The use of social media has been evolving, and artists have been finding
new ways to take advantage of it. Many use it to connect to friends and
family, but for some these connections can help promote other ventures.
Elliott C. Nathan, 28, a gay artist in San Francisco, found a new way to
use social media to connect with another gay artist, Randy Edward
Penird, 21, in Florida. The two met online and collaborated on a mural
that was recently completed in the Mission district.
Nathan and Penird met through the popular photo-sharing site
Instagram. They decided to collaborate after following each other’s
work because they both used similar hashtags to identify the kind of
work they do.
“We would never have met had he used a different hashtag, or if he or I
posted at a different time of day,” Nathan said. “I feel like meeting
people on Instagram isn’t the norm, but it’s fun to follow the interesting
paths that present themselves. When we were working on the mural we
had our Instagram handles clearly labeled out on our drop cloth. We
also Instagrammed the creation process and final product.”
The three-panel mural, located at Bartlett and 24th streets, was
completed during Pride month in June.
Nathan did life drawing and black and white photography in high
school and has been doing street art since 2007.
“I started doing sticker art in Barcelona, and later progressed to
wheatpastes and ephemeral installations and murals,” he said.
After putting a portfolio together, Nathan applied to the University of
Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts and was accepted.
“I followed the path of life drawing and photography while always
keeping my own random doodles and weird drawings on the side,”
Nathan said. “My second passion has always been business. I was
inspired to apply to the University of Connecticut’s School of Business,
where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration
and marketing. I continued to take art classes and vowed that leaving
the School of Fine Arts would not stop me from creating art.”
Penird is a self-taught street artist from Florida.
“I’m constantly working on my craft. I’ve never stopped drawing and it
was never a chore for me,” Penird said in an email from Florida, where
he returned after the project. “I’m anticipating my move to San Francisco in the next few months to try and get some classes in.
I’ve always wanted to go to school for art, and I’m just getting to a point where I can afford it.”