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Atlanta Gets Lost in Corey Barksdale

It’s time for another guest blogger! This week we’ve got Chelsea Gattung on board. Chelsea is one of our rockstar E-Marketing interns based in Atlanta, currently attending University of Georgia. Keep an eye out for this little lady; I see big things to come in her future. Follow Chelsea on Twitter @cgatt777.

*Chelsea Fun Fact: She can’t resist a good rap song found on YouTube, particularly ones that mention Sharpie.

Lost in Creation: Sharpie Artist, Corey Barksdale
The Atlanta artist, Corey Barksdale, pours his emotions into every stroke–taking his audience with him on a powerfully, passionate story on canvas.

Barksdale’s artistic passion derives from a family of artists. His mother and grandmother both exposed him to color and form at an early age and it was destined he, too, would join the family ranks.

The Nashville-bred, Atlanta-native graduated from the Atlanta College of Art in 2004 where abstract expressionists and mainstream artists like Jasper Johns, Clifford Still, and William deKooning influenced his creations. Barksdale also developed an admiration for the African American heritage and this theme can be seen throughout much of his work, depicting the love and strength within the community.

This experimental artist started using Sharpie markers in an efficient attempt to speed up the beginning stages of his pieces, but he quickly “uncapped” the unlimited possibilities of Sharpie markers as they effortlessly added definition to his acrylic paintings. His bold pieces have been showcased all over Georgia and he’s even done live performance art at Park Tavern and Atlanta’s Dogwood Festival (just to name a few). Imagine having art being created before you at your next event—he’ll do it!

After coming across his YouTube videos and colorful artwork, I jumped at the chance to interview Barksdale about using Sharpie Permanent Markers as an art medium and the passion behind his creations! Read on for the complete interview with an imaginative, southern artist and his felt tip friend!

How did you get started as an artist?
As a child I drew non-stop. My mother would bring home hundreds of sheets of paper from her job and she use to ask my sister and I to fill up the pages with drawings and stories. So at a young age I developed a determination and passion for the creative process and artistic expression. I use to draw countless drawings, especially when school was out for the summer.

Tell us a little about your genre. How would you describe your style? What makes your work stand out from the rest?
I incorporate a collage or assemblage effect in many of my art creations. Utilizing pasted images of city buildings, and abstract shapes are important elements in my art. The majority of my paintings have an apparent medium of acrylic paint and Sharpie markers, which are usually applied in bold colorful painterly strokes onto the canvas. Many people are attracted to the texture created by these mediums.

Sharpie does not enocurage the use of Sharpie marker on skin.

What is one of your favorite exhibitions or events you have been involved in? What made this particular one stand out to you? Was it the specific pieces you showcased, the reactions received from attendees, or something else?

The Art Papers Art Auction is one of Atlanta’s signature visual art events that I have been fortunate to participate in. The event features many of the southeastern United States’ cutting-edge, established and emerging, fine artists.

What goes through your mind when you see people looking at your art? Is there a certain reaction you want to elicit?

I would like viewers of my artwork to experience what ever emotion or feeling I had at the time of producing the work of art. The facial expressions and gestures of characters in my paintings usually tell a story and let the viewer understand my emotion during the creative process. Usually I want to elicit a feeling of powerfulness positivity and endless possibilities

How did you come to use Sharpie markers in your work? Do you prefer using a certain type of Sharpie marker?

Approximately ten years ago I was trying to think of a way to speed up my art process. That’s where Sharpie markers came in. In stead of developing my sketch and first layer with paint I used Sharpie markers to create the basic outline and general form of whatever piece I created. As I continued to use Sharpie over a period of years I found out that the possibilities of the markers are limitless. Besides using the markers for the general form I also discovered that they could be used to define and refine my painting in the final stages of the process. I was able to incorporate the markers with acrylic paint effortlessly.

What about Sharpie markers made you incorporate them as a medium in your art process? Is it the variety of tip sizes, colors, other? Please describe how you use Sharpie as an art tool.

I enjoy the ease of using the markers. They go onto the canvas or wood surface with no problem. Once applied to the surface the markers give an opaque mark that is solid and bold, not watered-down or weak. The medium also resists fading over a period of time.

What other mediums, if any, do you wish to create with in the future? Do you have any comical experiences while trying a new medium?

Other mediums that I create with are acrylic paint, charcoal, and encaustic paint. Various forms of art and various mediums suit my style of art considering I like the challenge of mastering new mediums annually.

Tell us, what excites you about creating art?

Creating art is the ultimate form of expression available. Having the ability to create a picture of beauty where there was previously nothing at all gives me the ultimate satisfaction. When creating art all of my worries and anxieties are nonexistent. The hustle, bustle, and drama of city life become a distant thought. Creating can take you to a place that you previously thought impossible.

Take a look at all the ways Corey Barksdale Uncaps What’s Inside:

  • Corey Barksdale

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