For over a year now, Zach Riddle has been partnering with local businesses to create hydro-dipped artwork.
Seeing artwork on the walls of Chattanooga businesses is no surprise. Over the past year though, a new kind of art has been appearing all over the city: uniquely created versions of logos and local symbols. The man behind this sudden wave of colorful and vibrant pieces is Zach Riddle.
Zach has always been involved in the Chattanooga community. He recently graduated from UTC and has been working on and off at Taco Mamacita for 5 years now. Only in the past year did he start establishing himself as an artist.
“I found out about hydro-dipping on Tik-Tok, actually,” Zach said. “I saw it and had this idea of ‘what if you were to hydro-dip an entire canvas?’”
Hydro-dipping is an art form where an object is dipped into a mix of different paints and chemicals to create unique designs all over the object’s surface. It is usually done to 3D objects to completely cover them with a design, but Zach had the idea of dipping entire canvases with logos and symbols on them.
“I honestly was just trying to find a way to make Christmas gifts instead of having to buy anything,” Zach said.
Creating hydro-dipped canvases became a full-time job for Zach though, and for over a year now, he has been using his unique skills and tools, like vinyl cutters, to create his unique canvases. At first he just wanted to keep doing it as a hobby and used equipment at the Chattanooga Public Library, but after a few months he was able to start selling his designs.
Most of Zach’s art has been of the logos and symbols associated with local businesses, organizations, and iconic locations. While he is starting to branch out and do more of his work, he is hoping to keep up this practice with the goal of having his creations all over the city.
He hopes that his hardwork will culminate in him being able to create a photo book of his artwork in all of the businesses and places that he has done work for. Zach also shared that he is hoping that, by continuing to reach out to them, he will be able to form partnerships with and do future projects for local businesses. He has started forming a partnership with Barstool Sports by creating artwork for them and being willing to transport it all the way to New York City, and he hopes that he can do the same in Chattanooga.
As far as his local impact, Zach says that there is far more to him creating art than just spreading his name. He wants to set an example for Chattanoogan businesses and creatives to form partnerships and be more willing to reach out to each other.
“I want people to be investing in Chattanooga so that it will, in turn, invest in them,” Zach said. “There is plenty of room here for all of us to work together and grow.”
As for upcoming projects and goals, Zach hopes to become involved with as many local organizations as he can. He also wants to start taking a role in local social movements and issues, such as Black Lives Matter, businesses struggling from COVID-19, and the lack of space for creatives in Chattanooga. He says that he is willing to work with any local artists who would like to collaborate and wants to use his skills to keep building up the community.
“There’s enough here for everyone to eat,” Zach said. “We don’t have to compete. We can collaborate.”