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Check out Karl Cossio’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karl Cossio.

Karl, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Being a nerdy, introspective kid, I always found myself drawn (so to speak) to illustration. When I was little I would sketch out scenes and creatures, continuing to do that all through my life. As the years passed, I would always come back to drawing when I felt the urge to create. Through high school and college I dabbled here and there, leaving 3/4 empty sketchbooks in my wake, as I pursued other avenues and expressions. But there was always a yearning to make more art – to actually commit to creating. I’ve co-run a design studio with my wife and partner for 14 years, but only in the recent past (in fact the last year) have I really let myself dedicate more time to creating art. Thankfully, the last year has been the most productive in my life (art-wise), and it’s been exciting to finally see work I’ve done out there – transitioning from merely a rusty hobby into something I’m beginning to be actually somewhat known for.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
There’s so many things I take inspiration from – passions I continue to have and discover along the way: music, mythology, pop culture, science fiction, history, animation. I’ve always been particularly inspired by animals – birds holding a specific fascination for me ever since I was in elementary school. My little 7 year-old’s self library consisted of Field Guides, dinosaur scientific taxonomy, and mythology. It’s a wonder I saw any sun. Having read (and, shhh, continue to read) comics, I’m inspired by the storytelling techniques, styles, and creative ambition that only that medium can truly achieve. My tools of choice are mostly analog – pencil for the layout, then pen (micron, prismacolor, or other brush pens) for the line work. Then I usually like to finish with a pop of color – prismacolor marker, watercolor or acrylic. I tend to do mostly faces and figures, but I’m looking forward to working more with scenes and more advanced color.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Art is such a subjective term and its meanings so vast and broad – I certainly can’t make any claims to have my work present anything that would benefit the world in a grand way. At the very least, art, and the expression of making art and putting it to paper (or wood, or canvas, etc.) reminds us that we are at our hearts, creative creatures – capable of making anything we can envision. So it’s a nice reminder that it’s within our faculties to choose what we want to project, what we want to say in the world. That conscious decision to make something can be an expression of who you are, what you’re feeling, what you would like the future to be, what you fear the present is, or be simply something that gives you joy, and as such you want to channel that. There are so many styles of art, painting, illustration, each with their own unique merits. Being surrounded by artists considerably more talented than I reminds me to be humble and kind and supportive to anyone who yearns to create, no matter what it is. And if we all are kind and supportive to each other then we help create a group, a community, that can come together when it’s needed (and boy it’s needed these days).

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Thanks to SketchParty, hosted every other week at the Whistle Stop in South Park, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have met a small but wonderful group of makers and artists in the area. You can usually catch me there with a glass of tequila (I swear, it keeps me awake), sharing space with talented artists from across the area. I’ve shown at local galleries – Thumbprint Gallery in La Jolla, La Bodega in Barrio Logan, and a couple of popups run by Thumbprint at Bar Basic and Subterranean Coffee. Most exciting, I’m doing my very first solo show at The Mission in North Park, which starts on May 1, 2018!

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Image Credit:
All art & photos by Karl Cossio

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