Myles Rowe, artistically known as Myles Hi, is a 2D illustrator / animator from Detroit, MI in the United States. His artwork resembles the use of an archival fine ink pen, on top of friendly, opaque colors. Myles bases his character designs on his own lifestyle and those around him. Being from what may be the "Blackest City in America", his concepts are oftentimes inspired by his experiences as a Black father from an urban city environment. You’ll commonly see themes of parenthood, sports, music, fashion, tech, and satirical takes on society in his work. An art piece from Myles may consist of large, detailed urban settings full of Black and Brown characters, laid out using one, two, and three point perspective drawing techniques. He loves making his 2D work feel like it has a sense of spatial depth.
Lead animator on Hulu’s “Your Attention Please” / Signing with Anna Goodson Illustration Agency :)Read more
How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I identify as a heterosexual Black American man. I identify with the Black American community and Black communities worldwide. I advocate for Latino and Afro-Latino communities, because I live and share my life with them, and we share similar struggles. I advocate for LBGQT+ communities because love is love. I identify with and advocate for small business owners, the working force, the art community because these are the people who shaped me into who I am today.
Where is home?
My original home is Detroit, MI. The home I made with my family is in Upland, CA.
Describe your style of illustration in one sentence
I generally go for humorous urban lifestyle pieces in bright, bold colors.
What lights your soul on fire? Learning new creative techniques.
Every time I learn something new, it feels like I’m “leveling up”.
What themes do you enjoy exploring?
Society’s relationship to tech and pop culture, humans in their urban surroundings, the relationships between family members, satire on religion, politics and civil rights.
What techniques do you use?
Most of the time I work digitally, simulating a fine archival ink pen and solid color combo. To get quick ideas out when I’m away from the computer, I’ll sketch on a notepad with an ink pen.
How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
My work is constantly drowned in my own tastes and preferences – full of nods to my favorite pieces of tech, my experiences as a father, my life as a digital artist, my past experiences in different fields of creativity.
Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
I consistently use 5 colors of the rainbow – red, yellow, green, blue, purple. I also use the same browns and tans for skin. You’ll almost always see the same colors in all my pieces, sometimes brightened or darkened for shading purposes.
What do you want to be known for?
I used to want to be known as a big time musician. But now, I dont want to be known more than my artwork. I dream of being able to have a behemoth, Mickey Mouse level, iconic character or character set that I created that’s adored by the world. But I still want to be able to go to places like the grocery store peacefully, largely unrecognized.
Which projects excite you most?
Projects where I get to include jokes and make fun of things are the ones that excite me the most.
What is your dream gig?
My dream gig is creating my own animated series with a large television network.
Where, when and how do you best create?
I create best late at night, in the comfort of my own living room. Every now and then I’ll turn a comedy on to keep me company.
How has your style evolved since you started?
Initially I had a very rough and edgy, sketchy style. Now I like to think it’s a lot more clean and welcoming.
What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
Not leaving any ‘white space’ in my artwork! A lot of the time spent on my work is me examining each area, deciding how to fill it in with a thoughtful detail.
How as being an illustrator changed your life?
Its allowed me to create projects that really resonate with people, tell stories with more detail, and expand my imagination to places I otherwise couldn’t have reached. Its helped me to create live shows for people to enjoy, make toys! That was a super cool experience. Its allowed me to feed myself and my family.
Name a tool you can’t live without!
My computer!! I use it every day, it has my drawing software, my drawing albums, my animation software, etc.
Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
I once lead an animation project where I had to animate a Black American maritime biologist. The overall point of the project was to display Black people thriving in industries they aren’t always seen in. It was meaningful to me for a few reasons. One, it was really exciting to be a part of something that felt like a ‘first time’ thing. There’s a huge assumption within the Black community, and also outside of our community, that we all aren’t too fond of being in natural bodies of water. Theres some slight truth to this for various reasons, albeit exaggerated. So prior to this project, I had no idea that Black American maritime biologists existed, or maybe I should say, I never entertained the thought. Secondly, this was a huge Black history project to be aired on Hulu, so this was my first time being recognized by such a large corporation. It felt good to be recognized, educated, unified and showcased all in one project. It was also a turning point for me as an artist where I knew that I could make it as an Illustrator and Animator as well.
What influences or inspires your art?
Black (American) culture is a huge inspiration to my work. I love the different hair styles, the details on the clothing, the jewelry and fashion. Some other inspirations include music, gaming and technology (Modern and Vintage). I also really love to depict people playing extreme sports, and scenes with an overall good sense of community.
What would you tell your younger self?
Watching all those cartoons has paid off big time… but they don’t call them cartoons anymore, they’re just called “animations”.
Why do you think art speaks louder than words? Its simple!
I would rather see a sunset with my own eyes than read about it on any day of the week.
Illustrating the future
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