Tag Archives: Design

Making His Mark, In Marker

His hashtag is searchable, with almost 5,000 hits on Google in half a second. His art covers his walls and crosses timelines across the country. Celebs and artists alike have been eyeing the handiwork of 22 year old, Travon Greer a talented Chicago artist with a passion for sharp shapes and Sharpies. His work features Egyptian, Oriental and pop culture icons and themes, bright and glow-in-the-dark colors, and mesmerizing hand drawn patterns. Greer features the greats from Kanye to the ancient goddess Isis and back to Kid Cudi. His work is hard to miss, and if you’re sleep now, you won’t be for long.

(Shmay) Q: When did you start drawing and why?

(Travon) A: I would say I started drawing my freshman year in high school. I took an architecture class in which we had to draw out floor plans and random other stuff, but that wasn’t really drawing to me. I started my style of drawing in 2013 when I was at Kansas State. I started drawing to help relieve me of stress, it was just something that eased my mind when my thoughts were clouded.

One of the most admirable things you can notice about Greer as an artist, just by scrolling through his Media tab on his twitter (@xTRVONx), is that he is consistently producing work. As simple as it sounds, consistency is what separates talent from success and progress.

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Q: What motivates you and keeps you focused?

A: The thing that motivates is the satisfaction of finishing a drawing. The process of putting my thoughts and feelings on paper soothes my soul for some reason. Its a great feeling to be able to show people the type of imagines and ideas I have in my head.

Q: Who is your favorite artist and what does it mean for you to be one?

A: My favorite artist in any field is Kid Cudi. I have a bunch of favorite visual artists like Basquiat but its too many to narrow down. At first, I never thought of myself as an artist, I just wanted to be able to represent my thoughts on paper because its easier to me than talking. It means a lot to be an artist because you can just be expressing yourself and without knowing, you can be inspiring people to be creative as well.

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Usually the other way around, Jhene has heart eyes for these xTRVONx originals.

 

 

Some very important people are falling in love with what Greer is producing.

 

Q: Is there a reason marker is your go-to medium? Interested in any others?

A:  I use sharpie because it was the only thing I had to use to add color to my pictures, when I first started drawing. I know there are way better markers to use than sharpie but I’ve used sharpie for so long I just prefer them now. I do want to experiment with painting though, I feel like once I teach myself how to paint I can really create some crazy art pieces.

Q: Egyptian themes are heavily present in your work, what else inspires you?

A: Besides Egypt, I get a lot of inspiration from music. Artists like Kid Cudi, Kanye and Travis Scott inspire me to push my creative boundaries.

Q: Favorite musicians? Who’s currently on your playlist?

A: Kid Cudi, Travis, The Underachievers, Chance The Rapper etc. And I’m listening to Thouxanbandfauni right now.

Q: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to take their art seriously or follow in your footsteps?

A: The advice I would give other artists is keep creating and never stop. The more you draw/paint the better you get. Once people start to see your progress, more opportunities will open up.

Q: Do you have a goal for your work/art/brand for this summer or this year?

A: One of the main goals I have this year, is to get involved in more art shows. I’ve only been in 4 art shows and that’s not a lot at all but I’ve set myself up in some up coming events so I’m already off to a good start.

Speaking of  events, for any Chicago readers or those who can make the trip, you can catch more of Travon at the Art, Mimosas, and Pancakes Exhibition on July 8th, at Mad Art Gallery in Chicago.

Art is an individual’s documented reaction to existence
– Chance the Rapper

Check out more of Travon’s work by stopping by his website or following him on twitter and peeping his hashtag (@xTRVONx and #xTRVONx, respectively). His work has been distributed on shirts, rugs, prints and he’s been commissioned for album art featured on Apple Music. Hit him up for commissions and orders, RT, and support if you can. On top of dope music opinions, event updates and more of his work, Travon has even in the past had a couple giveaways of his most popular prints.

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Trina Rager.. Hi-C, Highlighting Creatives

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You couldn’t tell just by looking at her, standing a sweet petite 4’10 and sporting a smile that is equal parts sunshine and quirky familiarity, but this chick packs a punch. When I met Trina, I reached out after seeing her sleek powerful pictures on my instagram timeline and we quickly made plans to shoot downtown within the week. I am a total rookie, I was nervous even just to DM her. Professional and polite and relatable are words I would use to describe my first impression of her from the internet to picking her up on the southside to us finding decent parking downtown; she made me comfortable. And just as quickly as she made me feel it, it wasn’t long until I realized I was working with a gifted individual. Any traces of hesitation and indecision were scooted off center stage to make way for a fiery passion and wicked eye for angles, architecture and color tones. She is powerful behind the camera, and made me feel like Tyra Banks’ pale niece. However, don’t be fooled, power and direction from behind the lens is not all there is to her.

 

I asked Trina what it means to her to be a “creative” and she explained how complex it really is and how it affects who she is. On a personal level, she attributes mental health and being misunderstood to drive her to reveal emotions through the camera and her models, that otherwise she couldn’t or, per usual, most people don’t take the time to listen and feel her. Her passion has spread out from herself, and by her definition being a creative is also a way to inspire others to take that leap. Trina also attributes personal growth to her journey as a creative, as her photography became a service she developed herself as a business woman and created a personal professionalism and standard of ethics which not everyone has.

 

Her advice she wishes she could tell the younger Trina or any new photographers-to-be is that “nothing is handed to you”. She has this concept down. Trina is a grab the opportunity out of the air kind of gal, but also someone willing to reach out and create networks for herself. Another thing she had to digest as a photographer is that people will always compare your work to others, and she’s learned to accept and absorb those things. A firm believer in collaborations, Trina hopes for all creatives, in St. Louis or otherwise, to start banding together instead of creating or feeding off of animosity.

 

 

On the topic of St. Louis, Trina is loud and proud and observant. 314’s time is coming, and she is going to be a part of it. Making moves, like the go-getter she is, while we talked Trina dropped the news that she’s going to New York soon. Traveling and investing in herself she has even bought a deadly cool film camera. Beyond photography, this girl is w o k e. Something super admirable about her is on her photography insta (@trinarager) is that her captions range from minimalist to full fledged, uncut rants as her fire comes out once again. She believes in fighting the wrongs of the world, learning about other cultures and snapping on those who deserve it. For all around updates, check out her website trinarager.com, you get a taste for her ability to connect with her models and her killer eye. Keep an eye out for her this summer STL and don’t sleep or hesitate to contact her for a collab. I’m so glad I met her, she’s one of a kind.

RY

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St. Louis graphic design artist Ryan Dickson aka RY. Brings his own style and creativity to his pieces of work. Earning a degree in graphic design RY has been taught by great artist and his work is very consistent.

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His artwork is reflective of his commitment and drive to perfect his craft. RY can produce stunning business cards and impressive logo designs. Also turning headshots and action photos into his own virtual reality.

Receiving appreciation posts and shout outs for the work he has done on famous artist such as Rae Sremmurd and St. Louis’s own Smino, RY can create art that is unique and special for each customer. He has displayed and sold art locally at First Friday and other artistic events. Recently invited to Chicago’s popular art show Pancakes & Booze, RY has begun filling customer’s homes, offices, and other art filled places with his customized pieces. Check out RY’s artwork here .