Culture Crush: Tyler Cohen

  • 10 Min.
  • Culture
  • By Jacob Burstein

We were first introduced to New York-based artist Tyler Cohen when he dropped us a friendly 'Hello!' email with samples of his work, and kind words on our Instagram feed. From that point on, our relationship blossomed with countless exchanges of admiration for each other. We love his subtle humor, his use of found imagery, his playful line art, and his attitude towards art.

As a creative agency, it's our duty to showcase some of the most inspiring, eye-catching, and creative work we see -- that's why we chose Tyler Cohen as our Culture Crush of the month. 

Matador, Tyler Cohen

JB: How long have you been a creator? 

Tyler: I have been creating since I unearthed MS Paint on the family computer. That discovery, aided by an unusual childhood, launched an education and career in design. However, I’ve only just ‘outed’ myself as an artist.

JB: Where do you draw inspiration from? 

Tyler: Inspiration is a recent development. I used to see phenomenal works of art as a direct threat, reminders that I didn’t yet have the discipline to translate a concept into a worthwhile creation. Now, I try to feed my eyes. I resisted Instagram for so long, but it has really been a tremendous resource for visual stimuli.

Dunce, Tyler Cohen

JB: How do you differentiate between being a designer and being an artist? 

Tyler: I would say, in theory, design solves problems while art highlights them.

JB: How has your style and process changed throughout your years of creating?

Tyler: My style hasn't been the focus of change. More accurately, I have been honing my process. I’ve now formed the habit of creating regularly and, as a result, I have some fluency in making statements. I used to restrict myself by only playing in terrain I was familiar with, but today I make a very conscious effort to explore new mediums.

Plane Slice, Tyler Cohen

JB: What are your long term and short term goals for your art and as an artist?

Tyler: The end goal is to create large-scale, public artworks that are as honest as they are enormous. In terms of the immediate, I would like to learn how to better translate suffering into artistic expression.

Birth of Christ, Tyler Cohen

JB: What do you thinking about when starting a new piece? 

Tyler: Let the truth be the punch line and do it in as few “strokes” as possible. If you have nothing to say, don’t and draw a nude instead.

JB: Tell me more about your process. 

Tyler: The process can often be tragic. The uncertainty of culminating a good idea keeps me awake. Sometimes, it feels as if I am beholden to the spontaneous nature of my creativity. Other days, it’s strictly touchdowns and slam-dunks. The only guarantee is the insatiable desire to create and being confronted by that inevitable wall in your way.

Boomerang, Tyler Cohen

JB: How would you describe your style and aesthetic? 

Tyler: I am a minimalist with an opinion. I like clean lines and clear points of view. In terms of form, I am drawn to and draw the geometric, take pleasure in the nude figure and constantly yearn to say something clever.

JB: Who or where do you draw inspiration from? 

Tyler: I have tremendous admiration for poets and satirists. I kowtow to the beauty of cubism and feel at home with the Dadaists.

Lovers, Tyler Cohen

JB: What has been one of the most memorable moments of creation to date? 

Tyler: The most memorable moment was creating something that had physical properties. It took me forever to understand the third dimension and, subsequently, wade around in it. Beauty is much more difficult to achieve when working on numerous planes.

JB: What has been the most rewarding moment for you in 2017 thus far?

Tyler: In recent memory, the most rewarding part of the process has been collaborating with and talking to other creatives. Forming those relationships removes you from the vacuum and allows your work to benefit by gaining additional perspective.

Keep up with Tyler on his Instagram or website

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