Gunpowder art sparks interest, ignites passion for local artist


A local artist has his sight set on gaining popularity on the art scene with his interesting creations.

Nick Smiley said he has been doing some form of art for most of his life; however, he recently started using gunpowder after being inspired by some videos he saw. 

Once he decides what he wants to make, Smiley finds a picture makes a stencil then puts the gunpowder on the canvas before lighting it all on fire. So far he has done mostly animals in his gunpowder creations, and Smiley said that may attract people more in the area to his work.
It’s not something people see every day and sometimes those looking at his art are not sure what it is.

“They’ll think it’s cool. At first, they don’t always know what it is right off. They’ll think it’s something with sand until they realize it’s gunpowder and that piques their curiosity more as far as how exactly I do it and how would I protect it,” Smiley said.

Before Smiley lights the gunpowder on fire, there is a lot of work he has to do to make sure it all goes smoothly.

“I’ll find a stencil of roughly the idea then I will lightly draw lines to guide where I want to gunpowder to go on the canvas,” Smiley said. “Nothing that will stay to visible afterward. Then after I have everything basically where I want it, I’ll go through with straight edges or little foam brushes and sweep it into the lines and patterns that I want it to be in.”

Smiley said the images he creates along with the use of gunpowder spark interest in his work.

“As of right now, it might be more of the country vibe because I’ve really just done animals and things like that,” Smiley said. “Nothing else more modern looking has the same type of feel, just with animals and scenery it helps embed more of that rustic vibe that people connect to around here.”

Smiley said he wants to take a shot at larger creations in the future.

“I would like to find something a little more reliable than the canvas and maybe that would allow me to work on a larger scale. These kind of seem like big pieces as opposed to regular drawing or painting for me, but I found with drawing with the gunpowder it’s really easy to go larger with it and create something more intricate or realistic looking,” Smiley said.

Smiley has other artwork besides his gunpowder creations, but he said he would like to be able to create bigger pieces using gunpowder in the future.

With an interesting medium and the drive to go even bigger with his creations, Smiley is hopeful soon he and his gunpowder art will soon explode in popularity.

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