Q&A with kevin christy for print magazine

Kevin Christy poses next to his portrait of Flannery O’Connor for the Atlantic

I rang up my first celebrity a few weeks ago. I talked Print magazine into an interview with actor and artist Kevin Christy, best known lately for his role as Lester on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Kevin’s double life fascinates me: He’s a commercial illustrator and fine artist who pays the bills with minor parts for TV and movies. Most freelance creatives have bread-and-butter side gigs, but how many film for Dude, Where’s My Car? in the morning and paint a portrait for the Atlantic in the afternoon?

His dual gigs have more in common than I first realized. Rob Clayton, Kevin’s former teacher at Art Center College of Design, put it like this: “Being a character actor is really similar to being an illustrator. Because you get known for a particular thing, people hire you for that thing, and if you get big enough, you’re allowed to change and develop a new thing.”

Concert poster collaboration with Brett Kilroe and Tina Ibanez
Kevin uses familiar logos as clues and emotional triggers in his latest personal work
Kevin uses familiar logos as clues and emotional triggers in his latest personal work

I think our talk revealed a few valuable lessons for artists and designers, and it’s also lots of fun. Have a look on Print’s website and let me know what you think.

lustrons featured in fallout 4 game


I’m no gamer, yet this morning I found myself watching the trailers for Fallout 4 on a loop and snapping screen shots. Why the sudden interest in virtual combat, you ask? The latest creation by Bethesda Game Studios, launching Nov. 11, prominently features Lustrons and Lustron-inspired homes in its landscape. Since players’ mission is to shape the fate of a world destroyed by nuclear war, it snaps into place that the designers were inspired by the steel, prefabricated homes manufactured just after World War II.

fallout1fallout3The boxy homes and their midcentury advertisements ooze optimism, normalcy, and domestic peace. Lustrons make powerful symbols, therefore, in an animated wasteland. You can watch the Fallout 4 trailers here and catch up on posts about my own Lustron here.

creative women of atlanta poster

creative_classLocal illustrator Sarah Neuburger’s latest print, titled “Atlanta’s Creative Class,” pays tribute to 50 women who write, photograph, stamp, style, and otherwise boost the arts and crafts scene in our fair Southern city. Yours truly is portrayed in the bottom row, third from the left. I’m honored to share this 12×16-inch stage with some of my closest friends, like Shannon Mulkey from the Indie Craft Experience, as well as talented ladies I’ve been admiring from afar for years. Read more about the project below!

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meet the maker: artist leah giberson


Vinyl lawn chairs and turquoise trailers are her muses. Since 2008, Boston-based artist Leah Giberson has painted the tidy trappings of middle-class life with stunning realism.

Leah, 46, works from photos of midcentury homes and family campouts — scenes that some might call boring or kitschy. Her tendency to slice up and collage the photo onto a panel disturbs the subject and cuts the sweetness. She overpaints everything with saturated acrylics, removing cars, utility poles, and anything else cluttering the vignette. Stylized and isolated by her brush, even propane tanks look iconic.

"As Good As It Gets" home in Calumet Heights, Illinois

Westlake Green home in Daly City, California
Leah is fascinated by middle-class dwellings such as these tract homes in the suburbs of Chicago and San Francisco, respectively.
“Canned Ham” is one of Leah’s only paintings revealing people, who are reflected in the Airstream.

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charlotte smith’s modern cup collaboration


Modern Atlanta is collaborating with three local artisans on limited-edition products as part of its annual Design Is Human celebration. One chosen maker, emerging ceramist Charlotte Smith, has married delicate porcelain and sturdy steel in a sculptural two-piece cup. After the jump, I’ll tell you about her step-by-step process and the DIY family tradition that fertilized her craft.

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