Artist & Designer Jeremy Hernandez discusses his influences Roumen Kirinkov, Jerry Rugg and Shalak Attack & Brunosmoky
Growing up in the Toronto’s electronic music & rave scene, Jeremy Hernandez allowed this prominent subculture to influence his work. Having been involved in the community since mid-2001 Jeremy enjoys collecting rare rave, club and party flyers.
“I find these types of flyers have an amazing graphic and digital art quality to them, unlike commercial magazines and prints, which I find the graphic art in those mediums are way too conservative. However, in rave flyers I find that to sell you the party, they have to have eye catching flyers to do so.”
Jeremy’s inspiration stemmed from the old-school Frutopia adverts with the kaleidoscopes in the commercials. He remembers generating a fascination with them as a little kid and hearing the drum and bass in the background. This lead to Jeremy attending numerous psytrance festivals like Eclipse in Montreal, and studying the psychedelic art of Alex Grey, which plays a huge influence on his work.
Here are Jeremy’s three artists that he takes inspiration from.
- Roumen Kirinkov – Toronto based Illustrator/ Tattoo Artist
I feel like tattoo, digital, and graffiti artists are completely over looked when it comes to top favourite lists. Everyone goes for the more mainstream and commercial names like Dhali, Van Gogh, Group of Seven. Which are fantastic choices as well, those people were movers and shakers of their time. However, I would say that my picks are probably more “urban” and “street” and are definitely are Canadian. I’m a huge fan of supporting local artists and talent.
This guy is amazing! I discovered him after doing extensive research on where to get cool ink in the city. What really surprises me about him is the fact that he’s not on anyone’s radar. BlogTO I hope you’re taking note! How I judge a tattoo artist is on how they draw the human face and how their composition of their piece tells a story about their creativity. It takes a lot of skill to draw human faces, especially when tattoo artists are doing portraits. They have to be bang on or the smallest off detail can ruin the whole piece and make the face look funny. Roumen’s pieces are brilliant! As far as I’ve seen the majority of his works are in black and white. I remember after seeing hundreds of portfolios of tattoo artists in Toronto, I realized a lot of people are generic and have copy and pasted their styles from somewhere else or haven’t really developed a style and are just doing what they’ve seen in main stream tattoo culture. After a few seconds of being exposed to Roumen’s portfolio, I remember saying out loud “This is it!”. He had that “wow” factor I was looking for! Just the detail that goes into his work and his style makes it pop out. What I love about black and white is that the composition has to be amazing if it’s in black and white. I feel like colour masks any technical imperfections and draws your attention else where and gives the audience the illusion that it’s an amazing piece.
- birdO (aka Jerry Rugg) – Toronto & World Wide Graffiti Artist
Okay, I’ll admit I’m kinda, sorta cyber/street stalking two artists right now and birdO is definitely one of them! I follow his work religiously on instagram and on the streets of Toronto! His amazing pieces are definitely hidden gems! I love running into his murals and posting them on instagram. I get really good feedback from my followers. I love love LOVE his work! This one time I was having a bad day and was walking in the back streets near Bathurst & Bloor, I remember I was turning a corner and discovering one of his murals and allowed it to lift my spirits. As an artist, I think their job has succeeded if they can invoke that kind of emotion from their audience. I feel like he’s definitely breaking the mould and redefining street art in the city! His work makes you rethink structures and colours. The way we see things and break them down into parts are different in birdO’s interpretation. I’ve honestly never seen a style like his in the graffiti world. So simple, yet very well thought out. He uses a lot of colourful abstract and organic shapes, and draws a lot of his inspiration from animals and things found in nature. When we look at the sky and grass we think blue and green – yet, in birdO’s world anything goes!
- Shalak Attack & Brunosmoky – Toronto & World Wide Graffiti Artist
The second graffiti artists I’m following religiously are Shalak Attack & Brunosmoky. An amazing couple, just like birdO, they also travel around the world decorating one wall at a time! What draws me to Shalak Attack and Brunosmoky is the realism that they bring into their pieces. When you find one of their hidden gems around the city, they’re usually massive and filled with a lot of colour. It usually takes me a minute or so to take in their work. So much detail and vibrancy to absorb that sometimes I find myself revisiting their pieces to discover something new. What I like about their graffiti is that it usually tells a story. They come up with these amazing characters and avatars that aren’t bounded and restricted by traditional colour concepts. In addition, I like that sometimes you can see the whole colour spectrum in their work. Their work was recently featured in the Toronto Star and Metro newspaper. Shalak Attack & Brunosmoky are gaining in popularity and are definitely pioneers in their scene!