Dylan Barnard finds expression through computer art

January 10, 2019

As an artist with a vision, 21-year-old Dylan Barnard sketches thumbnails and transfers his ideas into the digital realm, giving his artwork an eerie sort of realism.

When he isn’t creating art, he loves to play guitar and stay fit by climbing rock walls. He even works for the local rock climbing gym.

Barnard is currently studying graphic design at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

You can see his work on his Instagram page @hipster.remedies.

Weekender: When and how did you get into creating art?

Barnard: “It started in middle school. I was actually in TAG Art; that’s where I really started to get into it. I had some downtime, especially when I got into the Navy. I’d sit and sketch; that’s where I got back into it. I then got into digital art, and that’s where I sort of took off.”

Weekender: Who and what inspires you to create art?

Barnard: “I wouldn’t say it is a ‘who,’ I don’t think anybody inspires me. Emotions inspire me more than anything else. Emotions determine how good my art is going to be. For a while I was pretty depressed, and that is where my art took off.”

Weekender: What are some of your go-to mediums?

Barnard: “I can’t get rid of the sketchbook ever. The sketchbook is always with me. Even if I do my digital drawings, everything starts out as a thumbnail sketch. I’m always doing digital paintings. I also dabble in watercolors.”

Weekender: What are some of your favorite subjects?

Barnard: “Anything that makes people stop and look. When you draw nude women, it will make people stop and look at the picture. I think it was more of an attention thing first; just getting myself out there. I then started going into the dark side; drawing people who had been shot in the head. It is all about the ‘awe factor,’ I guess. I’m not a morbid person at all; it’s just what comes out.”

Weekender: What kind of head space do you have to be in to create?

Barnard: “It’s really specific. I wish I could be in that head space so I could draw all the time. I have to be relaxed, yet have energy. I also have to have an emotion going on, whether it’s happy, sad, tired or whatever. I need to be in my own environment; anything that’s lively.”

Weekender: What is your creative process?

Barnard: “It starts off with an image in my head; it’s like the finished product. I then sketch the image in a two-inch thumbnail. I use a Wacom tablet…you use a pen on it and the drawings come up on the computer screen. It’s pretty much like drawing, but you have unlimited canvases and paint. I just draw in Photoshop. I clean up the sketch, and then throw color on it.”

Weekender: Do you ever have gallery shows or sell your art?

Barnard: “I’ve never had a gallery show. I just did a commission work for the first time recently. It was interesting. I enjoyed it because I got to draw and make money, but it wasn’t something I initially wanted to create, I guess.”

Weekender: Was it hard to let go of that commission piece, given it was an original piece of your art?

Barnard: “Not at all. Usually I grow pretty attached to my work. This time I just wanted to get paid. I definitely wasn’t attached to it. Anything I create in my own head tends to stick with me.”

Weekender: What is your ultimate goal as an artist?

Barnard: “It just comes back to ‘wowing’ people. I want to wow whatever audience I have, whether it’s in a gallery or online.”

Weekender: Why do you create art? What does it do for you?

Barnard: “A lot of people have ways of expressing themselves, and I think this is my way. It just comes back to the emotion thing.”

Weekender: How do emotions affect your creativity? What do each of the emotions do for you?

Barnard: “I’ve only ‘angry-drawn’ once, and it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. It was very passive-aggressive, and I didn’t like it that much. I knew what was behind the art. I’ve never drawn frustrated. You can tell the stuff I make when I’m happy; lots of vibrant colors. I can’t tell until I’m looking at the art afterward; I can see which pieces I was depressed while creating.

“I’d like to see people find their outlet. That is what brought me back in many ways. The Navy affected me a lot. It kind of saved me in a way. Find an outlet, whether it is creating art or picking up a guitar. Expressing yourself is really important, and this is how I do it.”

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