NEST HQ was created with the intention of being a platform aimed at promoting and encouraging the growth of artists of all genres and mediums. While we’ve worked mostly within music up to this point, we are expanding on a new content series that will showcase multimedia artists of various backgrounds including painters, graphic designers, architects, and others of the sort; this is installation. Every two weeks, we’ll post hand-selected pieces from our featured artists via our Instagram @nesthq, along with excerpts from the full interviews.
This week on installation, we present multimedia artist KDBOI.
Can you tell me a little about your history as an artist and how your story as an artist began?
Totally, well, ever since I was a kid I’ve always been drawing and it has always been a passion of mine. My dad is an artist as well so looking up to him growing was the best part. But unfortunately, growing up wanting to become an artist my parents didn’t really support it and it sucked. It sucked because they were pretty much trying to have me do something that would actually pay, like trade school. Something that would be a little more comfortable and settle for something that is a safe place to be. You know what I mean?
Yeah, of course.
So, it was never really accepted, and it was strange to me because I was having such a difficult time. I wanted to adopt that lifestyle, I wanted to become an artist, and it was very difficult. The people closest to me were saying it’s gonna be tough, you’re not going to make it, you’re not going to be successful, just pick something comfortable. My step-dad at the time would try to claim that I was gay because I was into art and fashion, he wanted to put me into the army, to raise me better and to get my away from that side of art. I pushed that aside and art became the only way I could get away from everything, just plug in music and get lost in the environment I would create, my imagination would be where I wanted it to be.
So, yeah. It was years until recently I quit my job and I got the opportunity of meeting photographer Montana Martz. Probably a year ago, I had met her on Instagram. We had found each other’s accounts, we started talking.
That’s really tough, but really inspiration to other up and coming artists. How did you cross over from art to fashion?
So, I painted a bugs bunny with three eyes on a denim jacket and it got so much hype. I wasn’t really supposed to be anything like this, it was just a small little thing I did for myself. Then that month, a couple people hit me up on Instagram and were like,“Hey! Can we get one of these cool jackets?” That’s when I was like maybe I should dabble into this environment because I want my art to be on people and I want people walking around and getting my art out and exposed. What better way than to put it on clothing? People have done designs before but they’re all silk screens – mine are originally hand painted pieces.
How do you select the content you create? I know a lot of your work are kind of reimagined existing characters – are there any plans to start incorporating original characters into the mix?
Wow, good question. What I was asking customers was “so, what was your favorite cartoon? What was the thing where you woke up super early to make sure you didn’t miss an episode?” There’s so much behind those iconic faces to me. It’s more than just a cartoon. As a kid I would sneak out or I would hang out with my friends and we would watch episodes for hours of one show. I just wanted to create more of that with those iconic images but add a third eye or just kinda do some weird things to it, but not mess it up to the point where it was way too unseen.
How does the dance music space tie into your world?
I was kinda getting sick of the same repetitive beats. I feel like hip hop right now is in a situation where it’s kind of stuck. I mean there is cool talent and a lot of change but realistically when you break down the topics that they are talking about, they are still talking about the same things. Compare that to dance music where there is so much new experimentation – I just felt like I could escape more into that area with my art, you know what I mean?
That makes sense. I feel like the genres that have had many years in the mainstream already tend to lose sight of the smaller moving parts. Where with dance music still being such a DIY thing, I think to everyone in the community, it’s still really important to highlight even the smallest moving pieces.
What are some goals for the rest of the year and 2018?
I’ve always wanted to make my mark on the world – get my art out there for everybody to recognize, you know? Like, that’s me, that’s KD, that was that guy, and that’s his piece. I really want to relate to other kids out there who are trying to reach the same goals, and I want to inspire them to not give up.
Find more from KDBOI on Instagram.