“Looks Like Fun” at Will Call

Six artists embrace their own scrawling sensibilities for “Looks Like Fun.”

Joseph Kleinschmidt

 

Who doesn’t like to add a shrewdly placed Hitler moustache to a stern portrait? What better way to pass the time than doodling a meandering trail of geometric shapes? Local artist Leanna Perry has taken this kind of mindless sketching to another level.

Perry’s illustrations bleed neon colors, her own font and countless vibrant symbols that embody this type of artistic freedom. She only draws for fun, and her drawings are intentionally imperfect, giving life to what she found stale in digital design.

“I decided that I was more interested in analog graphic design instead of doing stuff on the computer all the time,” she said.

From Kansas City, Mo., the Minneapolis College of Art and Design senior brings her work to life with a local collection of kindred artists for the new exhibition. Eddie Perrote, Josh Manoles, Bill Rebholz, Kelsey Dusenka and Mr. HBAK join the fun, transmitting the energy and youth alongside Perry’s scribbles.

“When I describe my work to people, one of the phrases I’m always throwing out is, ‘It just looks like fun,’” she said.

Splotches of uneven markers shade the background of a pyramid in one of her drawings, with the massive letters “Looks Like Fun” overlaying the entire piece. A retreat to ’90s-style patterns make Perry’s works feel like a kid’s pizza party or a handmade ’zine. In other words, she distills pure, unadulterated fun.

Uniform typeface and tessellations never enter her art — Perry remains staunchly opposed to working within what she sees as a cold substitute for human scrawling.

“I feel like it loses a lot of the soul of the piece,” she said. “Is it by anyone? Is it even human?”

Perry looks up to illustrator Ed Fella as an influence for her roundabout drawing technique. His hand-rendered typography mirrors the lively curves of Perry’s lettering, something she sees as a trend.

“I think there’s definitely been a resurgence in hand-lettering,” she said.

At MCAD, the current program still encourages a schedule full of courses that require a working knowledge of various illustration programs.

“The design program’s mainly focused on what you can do with InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.”

Obviously, Perry employs the use of a computer, but she doesn’t want to rely on the programs. On the periphery of one of her designs, the phrase, “Fun is created by stimulating the brain with novelty” accompanies a bold backdrop of faces, coins, rings and other symbols.

“It expresses something about the person who made it,” she said. “A lot of that gets lost when it’s just a pixel of color.”

 

 

What: “Looks Like Fun” Reception
 
Where: Will Call Studio and Gallery, 558 Vandalia St., St. Paul
 
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
 
Cost: Free