By Nicolas Palermo | Posted Friday, May 25, 2018
Art and sports are not often discussed together. However, creating art and playing sports share many similarities. Sculptors and painters have studied the human figure for centuries. There is a great deal of grace and beauty in the movements involved in a sport. Similarly, artists utilize the human body’s physical capabilities when creating. Look no further than Jackson Pollock wildly (yet equally methodically) flinging paint onto a naked canvas.
With this being said it is no surprise that Tin Vu, a graphic designer and printmaker from Cherry Hill, NJ is able to blend his love of sports so easily with his art. I spoke to Tin to get a better understanding of his influences and where he gets the concepts for his work.
Where are you located in NJ? Do you like that particular area, or are you eager to move out?
I’m from Cherry Hill, NJ, born and raised. I do actually enjoy this area and don’t mind living here, but I’m willing to explore other possibilities for my career as a graphic designer.
What mediums of artwork do you work in? Which one is your favorite?
I have experience in painting and charcoal, but I primarily work digitally for my illustrations. Occasionally, I also turn those illustrations into screen prints. Digital has quickly become my favorite medium because I have a flat color style that is much easier to fill in with on a computer than by hand.
I’ve noticed that you often blend themes of your love for sports (basketball) and music (hip-hop) into your creative output. Is this something you’ve always done? Does incorporating sports and music into your work come naturally or is it a conscious decision?
My love for sports and hip-hop leaking into my artwork is definitely something that I have always done just because it feels so natural. When I’m given a blank canvas to create a piece that I’m passionate about and am truly invested in, my mind always drifts to the subcultures that I am a part of—which also involves breaking, urban dance, esports, and skating.
As a musician, I often gravitate toward certain albums more than others based on the album cover artwork. Are there any particular album covers that you have always loved?
Some of my favorite album covers of all time include: Unknown Pleasures (Joy Division), The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (Brand New), The September Wind (Naoya Matsuoka), Coexist (The XX), Acid Rap (Chance the Rapper), Madvillainy (Madvillain), Wolf Deluxe Edition (Tyler the Creator), All American Trash (BROCKHAMPTON), Currents (Tame Impala), The Low End Theory (A Tribe Called Quest), and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Kanye West). I could go on forever because I love album covers as an art form so much.
I really enjoy your screen printing work. I believe that printmaking is an underrated method of creating art. Is there a particular reason why you often choose to work with screen printing?
I work with screen printing so much because it makes so much sense to add the flat colors of my work layer by layer. It really is an underrated medium that can go much further than just t-shirts (shout out to Dave).
Where can we find your work and follow you online?
Thanks for the interview, really enjoyed these questions!