WORKS A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT
In honor of College Colors Day, for the duration of the College Football season, the Original Retro Brand will be interviewing students, alumni, and faculty from colleges across the country to get some insight as to what makes college football so special and unique to them and their school, and we're going to start now....
Finally, it's upon us. College football begins Thursday night. College Colors Day is this Friday - The day when College Football fans don their school colors to show support for their team. The UCF Knights open up their season on Saturday, and UCF grad, and sports illustrator/artist Brian Perrymond will be at the ready with his paint brush in one hand, a remote in the other, and an Original Retro Brand shirt on his body!
Andy: I'm guessing you were (still are?) a regular at Knights games when you were in school?
Brian: Of course! I should preface by saying I'm a college football fan first and foremost. I love it all! I grew up watching the great announcer Keith Jackson call all those classic games on Saturdays. Once I got into college and found out students could get into football games with their college ID's, I was there. I didn't miss one game while I was in school. It was a ton of fun going down to the Citrus Bowl to watch my Knights. Daunte Culpepper was the QB back then, and UCF was beginning to play some big programs. The stadium was live and we supported the Knights big time!!
Andy: When your not watching football, you're obviously painting. You have produced some of the most outstanding sports illustrations and paintings I've ever seen!! I'm no art critic, but I'll go out on a limb and formally declare your work AMAZING! Where did this talent come from - were you formally trained?
Brian: Thanks for the kind words Andy..I appreciate it. Well, I've been fortunate. I did not know any artists growing up. I was fascinated with drawing from a young age. Drawing was something that I enjoyed so much, that I just drew all the time - especially in my classes. I became infatuated with making every new drawing better than the previous. My senior year in High School, my art teacher took my drawings and submitted them to the Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phoenix City, AL., that landed me a scholarship. That's when my formal art training began. Afterwords, I attended the University of Central Florida where I was pushed and encouraged by some great instructors. I also had the chance to freelance for the Orlando Sentinel which gave me some great experience as well. Following college I had the chance to do an apprenticeship with master portrait painter Hoeun Chung in Atlanta. Talent, along with great instruction and hard work is what has brought my art to where it is today.
Andy: Maybe George O'Leary's boys will work as hard as you do this year! While you cover boxing, horse racing, basketball and football throughout your gallery, the majority of your work seems to focus on baseball and the Negro Leagues. I'm guessing baseball is your main inspiration? Can you explain?
Brian: Not necessarily baseball. Sports in general is something in which I have enjoyed throughout my life and that's what has inspired me. When I first began painting, I painted what interested me. I love history, and I found the game of baseball and the historic Negro Leagues fascinating. When you see old baseball photographs, you get a feel of how it was America's game. I love the way the the fans would dress up in their Sunday best to got out to the ballgame. I just wanted to show my perspective on how I saw baseball, and that's how the series of those pieces came about. I'm inspired today by what continues to interest me most, so I enjoy mixing things up to keep my work fresh.
Andy: Speaking of fresh, I know you've sold paintings to the likes of Andre 3000 from Outkast, and had work commissioned by the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame and the Kennedy Space Center to name a few. Are you currently working on any new projects for celebrities and/or similar institutions?
Brian: I'm currently working on a commissioned painting for Mr. Michael German of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. He's a celebrity in my eyes. He's making an impact on the lives of the people who need help the most. He's given me the chance to work from one of his old family photographs that depicts his family back in the day. I love taking an old black and white photo and making it a painting. Beyond that project, I'm producing new work for upcoming shows and taking personal commissions as they come.
WEAR WHAT THE CELEBS WEAR
Andy: Your a celebrity in our eyes Brian! You've collected a few Original Retro Brand shirts over the years. What is it you love so much about the brand?
Brian: These shirts are by far the most comfortable shirts that I have without question. I enjoy the unique throwback look that the shirts have as well as the cut and the colors. I just feel really comfortable when I'm wearing them.
Thanks for taking a few minutes with us today Brian. Congratulations on all your success, and good look to the Knights this year! To view Brian's gallery and to commission him for a painting, you can visit his website at Brianperrymond.com
Please be sure to check back with us this Thursday, as next up on our season long College Colors Day tour we'll visit the "Tent City" known as Paternoville (that'd be right outside of Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions).
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