Sanders "Skip" Bryant aka "PIKS" has been exposed to fashion, art and photography his entire life which has led him to becoming an EMMY award winning TV producer, professional artist, designer and photographer.
Growing up in Detroit, MI influenced an urban style that Skip's work reflects. PIKS, (his name Skip spelled in reverse) is what he became known as from his earlier years as a "Kingpin" airbrush artist. Kingpin airbrushing in Detroit is where he developed a reputation nationwide for having exceptional skills and innovative concepts that were years ahead of the time. There he created murals and photo backgrounds that topped the industry and became a standard at concerts, festivals and clubs across the country.
Sanders hadn't received any formal art training until being accepted at age 25 into Detroit's Center for Creative Studies Industrial Design program, one of the most prestigious and challenging design curriculums in the world. Recruited to the design studio from raw talent, he studied interior design, product design and transportation design, excelling among classmates that are now some of today's top car designers.
With a vast list of clients and artistic projects, he has created designs for Coca-Cola, Comcast, Michael Jackson, racing legend Roger Penske, Detroit billionaire Don Barden, NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing, NFL great Jerome Bettis, NBA All-Star Derrick Coleman, NFL All-Pro Braylon Edwards and many other pro athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs.
Literally helping to shape the black theater industry in the United States, Skip Bryant's accomplishments include almost 20 years designing national touring stage designs, scenic art, logos and graphic packages for well known shows from producers such as Ron Milner (Inner City Miracles: Judge Greg Mathis Story), Tyler Perry & TD Jakes (Woman Thou Art Loosed), Motown Producer Mickey Stevenson (Sing Sista Sing),Morris Chestnut, David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim & several stage productions), Shelly Garrett, Michael Baisden, Laterras Whitfield to designs for Sean "Diddy" Combs (Super Bowl XL Diddy's House), LL Cool J (10 Tour), Jaime Foxx (Unforgettable Tour), Mary J. Blige (MJB Tour), Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Marquis Houston, Katt Williams (2015 Conspiracy Theory Tour), R. Kelly (After Party 2017) to name some of his most recognized work.
Also, while creating a hot urban fashion line in Detroit called The Blu Collection (with Ericka R Davis) in 2003, PIKS emerged as one of the city's top professional fashion photographers. His work has been published on covers and spreads in Hour Magazine, Ambassador Magazine, Native Detroiter, Hair Designer Magazine, Prestige Hair Magazine, several book covers, product lines, and featured in many model portfolio's online .
Sanders "Skip" Bryant's work has been on display nationally for years airing on the BET network, and he currently works as a full-time TV producer working with Detroit's Mayor as Production Manager for the City of Detroit's Communications team. In 2015 he won a regional EMMY award, and has also received 3 additional EMMY Award nominations in Michigan.
From Artist PIKS:
I was born and raised in Detroit, mostly in an area of the Eastside recently named the most dangerous neighborhood in the USA according to the FBI. My family was from the "Black Bottom" neighborhood and Brewster projects but I also lived in really nice areas around the city that made me very well rounded.
I come from a creative family. My mother is an artist, my father a photographer, audio-visual and electronics instructor. My artistic talent seemed to come came naturally. I hadn't had any formal training until a high school teacher noticed my drawing ability and placed me in advanced art courses at Wayne State University. Later, I was accepted into the Center for Creative Studies Industrial Design Program.
I never wanted to be an artist growing up and didn't take it seriously, and still struggle with engaging it fully like i could. It was hard to deny it being a true gift and I have been commissioned for artwork non-stop since high school.
I've worked on a vast array of creative projects nationwide...here's a timeline of my endeavors so far:
Growing up building model cars, airplanes, boats and erector sets. I loved painting and collecting army men and football figures. I was adventurous and outgoing...a boys boy. I was a boy scout, alter boy and usher at church, played football everyday and boxed, loved racing, camping, but was just a small skinny kid. I had a vivid imagination and always wanted to be a soldier growing up, so I loved army movies and drawing from them.
Hip-Hop became a major influence. My brother (1 yr. younger) and I started DJing, break dancing and creating grafftti style art, with characters, etc. We got really good fast, and became well known and admired in school and around the neighborhood for our "Mad Skillz".
I entered Golightly Technical Center's Mass Media Program where I fell in love with audio & video production. My brother and I also worked with my father video taping and DJing weddings he photographed. My father brought home a Commodore computer, and by 1988 we upgraded to an Amiga computer and were being paid to do freelance computer graphics.
Already a professional DJ with a studio record "on wax", a pioneer computer graphic artist, and video producer....my father bought an airbrush for us to try. I started airbrushing posters, t-shirts and denim outfits. I won a citywide design contest, and my art was displayed in Detroit's Main Library where it was stolen. I felt I really must be good for my art to be appealing enough to be stolen in public like that.
