Y2Kidcore (Art)cade: Stacy Pants

Attention all players: the world you knew is no more. Are you ready to venture into an alternate fantastical nostalgic dimension?

LOADING in progress…

The art created by Stacy Pants taps into an otherworldly experience unlike no other. The artist does an excellent job of introducing the audience to “kidcore” culture, but also balancing the styles of “Y2K” and “stickercore”. I appreciate how Stacy Pants continues to discover new artistic approaches in order to go beyond the limitations of how their art is imagined. Focused heavily on fantasy, anime and video games, this artist has kept up with ongoing trends and in the process has created an aesthetic all of their own. They have participated in a variety of creative projects such as murals, clothing designs, pins and also live art. The types of images depicted by Stacy Pants offer the viewer a method of mental escapism.

NOW ENTERING THE Y2KIDCORE (ART)CADE!

The very first time I met Stacy Pants, they were live painting at a Henry Invisible concert held at Prairie Street Live. I feel fortunate that I have got to meet this artist more than once. It seems like every time I view their art, it just keeps getting better. When being asked about how they fell into doing art, Stacy responded "I've been creating since I have been born. Growing up I was really into video games and comic books. I just knew [art] was what I wanted to do. I didn't fully go down that path, but I still really got into art. I've done a lot of other jobs besides art. Eventually [art] was making me more money than anything else. I grew up with a lot of people [saying], 'It's not a real career.' I had to really fight that and still do to this day pretty hard. I started doing live art in 2012. Somebody invited me to do my first live art gig at Artopia. I was supposed to be going to a community college class for drawing. I ended up walking out of that class because I really didn't like it. I didn't feel like [they] were teaching me anything. I had a chance to do something I had never done before. I went and live painted for the first time and a person ended up buying my canvas for $300 that night. I jokingly said, 'You can buy it for $300.' and they did. I [thought], 'Oh, I think I am going to keep doing this.' I have been doing that now for almost 10 years, but I have been self-employed for [now] 4 or 5 years. I always [did] art in the background, but eventually [my art] is what paid me more and more. People like it and now people recognize what I do. It's here to stay I guess!"
Motivation through the ups and downs in life means everything when it comes to creating any kind of art. According to Stacy, what motivates them is "Oddly, the downs. If I don't [create], the downs are going to keep up with me. Art has always been a form of escape for me. It was never originally my dream. It was my dream job, but at the same time it's always been a place for me to escape and express. I think that keeps me going. Whenever I've been sad [due to the] struggle of mental health, I always find that art has been the place to do it. It's like drinking water. I really do not do good when I don't create. I turn into a different person."

The most popular question asked towards any artist remains to be "What is the inspiration behind the art?" This artist responds by saying, "A lot of video games, anime and current culture. I am also starting to lean into 80s to 90s nostalgia 'cause those are such pretty colors. [Also] I like the themes and I think it's something we can all relate to. It starts hitting those good feelings, [even] childlike feelings. It's something about being nostalgic that makes you feel a lot better. That's something that I want to draw on. I go on a lot of walks. I draw on a lot of nature. If my friends really inspire me, I've drawn [them] and stuff like that. Money inspires me." 
Accomplishments can equate to a lot of different definitions depending on who you're talking to. Stacy Pants' defining moment as an artist is "getting other people to do art. I really think that's the biggest one. The greatest compliments I ever hear are, 'You made me want to paint.' or 'I painted because of you.' I've had a few kids draw my visage and that's always the biggest compliment. Just knowing that because of what I do so much it makes other people want to create. I think that's the biggest compliment or biggest accomplishment I can have. There's all sorts of other easy milestones, but when I hear that I know I'm in my place and I'm doing the right thing."

When discussing past involvements of having artwork featured in galleries in the past, they responded, "My favorite ones to exhibit in are with my friend Annie with IRL Art. She hosts pop-up galleries [at] bigger festivals [such as] SONIC BLOOM Festival and ARISE Music Festival. She brings people in from all over the world. I get to meet Australians and people from South America. Those are my favorite to hang in 'cause I get to meet everybody, but there's the humbleness of it being a worldwide kind of gallery [that's] in the middle of a field. Those are my favorites."

How is the type of art you do considered a “brain drain” & what does “brain drain” mean to you?

“I would say definitely escapism from reality. If I am ‘brain draining’ anything, I am leaving reality behind ’cause that’s what’s tough at times. It’s pretty harsh honestly. It’s important to leave these things behind. I think art is such a perfect vessel to leave this reality behind and create something better. Definitely coming from reading a lot of comic books, they are a ‘brain drain’ for me. I am constantly in those and leaving this reality [and it] further inspires my work. Art has been great, but that can be a little tiring. [Being] with animals now has been a bit of a ‘brain drain’ for me and escaping the commercial side that I’ve been so focused on with art for the past 4 or 5 years. [I have been] taking the financial pressure off my art so I can now have it again essentially to myself and it be more of an intimate escape that I haven’t had in so long. You have to escape one thing to escape another to get back into this one the right way.”

To reach out or get in contact with Stacy Pants, follow them on Instagram @stacypantz, FB Stacy Pants Design, Twitter @stacypantz, Reddit @StacyPantz, or visit their online store at stacypants.org

Come visit YES. AND… during the entire month of June 2021 from Thursday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm to see art by Stacy Pants!
Exhibit location: First Security Bank, 2nd Floor 100 W Emma, Springdale, AR

TOP PHOTO: Stacy Pants (L) & Page Wynter (R) taking a ride on “Fawntasia”

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