Why Does Jay Z Have Googly Eyes? Digital Artist LinShuttr Explains His Exaggerated Visuals

How Wale, Kanye West and Miguel helped the digital artist earn his name

On a bright fall Friday afternoon in New York City most 9-to-5ers are ambling into the weekend, anxious to relax and recharge their batteries. But Jean Donald “LinShuttr” Prophete is working, hardly chilling. At his home studio in Queens, the digital artist is painting. Several new vibrant pieces lean where the wall and floor meet—a Charlie Chaplin image here, a twisted handgun there. “If you’re an artist and you give yourself a title, live up to that title,” Lin’, 25, says while gently brushing up a gold-eyed giraffe that eventually will have blue lashes. He doesn’t understand how rappers like Jay Electronica or Mos Def can go so long without releasing new material when he spends most nights cranking out art into the wee hours of the morning. LinShuttr, his name a play off “Lens” and “Shutter” (he loves photography), graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2011 with a degree in Media Arts and Animation, which served as the foundation when he dipped into digital illustration. His inspirations often come from pop culture figures, at times morphing and exaggerating LeBron James’ into a superhero and Kanye West into the cloud-surfing god some might think he daydreams of being.

Just days ago, Lin effectively wrapped up his 2014 at Miami’s Art Basel by mostly networking, but also sprinkling freebie images of Homer Simpson throughout South Beach streets for lucky finders to keep. In the video above, find out about how DC rhymer Wale gave Lin’ his big break, why his subjects have those odd eyes and why he’s bent on making a name for himself. —Brad Weté Cop some of LinShuttr’s dope visuals here. He’s on Instagram, too.

A photo posted by Mr. Prophete (@linshuttr) on