RVA Spotlight: Bryce Cobbs
Bryce is another guy at VCU that I met through social media. I didn’t follow him at first, but once I started seeing people constantly retweet some of his work, I had to check out his page. Another black male, not to mention talented artist, and fellow student will always get my support. So, I decided to reach out to Bryce to talk about some of his artwork and experiences.
Kameron: Tell me about yourself.
Bryce: I’m a sophomore, Comm. Arts major, my passion is drawing and when I’m not drawing I’m probably playing basketball
K: How would you describe your artistic style?
B: I’m a perfectionist. I really pay attention to details, which is why my drawings take so long because I want to get them right. I’m my biggest critic and tend to find flaws in my work that most people don’t.
K: Who are some artists that have influenced you?
B: My biggest one is Kehinde Wiley. He paints random people off the street, which I think is so cool and I love his reasoning for his work.
K: Your older brother has produced songs for people like DJ Khaled, Nas and Curren$y, what’s it like having a brother that’s also an artist but in a different field?
B: It’s really cool because we’re our own individual artists but are both doing stuff for our family. We can express ourselves in our own way without getting into each other’s territory.
K: You got a lot of attention on social media for the “Style Challenge”; can you explain that to me?
B: Basically you draw yourself then you pick a few cartoons and draw yourself in the same style as the characters in the show. I saw the girl that started it, thought it was interesting and decided to try it. I chose to pick some all-time favorites as well as some ones people might have forgotten about.
K: Give me a real life situation that influenced a piece you made.
B: I did this drawing of a black woman with a gold background. It was around the time when another black man was murdered and I was on Twitter and saw black people bashing each other. I was like, “We need to stick together. Black is beautiful and we need to promote that not violence and fighting between each other.” So yeah I made that drawing the capture that.
K: 3 things you would bring if you were stuck on an island?
B: A pencil, a sketchbook and a phone. I’ll find water and food to cook but I have to draw.
K: One of your pieces that I really like is “The Journey” can you explain the meaning and how long it took you to make it?
B: It was an assignment so I had a couple months to do it. The piece represents my journey with God. I feel like sometimes I’ll be tempted or distracted and start neglecting him and his presence in my life. The colors taking over my body and the hand are showing that I’ve given all my problems and burdens to God.
K: What is the weirdest drawing you’ve done and what made you think of it?
B: I actually haven’t really done anything crazy most people just ask me to draw portraits of them.
K: What is your opinion on the Richmond art scene?
B: I love it. I come from Roanoke and there aren’t any artists not to mention it’s an older city so it doesn’t appeal to the younger crowd. So when I came here there were murals and galleries everywhere, which was crazy to me.
K: If you could hang out with any celebrity who would it be and why?
B: Kendrick Lamar because he’s my favorite rapper and I love how he thinks.
K: What is your dream project?
B: Just do a commission for someone famous or get one of my pieces into a huge gallery.
K: Give me a situation when someone doubted you and it motivated you to do a piece.
B: I was in high school and we had to do a piece where we had to merge ourselves into an animal. The first time I did it I messed up and everyone in my class was like, “That’s bad! Dude you only have like one day to do this. What’re you doing? You need to restart.” So I threw it away and all my friends thought I wasn’t going to turn anything in. I went home, got into a zone and finished it over night. I ended up submitting it to a scholastic gallery and it got a silver star, which I was surprised about.
K: What is your professional goal?
B: I think I want to be an illustrator. Like I said, my passion is portraits but I don’t know if I can make a living off of it. I could also see myself working for Disney, Marvel or DC as a character or concept designer.
K: What are some of your weaknesses that you plan on improving in the future?
B: I procrastinate a lot and I think my shading could be smoother so my portraits look more realistic. I also don’t really have my own style outside of portraits. Malik (Radford, another one of our featured artists) has that dope cartoon style and when you see it you know it’s his work so I want to have people think the same of me.
K: What are you most excited about when it comes to being featured on UD?
B: The exposure. It’s just more people seeing my work and doing collaborations with y’all and other featured artists is dope