A Collective Embrace: Punk Rock & Paintbrushes - The Insides Of Artists Written By Outsiders

Dissecting the heart driven art book that serves as a testament to the intersectionality of art.

punk rock and paintbrushes Sara Rose Wright
Photograph by Sara Rose Wright

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):

Community is at the core of punk rock. For decades, the genre has brought together millions for a common purpose, playing a significant role as a conduit for justice at a time where righteousness is challenged. Regardless of the issue at hand or the interpersonal dynamics at play, punk acts a beacon for camaraderie and the energetic atmosphere within a live show speak for it. A big component of the punk rock impact is rooted in the arts, whether that be through the striking album covers, t-shirt messaging, or the on-stage presence. Here's where the dynamic duo of Warren Fitzgerald (The Vandals) and Emily T. Nielsen (Punk Rock & Paintbrushes) come in.


Last month on April 15th, Fitzgerald and Nielsen gave way to Punk Rock & Paintbrushes: The Insides of Artists Written By Outsiders, a 200 page hardcover book that compiles the works and stories of 26 unique creatives. Featuring intricately designed prints like the Cheating and Solitaire 20th Anniversary by Mad Twins below, Punk Rock & Paintbrushes compiles a great amount of visual treats that span all ends of the artistic spectrum.

mad twins
"Cheating and Solitaire 20th Anniversary" by Mad Twins

The Punk Rock & Paintbrushes platform was born out of Nielsen's victory over cancer in 2007. To celebrate the occasion, Nielsen asked Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) to paint an artwork with the lyrics to the band's song Survive as a reminder of her strength. Since then, Punk Rock & Paintbrushes has thrived as a community that allows for artists to showcase their illustrative prowess at gallery exhibits and music festivals across the world. Today's subject, The Insides Of Artists Written By Outsiders, is the culmination of it all.


Punk Rock is not just about music and paintbrushes are not just tethered to the idea of art, but instead the two together are the perfect combination of life in a radical way,” says Nielsen. As Nielsen explains, there's a symbiotic relationship between the two elements and Punk Rock & Paintbrushes captures that excellence. The imagery and bravado of it all are what completes the overall punk experience. You just can't have one without the other and throughout the 26 different chapters that each focus particular artists, there's an in-depth story about what sparked their need to put their thoughts onto a canvas. Among those is Paul Krobiger and several of his fascinating interpretations of rock icons, including the below art piece that fuses the Iggy Pop of young and old with charcoal and ballpoint pen.