My lifelong dream of being a U.S. Marine ended by not being accepted due to having a bronchitis condition. I started freelancing as a videographer at Barden Cable Station. Although, being more technically advanced than older established producers, I couldn't get hired at the few Detroit TV stations or recording studio's. I got a good paying job at a hotel, but airbrushing was now getting "hotter than the summer of 88" and my style was in high demand. The airbrush T-Shirts I created with Hip-Hop characters were selling in Detroit like hot cakes!
After living the fast life hustlin' combined with having the hottest airbrush style in Detroit, I became a "KINGPIN" at Kingpin Airbrushing with some of the best urban artist in the country. We became pioneers in customizing new and classic cars, airbrushing motorcycles, backdrops, and clothes for clients from the city, celebs, businesses and corporate clients. Every year we traveled to the hottest spots in the country and were always a premier attraction. We've won best vendor awards at some of the biggest expos and festivals in the country.
Also, my daughter was born and my grandmother died that same year.
I was recommended to the Center for Creative Studies (CCS), and accepted into their prestigious Industrial Design program. I started in Transportation Design alongside the best of the best artist, where only the top 15 students were chosen. I wanted to be a car designer but couldn't afford the classes and supplies needed to finish, so I majored in a mixture of transportation, product, interior and exhibit design. Ironically, as a student I created an avant-garde bottle design that should've made me rich, but was ahead of the times. The "upside down" bottle design I created had the top located on the bottom, like most lotions, shampoos, ketchup and mustard bottles are made now. Today, I see many of my CCS peers are doing well designing cars that I remember seeing as sketches in school (Ralph Gilles/Chrysler 300, Gary Mack/Buick Enclave).
Newly wed, I married my high school sweetheart. Just before our wedding, I was flown to Beverly Hills, California and stayed for over a month designing a cartoon series with Grammy Award winning songwriter Ray Barnes.
Needing a steady job back home, I started working at a local sign shop in Detroit. I met Keith Jackson of Deep Drama Design, and we created set designs, scenic art and interior designs together over the next 20 yrs. I've also toured the country with the stage plays, designing sets, logo's, posters and providing creative direction for many Producer/Writer/Directors such as Tyler Perry, David E. Talbert, Morris Chestnut, Shelly Garrett to name a few.
Created a scenic design for up and coming director Tyler Perry's first national touring show, T.D. Jakes "Woman Thou Art Loosed", which they produced as a film in 2004
After touring the country with stage productions, I started working as a sound engineer during church services. I returned to TV production, working on Comcast Cable's local production crew, recording concerts and events, editing and creating graphic packages for the station.
Denied as a Graphic Designer, and hired by the City of Detroit initially as an Architect, I started actually working as a producer/editor/photographer for the City of Detroit's Channel 10. Since 2001, I've worked closely with Detroit's last 5 mayor's, creating original shows, PSA's, promo's and covering events in the city as part of the Mayor's Office communications team.
Designed a popular clothing line called "The Blu Collection" with Ericka Davis, which helped launch me into photography and make-up working with Detroit's top models.
Worked with David E. Talbert to create a book cover for his "Baggage Claim" novel, which was produced as a feature film in 2013. I've also worked with David, along with Morris Chestnut on "Love In The Nick of Tyme" that has aired nationally on the BET Network.
A rough year. While laid off work, I freelanced setting up photo shoots for magazine covers and ads. I moved to Houston, Texas briefly which is a booming city, but I lost a lot in the process. It was a tough lesson learned, setting up a hard come back that I slowly recovered from, but eventually made me much stronger and wiser.
I was called back to work for the City of Detroit. I designed the very first press briefing studio for the Mayor of Detroit.
Most of my focus was now on working for the City of Detroit as a media specialist. I slowed down a lot on freelance projects, set designs, interior designs, airbrushing and photography to focus on doing original art and studying writing. I also began doing digital illustrations for book covers and children books that year.
Nominated for an EMMY Award in Michigan. Since 2010, I was given the task of producing and directing the LIVE broadcast of the mayor of Detroit's State of the City Address (2010-2014). I also purchased a home, and started a new company, HEIRS Creative Company. My plan is to introduce FRESH concepts and products to create a legacy for my family.
Won a regional EMMY Award in Michigan, with 3 other EMMY nominated productions. Also, awarded a Spirit of Detroit Award from Detroit's City Council and became Production Manager for the City of Detroit Channel's 10 & 22. I also made a return to fashion by entering a partnership with Riccardo Copeland to promote and market a popular brand "Straight Outta Detroit", as well as future brands in the making.
My 6th year as Producer and Director for the Mayor's State of the City Address, live broadcast which I received my 4th EMMY award nomination for writing. This was also my 2nd year directing Wayne County's State of the County Address broadcast.