Lowbrow… And That’s Okay

Posted: February 1, 2015 in Uncategorized
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10358558_10152583448002190_6139503638373942309_nThey were some of my earliest influences, long before I knew what an influence was (at least as it pertains to art. They were the cartoonists, especially the car-toonists. I remember seeing this t-shirt shop at an auction my grandparents used to take me to. They had all these transfers hanging on the walls of all these muscle cars and street rods with monsters sticking through the hoods grabbing massive shifters and I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I can’t say for sure but I am pretty sure they made a major contribution to me becoming a cartoonist, which in turn has a lot to do with what I am doing now.

I am now starting to do this kind of work again. I have a great time with it. I’ve started to study some of those artist, “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, Von Franco_, as well as some of the famous cartoonists of the day. I was a little surprised when a lot of the articles referred to this work as Lowbrow art. At first, I found the terminology a little bit offensive, but then I thought about it a little more. You know what I love about this work. It’s accessible to everyone, including those who wouldn’t step foot in a gallery, and while I love the “highbrow” stuff, a lot, there is something about bringing art to the people, that appeals to me even more. If being a common man making art for the common man, makes me low brow, then so be it. Cause come to think about it, if we are all original creations, there is no such thing as the common man. We are all uncommon, and we all have the potential to be extraordinary, especially if we don’t care too much about the labels placed on us by others.

And then I think about Jesus. Isn’t this really what He got in trouble for? The elite didn’t like that He spent time with the “common” people—the people the saw as beneath them—the lowbrows. Jesus realized He was here for EVERYONE who would call upon His name.

I remember one time, sitting on a literal mountain top, when the presence of the Spirit was really palpable. I was just crying out to God for something extraordinary. I felt Him say, “No, I want you to communicate the Gospel in a way that everyone understands.” In my heart that’s what I am trying to do. Bring a message that everyone can understand and give them a picture to help them to grasp and retain it. I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room so long as I am being empowered by the smartest Person in the room.

I think I have always loved cartooning because the combination of words and pictures makes it easy for everyone to understand. And isn’t that what we really all want, in life and in communicating the Gospel, to be understood?

If that makes me lowbrow, I am okay with that.

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