Air Look: Airbrush artist Malcolm Stuart designed for artists Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, and collaborated with Ikea and Gerlan Jeans | East Bay Express

Happy Wednesday my lovelies! How was the week? Perfect cuts, beautiful art, good company? Crossed fingers.

I have all of the above to share, in the form of Oakland-based airbrush artist Malcolm Stuart.

Malcolm’s airbrush art can be found on pillows, in prints and, my favorite, in wearable form. He adorns shirts, hoodies and Dr. Martens with his specific brand of swirling airbrush art and sinister colors.

I asked Stuart to share with us his genesis story and his creative process. Here is what he said: “I started airbrushing in 2003, in New York, when I was attracted to an airbrusher who was looking for an apprentice. If it wasn’t for this opportunity to learn from a master, I don’t think I would ever have taken it. It’s really difficult. It took about 8 months of rigorous training before I barely had enough skill to start airbrushing fast, sloppy shirts. Eventually, I was doing more refined work and applying my exciting new skills to my own work.

“I draw a large part of my inspiration from the direct observation of the world in its raw states, such as animal and plant bodies, natural forms, everyday objects. My inner world of dreams, day and night, also feeds my work. I also look at art and fashion, of course, but I rarely find unique sources that I can call inspiration. When I’m inspired by the work of other artists, it usually doesn’t translate to mine in a clear way. Sometimes it’s their methods, their way of thinking about their practice that inspires me, and not the work itself.

He continued, “Lately, I have looked at Yoshitaka Amano’s print work for his ability to create intricate, detailed worlds with energetic, seemingly unconscious gesture marks. I get excited when I do something that cannot be placed in “reality”.

“For me, fashion is to clothes what dance is to walking. It is the decision to uplift and play with what is otherwise a practical and mundane necessity. Fashion brings society into dialogue on an intimate level, on a social level. Clothing is a non-verbal conversation. Not committing to it, not finding your own fashion sense, is like carrying small talk. For me, it’s a missed opportunity to connect and play with each other. George Clinton says it best in the lyrics of this Funkadelic song: “Lend me your funky spirit, and I’ll play with it, ’cause nothing’s good unless you play with it…”

Check out Stuart’s work at malcolmstuart.com or @malcolmstuart.

Look as good as ever, everyone!

Love,

Joan

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