One look at artist Theodore Taylor III‘s work and it becomes obvious what his influences are. His portfolio is an explosive array of his deepest passions, from musicians and beat makers to video games and ninjas. But growing up as a black video game nerd in Virginia had its own set of challenges. Taylor had to deal with obnoxious judgment from his peers who didn’t think he was “black enough,” which Taylor poked fun of in a recent comic that currently has 20,000 notes on Tumblr. This, of course, prompted us to seek out more of his work, and what we found was not a disappointment. Taylor’s aesthetic is a mixture of Westernized anime, street art, and hip hop and ranges from portraits of Brainfeeder artists to rappers like Schoolboy Q to even a Studio Ghibli homage. His illustrations were also featured in the book When the Beat Was Born, a graphic novel about the birth of hip hop music.
So what’s next for the rising artist? Apparently, illustrating a series of children’s books penned by Shaquille O’Neal (called Little Shaq, of course).