If breaking the fourth wall is a concept that could lend itself outside of film and into the world of art, Zac Counts is a designer and illustrator who does just that. He shares his process of creating with his audience in an honest and refreshing way, making the end products feel all the more personal.
Even when recreating well-known characters of anime shows, Zac Counts is able to retain a visual style that is unmistakably his own. It is clear that his art is influenced by graphic novels and his line work is never static. It is always telling a story in the movement implied with his heavy shadowing, distorted images and lines that seem to be dripping and oozing off the canvas.
Fairly Odd Co. — the website through which his prints, T-shirts and skateboard decks are sold — is the vehicle for his talent, but don’t let him catch you calling it a brand. According to the website, Fairly Odd Co. “isn’t a business, or a brand.”
This is a bit of a bold statement in a world obsessed with social media and marketing, but more than anything it seems that Counts is attempting to construct an ethos surrounding his art that feels organic. Rather than only showcasing his commissioned work, Counts also regularly shares his experiments with color and inspired sketches along the way on his personal Instagram page.
“Aesthetically this idea is inspired by surrealism, post postmodernism, and cartoons. Conceptually this idea watches Rick and Morty, and enjoys Channel Orange,” he writes on the shop site.
In addition to selling his illustrations on clothing and prints, Counts also has designs on his site that are available for use as wallpaper on phones. This is a clever innovation on the idea of a business card — something that can be carried around at all times by his customers and start conversations about his art.
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