Klashwon: Life as an artist
Klashwon is a versatile illustrator and painter. Born and raised in New London, Connecticut. He packed his bags and moved to Brooklyn, New York (USA) to surround himself with like minded artist. Since then Klashwon has been apart of numerous events through out New York and Connecticut. Inspired by his environment Klashwon continues to grow
I asked Klashwon a few questions.....
How would you describe your work?
My work is like a bouquet of flowers. I mean that sounds silly, but honestly there are so many ideas and concepts that run through my head. I try to keep to a particular style or media for each series. I cross between abstract and realism with a constant flow of pop culture. Inspiration derives from everything I see everyday, it's full of urban and east coast culture with spurts of fine lines and music.
Have you always wanted to become an artist?
Looking back I see now that I was always destined for a creative lifestyle. At the time, growing up I was big into sports, then became more interested in fashion and soon there after photography. I started off with a Minolta, just shooting, editorial like pictures of my expressive friends. I've always been a visual person and see the beauty in the simple elements of life.
From my understanding you are self taught. What drove you or what inspired
you to pick up painting and illustrating?
My art evolved into painting around age 22. This was mostly because of the actual placing that photography doesn't always produce. Growing up then photoshop wasn't in existence so you couldn't manipulate the end product of your shot. Where as now its very different. Painting gave me more control and I could edit what I saw and how I wanted to see it. Flash forward 10 years, once I got the hang of photoshop, I became infatuated with layering photography and mixing that with endless possibilities. Now I toggle between mixed media paintings and graphic design.
As a creative person what struggles have you encountered and what did
you do to overcome them?
My struggles have been based on being financially able to provide myself with the proper materials and space to produce work. You need money to make money. There's not a lot of ways around it, for me having the ability to create digital work when I can't afford supplies or surfaces has been a temporary cure. Another struggle is the balance between family and creativity. Sometimes they can be one in the same but not always. I always acknowledge the learning process behind networking, selling work and producing shows.
How do you sell your work?
Recently, I've sold most of my work through social media. I do my best to stay present and share my latest work online. I also participate in group galleries and as well as solo exhibitions.
What could you say to someone who wants to become a better painter or illustrator?
Any tips, advice, resources you could share?
The most obvious advice is the best, follow your heart, stay true to who you are as an artist. Don't just follow fads or trends. Paint or illustrate or create whatever makes you happy.