Wet Paint Artist Grant Recipient: Ashkahn Shahparnia

Ashkahn Shahparnia, (pronounced ASH-CON SHAW-PAR-NEEYA) is a Los Angeles based graphic design artist whose work is colorful, whimsical, funny, and immensely clever. His designs, which seem to come from a world that is forever changing from spring to summer and back again, transition easily from one product to the next. Graphics for tote bags, t-shirts and pillows, album cover art, patterns for wall paper, some killer custom typefaces and much more, all fit snuggly into his portfolio (along with just about every color imaginable). Capturing the age-old and elusive ‘show-not-tell’ mantra of artists everywhere, Shahparnia’s fonts and graphics truly have personalities of their own. What is perhaps the most exciting is Shahparnia’s use of unexpected items in his designs and graphics, such as the elements of a dismantled avocado to create a minimalist, geometric pattern. Or the graphic representation of the evolution of bikini wax styles from the 1960s to 2000s, matter-of-factly printed on the side of a tote bag. Which makes sense when you look at the extensive list of his inspirations on his website, crediting everything from Lil’ Wayne to Carl Andre to an adorable baby polar bear. While much of Shahparnia’s work is very tongue ‘n cheek, he demonstrates a true understanding of how graphic design can completely dictate the emotional value of an image. Celebrating all styles, be they kitsch, cute or cool, the designs all have one thing in common: they’re great to look at and you’ll probably have a hard time not smiling.

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Ashkahn Shahparnia

I recently found Los Angeles based designer/illustrator Ashkahn’s portfolio. I fell in love with quite a few of these bizarre and quirkly little ideas–they’re deceptively simple, goofy and fun. Somehow “Good Vibes” made out of green shag grass just sums it up.


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