It’s Friday once again, which means both Heirloom & Knot and I are very happy to share with you the latest instalment in our ongoing Art Fair Fridays series, where we bring you weekly design inspiration and exclusive interviews with the talented artists that inspire our creativity on a daily basis.
Today, we’re so excited to showcase the incredible work on Tyler Thrasher. Using the process of crystallization, this artist creates beautiful sculptures using insect specimens and animal skeletons. With an organic touch, Thrasher manages to make things that some might consider ugly, strikingly pretty. His pieces fee celestial and have an air of outer-worldliness…almost utopian in their idealism and beauty.
How long would you say you have been a professional artist and what has lead you to this point in your career?
I’ve only been out of college for since May 2015, so I’ve really only been a “professional” artist for about 6 or 7 months! I had a surge of an online following right before graduating that has allowed me to create full-time. That was the real push that brought me to this point in my career.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about your art ?
I’ve received a lot of really good advice while in college regarding my work, but some of the best advice I have ever received came to me while working at Petty’s Fine Foods in Tulsa, Oklahoma to put me through college. It was the end of the summer and I was working my last day before going back to college. My manager asked if I would like to return during winter for the holidays, and I said yes! After he left, one of the employees who works the meat department pulled me aside and said “Don’t come back. You leave for the summer and pursue your goal til the end. You leave this grocery store and don’t ever look back.” That was the last time I stepped foot into Petty’s, and the last time I dedicated my time to anything besides my work.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is absolutely chaotic. There’s always a handful of ideas flying around, and only a few of them are at minimal, legible. Every now and then, one of those ideas hits the right light, and BAM! I usually stand up, yell “Holy Hell” while holding my face in a fit of wonder and inspiration and begin pacing back and forth thinking on how to execute and bring that idea to life. Once that idea lands, it sort of plagues my mind until I make it happen.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
Right now my favorite medium(s) are oil paints and the art of crystallization. These are sort of my two latest obsessions.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
I’ve had a few big career highlights! I’ve been invited to a handful of shows and exhibitions, more in the last 4 months than I have my entire life. That sort of came with the social media surge I’ve been experiencing. I’ve also had my work featured in a handful of articles which is always exciting!
How would you describe your signature style?
My signature style I feel is very organic. Even when it comes to crystallizing objects, there’s very little “design”. I try to make it look as natural as possible! Even my paintings and sketches are very “rough” and “blocky”.
Where do you find your greatest creative inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration from nature. I’m an avid caver and hiker, and this is where I draw most of my inspiration- from landscapes, to wildlife, to cave and karst formations.
What do you think sets your work apart from other artists?
I think crystallization sort of sets my work apart. I only know of a few other contemporary artists that use this medium professionally, and our work never overlaps.As for painting and my 2D work, there’s way too many artists for me to reasonably say my work is any different from other artists. It’s a lot of the same stuff, but I love the hell out of it.
No. 1 Ralph Lauren Home – Gwyneth Horn Dessert Plate – $22.40
No. 2 One Kings Lane – Small Onyx Box – $125.00
No. 3 Williams Sonoma – Brass Bordered Stone Jar – $69.00
No. 4 Tonic Living – Agate Graphite Decorative Throw Pillow – $71.95
No. 5 Astro Gallery of Gems – Aquamarine on Muscovite From Nagar, Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan – $4,000.00
No. 6 Net-a-Porter – Ippolita Rock Candy Cluster 18-Karat Gold Multi-Stone Earrings – $4,482.00
No. 7 Black Rooster Décor – Cowhide Silver on Beige – $1,062.29
No. 8 Anthropologie – Crowned Quartz Knob – $28.00
No. 9 Kelly Wearstler – Gemma Tray – $1,150.00
There aren’t many times when you come across an artist who creates something unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Tyler Thrasher has managed to do that for me. I love that his pieces feel masculine and edgy but still pretty and delicate…they feel balanced, pure, original and infinitely intriguing…
An interesting measure of how these resonate on many levels and with many kinds of people…my 7 year old son went nuts over them…his two favourite things at the moment are insect specimens and crystal so well, I sort of knew he was in the bag. But then I showed them to my 9 year old girly girly daughter and she was equally impressed. She loved the delicate colourizations of each piece and noted that they looked like ‘angel versions’ of each creature. Similarly, my husband commented on how cool they were and what an interesting artistic process must be involved in creating such works. As for me, I just think they’re so damn pretty…in a sort of spooky pretty way, which is PS, tied with ugly pretty as my favourite of all the pretties.
Beautiful, beautiful work.