One of a Kind Show


Creative Characters

10 . 04 . 2023

We sat down with four artists and makers whose animated, playful and feel-good creations encourage everyone to have a little fun and find joy in the simple things in life.

In 2016, illustrator Abbas Husain joined forced with printmaker Noreen Walls to create lighthearted screen prints that feature surreal and funny combinations of creatures and colors.

What motivates you to create?

Abbas: I have been drawing since I was a small child so the inclination has always been there. Screen printing is a good way to turn my drawings into bright, full color images that are both original and affordable.

What do you hope to convey with your artwork?

Abbas: We're not very serious people, we think that laughter and joy are some of the most valuable emotions to evoke in your audience. So we try to create things that are bright, joyous, and humorous. We also like to make light of more serious symbols like skeletons, because humor can bring people comfort.

Is there an instance from your own life that has served as inspiration?

Abbas: Last year we went to a botanical garden and saw some flamingos in a pond. Flamingos look so goofy when you really look at them individually but in a large group, it's easy for them to blend in, so you don't notice the silliness. So I had the idea to draw a scene of some velociraptors trying to blend into a flock of flamingos. Velociraptors were in some ways very similar to modern birds, so it's been funny to see people realize that when they see it.

Delaney Yorio began creating bright, whimsical, and bold wearable art after being forced to live apart from her husband starting in 2020. Delaney says that creating has helped her see beauty in all the chaos and that hard times can lead to beautiful and magical things.

Tell us about your work.

Delaney: I hand make lightweight statement pieces using polymer clay, real flowers and herbs from my garden, playful screen prints, unique shapes, brass elements and a coat of resin for a beautiful glossy finish.

What motivates you to create?

Delaney: One thing that always keeps me going is my amazing customers. When people come up to me or find me online and share how much joy my pieces bring them it motivates me to continue bringing them little sparks of joy. Once, a customer of mine wrote to tell me she received her earrings and cried because they made her see how truly beautiful she is for the first time in a long time, this made my heart so full. I want everyone to feel special and beautiful in their own skin.

Is there a personal experience that has inspired you?

Delaney: Growing up, my grandmother, mom, sister, and I always went on shopping trips - my grandmother loved to shop! We always did a fashion show when we got home, and this has always sparked something inside of me.

Rob Nehring reclaims metals and welds them together to create playful sculptures that represent humorous and relatable human moments. His pieces may capture a precise outburst of excitement, reveal challenging awkwardness or instill extreme relaxation.

Tell us about your creative process.

Rob: My creative process is never linear, a piece of scrap metal might inspire a hat or a piece of pipe may become a camera. I begin by searching for raw metals with elegant and simple forms that grace our daily lives but have lost their original purpose. Then, I reshape them using an oxy/acetylene torch.

What motivates you to create?

Rob: I enjoy the process of reimagining and reusing upcycled materials and tools in a new way to capture human interaction, movement and emotions. My goal is to bring joy and humor to my audience.

Can you cite an instance from your own life that has served as inspiration?

Rob: I studied dance and performed professionally for many years. This has taught me how to capture the body in motion in physical form. A tilt of the head or angle of the arm can stir our curiosity about what will happen next.

Gary Bradley is a Chicago native and professional, largely self-taught, painter with a long history of exhibiting at several galleries, street fairs, restaurants and major museums around the city, including the Field Museum.

What do you hope to convey with your work?

Gary: Simplicity and Happiness. My art reflects my relationship with life and belief that the only truth is paradox. The most complicated things can also be the simplest. The goal for me is to find and accentuate the simple bits so that the complexity is lost.

Tell us about your work.

Gary: Often, I work by combining layers of resin with paint and enamel paint markers. My themes are modern and abstract, with heavy use of primary colors. The subject matter is generally dreamlike and represents a subconscious flow, with landscapes and cityscapes to comprise a base.

What inspires you to create?

Gary: My earliest memories are of pen on paper. The motions and marks of my mother's constant doodles are my first known impressions of the world. I have always believed that creating art was my destiny.

Connect with these One of a Kind Artists and hundreds more, December 7-10!