NEW YORK, United States - Recently I received a healthy batch of inspiring images via snap chat from Austin Coats, a talented artist based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. When he isn't answering the call to create these tantalizing illustrations, the 20 year old spend his days pursuing the art of dance. With the demand for racial equality on the rise in America, surely I couldn't turn a blind eye to Coats' particular vision to portray African American art in it's modern form.
How long have you been making fashion illustrations?
Ever since my freshman year of high school. They weren't that great then, but it was a start.
If they weren't that great", what was it that pushed you to continue?
I just love growth and perseverance. Plus it was just so easy to pick up a pencil or something and draw since I loved doing it.
Are there any artists that you're most inspired by?
I don't really have any specific artists that inspire me but more of a genre or period of art that moves me. I really love impressionistic and expressionistic art. Anything that came from the Harlem Renaissance: can be poetry, dance, visual art, etc. Those three periods, I really love.
"I just want others to see that there are other kinds of beauty than what's presented to them on a regular basis."
What's your favorite image to portray through your art?
Movement. I like when it looks like the body or subject is dancing across the page and makes the viewers eye travel along each line or nuance. I not only illustrate fashion but I do enjoy illustrating dancers. As a dancer myself, movement is something I'm always working to capture and is close to my heart.
Favorite part of the day?
When the day is dwindling down, and the sun is starting to leave to turn the sky into the different hues of pinks and purples. This is when it's not the hottest part of the day but just warm. This is the part of the day where my shadow is at its longest and I can go play around with the different silhouettes I can make.
I remember you mentioning that you didn't want to pursue illustration. Why?
I don't want my little hobby to feel like work, you know? I'd be happy to just do it sparingly or when I can. I want to do so much! I love everything about the arts. Especially my three favorites dance, fashion, and fine art. Now, if there were a way to combine them all into one, that would be awesome. I've actually been wanting to do things like Beyonce's "Lemonade" visual album. The whole thing: from the music, to the choreography, to the costumes, to staging, to the lighting and imagery, to directing. It even gets me excited thinking about it.
What do you want people to take away from your art?
I just want others to see that there are other kinds of beauty than what's presented to them on a regular basis. I also try to welcome them into my mind of wonder and question why I choose to send certain messages through art.
Quick fun fact:What app are you addicted to?
Oh my gosh! I'm addicted to Snapchat. It's just so easy to snap. Also, I just find my friends and other people's lives so much more interesting than mine (plus I'm low-key nosy).
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