H+ CREATIVE NOW REPRESENTS: BLAKE KATHRYN THOMAS
Welcome artist Blake Kathryn to the H+ Creative family!
Blake Kathryn is a Los Angeles based artist wielding a palette of pastels and neons. Her work touches upon themes of nostalgia, states of consciousness and vices, iterated into lighthearted, dreamlike compositions.
Pink bubblegum dreamscapes, surreal fembots, and a healthy dose of chill—dive into the fantasy of Blake Kathryn Thomas. In these scary times, it’s comforting to still find creatives having fun with art—Blake is one of those artists. Blake is a multidiscipline artist and designer from Florida, living and working in Los Angeles, California. Her work touches upon themes of feminism, nostalgia, and nature in witty and unusual forms. Blake morphs these everyday ideas and emotions into entirely new concepts, begging the viewer to consider what isn’t immediately present. Her sense of humor and internet upbringing are immediately evident in her work. Though the web has heavily influenced her, Blake’s craftsmanship is fresh and exciting. Scrolling through Blake’s Instagram is mesmerizing, thought provoking, and is terrible to get into if you have any sort of work you should be doing (you’ve been warned). H+ Creative spoke with their newly signed artist to find out more about her work and plans for 2017:
Cam Johnson, H+ Creative Writer
H+ Creative: For those who don’t know about you, please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a Florida raised SoCal based designer and digital artist, often found generating freckles in the glow of my desktop. I mix play with work on the regular and am doing my best to contribute fresh experiments to the net.
How did you get your start in the art world?
I studied Graphic Design in college. During those years I was in a program, like many others, where they force you to flex your muscles in other creative realms as well (i.e. drawing, sculpture, etc). Painting was pretty much the only off screen thing I wasn't an atrocity at. Fast forward a few years and the 3D/tech realm I wound up in provided the perfect medium to digitally paint upon pixel canvases.
Who are your biggest influences?
I'd say they are movements more than individuals, especially with the hive-mindset of today's world. Surrealism and pop art have been prevalent in my life since childhood. Add in the revived popularity of pastel, neon, and the 90s and you have yourself quite an inspiring cocktail.
Your work is very tongue in cheek—can you elaborate on some of the bigger themes within your pieces?
I'm incredibly gifted at butchering any and all phrases, quotes, you name it. To cope with this curse, over the years I've paid close attention to slogans, witty remarks, etc – whether I come across it in a billboard or book. Over time my notebooks have become more filled with phrases than sketches and I have a lovely amount of resources to fall back on for puns or juxtapositions to visually articulate.
There’s a theme of number 2 pencils in many of your pieces—can you explain this significance?
My early days of illustration started with iconography. From that minimalist beginning every project was about clearly ringing in a visual aid that was immediately understood, so it could work with our without copy. Moving into a more complex medium, the love for simplicity is still a favorite mindset and the no. 2 pencil is the truest representation of all things creative – regardless of medium.
Your work is very web-centric and like many of us, you probably spend a good amount of time scrolling—do you have a favorite internet trend or wave?
Futurefunk and Dreamwave have my heart. Growing up my parents often had classic rock or disco tunes playing – listening to these newer genres gives a perfect blend of nostalgia and fresh feels. From a more visual perspective, pixel art has had a really lovely vaporwave influence lately and it always brightens my day to see a fusion of the two, Galactic Castle's tumblr is a perfect example. (http://galactic-castle.tumblr.com/)
What do you do when you need a break from the computer?
I've been fortunate to live in walkable neighborhoods between New York and Los Angeles, and walks have stayed the best for off screen refreshes. I'm sure my body appreciates the movement too.
Where do you collect inspiration?
Real experiences and dreams are the best resources, and even better for offering a break from the screen. Keeping a journal has helped me to recall dreams quite vividly over the years – the unconscious is there to gift surreal doses of inspiration on the regular.
Do you have an art hero?
I'd say I have a healthy rotation of heroes; my current main squeeze is Hajime Sorayama. He defined a surreal robotic world ahead of its time, and is still going strong decades later.
Can you tell us a little about what you're currently working on?
I'm working with a few musicians on artwork + motion graphics for their upcoming releases. I'll be heading to the Desert Glitch premiere coming up February 9th – a permanent installation in the Cactus Tower. As one of 12 artists involved, coined 12 Galaxies, I contributed a lip-tastic piece ready to mouth off.