Blank/Canvas: The Graphic Artists Who Are Up Next

When looking at projects, one of the first things that one notices is the art that’s delivered with any project. It’s the visual aid and the first thing that one sees when clicking on a new mixtape, blog post, tweet, or any medium where it features visuals. As these visuals may give viewers some insight on what they’re getting into, Modern Life Mag wants to focus our attention towards the artists who are captivating on the art of presentation. Graphic Design is a stronghold in the creative community and it keeps things together when it comes to completing one’s vision, and this feature will highlight some of the brightest who are trailblazing their way into the industry. Breaking barriers, settting their own trends, and ultimately cultivating, stay tuned for the individuals to make significant changes in the visual community. 


If you’re a fan of the hit TV show, Mad Men, then you’ll enjoy ColorsByNet. Going by his alias, Garrett Hilliker has fused the art form of using bare colors and simplicity in his world of design. Taking your typical fonts, placing them behind carbon cutouts or connecting reefs with tire wheels, Hilliker masters the ability to use a simple platform and allows the viewer to interpret the casual yet intricate variables that come along with his pieces. He’s mostly known for his work with Skizzy Mars but he’s also done work with Hasley, Marc E Bassy, Dave B and more. He’s an enigma within himself, and he’s for sure someone to watch out for in the design industry this year. 


An artist’s canvas starts off being white but the constructed mess that we call art comes with many levels of thought, and Indianapolis-based designer ShonRosewood has crafted himself into being a wizard of the combination. When looking at his pieces, one can make the judgment that it’s thrown together at random but taking a second look it’s designed to a degree where it shows perfect unification between the mindset of the design and the features it brings. ShonRosewood mostly does a lot of freelance work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he brings in some serious clients in the rest of 2016.

Asiatic Youth

As we go down the list, another artist who provides some quick strikes in the community is Asiatic Youth. Hailing from Houston, he presents a sleek and striking concept that’s meshed with much soul. From stapling Sade as a key figure in his work to using his data filled background to create retro-influenced designs involving shapes, Asiatic Youth blends various flavors in his artistic arsenal. Versatility being one of his strong suits, look for his work to grow and become a problem by the end of this year. 

Aaron Kai

Since I was introduced to his work through The Hundreds, Aaron Kai has stayed on my radar as a keynote figure in the art community with his powerful waves. The Hawaii-born artist has taken his work from the canvas to the walls and restaurants of some of the most attractive spaces between California to Florida. The beach life influence he creates for his audience ties in with modern relaxation and representation of the Pacific Coast. Kai is honestly a trailblazer in his own right and look for him to continue to pave the golden road the rest of this year with more waves of innovative ideas. 


If Soundcloud has been the format for artists such as Playboi Carti, Unotheactvist, SwagHollywood, ThouxanbandFauni, and more to display their music, Papikodone is the Van Goh of constructing the artistic vision for each artist’s cover. Delivering a vision that’s filled with lust, rage, and sense of youthfulness in each drawing. The animations create vivid characters for each cover and ultimately do each artist justice with playing their role in the mind of designs that Papikodone makes. The youth is in revolt, and Papikodone is definitely a strong voice for them when it comes to how they want to be represented. Listen to the ones who are going against the grain to make the change and keep your eyes peeled for what Papikodone has under his sleeve. 

Ian Woods 

Artists such as Jean Michel Basquiat has mastered the strategy of working with discombobulated figures, and the tradition has been passed down to the later generations, and it’s evident that Dallas-based artist Ian Woods has utilized his trade in that. Growing his portfolio from working with Post Malone and Playboi Carti, to lacing ASAP Mob’s cover art for "Yamborghini High", Woods has garnered the eyes of many since he joined ASAP Rocky’s art collective, AWGE. His big head portraits and smooth brush designs have made many use their alternative perspectives when it comes to focusing on the details in art rather than looking at what typical graphic artists are making. The Salvador Dali influenced artist is crossing barriers and plans to make big splashes for years to come, so stay tuned. 


Similar to Papikodone, DryDurags is another original figure for what’s next in the graphic design community. Drawing the same crowd as Playboi Carti, Pollari, and SmokePurpp, Dry Durag uses his simple text and one tooth character to depict the story for each cover. It may be juvenile, but what modern art isn’t. The cadence found in the work he delivers with a dash of teen spirit and cartoonish rage makes his work enjoyable. The void is being filled the correct way and Drydurags have made it known that he is going to be one of the most abstract and furthering artists in the bunch.

Brandon Cartier

Clarity is one of the unique aspects when it comes to graphic design, Brandon Cartier has become a perfectionist of this over the past few years. The Ohio-based designer has done work for Reese, Lil Yachty, Animal House, Mathaius Young, Sir CRKS and more. Throughout all of his pieces, he raises the bar in the midst of creating his own lane that’s filled with clear pictures, simple texts, and off the wall essentials that complete the templates of his designs. Cartier is a trail-blazer because he goes against the status quo to create his own, jumping over hurdles in order to make a lane for others. He is the X-Factor on this list due to his experience, and look for him to continue to further the culture with his work 


As much of the Atlanta music scene has been taking off in the past couple of years, so has the creative boom. Chocolate City has grown grass roots artists such as OriginalFani, who has played as an instrumental variable to the creative success of Two9, Mike-Will, and other musicians. He has garnered the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Gucci Mane and more to sport his signature tees and “Fandanas”. The simplistic aesthetic that he’s created has made him one of the most versatile artists on the list. He has turned his hustle of moving clothing into manufacturing limiting quantities of furniture and other creative concepts. Grabbing the Atlanta art scene by its neck for the past year and a half, look for Fani to make more of a worldwide expansion as the year progresses. 


If you remember the rising clothing brand that went by the name of Kreemo, the success it had in the Georgia area and beyond was credited to the marketing/design genius behind it, BWright. Fast forward to his modern life at the moment, Wright has made his way to being the marketing head of Ear Drummer Records and has worked closely alongside Mike Will Made It, Rae Sremmurd, Wiz Khalifa, and more. Crafting the artistic vision for the Khalifa, Sremm Life, and Nothing Is Promised album/single covers, it’s safe to say Wright’s versatility with his work has caught the eyes of many and people don’t even know it. Being a focal point in today’s creative industry, Wright masters the role of creating the artistry that people want but also goes against the grain to make things that people will remember in the long run. Not slowing anytime soon, look for Wright to turn more heads in 2016.