A young man whose work is heavily influenced by comic books, card and video games, cartoons and anime is the featured artist for September at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center.
The vibrant drawings of Trevor Tate of Lexington feature Marvel and DC superheroes; characters from video games, such as “The Legend of Zelda” and “Street Fighter;" from card games like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and from animated favorites like “Dragonball-Z” and “Thundercats.” He draws under the moniker Quasartist, after his favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! card, and he signs his works with a distinctive “QA.”
“He’s actually self-taught and has been doing this type of freelance drawing for only the past two or three years. But he’s been drawing all his life,” OCFAC Executive Director Vicki King said.
“He likes to do pencil, ink and copic markers, which is a special type of marker,” she said. “That’s when he really got into it. They’re very expensive-type markers, but they give you a really unique perspective.”
Now 23, Tate got started drawing his favorite cartoon and fantasy characters, although he also has original works, King said.
“He tells me that his goal is create his own comic book series -- that’s what he’s really working towards,” she said. “And he’s already begun to do some of the inventing of his characters.”
Tate posts a drawing a day on Instagram and so far has posted more than 200 works, King said.
He also does some watercolors and has been creating a lot of digital artwork recently, she said, including designing tattoos for friends. Also, he sometimes paints portraits from photographs on commission.
“And they’re beautiful. But that’s not what he loves. He loves this,” she said, gesturing toward his works currently hanging in the Lusty Gallery.
“I met him at a festival ... in Pelion,” King said. “It was one of his first festivals he went to.”
She was impressed with the young man’s talent.
“He had his artwork in a book, a notebook. And the kids were buying the sheets out of his notebook with his drawings for $5,” she said.
King said that Tate realized he should make prints of his work and hang on to some of his original artwork. After talking to him, she convinced him to show his work at the Arts Center.
“He’s never put his stuff in an art show (before),” she said.
She said Tate’s work makes her remember the doodles and drawings she would find in her sons’ notebooks and how those characters captured the imaginations of boys of that age group.
“This is a complete different style of art than we normally see up here,” King said. “I think students especially will enjoy coming in here and seeing these things.”