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“I grew up drawing my own comics books as an escape along with constantly drawing Spider-Man over and over and that is where it all started.”

The Evolution of CreativeSnark

Tony Lockhart , known professionally as CreativeSnark, is an American illustrator who has made a significant mark in the fields of advertising and branding. Raised in an environment reminiscent of the 1920s, Lockhart’s childhood was steeped in the simplicity and ingenuity of a bygone era. This unique upbringing fostered a vivid imagination, which became the bedrock of his artistic journey. Lockhart recalls spending hours creating his own games and toys, often using aluminum foil for its malleability. This penchant for creation extended to designing toys on sketch paper, complete with specifications, which he would mail to companies like Hasbro, hopeful they would bring his inventions to life. This blend of nostalgia, innovation, and a self-reliant approach to play has profoundly influenced his current work. Even today, Lockhart’s creative process begins with sketches and blueprints, a method that harks back to his formative years.

Lockhart’s journey into the art world seemed predestined, beginning with drawing his own comic books and endlessly sketching characters like Spider-Man. This passion eventually led him to Pasadena, California, where he embarked on his professional career in 2014. Lockhart’s style, as articulated by a close friend Stephanie, is a harmonious blend of natural and fantastical elements, characterized by a bright yet realistic lens. This approach reflects his positive outlook on life, a trait deeply embedded in his artistic expression. Themes central to his work include mental health, humorous observations of universal experiences, and poignant life moments. He aims to forge a connection with his audience, inviting viewers to see themselves in his designs. Lockhart’s artistry thrives on this ability to resonate with people on a personal level, making his work not just visually appealing but emotionally relatable.

The Creative Palette of Tony Lockhart

The artist’s workspace is a testament to his minimalist philosophy. For Lockhart, essential elements include good music, his Wacom tablet, and a phone switched to airplane mode. This simple yet effective setup allows him to immerse himself completely in his work, transcending time and external distractions. This immersive approach is crucial for Lockhart, as it facilitates a deep focus on the creative task at hand, enabling him to produce work that is both intricate and expressive. His commitment to minimalism in his workspace mirrors the clarity and focus he brings to his art, a quality that has become a hallmark of his style.

In discussing his artistic influences, Lockhart credits several key figures who have shaped his journey. Foremost among them is Von Glitschka, an illustrator whose guidance was instrumental during Lockhart’s undergraduate years. Glitschka’s willingness to mentor him, even as a stranger, left a lasting impact on Lockhart. This connection exemplifies the importance of mentorship and community in the art world. Other notable influences include Patrick O’Keefe, who introduced him to storyboarding, and his friend Marissa, whose insights and perspectives have been invaluable. These relationships underscore the collaborative and interconnected nature of artistic growth, highlighting the role of community and mentorship in nurturing creative talent.

The Creative Process Behind CreativeSnark

Tony Lockhart’s artistic medium is a blend of the digital and the analog, a duality that reflects his approach to creativity. Starting out in graphic design naturally led him towards digital art, primarily using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. However, he maintains a strong connection to traditional methods, with 95% of his projects beginning as sketches. Lockhart finds that this initial analog process enhances his creative direction, allowing for a more thorough exploration of ideas before digitizing them. This method ensures that his digital creations retain a handcrafted quality, bridging the gap between the tactile and the technological.

Lockhart has experimented with various mediums, but his preference for digital art does not diminish his appreciation for traditional techniques. This fusion of the old and the new is evident in his work, which often features a unique blend of digital precision and hand-drawn charm. His commitment to starting projects with pencil and paper underscores a belief in the enduring value of traditional artistry, even in an increasingly digital world. Lockhart’s artistic philosophy is a testament to the versatility and adaptability of modern artists, who are often called upon to navigate between different mediums and techniques.

Tony Lockhart: Envisioning a Digital Artistic Frontier

CreativeSnark harbors ambitious plans for the future. One project he eagerly anticipates is creating a futuristic, augmented reality (AR) and interactive design gallery. This gallery would not only showcase his portfolio but also incorporate voiceovers and interactive elements, offering a more immersive experience. Lockhart’s interest in AR, particularly in advertising and marketing contexts, demonstrates his forward-thinking approach to art and technology. This project encapsulates his desire to push the boundaries of what is possible in digital art, exploring new ways to engage and captivate audiences.

His previous work, notably an AR design for the Scars Foundation focusing on mental health, has already shown the impact of this technology. This piece, which emphasizes the universality of emotional struggles, resonated deeply with viewers, highlighting the power of art to connect and comfort. Lockhart’s vision for his AR gallery is not just about showcasing his work; it’s about creating a space where art and technology converge to offer new perspectives and experiences. This endeavor reflects his ongoing commitment to innovation and his desire to explore the ever-evolving landscape of digital art.

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