An artist who has both talent and authenticity is a powerful symbol in any age. When I experience such an artist it is like a big “ah-ha” moment for me – as if all the dots in the universe connect together momentarily to open a door into the true source of creativity.
Such was my experience when I first visited the website of Zeph Farmby. Zeph left a comment on our article, “To Sell Art You Need A Great Story”, and I clicked through to his website to take a look. I landed on his “about” page which consisted of a fascinating series of questions and answers with the artist. It was a very creative and compelling way to communicate his story.
I felt a quickening of my heart – a surge of adrenaline and excitement in a very zen sort of way when I first looked at Zeph’s work. The life-force in the characters in his paintings and drawings is palpable – as if they are living breathing beings right in front of our eyes. El Greco may be living today in Chicago!
We chose Zeph Farmby as this week’s featured artist because we love his work and his story – period. Be sure to read his answer to question 4 below – it is a beautiful thing!
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Note: Use the slide-show controls to pause or go to a specific image. Mouse over the images to see details about the artwork.
Born on December 13, 1978 Zeph Farmby has been creating unique pieces of art as far back as he can remember. Early works of his graffiti style continue to show up in newer pieces. Unique and creative pieces of original works are for sale and can be found in galleries and clothing stores across the United States and online.
After attending the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, Zeph continued to perfect his skill through teaching and coaching young artists in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Today, Zephâ€™s art serves as the foundation of major clothing lines such as â€œ2 Much Game Sports Wearâ€, â€œOriginal AFRO Wearâ€, â€œPHLIâ€, and â€œSneaker Fiend Teesâ€.
I AMAZE EYEZ is solely owned by Zeph and provides an umbrella for his various arms of talent.
The Art Marketing Secrets Signature 6 Questions
1. What led you to become an artist?
Being an artist is in my genes. I remember doodling even as a child, more than what was considered â€œnormalâ€. I have older brothers who were into art years ago but arenâ€™t anymore. Seeing my brothersâ€™ drawings really inspired me to pursue art. To jump years ahead, I began to take advanced art classes in High School which continued to feed my passion for the field. At the time, most of my inspiration came from graffiti and magazine illustrations. I quickly decided on a career as an Illustrator for mainstream magazines. During my college years I played more with oil and other mediums, including graphics. Soon after graduating from college I created I-Amaze-Eyez Studios. â€œI-Amaze-Eyezâ€, is the brand that houses all of my projects.
2. What happens for you and what do you feel when you are in the creative process?
I really zone out. Nothing else exists. Iâ€™m completely entrenched in the project I’m focusing on. During this process I tend to get an overwhelming feeling that nothing can stop me from expressing what I have envisioned for that particular piece.
3. What is your favorite piece of your own art and why?
I have an attachment to all of my creations but since I can only choose one, I would say itâ€™s “The R” painting. It embodies everything from my past to my present with my skill in art. It showcases several layers of song lyrics and graffiti. Graffiti has always been an influence for me and â€œRakimâ€ is one of my favorite Hip-Hop emcees. This painting was on display at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago for the “Black Creativityâ€ show for about 6 months. This was the first time my work was accepted by any museum.
4. What would your perfect artist-life look like?
The perfect artist-life would be where art replaces sports! Art should be at the forefront, everywhere! Everyone would recognize Art and have a really good understanding of what it takes to be creative. The perfect artist-life would also include my style of art being the most sought after art work in the world. All new clients would know exactly what they want without having to make tons of changes. Art supplies would be sold at cheaper prices and Steve Jobs of Apple computers would update my computer years before itâ€™s made available to the general public. Adobe would have a studio next door to mine. My studio would look like a warehouse of unlimited supplies and all of the best paintbrushes. I’d have glass walls filled with all of my favorite spray paint and I’d create my own colors by mixing paintsâ€¦ This is a really good question by the way, I could talk about this all day.
5. How are you marketing your art?
I market via art shows (both solo and group) and referrals from past clients. Over the past 2 years Iâ€™ve focused more on marketing my work via my web site (www.i-amaze-eyez.com) and social networking sites. I recently hired a Marketing student to take on some of the marketing duties for my brand, I-Amaze-Eyez.
6. What else are you busting to tell the world?
Please visit my website, www.i-amaze-eyez.com. I would also like the world to know that I’ve been working on a coffee table book, which will be a collection of my work. I’m focusing more on making Zeph Farmby and â€œI Amaze Eyezâ€ a household name.
Please share your thoughts on Zeph and his work in the comments below. And take a look at his “about” page for some inspiration!
I never thought that I would say so about this style of art but Zeph's work is beautiful. It's like you say, you really feel like the characters are looking right at you. Thanks for sharing this artist with us.
Copying this comment that Laray Clarence of Rick Clarence Art (http://www.rickclarenceart.com) left on our facebook page:
the vibrancy and soul of chicago jumped out at me as i view this great art work. plus i agree, lets make art as popular in the usa as sports.
I agree about the perfect artist life. more fame. less people thinking that just becuase you have photoshop you're an graphic designer. large studio space to make great works. for me i'd add color books and sample papers. best production printers on the market. 27in imacs, 17 macbook pro. die cut machines. a ton more stuff too.
Really great interview. Thoroughly enjoyed visiting Zeph's life and viewing the his phenomenal creations.
Zeph is talented and hard working! Well deserved recognition.
Thanks so much! I really appreciate all your comments.
"…glass walls filled with all my favorite spray paint." You read my mind!!
Zeph, thanks for e mailing me the link. Your art is amazing and your answer to the perfect artists life was great! Keep up the great work you have a very bright future ahead of you.