Story by Christina Freudenthaler.
Photos by William Geier.
Kyle James Desnoyers is predominantly recognized under the pseudonym Kdboi Art. This 25 year-old born and raised Calgarian is a full-time working single father by day, and an up-and-coming painter, illustrator, photographer and sketch maniac – generally known as an artist – by night.
Growing up, Desnoyers felt consistently inspired by his father, who is also an artist. He timidly accredits most of his skill to his father’s influence before modestly acknowledging his own natural ability.
“I just had to draw. I had to be creative because it was always around me,” proclaims Desnoyers.
Desnoyer’s only formal training came from high school art classes where he was told to do things in class and he “would kind of do it but wouldn’t really stick to it.” This is a testament to his style entirely; a style that he has adapted over the years as he has grown as an individual and artist.
Kdboi creates hyper-realistic cartoon-esque pieces of artwork. His style, though difficult to describe, is unique in its own right and, therefore, authentic and sought after.
Artists of the American alternative hip-hop collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, which is normally shortened to Odd Future or abbreviated to OFWGKTA, heavily influenced his recent pieces.
Odd Future’s brand consists of music, fashion apparel, and even an annual carnival to showcase the talent that exists in the collective.
A spark was ignited the moment Desnoyers watched Odd Future co-founder Tyler, The Creator’s music video, Yonkers. He began to constantly create and share his OFWGKTA inspired drawings on his Instagram account, while tagging the main members of Odd Future in each of his posts.
“It encouraged me to keep drawing Odd Future based pieces,” states Desnoyers.
Soon after, Odd Future rapper Travis ‘Taco’ Bennett reposted one of Desnoyers’ original pieces titled “Taco Donut.” It didn’t take long to be recognized by other members of the collective, as well as other local and international artists.
Desnoyers began to notice that a lot of Tyler, The Creator’s followers began “creeping their way” into his account, which he felt proud of himself for finally being recognized for his hard work.
Maintaining the following he’s built on Instagram, Desnoyers attributes collaboration as an important business value.
“I feel like every time I branch out to a different artist to collaborate with, it has opened a new door for followers to see what I’m doing what the other artist is doing, and to see what we’re doing together.”
Being a full-time freelance artist is Desnoyers’ main ambition, and, once he gets there, he cannot wait to have his own studio space. Separating his part-time passion from his full-time day job and responsibilities of being a father has had its challenges.
Desnoyers declares that the biggest sacrifice he’s made to being a successful artist has been the time commitment.
“I have given more time than anything.”
When asked how long he sticks with an idea before giving up, Desnoyers replies, “I’m always thinking about what I can do or create that might be the next big thing.”
“It’s bad sometimes, especially when you’re trying to focus on other things, but I think it’s a cool superpower to have.”
Follow Kdboi Art on Instagram: @kdboiart