Kestin Cornwall is a creative. He grew up in the Windsor, Ontario area. His father is Grenadian, and his mother is American. During his youth, he spent much of his time with his family in Detroit, Michigan. Cornwall began his training at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario, in 2001. While he was completing the Art Fundamentals and Illustration programs, his interest in the arts grew significantly. Cornwall combined classical drawing and painting with modern digital reproduction and screen-printing. In 2006, he won the CAPIC Best In Show Award and London England's Young Guns Emerging Art Award in 2019.

For the past 14 years, Cornwall has been focused on creating progressive and relevant art. He uses a variety of techniques that involve hand drawings, digitally removing the human hand, and then reintroducing the human element back into his work. Cornwall's art explores culture and humanity's relationship with beauty, sex, nature, and a history of cultivation. Additionally, Cornwall's work aims to ask questions regarding equality, immigration, and what it means to be Black in North America. Cornwall's images aim to explore how culture and entertainment, including film and other media, shape the public's perception of Black people and people of colour in North American society. Cornwall also critically examines political, social, and economic landscapes through compositions brimming with references to media, popular culture, music, and art history. He enjoys challenging what is considered "common" and believes that it is the artist's duty to add beauty to the world while invoking the unending social responsibility to capture thought.

Cornwall's influences include contemporary graphic realism, street art, and old comics, with a complementing factor of mystery that often mirrors timeless depictions of pop culture. Each of his pieces represents an analysis of our obsession with ethnicity, beauty, age, and change.

Kestin Cornwall is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. He is one of the founding members of the OCAD University-affiliated group, The Solid Black Collective, and is currently working on several research projects. Cornwall is one of the lead creatives on IMFTO (It's My Future Toronto), an initiative for youth designing Toronto's future, initially founded by Dr. Dori Tunstall and currently lead by Dr. Kathy Moscou. Kestin Cornwall is also one of the lead creatives behind NBA Creators. This design-focused program leverages the NBA, Microsoft and OCAD University's platforms to elevate and increase the exposure of Canadian illustrators and graphic designers who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic or Latinx.

Kestin Cornwall is based in Toronto, where he lives and works.

Artist Statement

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