Langston Allston, painter

Langston Allston | ART/BTS

Champaign-Urbana based painter Langston Allston discusses his many influences, from comic books to art history, that go into his multi-layered works.


Follow Langston and see more of his work here:

Website: http://www.langstonallston.com/

Twitter: @LangstonAllston

>>> THE ONE THING I HAVE ALWAYS DONE HABITUALLY SINCE I CAN REMEMBER IS I DRAW.
I HAVE DRAWN EVERY SINGLE DAY, SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID, SINCE I SINCE BASICALLY COULD DRAW.
THERE IS A LOT OF EARLY INFLUENCES.
MY DAD HAS A HUGE COLLECTION OF COMIC BOOKS.
SO I WAS SURROUNDED BY THAT TYPE OF ART LIKE GROWING UP.
I WOULD READ THEM ALL THE WAY THROUGH CONSTANTLY.
I ALWAYS LOVED GRAFFITI SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID.
I REMEMBER SEEING IT. I AM TOTALLY A NERD THROUGH AND THROUGH.
I LOVE ART HISTORY, LIKE OLD DUSTY ART HISTORY A LOT.
SO I LIKE TO KIND OF ADAPT THESE OLD MASTER STYLES INTO A BLACK HEROIC FRAMEWORK WHEN I CAN, AND THEN ALSO LAYER ON TOP OF THAT THESE LIKE GRAFFITI AND COMIC BOOK INFLUENCES.
SO THE STYLE THAT I TRY AND CREATE IS ONE THAT HAS ALL OF THESE STORIES INSIDE OF IT.
I THINK OVERARCHINGLY,        ESPECIALLY OUTSIDE THIS TOWN, THE IMPRESSION OF GRAFFITI IMPRESSION OF IT IS CHANGING A LOT.
SO I THINK HAS TURNED THE CORNER FROM BEEN SEEN AS PURELY CRIMINAL TO BEING SEEN SOMETHING AS MORE OF A LEGITIMATE ARTFORM WHICH IS PRETTY EXCITING.
GENERALLY, I LIKE TO YOU WILL A ALL THE INFLUENCES IN MY HEAD AND JUST KIND OF LIKE THROW THEM UP ONTO THE WALL OR THROW THEM DOWN TO THE CANVAS OR THROW THEM ON TO THE PAPER AND GO DIRECTLY INTEREST THAT THERE.
IT ALLOWS ME TO BUILD MUCH MORE NATURALLY AND MUCH MORE QUICKLY.
I ALWAYS WANT TO USE AS MANY TOOLS AS I NEED TO GET THE EFFECT THAT I WANT.
AND I ALWAYS LIKE TO LEARN HOW TO DRAW WITH NEW TOOLS.
SO I AM ALWAYS TRYING TO PULL IN AS MANY FORMS OF MEDIA INTO ONE SURFACE AS I CAN JUST BECAUSE IT HELPS ME STAY ENGAGED IN WORK.
IF I CAN DO THAT ALL ON ONE SURFACE, THAT’S WHAT I LOVE TO DO THE MOST.
THE WORK THAT IS AROUND TOWN IS REALLY INTERESTING FOR ME PERSONALLY BECAUSE A LOT OF IT WAS ME LEARNING HOW TO DO THIS.
IT IS STUFF THAT PARTIALLY REFLECTS THIS LIKE CHILDHOOD THAT I HAD GROWING UP HERE IN URBANA.
IT IS COOL TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE THAT TO THIS CITY BECAUSE THIS CITY GAVE A LOT BACK TO ME IN TERMS OF LIKE LETTING ME GROW AND DEVELOP AND BE AN ARTIST. AND BEING IN THE SAME COMMUNITY THAT I GREW UP GAVE ME A LOT OF ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES THAT I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE HAD ELSEWHERE.
I CAN’T GO A DAY WITHOUT DRAWING OR I CAN’T GO A DAY WITHOUT MAKING SOMETHING WITH MY HANDS.
SO I REALLY DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT ON A MASSIVE SCALE NOW.
BUT NO MATTER WHAT SCALE I WAS DOING IT ON, I WOULD ALWAYS BE AN ARTIST, NO MATTER WHAT.
I AM LANGSTON ALLSTON.
I GUESS I AM A PAINTER REALLY.
I DO MURALS. I DO PAINTINGS, I DO ALL TYPES OF PAINTINGS.
PAINT IS SOMETHING I WANT TO DO.