The Truth In This Art with Illustrator & Cartoonist South Side Frank

The Truth In This Art with Illustrator & Cartoonist South Side Frank

South Side Frank: Embracing Absurd Realism in Art

In this engaging episode, host Rob Lee sits down with the talented Frank Lawson, a.k.a. South Side Frank, a renowned illustrator and cartoonist celebrated for his distinctive absurd realism. They chat about Frank's journey in the art world, his inspirations, and his drive to infuse his creations with meaningful messages. Frank opens up about artists he looks up to and gives us a peek into the local comic scene. The conversation takes a thoughtful turn as they address real-world issues like gentrification and the rising cost of living. Frank recounts his foray into digital art amid the pandemic and talks about "Poctober," his initiative to spotlight black punk artists. They discuss the power of embracing individuality in art and the cathartic power of creative expression. Wrapping up, Frank dives into the world of misunderstood villains and shares details about his sketchbook, which fans can find on his website.

Episode Highlights:

Welcome to the show (00:00:10)
Host Rob Lee kicks off the podcast, warmly welcoming listeners and introducing today's guest, the talented illustrator and cartoonist, South Side Frank.

Art as a Calling (00:03:35)
Frank opens up about his deep-rooted love for art and the journey that led him to become the artist he is today.

Childhood Inspirations (00:06:50)
Frank fondly recalls the early influences on his creativity, from his father's artwork to his fascination with television and cartoons.

Mentors and Muses (00:12:53)
Frank reflects on the profound impact that artist Dawud Anyabwile had on his work and discusses the significance of representation in the arts.

Broadening Horizons (00:16:36)
Frank recounts his eye-opening encounters with underground comics and the lasting influence of trailblazers like Robert Crumb and Harvey Pekar.

Defining "Absurd Realism" (00:34:22)
Frank explains his distinctive artistic style, "absurd realism," which captures his view of the world peppered with pop culture nods.

Digital Evolution (00:39:13)
Frank describes his transition to digital art-making on the iPad, a change accelerated by the pandemic's constraints.

Envisioning the Future (00:56:20)
Potential reimaginings of childhood cartoons like "Pole Position" and "Robotech" are pondered, along with the power of bringing such ideas to life.

Key Takeaways:

1. Embrace your unique artistic style to make a statement and stand out in the creative world.
2. Recognize the influence of societal issues, such as gentrification, on local art scenes and artists' lives.
3. Discover the therapeutic power of creativity in navigating challenging times like the pandemic.
4. Explore the perspectives of misunderstood characters to add depth and complexity to your work.

Website and Socials:
Instagram: southsidefrank_0.2

Supporting the Arts:
If you loved diving into the world of absurd realism with South Side Frank and enjoyed our conversation on everything from the therapeutic power of art to the nuances of punk culture, then don't miss out on the chance to explore more of Frank's incredible work. Head over to his website to check out his sketchbook and follow him on social media to stay updated on his latest projects. Your support means the world to artists like Frank, so please take a moment to rate and review this episode, letting us know your thoughts. And if you want to help keep these insightful conversations coming, consider supporting our Patreon. Your contribution helps us continue to bring unique voices and stories to the forefront. Thank you for listening, and thank you for your support!

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Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Frank Lawson (South Side Frank)
Frank Lawson (South Side Frank)
Frank E. Lawson is a Hometown Villain, illustrator, and cartoonist who graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design. He is co-creator of POCTOBER SKETCHBOOK, a comic/zine which features essays, interviews, and a numerous collection of ink drawings that showcase Black and POC Punk and Punk adjacent artists. As a versatile artist his main weapons of choice include traditional and digital mediums