Meet the Artist – Five Question With Issue Six Cover Artist Brad Black

brad blackAt HAHH, we’ve always prided ourselves on our colorful covers. But Brad Black’s surrealistic, black-and-whites gave us the perfect chance to break with tradition. In our brief interview below, the Pittsburgh-based artist tells us his background and answers that ever-annoying question – where do your ideas come from?


So tell us about your background. How did you get started as an artist?

I believe it started in high school when I would draw in class. Math was always a terrible subject for me so I’d sketch random things just to pass the time. But it wasn’t until my bike was stolen from me that I began to have time to focus on something else. I didn’t have enough money for another bike, but I did have enough for a beginner’s paint kit.

You’re based in Pittsburgh. What could you say about the local art scene?

I think everyone knows the Pittsburgh art scene is very small but I sense no community between many artists. A lot of art shows are attended by friends and the turnout is usually small. Pittsburgh is great for growing and learning your craft plus it’s one of the most livable cities in the U.S. But to actually get noticed for your art your chances are slim. I think it’s going to take a few decades for the city of Pittsburgh to fully embrace art and culture. The city is in a transition period; I think we’re still trying to find our identity. I think the future is pretty promising.

Has your art always been similar to the surreal black and white style we see now, or was there a change in style? How did you arrive at this black and white style?

I’ve been creating art for a little over 12 years and my style has developed throughout the years. When I first got my beginners paint kit I’d emulate tattoo artists that I looked up to. Then I discovered Salvador Dali which changed everything for me. I never see art created in such a way so I tried to create surrealistic images using acrylic paint. It never really worked out, the majority of the work ended up looking amateurish but I was learning.

When I went to college I took a drawing class and I liked the accessibility of a pencil along with the results. Nor was I one for color theory. During that class I discovered some important artist Francis Bacon, David Lynch, Joel-Peter Witkin and Laurie Lipton that were highly influential in shaping my style.

So walk me through your working process. From the initial idea, how do you approach your work?

Typically, all my ideas come from daydreams. It starts with a small idea but then I build upon it. I sketch my idea and begin to work out of the flaws. I then transfer the image to watercolor paper building up layers of charcoal and graphite. Some drawings have up to 15 layers and can take up to a month to complete. I focus on 3 major themes which are religion, anatomy and death. Themes that I’ve always been interested in and explored through my art.

What directions do you see you taking your art in the future?

I don’t make much money creating art to support myself but that’s never been my intention. I’m currently working as a phlebotomist at a local hospital but it can be draining witnessing the human condition first hand. I have a first account of the heroin epidemic all the growing mental health crisis but it takes an emotional toll. I’m also going back to school so I can work in a medical laboratory so I’ll most likely use more anatomy, physiology and pathol

  One thought on “Meet the Artist – Five Question With Issue Six Cover Artist Brad Black

  1. thepoetbandcompany
    March 26, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    MARCH 26, 2017

    Friends, Please consider publishing my two enclosed creations(Death & Life).

    Yours in words, Arthur

    DEATH (IT)

    Brought to us by living corpses Every second, every minute, everyday, Plants, even share IT’S seasonal way. No answers, come from thanatology We depend completely on thaumatology. Life makes sure, that IT’S denounced Living makes sure, IT happens only once. Sin and sorry, tend to be IT’S kin War seems to justify, why IT’S a win. The Past is the Future, as soon as IT arrives The Future is the Present, waiting to be deprived. On land, in sea, IT diets on us Whether long white hair or pubertal pus.

    Forsaken by Forever All groups, all prides, all flocks, This Rolex’s worth a million But Longevity ticks and tocks.

    Brought to us by “Funerals” Please “Wake” us from IT’S sleep Cause IT give us no fair warning, IT hid! IT crept! IT leaped!

    By: arthur c. ford,sr.,poet/editor


    Brought to us by frowns and laughter Pining love and lust- And more of THAT thereafter. With smell and feel and sight- Touch, taste and equilibrium Stuffed in a box of ce-re-brum. Let Life and Love be spelled the same The former is the latter- when there is no blame. The Present is some thyme, That seasons Future wishes, The Past is a patient rope Life’s anglers saw brought fishes. Life complains- That it’s too hot- Life complains- That it’s too cold- Creating a mental mania, Expecting the weather of Arizona While living in Pennsylvania. Brought to us by a baby’s birth Mamma, Daddy, full of mirth, Yes, we know THAT begs and bend Just promise us, THAT it won’t end!

    By: Arthur C. Ford,Sr.

    BIO-SKETCH OF Arthur C. Ford,Sr.

    Arthur C. Ford,Sr., was born and bred in New Orleans,LA.. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern University in New Orleans, where he also studied creative writing and was a member of the Drama Society. He performed the lead role in Ossie Davis’s “Purlie Victorious.” He has visited 45 states in America and resided for 2 years in Brussels, Belgium(Europe).His poetry(lyrics) and prose have been published throughout America, Canada,etc. He travelled for 30 days(July,2011) to various cities in the country of India. He presently resides in Pittsburgh,PA., and continues to write poetry.

    Arthur C. Ford,Sr. P.O. Box 4725 Pittsburgh,PA. 15206 Phone: 1-866-234-0297 EM:

    Sent from Outlook


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