Food, Dining and Discounts
The Lumberjack Artist
Artist Kevin Carmody    

When Damascus resident Kevin Carmody isn’t on the job as a Montgomery County zoning inspector, he’s in another zone unleashing his artistic talents on canvas, illustration board and skateboard decks.

 A depiction of Roger Rabbit he drew and showed to his parents when he was eight-years-old helped launch him into the world of art.

“I am assuming they both thought I was a decent scribbler as they kept me heavily involved with art from that point forward,” Carmody says.

A Montgomery County native and graduate of Wootton High School, he also attended a magnet program for art students at Albert Einstein High School’s Visual Art Center. After serving in the Army, he earned a bachelors of fine arts degree from Frostburg State University; an associate degree from Montgomery College in applied science in construction management; and a Master of Science in management from the University of Maryland University College.

For him, art is “a passion and hardcore hobby.” A toolbox of colorful pencils, pens and paints contains the basic media for his vivid illustrations and stand-alone portraits crafted with exquisite detail. Not only do the cartoonist-like images he creates standout, so does his “nome d’arte” derived from the nickname “Lumberjack” bestowed upon him by his college buddies, which he says he has continued to use so he is easily remembered.

The lowbrow style of art is at the core of his work. It resonates primarily from the influences of hip-hop artists, other musical genres, including alternative music, and today’s skateboarding culture. Similar to pop surrealism and juxtaposed from classical or high art, lowbrow is an alternative style of imagery that grew out of Los Angeles in the 1970s.

“Growing up in hip hop’s golden era when rap was exploding and it surged into new American territories beyond L.A. or NYC,” Carmody says drew him to the genre’s influence on pop culture and art. “As a teen and young adult, I'd often find myself hanging out smack dab in the city. It didn't matter if I was in the District, Rockville, Wheaton, Silver Spring, or Baltimore, hip hop was always in the vicinity. It was either in your face or it was background noise. Regardless, it was just there…I loved it.” “Untamed designs” is the label he attaches to much of his work. He says when he was enrolled in art schools he followed the creative directives of his teachers.

“This isn't a bad thing though. It helped me develop my own style in which I have complete control over today. So, when I say 'untamed designs,' I am simply saying that I no longer have to create work in a domesticated art room. In the present, my work is related to the subject matters I choose. I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder trying to coach me and or sway my artistic decisions.”

From childhood into early adulthood, he was an “on and off” skateboarder. “I was never very favorable at it. Plain and simple, the friends I hung out with were always better than me. By and large, this bugged me. But, on the flip side, I was always an above average artist. In my head, and what seems real in my world, is that I’m decent at doodling. Therefore, I had an epiphany. Why not combine skateboarding with my art? And voilà, I have been doing it since,” he explains. His work ranges in price from $100 to $700 and has appeared in numerous skateboard magazines including Focus, Heelside and Concrete Wave. Commissioned work and purchases may be made through his website:

Viewing the work of other artists inspires him. “It creates a spark that makes me want to work on something of my own,” he says. On the horizon are more art shows, maintaining his themes related to skateboarding and the music industry, and branc

hing out into artwork related to sports figures. “Designing dippy labels for soda and beer bottles would be enjoyable too…I am always happy about where my artwork is at the present time. It is what it is, so to speak. All in all, I take things day by day and don't really contemplate over what could be approaching in the future. Those types of thoughts stress me out. I go with the flow,” Carmody says.



Montgomery Writes

WHERE ARE YOU?You need to get off the beaten path to find this piece of Montgomery County history, but the red sandstone should be your first clue. Photograph by Ryan Cogswell

One winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers received by May 10.
Jono Sirovatka of Bethesda recognized the bridge over the Fishladder Channel of the Potomac between Olmstead Island and the C&O Canal and wins the framed print.
PICK UP A FREE COPY of Montgomery Magazine at these locations