Written by: Jaclyn Popola
Kurt Halsey Frederiksen, who looks an awful lot like the characters he creates, is a 29-year old pencil, pen and ink artist from Portland who I discovered through his LiveJournal fan base. His drawings are simple and sweet almost-cartoons with a dash of cute thrown in to appeal to one‘s softer side, containing images of innocently fluttering birds, big-headed, naïve lovers and wide-eyed goldfish and sea turtles. Using soft greens, pale reds and cerulean blues, some of the sentiments expressed in his drawings are inspiring, some are sad, and a few are pathetic (but in a good way). His characters are awkward and fumbling, sensitive, and either desperately lonely or hopelessly in love; they deal with the tenderness of broken hearts, listen to sad songs on repeat and struggle with the art of impressing girls. Because of this it is easy to see why his productions appeal to teenagers. Although anyone can appreciate their universal message, his drawings seem to especially attract emo kids due to their focus on the intricate emotions of adolescent relationships. His work is often incorporated into MySpace profiles, LiveJournal communities, instant messenger avatars, icons and fan art.
His huge online following is evidenced by the 5,334 members of the Kurt Halsey LiveJournal Community and KHF Icons, although Kurt has apparently said repeatedly that he does not like to see his art manipulated in any way, such as being filled in with color or having text added to it to create fan art. More recently, due to the nature of his artwork, Kurt's drawings have been showing up as tattoo reproductions on the bodies of young hipster, including the adult entertainment actress Allie Sin. His art has been displayed throughout the U.S. and Canada in cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Toronto. Originals are hard to come by since, according to his website, "Kurt's drawings find new homes just about as soon as his hand stops hurting from drawing them" but 8x10 prints can be bought online at his website, www.kurthalsey.com.