Fantasy art is often viewed pejoratively by the ‘fine art’ world, yet it is often highly inspirational to young, aspiring artists. Darrenn Canton was such a young artist, and his ambition drew him towards the worlds of commercial illustration and a desire to illustrate children’s books.
“I'm a weirdo who likes to draw and paint monsters. I specialize in cartooning, children’s book art, and fantasy illustration. My work emphasizes character and wit, and tries not to take itself too seriously.”
There is a long tradition of escapism and the fantastic throughout art history. Religious imagery embraces the sacred and profane, and Canton’s gargoyle, perched upon a battlement, recalls such classical antecedents as much as comic culture, as does his depiction of a voracious-yet-still-jolly Krampus; a resurgent holiday figure drawn from the same European traditions that gave us Saint Nicholas. The light tone that Canton brings to bear does not obscure that connection.
Canton is still relatively new to Louisville, though he has fallen in love with the city's art scene and hopes to be more active in the future, while he continues to move forward in his goals of, “…writing stories and telling tales to stoke the fires of the imagination.” Canton is a frequent visitor to comic conventions around the Ohio Valley region, including Derby City Comic Con in June, and his work will be on display at the Fantasy and Science Fiction convention ConGlomeration April 7-9 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Louisville.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Illustration Academy, Richmond, VA
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.