We’re always exploring the bridge between creatives. Meet Devin Wasley, winner of Art Battle Los Angeles 2019, and so much more. The man we were meeting was both everything we anticipated – and not at all what we expected – at once.
Devin is a painter living, working, and creating in Los Angeles, CA. His work, created primarily in black and white paint, portrays various societal and psychological perspectives. He finds much of his inspiration in how other people perceive themselves and the world around them. To summarize his style, and desired expression, his work explores and elevates the delicate and sensitive manner innate to the human form, for both men and women alike. He uses this cross-section of tenderness and elegance to challenge societal expectations and norms. The subjects in each piece exist in the nude, a portrayal of how humans are their most vulnerable and natural selves selves when stripped away from ego driven materialism. His work has been seen and reviewed by figures including Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey and more.
Q & As with Devin Wesley
Do you think your upbringing has contributed to your style as an artist?
Absolutely, growing up as a gay black man has completely shaped the way I see the world. My perspective on social issues and society in general play a big part in the narratives of my work. I also grew up with a fascination for beauty and fashion so I aim for my work to have a very refined and elegant look.
I would say winning Art Battle, LA this year. It’s a live painting competition, 15 artists, 2 rounds, 20 minutes first round, 30 minutes the second round! The most nervous I’ve ever been. I was just excited to be around fellow artists and meet new friends. Winning was an incredible feeling and reassured me that people are able to see the messages I try to convey through art. It gave me that extra confidence in my art and in my career to keep pushing. I go on to the regional championships early next year.
Looking back, are there moments that clearly stand out as being defining moments in your life?
Everything so far this year has been a defining moment, winning Art Battle, my first solo show in April, having one of my pieces auctioned at the Wearable Art Gala (Beyonce was in attendance!) I went into 2019 knowing I wanted to make big leaps with my art but not really knowing how. I trusted the process, I was guided to all of these amazing opportunities and I feel really blessed. I’ll look back and know 2019 was the year my career as a professional artist really started.
I would say my biggest obstacle (ongoing) as an artist is that inner voice – the self doubt creating – insecurity building – procrastination causing, voice. I think every artist whether you’re a musician, writer, dancer etc deals with “that voice” to a certain degree. Learning how to shut it off, ignore it or use it for the greater good of your craft. For me, I’ve used the emotions/thoughts that voice has created and turned it into narratives for my paintings. The amazing thing about art is you are a storyteller with a paintbrush. My hope is that my stories and experiences resonate with other people. When that happens, I know I’ve served my purpose.
“Not allowing fear to hold me back. I truly believe this is my purpose. Communicating my messages through art.” -DW
To learn more about Devin Wesley, please visit his website.
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