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Featured Artist: Charles Smith

Meet featured artist, Charles Smith! Smith's artwork will be on display until January 4, 2017 at our Central location, 3704 Kerbey Ln.

Charles Smith is a native Austinite, born and raised in the Capitol City for nearly 20 years. Currently he attends Schreiner University, a small, private liberal arts college located 100 miles west of Austin in Kerrville, TX. There he is pursuing a degree in Communication Design, which is the industry recognized term for the ever-expanding field of graphic design.

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With less than 25,000 residents, the sleepy town of Kerrville provides a quiet environment conducive to focusing on his studies, but Smith likes to return to his hometown once or twice a month to see friends, family and take in all our bustling city has to offer.

Smith reminisces about his childhood, stating that "Austin was a lot different [back then]. When I was growing up, there weren't as many people and the city felt more relaxed; the culture is changing."

Wildlife, plants and nature are what inspire Smith most. Before beginning a drawing he photographs and studies his subjects. He considered pursuing biology for awhile but found that his passion lied with art. He jokingly drew a parallel between the inspiration for his artwork and that of being an endangered species as an Austin native when he commented, "I am like a rare, exotic animal."

Smith's preferred medium is pen and ink on paper, but he's also experimented with marker, graphite and painting. At the age of 14, Smith began drawing for fun and by the time he reached his sophomore year of high school he found that most of his free time was spent creating art. His specific style emerged when an ex-girlfriend asked him to draw her a tattoo design. Over the past two years his style has continued to evolve–his lines, once geometric, have become more fluid.

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Music has been a large part of Smith's life and his inspiration. There isn't a whole lot of preparation that happens before Smith begins a drawing. He told us, "I just put on music and let it flow." Smith's drawings typically take anywhere from five hours to a week to complete.

In the future Smith plans to branch out to do a study on plants and create a series of botanical drawings. He particularly enjoys drawing hibiscus flowers. After graduating from college, Smith's goal is to be a freelance artist.

View more of Smith's artwork on his Etsy store, TempoDesignStudio and connect with him on Instagram. All of his drawings (with the exception of one) at Kerbey Lane Cafe are for sale. Questions for Smith? Send him an email.