Artist Series, Carrefour Laval, Greater Montreal: David Brown
Renowned Montreal street- and tattoo artist David Brown’s signature style has evolved over the years, morphing into an eclectic fusion of sketch drawing, dot work, and realism that captures the rebellious spirit of street art. As an artist that is celebrated for going against the grain, Brown was naturally the perfect candidate to bring his creative prowess to Psycho Bunny’s Artist Series. You can see David Brown’s artwork, “Ceci n’est pas un Lapin” in-store at Carrefour Laval, Greater Montreal.
Brown has been fascinated by visual art since he was a child, prompting him to start drawing and exploring his imagination at a very young age. It was only after he discovered and explored street art as a form of expression that he really honed his craft with the consideration of becoming a professional artist. “I really got into drawing after I started doing graffiti in high school in my hometown Trois-Rivières, a few hours outside of Montreal. I used to slip out late at night to spray-paint trains and walls all over the city, which helped me develop my craft to the point where I would eventually receive paid contracts,” Brown explains. Ever the model father of two beautiful sons, he adds, “don’t tell my kids!”
However, Brown’s artistic endeavors took an unexpected turn when his band, The New Cities, were signed to Sony Music in 2009—a turn that would result in ten years of focusing on music and touring. “The band decided to call it quits after a decade and I started tattooing. It was very organic and just the natural path for me to take at that point, since I already had loved tattoos—having gotten many myself—as an artform and pretty much everything else about it,” Brown says.
Having studied art at university, he had a solid foundation to start from, but it was his years of drawing and tattooing that led to him discovering his signature style, which still slowly progresses as he grows. “I think my style is continuously evolving. It needs to evolve over time if you want to feel fulfilled.” His current aesthetic can be described as a melange of sketch drawing, dot work, and realism that is boldly steeped in a street art spirit.
His approach to transforming the Psycho Bunny logo using his unique style was to basically get stuck in straight away to see what works and what doesn’t. “The first version was way darker with a realistic skull and some bunny ears on top of it, but I felt it needed some fine tuning, so I started from scratch,” he declares. “A blank page doesn’t scare me. It only gets scary when you stare at it for too long without doing anything. Anything inside one’s mind is doable, but you still need to get it out, do the work, and put it on paper.”
Brown relates to Psycho Bunny as a brand. “It wants to give an edge where it was missing before. Most brands with a similar aesthetic have kept things low key and too classic for my liking. Pops of neon colors and a skull is a resounding yes from me,” Brown laughs.
His love for Montreal, the birthplace of Brown and his two sons, is one that he compares to two other cities that inspire him, New York City and Los Angeles—although Montreal has a bit more of what he needs to fuel his creativity. “I see the Olympic Stadium (an impressive retro-futuristic structure that hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics) literally every day when I head to my tattoo shop. It’s such a powerful piece of architecture. I feel like you can be real in Montreal. People don’t judge you for being different. Being yourself is one of the most important things in life—cause being you is okay,” Brown concludes.