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How Detroit artist Tac is giving cartoon illustrations a new meaning

Detroit artist Tac spoke with rolling out about his love for illustrating
How Detroit artist Tac is giving cartoon illustrations a new meaning
Photo courtesy of Brian Trezevant

Tac is an artist and illustrator based in Detroit, Michigan. From a young age, Tac knew he had a talent for creating art, and as he continued to grow, his purpose became more defined, collaborating with music makers and television shows such as “Adult Swim.”

Tac spoke with rolling out about what inspired him to become an artist and his artistic style.

When did you first delve into creating art?

I was always an artist, and I’ve been drawing since I was eight-years-old. That’s the earliest that I can remember. I didn’t have any electronics growing up until I was 12, so within that four-year gap, it was just me and my siblings, and we were drawing anything that we watched on TV. It was pretty much just like drawing and watching TV. We watched Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon all day since those were our go-to options with the occasional anime shows that were coming on at that time. It was a thing when you were younger to draw super buff Dragon Ball Z characters and over-exaggerate it a little bit, so that’s what I did. I would say that from an early age, I kind of always had that experience of just keeping up with what’s going on and trying to make it into my style. Doing that at a young age taught me how to be consistent now.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my art as definitely cartoonish, if that’s a style. I would consider it a style because a lot of the art is derived from cartoons and I get a lot of my style from them. A lot of the people that I looked up to, as far as style-wise were Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons,” Mike Judge, creator of “King of the Hill” and “Beavis and Butt-Head,” Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of “Scott Pilgrim,” and Pendleton Ward, creator of “Adventure Time.” These were really big inspirations as far as style, and I always loved how simple the drawings were or how the characters look, but I feel like the dialect and the story in the writing just tied everything together. Simplicity is the best form of sophistication when you handle it with care.

What hip-hop artists have you collaborated with, and who would you want to collab with?

The first time it was working with Curren$y. I’ve been a fan of him since I was in high school, probably even middle school, but that was a great experience. I was able to do album art for him, so I would say that was something I could scratch off my bucket list. Today, I would probably either want to collab with Tyler the Creator or Kid Cudi.

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