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Meet the Artist Behind Your Favorite New Weather App

Folk artist BlackCatTips gives sunshine a snaggletooth.

Annie Armstrong

Images courtesy of Kyle Brooks

Oftentimes, it’s the little things. Or at least, that must be the idea behind The Weather Channel’s new partnership with Georgia-based folk artist Kyle Brooks, a.k.a., Black Cat Tips, to makeover the homepage that tells you what your local weather looks like. The Weather Channel and Samsung announced this project at Brooks' solo show, The Sun Is Shiny, in Atlanta, and The Creators Project caught up with him there.

“I made a couple street poems with thoughts I had in my head… such as 'we live on a broken street' for a street which was rough to drive on, but also had a history of turmoil and sometimes violence,” Brooks tells The Creators Project. “Soon after, I was installing one that said 'call your mom,' when I realized I had put it up as 'CALL MOM YOUR,' and it dawned on me: this was a good accident! So I then started collecting words and phrases and painting them on pieces of wood. Then, I would intentionally lay them out in the parking lot and see what words joined up laughingly with others.”

Like a rainy day or a dangerous street, unpleasant concepts get turned into kitschy folk-art creatures under Brooks' hand. Every storm cell, morning mist, and heat wave now has two eyes and a sickly smile.

This spirit of folk art keeps Brooks out of the gallery crowds. He says, “I keep trying to learn from my process, and keep evolving my style from the spirit of inspiration who speaks to me. That is the only way I can be happy with my art, is to keep learning and evolving and following the Art Light I see shining.” Check out a short doc on BlackCatTips below:

Check out the work of Black Cat Tips on The Weather Channel app, and on his website.

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