Technique Talk: Illustrator/ rapper King Vada

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Technique Talk is a weekly online Alive feature that spotlights the process of a Columbus artist. Know someone we should talk to? Send tips

Of course, you probably recognize King Vada - aka Vada Mitchell and formerly aka L.e. for the Uncool - from his various and respected rap projects. Did you know dude can draw, too? The King has an exhibit of his artwork, illustrative anarchic sketches of introspection, at Upper Cup Coffee Co. that opens this Saturday. Vada's friend DJ Abyss will be slinging beats and there will be a raffle for Vada's prints. The artist took some time to talk about what music inspires him when he works and why isolation is important in his creative process.

"Life Long Portals"

Upper Cup Coffee Co.

5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 11

79 Parsons Ave., Olde Towne East

What kind of art do you make?

I guess people categorize it as illustration. I just like to call it thoughts that I end up drawing. I create art because I think it is neat to put down these creepy thoughts I have.

When do you make art and why?

I am always thinking of shapes and images, constantly. I honestly create whenever I have the time to do so.

How often do you make art?

It depends on what I have going on. I am also a writer and recording artist. When I am traveling I don't have a lot of time to sit down and do art, but I do go on art binges.

Where do you make art?

I create most of my art alone at home. I have never been the "Hey guys! Let's sit and sketch together!" type of person. Not that I don't enjoy watching other artist create, because I do! I am just more effective creatively when I am alone... and with music.

What has been inspiring your work lately?

Music always inspires me. People like Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, Nas, Daft Punk. I have been listening to a lot of How To Dress Well - he's an artist from Chicago. Memories drive some of my pieces too. Sometimes I go back to when I was a child and try to remember things I saw.

What advice that you've found invaluable would you give a new artist?

"Art is to be made, not taught." There is no "right" or "wrong" way to create art. Sounds cliché, but I believe in that whole-heartedly.

What do you do while you work?

Make a playlist of music. Sometimes, I'll just play episodes of the "Twilight Zone"...mainly because of the writing of it.

Do you ever experience artists' block?

I honestly never have "artist block." It might be a situation where I want to be completely alone. Sometimes it's hard to focus with distractions around.

Three artists, living or dead, that you would invite to a dinner party:


Marc Jenkins

Leonardo da Vinci