Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan Spear.
Bryan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up 20 minutes outside of New Orleans, as a son of an English teacher and computer analyst. My parents loved to go antique shopping all across the South on our road trips during the summer to see my grandparents in Georgia. As a kid I couldn’t think of anything more boring than delaying our trip and stopping to look at old stuff. As it became more and more clear that they had no intentions of listening to the travel complaints of a ten-year-old, I decided to try to find something that interested me in these shops since we were going to stop anyway. Allured by the bold, bright colors, I gravitated towards the dusty old toys, comic books, and advertising signs in these antique shops. These were far more interesting to me than the ancient wooden furniture my parents loved so much. When I became a teenager and started to daydream and draw more, I practiced drawing from these same comic books as well as skateboard graphics, album covers, MAD magazine, and Looney Tunes cartoons. All of these influences helped build a visual vocabulary that shapes my artwork today.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I primarily create digital illustrations featuring fun typography combined with cartoon-like images. My goal is to make things that connect people with the emotion that I’m feeling while I’m creating. In 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage three colon cancer and my artwork took a bit of a turn. When I got to the point health-wise that I had the energy to create again I started searching for answers and exploring the themes of hope, happiness, and optimism through my designs. Now, as I try to navigate my post-cancer life, I feel my work is more aligned with my emotions than ever before. When I’m feeling down, I create things that give me hope and when I’m feeling good it manifests itself in silly, playful images designed to put a smile on people’s faces.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Make mistakes. Try stuff. Do it yourself. Learn. If you’re passionate about any form of art then pursue it and work on your craft as much as you can. At some point the techniques and skills that you’ve developed will intersect with you finding your voice or point-of-view and the result will be something both personal and beautiful. If it seems like the decision makers of the world aren’t giving you the answers that you’re looking for then devise your own path. Do the work that you want to do, put it out there and make it personal. People crave authenticity. Everyone has a unique story to tell. Find your voice and tell yours.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can see my work in Austin at Parts & Labour, A-Town, and the new Central Library. If you find yourself up in Denton my work is also available at The Dime Store. I hope to expand my presence in Houston in early 2019.
- Website: bryanspearstudio.com
- Instagram: @bryan_spear
All images copyright 2018, Bryan Spear Studio, Inc.