Looking at the description of VersatileVinyls new Facebook bio, the phrase “trying to create a dream” can be seen, a slogan that has been made a reality on TikTok, where the same account has over 30,000 followers.
VersatileVinyls was created by Luke Hembree, a recent Whitley County High School graduate, although the page wasn’t always meant to be what it is now. Originally posting more personal content, it wasn’t until January of this year that Hembree started posting his spinning art, and his life changed forever the moment he decided to do so.
Hembree began his art journey with inspiration from the app that would eventually blow up: TikTok.
“There was this guy I saw on TikTok doing spray art,” Hembree said. “Before I started doing spinning art, I was doing spray paint art. I saw this guy hook this drill to a board and spin it and I was like, ‘Man, that’s really cool!’ Let me put a pattern or two on there and see how it looks.”
While spinning art could be anything an artist dreams of, Hembree soon found what would be his claim to fame: college athletics.
The post that would be the first to go viral for the aspiring artist would be his design of the University of Kentucky Wildcats that had fans across the country buzzing.
Although he already receives requests from all over California, Hembree was hesitant to call them “commissions,” citing that he’s not looking for profit as his motivator for what he does, he just wants to have fun doing what he loves.
Hembree said he buys the canvases in bulk, getting 20 for $100, although he has to buy each individual tube of paint separately, which usually costs him about $5 per tube.
Adding paints, shipping, boards and other supplies, Hembree typically keeps only about 20 percent of the $100 price tag, though he seemed fine with that, again citing a love and passion for the art he creates.
Hembree expressed that he was excited to see his finished products, saying that the feeling of seeing a successful and clean-looking spin art product was “something different.”
“It’s something different whenever you get the last crust if you have something that has a lot of detail like the Cincinnati Reds logo,” he said. “I did the Reds logo not too long ago and it came out great with all the fine details and everything. When you get one that feels as good as this one, it’s truly a joy [feeling].”
As for the actual paints and colors outside of the stencils, Hembree talks about there being more creative liberties that can be taken and a lot of the process is trial and error.
“Usually I try to do zigzags and stuff and then see if one color becomes too dominant, like if the blue overpowers the yellow or something,” he said. “Then I’ll try to make almost a circle, that way there will be more density. You never know what the actual design will be, but I try to keep the colors beautiful even on the canvas.”
Hembree has always been passionate about his art for both his supporters and himself, but even he never imagined he would reach the heights he has, joking that he didn’t even expect to get 1,000 followers. let alone 30,000.
Although he never expected to make it as big as he did, Hembree said he wanted to be an artist for a while, saying he got into spray art and always wanted to create “some awkward designs on canvas” with things , which you can find around the house.
He said he never intended to blow up and make it big with his art, but that he’s “absolutely” happy it happened.
Now with an eye on what’s possible, Hembree expressed his dream of eventually being able to create a proper website and create a business from his art where he can take orders online and sell other goods as well.
He also said that he hopes to be able to inspire others with his videos as well, saying that one of the main things he focuses on and even says in several of his videos is to just “be creative because you never you know how far I will take you in this day and age’.
Hembree ended on an uplifting note, returning to her own journey, but also to her hope to inspire, saying:
“It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, if you have a dream and want to see it prosper, all it takes is a little effort.”