Artist Profile: Garrett Young / by Helen Grant

Writer: Helen Grant

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The closing show for Garrett Young's "Temperance" will be held on February 9 during 2nd Friday Art Walk 8-11 p.m.


The works included in TEMPERANCE reflect a period in the artist's life ripe with self-reflection, patience, discipline, and restraint.  It's representative of a time of growth, a time of letting go of self-destruction and learning to embrace a different path.  For me, instead of the uptight and prudent, "serious" work one might expect, this mindset gave way to an exploration of the weirdest notions of my mind, allowing me to dive into queerness and comedy. This chapter of my life is more about celebration of having lightness in the dark, rather than austerity or restriction.


Q. What inspired you to create your spray paint series on sheets? Is this your first time working on something so large and impressionistic?

A. I've been doing large-scale spray paint portraits since 2010.  I decided to move to working on fabric (from wood, plastic, and other found objects) for the practicality of easy transportation & storage.  As far as inspiration goes, I really just like to explore light and form, and human faces are good for that.

"Snowflake" by Garrett Young

"Snowflake" by Garrett Young

Q. Your comics are surreal. Can you talk a little bit about the Snowflake series?

A. Snowflake was a comic I drew for an anthology called Happiness 3. The plot is about a young couple whose relationship anxieties materialize into a sort of shared hallucinatory experience. In order to fit into the anthology, I was limited to 5 pages, which pushed me to experiment with what I think ended up being some interesting panel layouts. 

Q. Are some of the comic panels one-offs, on single sheets of paper, or are there more stories to come? 

A. Yes, I'm currently drawing a daily comic strip called Rasputin, and a lot of the originals from that are included in the show.  It started as an exercise in writing one-page short stories with 4 panels. There are a couple pages that relate to a larger story, but mostly they're one-offs.  I plan to collect all of them in a book eventually.

Q. What was the last book/comic that made an impression on you?

A. Right now I'm reading Sex Fantasy by Sophia Foster-Dimino from Koyama Press.  Her work has been a favorite of mine for awhile, and I'm definitely inspired by her amazingly clean style and hilariously strange stories.

Q. What music are you listening to these days?

A. Lately I'm switching between really cheesy pop, experimental noise stuff, and black metal. (Favorites include Darkthrone, Burning Witch, Trst, Xiu Xiu, Clio, Anohni, Carly Rae Jepsen, Beyonce, Robyn, and Charli XCX)

Q. What arts shows or opportunities are you looking forward to this year?

A. The Nursery in the Plaza District is having a new media show on February 17th I plan on checking out.  Right now my friend Melissa Gray has work in the Lightwell Gallery in the fine arts building at OU.  Looking forward to the OKC Zine Fest which will probably be sometime in October.  And I still need to check out Factory Obscura!

Q. Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to share about your process, upcoming projects, collaborations, or shows? 

A. I've started a monthly subscription zine called Ganymede. It's $3 and I'll send the subscriber a 16-page zine of my art and comics in the mail every month. You can sign up through

My friend Pat Larkin is a frequent collaborator of mine. He's made a couple of patches of my work which you can get through

A lot of people ask me who my drawings, paintings, etc., are supposed to be, but they all come from my head.  I've done studies in the past based on my face and faces of friends & family, but nowadays when I'm painting or drawing I just sort of make it up.


Garrett Young is a multimedia artist living and working in Oklahoma City.  He grew up on the south side of OKC, and has also lived in New Orleans, LA, and Asheville, NC.  His work ranges from paintings and comics to experimental performance and puppetry.