Visual Art

Dyemond Obryan Is Drawn Ever Deeper into His Art

Born and raised in Dallas, 26-year-old Dyemond Obryan is a comic book artist and cartoonist. Like most of us, he enjoyed cartoons as a kid, only he never quit watching. They influence him to this day, as does sadness. “I come off as pretty sad sometimes,” he admits. He wishes he could find a way to make art for a living, and  things seem to be looking up. Obryan just married, he has a comic book series, and is working on paintings for an upcoming exhibit.

“I just really love to draw,” says Obryan. “I do it as much as I can. I never went to art school.” But he kept at it. His urge to draw is so overwhelming that he feels almost ill when he can't. Sometimes he enjoys drawing paintings he admires, works by Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Luis Ricardo. “Edward Hopper has been a huge influence,” he says.

Over the last three years, Obryan has started focusing on comic book illustration. He is greatly inspired by R. Crumb and Charles Burns. Eventually a friend decided they should do a comic book series. Together they came up with The Breaks, a title he borrowed from the Kurtis Blow song, and have completed two issues, with a third in the works. The story often has to do with the frustration that goes along with the struggle to make good art. But some of it is a silent comic with no dialogue.

Like many artists, he is heavily influenced by music. “Music is everything,” Obryan says. “It keeps me going. I can put on Harvest Moon and go all night.” He admires the emotion that a song can convey, the way it can make a person happy, sad or motivated. That's the sort of emotional response he wants to draw from viewers.

Obryan is also influenced by nature. He spends a lot of time thinking about how everything comes out of the earth and ends up dissolving right back into it. “I take that stuff to heart,” he says. “I try to draw that as best as I can.”

A few months ago, Obryan had his first solo show at Epocha in Deep Ellum. He also has a spot in an upcoming group exhibit at Atama. His attention is starting to shift to painting. “I never really got a good grasp of art culture in general,” he says. With painting, he has been getting busy to correct this. He wants to be a lifelong learner in order to make sure his art never gets static.

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Jeremy Hallock