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What Artists Brandish: Hard Drives and Running Shoes

Scott Elkins by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

Creative Director of Pyragraph Clarke Condé sat there with Contributing Editor Josh Stuyvesant. They each brandished a fresh beer and a few empties as they pondered taking on the exceedingly platitudinous project: the Artist Portrait Series.

The idea was for Pyragraph to brandish such a series in order to be consistent and engaging on our social media channels, which can often be quite the incubi.

Clarke and Josh wanted to foray into the Artist Portrait Series in a fresh way. In a Pyragraphic way. Clarke intrigued about not only taking the artists’ portraits, but including their most-leveraged tool—that tool without which the artist would not be able to do his or her specific batch of creativity. The criteria given to each artist chosen is such:

  • It is tangible.
  • It is chosen critically and creatively.
  • It is unique to their processes.

While we post a new photo every week on our social media channels, this is a compilation post to share more widely the encyclopedic and idiosyncratic tools that the artists chose.

Clarke and Josh deliberated further on what to call the project. A thesaurus was produced. A word was chosen:


These are the tools artists brandish.

David Santiago, Painter

David Santiago by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

“I use Instagram to post pictures my audience can engage with and follow along the journey with me from beginning to end of each of my paintings. They’re in the city with me, right behind me, as the adventure unfolds.” —David Santiago | Painter

Hannah Kauffmann, Actor

Hannah Kauffmann by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

“The collective knowledge of the Tricklock Company members is the tool I brandish. We have such varied and diverse backgrounds. We’re all trained in very different aspects of creation, but we share a common vocabulary of what it is we are trying to create. And because of that we’re able to function together beautifully.” —Hannah Kauffmann | Actor

Austin Madrid and Kendra Crooks, Owners and Producers at JAK Media

Austin Madrid by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

“Our hard drives are our most personified tool because they’re our constant antagonist. It’s so strange that whatever we make has a shelf life on these things. The last hard drive that died was the first one where everything on it was backed up. It was a wonderful thing.” —Austin Madrid and Kendra Crooks | Owners and Producers at JAK Media

Scott Elkins, aka The 1960 Sci-Fi Era, Music Producer

Scott Elkins by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

“We take speakers for granted, in a sense. What’s cool about speakers is that they can only produce a certain amount of frequency ranges. “Speakers are the way of showing a songs DNA. It breaks it down all the way from your highs to your lows to your super low phantom frequencies that, until you play them live on a big system, you just can’t hear.” —Scott Elkins, aka The 1960 Sci-Fi Era | Music Producer

Clarke Condé, Photographer

Clarke Condé  by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph

“I brandish my running shoes to solve creative problems. Running frees the mind for inspiration. It is the yang to the yin of dreaming.” —Clarke Condé | Photographer

All photos by Clarke Condé.

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  1. Is there a new meaning for the word “brandish” of which I am not aware? I always though it meant to wave, shake, or display something in an excited or aggressive manner. Though the image of Mr. Conde enthusiastically waving his running shoes in the air is rather appealing.

    1. Well, sure. To flaunt, show off, or display. Even in the flourishing sense of the word, while the photos are static, there is the sense of the figurative waving of these favorite tools of theirs.

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