Brad Lawrence

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Brad Lawrence is an American entrepreneur.

Overview[edit]

Brad posing in front of one of his finished hyperrealism charcoal pieces.

Brad Lawrence is the founder of the psychedelic art company Black Light Visuals. In 2011, Lawrence graduated from College for Creative Studies in Detroit with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.[1] Lawrence specialized in hyperrealism charcoal drawings, but only completed two pieces after college before he developed acute tendonitis in both arms. The end of Lawrence's drawing career sparked his interest in other forms of art. Inspired by his father's classic black light screen printing shop, Lawrence began to experiment in abstract black light art. This led him to discover a new method of traditional paper marbling, which he began to market with paintings on clothing items, such as shirts, hats, and shoes. These items later became the source of income for his independently-owned apparel and body marbling company, Black Light Visuals.

College for Creative Studies[edit]

Born on October 22, 1989, Michigan native Lawrence took up an interest in art, and later received a scholarship from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. During Lawrence's enrollment at CCS, he focused on his drawing experience, and also studied abroad in Ireland. The aftermath of his experience in Ireland is what eventually inspired him to experiment with black light art. “I developed a duality in my aesthetic when I returned from Ireland,” Lawrence explained. “After spending four months doing charcoals, I craved the reintroduction of color to my work. My dad had been screen printing ultra-violet tapestries for decades, but I had not previously embraced the media in my own work.[2]

Upon his graduation, Lawrence had only two short years of drawing experience outside of the college to make a name for himself. While working on a commissioned set of hyperrealism pieces, Lawrence began to experience pain in his arms from the long hours at the drawing board. After his diagnosis revealed tendonitis as the cause of his pain, he began delving further into the ultraviolet world of abstract painting. The bottles used to apply drops of paint on the fluid surface reduced the pain in his arms, and he began marketing his work at small gallery shows and EDM events in the Detroit area before turning his black light art into his own company.

Black Light Visuals[edit]

A woman poses for a photo at a BLVisuals body painting installation.

Black Light Visuals, or BLVisuals for short, is an alternative black light body paint and apparel company. The company's typical audience is found namely at EDM festivals, and the members of BLVisuals can be seen at various venues throughout the summer months. The company specializes in a process they call body marbling: a painting technique that applies droplets of paint to a fluid surface. This allows the colors to expand and contract naturally on the fluid. The colors can also be manipulated into different designs by pulling a needle or other thin object vertically through the surface. Lawrence's process differs from many traditional marbling styles, and uses only materials and compounds that are safe on skin and clothing. The varying tensions between each color keep the different hues separated, and the result is a swirling, psychedelic painting that they transfer on to clothing or skin.[3] The company uses water-based acrylic paint to achieve this look, and the thin layer left behind on the clothing is safe to wash after heat treatment. On skin, the thin paint layer easily comes off with soap and water, and allows the pores to sweat and breathe through the paint.

The company has gained traction through videos and social media online, and has a large following in the festival scene since they began summer touring in 2013. The company currently appears at festivals in the eastern United States. They have traveled to festivals including Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, and TomorrowWorld.

Other[edit]

In addition to his own art, Lawrence has also assisted in curating student work for Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which allows high school students to showcase their work, win scholarships, and gain experience working with established artists and writers in the field. Lawrence has also spoken as a Scholastics Keynote Speaker, in which he delivered a speech to the young awardees about their pursuit of art prior to the award ceremony, held at the Detroit Film Theater.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/Alumni/3030/Lawrence/
  2. ^ "Bradley Lawrence". www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  3. ^ Ernst, Brian, and Tracy Swartz. "Get Your Body Painted with Tie-dye Designs at Lollapalooza." Chicagotribune.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.