BINGHAMTON, NY – This week’s Black Owned 607 segment features a local artist who is hoping to someday create the sort of animations he admired as a kid.
Stefan Mirvil goes by the artist name Grvphte.
The Binghamton High School and SUNY Oneonta graduate has been drawing since he was a kid and started selling commissioned work when he was still in high school.
In the past year, he’s been focusing more intently on his professional career.
In addition to commissioned jobs, he produces prints and stickers for sale while working on his portfolio in the hopes of becoming a full-time illustrator and storyboard artist.
Grvphte grew up watching cartoons and still loves animation and comics such as Marvel, D-C and Japanese anime.
“I’ve taken that and I’m trying to create an identity through those influences but not exactly copying them. That’s what you do. You bring your influences and you spit back out something that is you,” says Mirvil.
Grvphte’s art features primarily people of color and he has a line of stickers with social justice themes such as Black Lives Matter.
He’s donated some of the proceeds from his sales to the Breonna Taylor fund.
Gryphte says he’s not trying to cash in on the moment but rather create from the heart.
His ultimate goal is to one day be executive producer of an animated show that can inspire Black children.
“I grew up always, always watching cartoons. My goal eventually is to have faces like mine on television so that kids, like me when I was growing up, can see their face,” says Grvphte.
Grvphte says the under-representation of people of color in the world of animation has at times undermined his confidence.
He wants more depictions of Blacks in adventure or science fiction settings and not just associated with crime or victimhood.
Mirvil is also a poet who competed in national poetry slams while in college.
You can check out his work on social media by searching his special spelling of Grvphte.
The Support Black Business 607 Facebook page, which inspired our series, is holding another event tomorrow.
The Black Fly Market takes place tomorrow from 4 to 7 PM in the MetroCenter courtyard in downtown Binghamton.
Organizers say it’s like a flea market, only flyer.