Chris Kemp is one of our favorite artists based in our backyard of Charleston, SC. His artwork can be seen all over town: in surf shops, newspapers, murals and the Revelry beer cans in your fridge. Now, he brought his raw and playful aesthetic to Free Fly. In our latest artist series, Chris shows us his unique take on what fall in the Lowcountry is about in the limited edition Lowcountry Tee.
Scroll on to see the collection and a little bit of Chris' process behind his products.
What was your path to becoming an artist?
I had always been somewhat creative, doodling on notebooks and in sketchpads, but never that serious. Not until after college and moving to the Outer Banks, did I started working with a local surfboard shaper customizing boards. Resin Tint glass jobs and custom illustrations were starting to show up all over the beach. I went on to do more art for that Surf Shop (murals, tees, etc.). This lead to working with the local paper drawing mostly slapstick comics and funny characters. Eventually, local businesses wanted that style tied in with their branding, and it kept growing.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration literally everywhere and anywhere. Something as simple as a door knob, can create a conversation or idea in my head. For reference materials, often I dig into my collection of old comics, illustrated books, and magazines. I really appreciate the art of the 60’s and 70’s illustrators. (For example. R. Crumb, Gilbert Sheldon, National Lampoon’s).
Advice for aspiring creatives?
Make things for your own pleasure before worrying about everyone else’s approval. Make what you want to be seen in the world.
What's on the horizon for you?
Growth as an individual and artist. Next year’s goal is to prepare a series of pieces for another show.
What is art?
The purpose of art in my opinion, is to give the viewer an interpretive ability to create their own conversation about the art. To invoke a personal feeling or mood for the observer.