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Check out Colin Sims’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colin Sims.

Colin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, the only child of a single mother. My mom taught me how to draw people realistically at a young age. But she told me that sort of art wasn’t taken seriously in the art world, which was probably true when she was growing up. So, when I was a teenager I focused more on abstract stuff. during my twenties, I started seeing artists pop up (like Ray Caesar and Audrey Kawasaki) that were doing portraits in really new and interesting ways. I kind of said, “I can do that sort of thing. I just haven’t been because I was listening to what other people were saying.” That realization led me to my current project. That is to paint in a style that is whimsical and lifelike.

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?
Well, I make surreal portraits mostly in oils. Sometimes I do mixed media work on paper too. People often ask if I use a reference photo. I almost always do. I use a good bit of creative license though, distorting features in a stylized way. To provoke an emotional response in the viewer, I try to land somewhere between adorable and melancholy. The melancholy part is really important. If a work of art, a song, or a movie is just cute, it strikes me as superficial. So, a bit of a tragic element is essential. I mean, imagine a story without any sort of conflict. It wouldn’t really be a story at all!

There are some symbols floating around in there too, but they aren’t planned out at all. It’s just like the strange symbols you remember from a dream. You might figure out what they mean, but it’s not like you planned it out before you went to sleep. I don’t talk much about what the symbols in my paintings signify though. I feel like people should have the chance to find their own individual meaning in them.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Wow! That’s a good question. I guess when you mention the role of the artist, I think of a lot of other types of social roles that are coming into question right now. Why would the role of the artist be any different? I don’t want to pin down the artist’s role in terms of my own agenda. I think it’s more important to point out that when defining social roles, we fall into error when we think in binary terms. I guess what I mean is people aren’t just one thing or another. We might think of people as either artist or not artist, but anyone can get inspired by the culture around them and use that inspiration to live a more artful life.

As far as national and international events go, they make me a little nervous. I guess my art is a convenient escape from that sort of thing. I’m more optimistic at the local level. I’m so happy to live among so many people who are eager to come together as a community and create culture.

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?
Actually, I have an exhibition coming up at Facet Gallery on June 30th. It’s a group show called ‘Posed’ and features some really amazing figurative artist in the Atlanta area. I also regularly participate in ABV Gallery’s monthly Drink and Doodle event. You can come and watch twelve artists sit down and create an original work of art that goes up for a silent auction throughout the night. It’s an innovative format that allows artists and art lovers to engage at a deep level.

You could check out my website, for frequently updated galleries, and a shop with affordable prints on wood that come ready to hang. However, I would say the best way to show your support is just to include me in your daily Instagram feed. people roll their eyes at social media, but I think it’s all about how you use it.

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Image Credit:
Colin Sims

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