Paint, Graphic Arts
If you see a random painting tucked away in a downtown Jackson alley, chances are it was made by Andrew Hall.
It's one of the ways Andrew gets his graphic paintings out in the world: he'll drop one somewhere in town with a note on it. If someone finds it (and they do), all he asks is that they support him.
"I lay the guilt on thick."
Andrew takes his guerrilla marketing inspiration from Michigan music artists of the '90s. Underground shows and swapping CDs were some of the few ways Michigan hip-hop artists could get their name out in the market.
So Andrew takes his paintings - Captain Jackson, comic scenes, graphic gorillas - and hides them around town.
"Not everyone is the next Andy Warhol. I'll be who I'm going to be, and I think that's the way to achieve it," Andrew says. "I like putting in the effort in the shadows."
His work is certainly attention-getting. Andrew uses Liquitex heavy body acrylic paint and canvas to make his art, and the colors pop like a mix of pop art and comic books.
"I thickly coat stuff to get very bright colors into blocks and shapes," he says. "I want it to look as close to something that was printed as possible. I'm definitely getting there."
He draws inspiration from the comic artists like Frank Miller and David Aja, and the screen print work that his dad used to do. For technique, Andrew is totally self taught.
"I figured it out my own way," he says. "I didn't want help. I can learn quicker if you just give me the tools and let me do my own thing."
The word is starting to spread in Jackson, too, with Andrew getting into shows and collaborating with other creatives in town. The key, he says, is to keep things fresh.
“I want it to look as close to something that was printed as possible.”
"There's only so many people in Jackson. And not everyone is going to want to buy your stuff every time," Andrew says. "If your core audience is Jackson, you do well by having your stuff change frequently."
Collaboration is one of the strengths of Jackson's artistic community. Everyone is willing to work together, he says, and promote other artists' work.
And for Andrew, competition takes on a different meaning in town.
"I'm not a competitive person, but I see other artists as competing to be awesome," he says. "Just to see their drive, it's a good thing to apply."
Andrew says he makes art to please himself first. But it is a great feeling when he finds an audience.
"I like to please people," he says. "I don't want everyone to like it, but someone would love it."
"If my son likes it, I know it's sweet."