Dyron got into art when he made the simple choice to pick up a pencil and persist. In 2013 he started drawing without guidance or classes and by the end of the year was regularly cranking out characters, cartoons and comics with a consistent style and theme. When Dyron started out, he didn’t think he was very good but instead of moving onto another hobby he “just kept doing it anyway.”
Without close friends or family who are artists, Dyron worked to create what is completely his own personal vision of art. So far, he’s received nothing but appreciation for what he does from his proud friends and family. Shortly after he started out with drawing he was referred to the Artists First Studio. Aside from drawing, he enjoys his part time job at a hotel and free time filled with TV shows and video games, where he finds the inspiration for many of his characters.
To understand what Dyron is all about, you have to understand the significance of the game console. The console is not just an object, but representative of an entity and personality in of itself. He enjoys learning new information about a world he never had the opportunity to experience himself. Each console has its own meaning partially connected to the historical research on the first video games
line drawings of different video game console, “Gameboy” , “Sega Genesis” , and “ Atari 2600 (1977)"
The comic strips Dyron creates are a combination of gaming components and the characters he creates. Sometimes the characters are shown in a traditional role with the game console, but often times they are interacting or representing the game console in unusual ways. The console is used as anything from a piece of furniture to a brand of clothing Dyron calls, “ Hero costumes.”
Originally Dyron used characters from movies and games to create his cartoons, but now that his drawing has evolved, he tends to create most of them himself. Over the years he’s created over 30 characters which re-appear in multiple character books and series. Sometimes the characters talk to each other or interact by playing games.
Most of Dyron’s characters are shown with what’s similar to an imaginary version of a game console encyclopedia entry. The books contain a synthesized background history about each character and its role with gaming. Aside from drawing, he uses these same ideas to create sculptures and 3D gaming parts.
He’s currently working on his biggest project yet, “Super Gaming Heroes” with the goal of completing it by his next birthday, in April. He wishes to continue to make characters and to someday have his work published as a series of comics.
Dyron plans to, “Keep his art forever, until the next future.” He loves that his finished ideas are forever stored in his imagination cloud. He described this helpful daydreaming process where “the paper takes me up to the art cloud and there are sunflowers and wildflowers in the clouds, and then it will show me what I’ve made.”
His plans to practice drawing are simple but effective, “ I do art when it's time, when it's time, I will feel like it and then I will do it.” Dyron draws both at home and an Artist First. Aside from inspiration through gaming and TV shows he’s also interested in creating what he calls a “futuristic nature” with things like “mechanical trees growing antennas”. And perhaps the most important motivation we discussed here is Dyron’s search for the perfect art date who will be
taken aback and inspired by his creations as much as he is. We can all agree a personal drawing is absolutely the perfect gift for someone you’re trying to impress.
Origin of Art
Steven McGee is a long time artist at Artist First studio. He’s dedicated to his practice of art and the community of friends he’s made there. He spends most weekdays in the studio. Steven’s art is a combination of drawing and painting characters, often inspired by cartoons and video games.
he deeper side to these characters are represented by details in their clothing, accessories, and facial expression ( or lack thereof). Steven doesn’t just create an image he creates a story. Each character has its own personality, hopes, dreams, fears, and outlook on life.
Steven’s been drawing characters for as long as he can remember. He doesn’t know when he became interested in art because it’s just always been so much a part of his life. Aside from a cousin who paints realism, Steven didn’t grow up with anyone else close to him interested in the arts. As a child he constantly drew stick figures, which developed into more human like images as he became interested in cartoons and video games. Prior to joining Artist First studio, Steven had been focused on creating images of masks which he now incorporates into the drawings he makes today.
The ProcessSteven gets inspired for a character while he’s playing video games or watching a movie . When he’s settled on an idea, he takes a mental note of it and saves it until he gets to the studio. He never writes anything down to remember, but is certain about his process and doesn’t have any concern that he could change his mind or forget before arriving at Artists First.
Steven focuses on both drawing and painting. All of work ends up with vibrant colors and thin deliberate lines or strokes of coverage. His style contains a unique, repetitive but yet evolutionary style of mark making.
When Steven is drawing, he’s focused on ways to represent the style and mannerisms of the character in his head. He thinks about the type of clothes the character will wear, the positions of their body as well as tattoos, accessories and of course various forms of masks!
Steven likes sharing his art and would love for it to go up in Coffee shops and restaurants. So far, he’s sold several of his drawings and enjoys being involved with art shows through Artist First.
Favorite color combination: blue, red & orange Favorite things to draw: people, colorful shapes and design Inspiration: cartoons and video games, especially Dragon Ball Z
Exciting Fun Fact: “I’m a nice person and I like to have friends”, Steven has many friends that he draws and collaborates with at Artist First
Melelani Perry is an artist ready to create anywhere, out of anything, at any time. She’s been an artist forever, and doesn’t remember a single time in life where she stopped creating. I met Melelani at Artists First STL Studio where she works as a visual artist, however she’s also a fashion designer, dancer, and seamstress. Melelani’s been in more art shows and sold more pieces of work than she can count.
While it’s pretty common for creatives to walk around with a drawing pad, Melelani’s taken this concept to a whole new level. Her weekday backpack is filled with not only markers and paper, but dozens of roles of tape, half-finished projects, sparkly foam board, pipe cleaners, and cut-outs she’s saving for future projects.
Workflow & Inspiration
Melelani’s inspiration is found in the entirety of the world around her. She finds beauty in everything. Her art speaks purity about our everyday surroundings. She skips much of the ambiguity and confusion and gets straight to point by adding titles directly onto the art itself.
Melelani’s unique use of a tape border gives them an added color pop. These bold colors leave me feeling a jolt of energy and excitement.
Sometimes Melelani is specifically inspired by an image or point of fantasy like the Eiffel Tower. There’s an interesting story about this image as it turns out to be an actual napkin recovered from Melelani’s 40th birthday celebration. She even has more napkins stowed away for future of creations.
Melelani’s art dream is to have a studio space of her own where she can exhibit her art, dance, and work on projects all in one place. In her studio she would like drawers for collage material, sewing supplies, and a mannequin. The main thing this artist is looking for is a big enough space to dance in and show art on the wall. Melelani is especially excited about the idea of people stopping by to say hello and see what she’s up to in the studio.
Favorite Color: Purple
Inspiration: Wonder Women
Studio Space: Artists First STL Studio (7190 Manchester Road Maplewood, MO)
Purchasing Info: Absolutely everything Melelani creates is available for sale. You can
find Melelani’s work at Artists First Studio or online at www.artistsfirststl.org