilman in front of the German officer, probably thinking it was going to be his very last performance.
I come from a background of constantly living with fear due to a possible war against the neighboring country. I guess this unconsciously feeds into my attitude towards life and my work; Contemplating on the inevitability of death and loss allows me to stay appreciative of life and everything that I do today. It reminds me to treat my work with utmost respect, love and effort by giving my absolute everything.
- Became the 2nd State on December 12, 1787
- The first American flag was made in Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia used to be the nation’s capital city
Artsy Kiddo is the 130th winner of our 366 Award.
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