Today we’d like to introduce you to Derrel Hall.
Derrel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
During my childhood, I would innocently succumb to object pertinence towards the world outside of East Texas. Born and raised in Tyler, the world around me was misguidedly white and wealthy. But closer to home, my household was undeniably black. There is a definite adherence to religion in East Texas that profoundly influences how I carry myself. I learned how to conduct myself honorably and respectfully, yet with grounded opinions. The saying goes, “treat others how you want to be treated.” If nothing else from Sunday school, I certainly took that away. In my household, there was always a push towards knowing what I believed and why. Because of this, I made efforts to thoroughly research my interests whether philosophic or materialistic. Books, magazines, and the Internet helped alleviate that itch for knowledge and understanding outside of what my simple and traditionalist environment offered me. I always knew there was more outside. I did not always know how to attain it.
I graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor of science in fashion merchandising just last year. Just two hours away from where I grew up, I was still around a larger number of distinct minds. Some ideologies challenged me. Yet, some resonated so deeply that I found myself crying. I cried because I had felt so alone for years when it came to my interests in art, fashion, the elevation of the human consciousness, gender equality, tolerance, spirituality, and the list just continues. I found security in academia like I always have, but in a way that I felt in control of the direction that I took my mind’s expansion. Perhaps it is ego, but I hate being ignorant. Knowledge is infinitely expanding with or without us, and I love acquiring more. This overwhelms me often to the point where I just need to express myself. This is through communication. I express myself through words, drawings, photography, and dress. In short, everything that I do is rooted in communication.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do, why, and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I will always consider myself a student for art. I can appreciate it all. I want to dabble in it all. I find expression in so many things. Expression is so multifaceted to me. I express with my fashion, illustrations, writing, modeling, and creative direction in photography. With that being said, I am the owner, creator, and designer for the website Mark Two Lines. It is a small clothing brand. I want people to ask questions and to be asked questions when they wear my designs. I want them to express themselves with my designs. I want people to think about their own perspectives and question why they believe what they believe. Everyone should question if their opinion is impulse, cultural, or genuinely how they feel. With my designs, listing a few of the challenges I want to encourage others to consider, I want people to explore the healthiness and toxicity of gender roles, explore the purpose of masculinity biologically and socially, ask each other about sexuality. Perspectives should be shared in order to broaden that understanding among each other. If we communicated our thoughts and feelings more, it would be easier to understand each other. With understanding, comes tolerance. The approach I want others to take with my artwork is simply to just ask “why?”
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Artists will always have a place in this world. Art allows us to fantasize, to feel, to connect, and to inspire. However, artists today have an ability to influence audiences on a scale larger than ever before in human history. Before the digital world, artists were influencers only when they had money to travel to big cities, had lots of word of mouth, and quite honestly, after they died. Today we don’t have to limit ourselves to the “death becomes me” niche for our art to become more attractive. All we have to do is have a voice. And if we are saying something of substance, it will do the work for us.
For myself, I find strength in sticking up for the underdogs in the world. I crave to hear the voices of those who are misunderstood. I crave to give people a voice when they do not feel that they belong. This world is so diverse and has so many fresh perspectives. I don’t think a perspective, one that is not aiming to hurt anyone, is less important simply because it does not “fit” into an already established mold. It breaks my heart when women are frustrated because they do not feel that their struggles are heard. It breaks my heart when people are judged for inherent things like skin color, sexuality, and body types. It breaks my heart when people allow media and politicians to control their perspectives and moods that result in divisive thinking and violence. It breaks my heart when people choose ignorance over progress. I cannot speak to any one event that sparks a desire for me to create. All I know is that I wish to share knowledge, peace, and understanding with others.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Simply going to my website and sharing it is support enough. The rest will follow.
I am also currently a stylist at the store, Forty Five Ten. I would love for anyone to come in to meet with me in order to learn more about fashion, have me style them, or just have me tour them around the beautiful and art-focused store that I work at. I’d love to help others express their personalities through dress!
- Address: Forty Five Ten
1615 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
- Website: www.marktwolines.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/derrelhall
Michaela Bull (personal photo)