Dave McClinton, Selected Artist for the Thirsty Planet EAST Artist Series 2020, has worked in the design industry for over 20 years. In addition to continually serving logo and branding clients, he is also an emerging artist who has exhibited highly personal work for the last few years.
About his culturally-based imagery, “In the African American community, we are slowly rediscovering our history that has not been fully illustrated. It’s my job as a visual communicator to review historical information and inform the community by bringing these concepts to life and help visually define our identity. And to distribute these stories about the strengths and trials of the African American community...Currently, there is a newly intensified wave of empathetic consciousness in all forms of artistic output. I want the community to seize this moment in history to create work that tells a story and compels them to seek out empathy and activism for the sake of others. My hope is the work I’m creating can help do that. I want to spark conversations that have, historically, been hard to start."
Dave McClinton has worked in the design industry for 25+ years, gaining experience in print, digital and brand design. As an accomplished senior designer, he is passionate about advancing the strategic value of smart design. That knowledge and drive has been earned within the publishing world, tech startups, and design studios.__
Dave began creating art in 2010 and first publicly exhibited his art in 2015, during the East Austin Studio Tour.__ From this point a reason for creating the work was quickly established.
He creates work to illustrate the life-cycle of the inner life of a black person. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you.
THEMES: Within the African American culture, we are rediscovering our history that has not been fully illustrated. My role as a visual communicator is to review historical information and inform the community by bringing these concepts to life. Helping to visually define our identity. Distributing these stories about the strengths and trials of the African-American community is a big part of my motivation.
I want to illustrate the life-cycle of a black person's inner life. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you. And, how either result has to be hidden from view just to get through the day.
PROCESS: I combine my love of photography, art and graphic design to create works that speak to the viewer by communicating something specific and obvious but also harboring subtexts that require repeated viewing or discussion. My work as a graphic designer has been to communicate quickly and efficiently through logo and branding work. I believe that economy of message can be applied to art. I use textures, archival images, family photos, found imagery and self portraiture to create unique faces that tell the story of the Black American experience.
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