Dallas artist Kyle Steed has made his mark all over the metroplex, and beyond. From large-scale murals that are distinctive for their bright colors, energetic design, and hand-drawn typography, he also works on smaller scale pieces that are quiet and quite minimalist in every sense. His prolific range takes him from his studio, to the streets, into galleries and office spaces, and into partnerships with popular brands. His hustle is real. And the results are nothing short of eye catching.
Your style of work is expansive, touching many different techniques, mediums, and sizes.
I am an evolution. You are an evolution. We are constantly evolving. So I have to allow myself—and my work—to change right alongside my being. To not do so is suffocating and unnatural. At first when I used to compare myself to others I wondered why I couldn’t do that one thing. It seems to make sense, and a lot of money, if you can be the “it” guy (or girl) with one specific style. I think we as humans love to label and put things in boxes, it helps us to feel like we have some sort of control. But the truth couldn’t be further, and I feel like my work is all about letting go of control.
How do you work?
Show up. Sit down. Start making lines. Fuck all this talk about waiting for inspiration to strike. That’s a myth. Fairytale. The real shit only begins when you reach your end. The best workdays are when I think I’m done and then I spot what needs to be there that I’ve been missing all along.
How would you describe your art to someone that’s never seen it?
I don’t know. How would you describe what pizza taste like to someone who’s never tried it before?
What’s your process?
I feel like I have to work through a lot of bad ideas to come around to a really good idea. No idea, however, is ever great until you’re willing to first make it bad. In other words, it’s all about making the first mark. Fuck it up a little and let go of the illusion of perfection.
Your fave types of materials and surfaces?
Paint. Pencil. Paper. Walls.
Do you have a preferred scale?
Not really. I enjoy new challenges.
Three major projects have you recently completed?
5 floors of a parking garage in Westbend Fort Worth
The featured bar mural for Earls restaurant in Legacy West
Broadstone LTD murals at the entry way off Commerce Street—as well as three interior pieces there. It’s some of my favorite work.
What major projects are working on?
Integrated metal fabrication work for newly redesigned Taco Diner in DFW. A landmark mural in Gulf Shores State Park Resort—it’s an illustrated road trip through my home state of Alabama. And, a complete line of custom bags and hand-painted iaccessories in collaboration with Hook & Albert.
What’s exciting you most right now? What can’t you wait to work on?
Cutting my work out of metal/wood. That shit is blowing my mind. Entering into a whole new dimension of possibilities—and all because of one simple email. All it takes is finding the right people who wanna make cool shit and love what you do. The rest is cake.
What time of day do you most prefer to create?
Mostly mornings. But anytime after a solid 10-15 minutes of meditating and I feel like my head has just been cleaned with Windex.
Do you have a structured schedule when it comes to creating?
Yes, I work a 4-day workweek. Monday and Tuesday I’m in the studio by 6 a.m. and home by 2 p.m. On Wednesday I work 9-5. Thursday is my long day, normally 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. But, I take every Friday off to spend with my two daughters.
What music is on regular rotation in your studio?
Oh shit, what isn’t on these days. In no particular order:
Kendick Lamar, DAMN
Khruangbin, old and new album
What artists have most influenced you?
Outside the obvious, I’ve really been moved by George Condo lately. He has something to say these days.
Outside of esteemed artists, what else influences your work?
Sleep. Meditation. Wine. The human experience.
What kinds of things do you like to collect?
Mental images of where the light hits just right at a certain time of day.
How long have you been skateboarding?
Off and on ever since I was in the tenth grade (circa 1997) so... 21-ish years? I guess I’m legally allowed to drink on a board now.
Where can people see your work in Dallas?
Jen Mauldin Gallery. Neighborhood. Davis St Espresso. Common Desk Oak Cliff. Plaza of the Americas rooftop basketball court. The Trinity Strand Trail. My studio.