During his last year of college, Oscar Navarro‘s art went dark. “A teacher that I had, at the time, didn’t really like my art work,” he told me, as he stood at his booth at this year’s New York Comic Con. “They said it was kind of morbid, and I would get bad grades on them.” As a lover of horror films and someone who’s proud of his Mexican heritage, he decided to combine the two elements in a Día de Muertos-Tim Burton mashup. While his professor couldn’t appreciate his work, his pieces were tailor made for the internet. Because who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing a skeleton playing Lotería or one serving pan dulce? “There’s a lot of people that connect to my art because of Día de Muertos and the resemblance, I guess, to their culture,” he added.
Realizing the potential of the internet, the San Fernando Valley Artist – who makes pop-up art, stickers, and prints – began selling his work online as The Art of Sketch. Under this banner, he sells pieces that he aptly calls “morbidly cute” that have reached a wide audience. Though he folds in Mexican imagery, he also draws from pop culture, which is how he ended up with a Zombie Little Mermaid and a trick-or-treating Frankenstein’s monster.
With Halloween right around the corner, there’s no better time to check out and/or cop Navarro’s work. Here are a few of his greatest hits:
Hail to the Pumpkin King
My Head on a String
Let's Get Toasted
Rosas Para Mi Preciosa
Walking Down Sunset