Painter Copeland Holt has come a long way from lighting a broom on fire at the age of nine and calling it a conceptual art piece. He’s currently helping another artist with a mural on one of the outside walls of WELabs at the Packard. Though his mother was a painter and he’s been drawing his whole life (lighting the broom on fire was only a one-time event – he decided to stick to less lethal forms of art after that), Copeland actually did not begin painting until he was 20, when he met a girl who became his muse. “She brought color to my imagination,” he says, joking that his initial ventures into the world of painting were more biology than rocket science.
Once he started painting, however, he developed a bright, cartoonish style, easily noticeable from a distance. He begins every painting with orange and black and then builds more layers with complementary colors. The subject matter of his paintings exists in a realm between things in his spirit – abstract energy things that can’t be explained – and things that exist in nature in the real world. Despite the real elements that come from his love for the outdoors, his work is anything but photorealistic.
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Growing up in L.A. and being surrounded by incredible artists of all mediums helped Copeland embrace wanting to make a living as an artist and gave him friends and contemporaries to admire. However, he found his home in the city of Long Beach and admits that it’s one of the few things that has kept him in SoCal. The style of the city fits his perfectly; with an eclectic neighborhood and mix of people, Long Beach has the mix of everything he needs to thrive and devote his time and energy to art – something he feels is bigger than himself.