InPrint Interviews Blake Byers

The conversation with Blake Byers was really inspiring. Blake seems to be
a breath of fresh air in the illustration world. Based in San Diego, California.
Blake is still a kid at heart, but with a grown up vision. His works are taking off
with great art shows and new collections coming up this year. Blake is an
artist everyone should definitely keep their eyes on.
— by Elo Marc

Hello Blake. When did you get started illustrating? What did you do before?

That's an interesting question... I started when I was a boy. Hell, I'd like to believe
I'm still a boy in a mans body. I guess what I did before was
play with action figures a little more.

What are you working on right now? Do you have any other projects or exhibitions
you'd like to talk about?

I'm working on many different collections of work. The Dior Collection for Erin Doumert, the owner of Salon Elle in La Jolla, Ca. Which has become a personal favorite of mine. I'm also building a continually growing private personal collection of work. Those pieces are just for me. They're why I create. I've been designing a concept for an upcoming show Pacific San Diego Magazine is hosting, also in La Jolla, on the 24th of this month. It's gonna have some Rockwell flare.

When you create a piece how do you decide what scenes and details to draw?

It's all about light. A fantastic artist friend of mine, Shawn David Baker, always talks to himself when painting. Well, so it seems he talks to himself, but I'd put my lunch money on the fact he knows his words would fall upon my ears. He says, "Where's the light coming from?" I like portraits. Humans. So I carve and paint what I see.. 

Can you explain your art process?

Sure. I prep the deck (cutting it to size). I do this since I'm currently using Condensed Sheeting (Soundboard) as my canvas. I wax my deck. I carve out the negative space (typically the lack of color and light - shadows and what not). I then paint the individualistic details of the image (highlights, mid-tones and what not). I then seal it. I then goggle it...

Do you have a favorite color or palette?

I do. I love the classic look and feel of black and white imagery. I'm influenced by master photographers like Robert Frank and Dick Avedon. Then there are the colors. Francoise Nielly's work tends to lead my palette knife in this area. 

What is your favorite medium to work in? Have you always worked in this media?
If not, why did you switch?

I'm a fan of unconventionality. Breaking grounds with new styles while conjoining old and present principles for creating art. It's the evolution of my life that I hope to display with the pictures I build. Soundboard has been that for me. As well as drywall and other kinds of surfaces. Cardboard. Wood panels. R-Tech sheeting and so forth.

Did you always want to be an artist when you grew up?

I think I was born an artist. Now to maintain authenticity, that is another story...

Do you use models/source pictures or do you draw from your memory/imagination?

Some of the most influential artists to me, Jasper Johns, Close, Pollock, Richard Hambleton, The Street Pundit, etc. have really shaped how I see image making. The ability to develop a picture by using the movement of your body, connected with your mind, in order to create an authentically original art piece is fantastic. It's all about the process for me.

What gets you through an illustration when you're stuck for inspiration?


What book do you remember from when you were young?

The Last of The Mohicans. And the Bible.

If you could illustrate any writer's new work, who would it be?

Charles Bukowski. Without a doubt.

Where can we find out more about you?

Facebook is a cool place to find new art from artists. Instagram seems to be doing alright though...

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