Two years ago at the Envision Mpls fashion show I met a young, enthusiastic, visual artist by the name of Marcus Styles. We've managed to stay in contact over the years and it has been truly amazing to watch each other grow and develop. Marcus' style is very similar yet different from mine. My aesthetic is very bright/white balanced while his is darker with more shadows. We thought it would be dope to collaborate and create something that brought both of our styles of fashion, art, and photography together. We chose to mix things up a bit and play around with different gendered clothing items, Marcus is wearing a top/jacket combo from the women's section at Zara, while I am wearing a men's Bape x Hudson sweater as a dress from Macy's. This project was pretty big, we had my photographer, Kendall Holt as well as Marcus' photographer, Tommy Witoshynsky taking photos. At the end of the shoot I sat down with Marcus to ask him a few questions to let my readers know more about him and his work.
Let's start by introducing yourself. Who is Marcus Styles? Where are you from? What do you do? (What time of art do you produce?)
Well I can’t answer that without telling you I’m actually Marcus Spears. Born and raised in NE Minneapolis (home of the artist). I am a creative director + visual artist. When I was younger I use to make up new identities frequently. Some people use to know me as Jordan Boss, Demetrius, Skylar, etc. but I’m well known as Savagegodd and Stylishgawd. Those where my biggest screen names in high school. But after some rediscovery I found Marcus Styles. None of my alter egos really exist anymore they were all phases in my life that helped me find Marcus Styles. Marcus styles is the creative mastermind, Marcus Spears is your every day guy who likes Pizza and Smoothies.
When did you first realize you were a creative?
I've always known how to draw, design, model, and anything creative honestly. They have been things throughout my life I have flourished doing. But, I was fortunate enough to attend Main Street School of Performing Arts High school (Msspa for short). From the performing arts scene it was the road to rediscovery. I began as a theater major and thought I was one day going to be a an actor in commercial for the rest of my life. I was good at acting but I let everyone else outshine me. But, because of some close friends and the persuasion of the amazing Betsy Maloney, I became a dance major. I knew I was a creative when I performed my first choreographed dance piece.
Tells us a little bit about your work & the creative process behind it. (What does your work represent? How do you gain inspiration?)
You will see lots of Gold! I try and use other colors but gold (and pink sometimes) have held a huge hierarchy over other colors in my work because Gold represents pain and loss which ties into my work! I love the dark! Most of what I do is meant to have a dark undertone, I feel that's just my thing. I also love creating about identity, sexuality, and gender. I'm currently working on some pieces I’m very optimistic about the end result. My creative process changes constantly and is never the same but I usually find myself listening to FKA Twigs, Beyoncé, VV Brown and Banks as I create. I have lots of artist I love hearing when I get into a creative mind like the weekend, Tsar B, Fyfe, James Blake, Melanie Martinez to name a few but those four ladies really get me into my zone and help me create my best work.
What advice could you give someone about how to be more creative?
Don't stop creating. Work through every mountain, hike through every creative valley. I remember being bullied for many years and it was horrible. But, after being belittled for so long I found myself in art and I’ve worked so hard to be where I am now. Prove them wrong, I've accomplished so much since I’ve learned to work through the creative process. I was awarded for my choreography and designed for a fashion show at the age of 18, I’m being interviewed as a visual artist and creative director by the beautiful Sabrina Adams, I’ve maintained a 4.0 in college, people are loving my work and my direction and I’m only 20. Age means so much in this world but it honestly is nothing, working hard is where the power comes from. Show the world who you are, you don’t have to tell them. Actions speak so much louder than words!
What can we expect to see from you this year? Are there any new projects you're working on?
2017 is my artistic year. I want to create so much and I have lots planned. I am currently working on a project called SS17 which is a fashion editorial project about confidence, power, and being fierce, I am currently in the process of creating a huge project and community for youth artist to create without limitations. In this project you will see limitless hard work and dedication from my best friend tommy and I along with our youth artist collaborants. We are also going to us this project too connect and unite the youth artist community and give them the opportunity that no one is willing to give them due to their background, experience, or age. Our inspiration for each collaboration is the limitations there are on the youth and we want to use our creativity to fight against those limitations. This project will consist of a blog where we will post all of the work we make with other artist in Minneapolis and across the country. Those are the two main projects everyone should stay tuned for!
Where can people find you? (What's your social media?)
@Saintstyles on instgram and Marcus Styles Creative on Facebook.
Check out some of Marcus' recent graphic design work.
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Photo Credit: Kendall Holt & Tommy Witoshynsky