SEATTLE — Emerging artist Damon Brown showcases life in Seattle by blending animation, graffiti, and fine art techniques.

“I think over the years, I was able to marry all of those styles together and come up with what I do now,” Damon Brown said.

He works under the name "Creative Lou," turning out vibrant and eye-catching images he creates free-hand and digitally.

"My mom would tell you probably when I was very little, probably before I could remember, I was always drawing or creating something,” he said.

Born and raised in the Central District, he was dazzled by Disney, Marvel, and graffiti. He studied fine art in college and worked professionally in graphic design.

Damon Brown
Artist Damon Brown sketches in his Columbia City studio.

But for a long time, Brown didn't showcase his artwork. It took a health scare to convince him it was time.

“A few years ago, I ended up having a kidney transplant. And as I was going through the process, I realized that life is definitely short,” he said. “Too short. Tomorrow is not promised."

He leaped of faith and launched Creative Lou - putting his art and himself out into the world. Within a year, he was showing in galleries and taking on commission work. People wanted to see his version of Seattle.

"It's all through my pieces. From my aunts, my grandfather, my friends, my neighborhood, and the culture I've been around. It's all a nod to all of that,” Brown said.

Pieces include a music store in the Central District, a modern take on Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston, and a sneaker series featuring shoes he wanted as a teenager.

The ideas are never-ending, and Damon Brown's art has a lot to say. But the strongest message is the one he sent himself.

"Chase my dreams and not stop myself and not come up with the reasons why I can't and worry about what other people think,” he said. “I was able to overcome that, and here I am."

Creative Lou prints are available online.

Some of his work is on display at Gallery Onyx in Pacific Place through February 7.

Brown will also be at MoPOP for Through The Eyes Of Art on February 1.

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