Imitating Life



“One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater,


Byron Rhodes

Yet another talented artist I discovered by flipping through images on Instagram is Byron Rhodes, a 34-year-old originally from Bakersfield. He now lives in Pasadena with his wife, Jill.
Rhodes has a bachelor’s of art from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Although he currently works as a “pest-control technician,” he’s pursuing his dream of being a full-time artist.

How would you describe the subject matter of your work?
All of the subject matter of my art comes from my mind or imagination. That is not to say that all the artwork I create doesn’t require images to reference while drawing, but that the characters and the scenes I create are imagined, then realized. I don’t often draw from observation for the sake of drawing from observation. When I do draw from observation, it is usually to add a touch of realism or naturalism to my work, or with enough practice it adds to my visual vocabulary so that realism can be achieved without reference to images. I do, to an extent, enjoy incorporating the look of the natural world— and by this I do not mean things in nature, i.e. animals, plants, mountains, but things perceived in reality— into my work, and often I interpret it with either a hint of exaggeration or a whole load of it. Often one will observe an amalgamation of robot, animal and human characteristics in my art; doing this has always been a fun approach for me. I try not to focus too much on one type of subject matter; I feel like the subject matter of my art is often secondary to the larger story that it conveys.


“Robot Head Man,

Describe what the scene is like while you are working on your art.
Most of my work is done in the spare room of my apartment at my drawing table with my computer nearby for reference images and music; Google images is my friend. Currently, I work mostly in colored pencil, so my drawing table is often scattered with the colors that were used in my latest artwork. Usually I work with a mirror nearby to use myself as a pseudo model, and I also have my original concept sketch nearby. I am often distracted by the squirrel that runs back and forth from a tree that is nearby to our roof.

What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I would love to make enough from my art sales to quit my day job and work on my art full time. Through some recent research, this seems more and more like a possibility. Other than that, I would really like to see some artworks that I have been dreaming about for sometime become realized.


“Bird Man on a Stick,

Do you expect to implement any changes in subject matter, style or technique with the new year?
Currently, I am working on several different series of works at the same time which have been on hold for a while. I would like to get back to working on these again. One of these series is of my dreams; I often have very cinematic and vivid dreams, and when I wake up I immediately write down every detail I can remember and sketch out images from my dreams. These dream artworks will be almost completely accurate and true to the events of my dreams; very little if anything at all will be changed from the dream. This series, along with another series which combines the human face and form with odd landscapes, will be the next direction I take in my work. I am also currently working mostly in colored pencil because of the vibrant colors that are easily achieved with them but would like to work again in acrylic if I can achieve the same results.

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