Nick Dap: The Art of Eye-Pleasing Surreality

Nicholas D’Apolito, also known as Nick Dap, is an 18-year old visual artist based in Ohio. He creates collages that go through both physical and digital design processes, using a mixture of magazine clippings and Photoshop edits. The result are the colorful pieces, often centered around a grayscale figure, that are posted below. View Nick’s gallery of art below and be sure to read our interview with him that follows.

Click on any of the above photos to open a gallery of Nick Dap’s artwork.
Describe your style in five words or less.

Eye-pleasing surreality.

Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?

I usually start after getting inspired by watching movies or listening to music. Once I get a small idea in my mind, I sketch a figure in pencil, then ink the piece using pen. After I get an initial pen drawing done, I will will cut pieces out of old National Geographic magazines I have, and create a physical collage. Next, I take pictures of the drawing itself and the collage, where I import them into Photoshop on my computer. In Photoshop, I arrange everything together, and distort and saturate the initial collage to completely change what I started with. I distort the collages usually by saturating the colors, and just generally messing with them until I find a series of shapes that I’m happy with. Around this point, I usually have a piece that says what I wanted.

What mediums do you work in?

I work in any medium that I really see fit, usually it’s a mix of pen, pencil, and physical and digital collage.

Who and what are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences are Matisse, Spike Jonze, Stanley Kubrick, Frank Ocean, Albert Camus, Tyler the Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, David Lynch and so [many] more. Really any director, musician, or writer that I get inspired by. I learn a lot about my influences, and I find there’s really nothing more satisfying than diving into these creatives that I enjoy.

What does art and the ability to express yourself mean to you?

Art and the ability to express myself really is everything to me. I really can’t understand how people don’t want to make art, it’s really all I do, nothing adds more to the world than art in my opinion. Whether it’s making music, drawing, anything that ends with a creative product is worth it I think. I’m also no good with words, so I try to use pictures instead.

Where do you want to be in five years as an artist?

In five years, I’d hope to see my style being completely evolved, and working in new mediums and techniques. I would like to progress with my music, as I’m not nearly as happy with my music as I am with my art. I also hope to have some film work done by then, lately I’m very interested in starting to make short films. I don’t know how to make a movie right now, but I think I will by then. Ultimately, I would like to be an improved artist in every sense of the word.

Follow Nick Dap on Twitter and Instagram.

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