Enter Mad Dog Jones, Instagram artist extraordinaire. His work is part collage, part illustration, and 100 percent designed for social media. The Toronto-based artist creates vivid imagery with bright colors and fine linework, combining hectic environments with serene portraiture.
Akira bikes and Gundam bots are paired with Asian cityscapes and signage, then overlaid with characters pulled straight from the app store. There’s also a heavy focus on clothing brands and style. His work could be described as illustrated sci-fi fashion editorials.
There’s a fluency in the existing visual language, a battle with the pull to unplug, and the cultivation of walled internet gardens to grow a following. While it all goes unspoken and is only communicated through the work itself, it’s intentional.
“This style was developed specifically for Instagram,” Mad Dog, also known as Michah Dowbak, says over Skype from a snowy northern Ontario. “There’s no way I could be reaching this level of [a following] while simultaneously doing my other stuff. I prefer Instagram, because words can hurt someone a lot more than images.”
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