Graphic designer and visual artist Mike Doughty has brought Philadelphia’s brightest stars together for an epic “Philly Family” portrait.
A portrait that includes: Will Smith, Meek Mill, Kevin Hart, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Kobe Bryant, Julius Erving, Cassidy, Gillie Da Kid, Jasmine Sullivan, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Eve, Quest Love, Black Thought, Music Soulchild, Donovan McNabb, Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and of course, the city’s greatest uncrowned champion Allen Iverson.
Set in front the steps of the city’s capital building, Will Smith invites viewers into the family affair. Meanwhile, the family fits perfectly under the outstretched arms of Rocky Balboa’s statue in the back of the crowd. If you look closely you can also spot Benjamin Franklin too. Both Iverson and Smith have reposted the image to their Instagram accounts.
Intrigued by this work of art, we spoke exclusively with Doughty who provided us with insight into the inspiration behind the unique family portrait.
The Source: How does it feel to have your work recognized by Allen Iverson & Will Smith?
Mike D: Having my work recognized by Allen Iverson is amazing! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if any celebrity would share my artwork because they’re hard to reach, but it got to him, and I felt accomplished. When Will shared it, I couldn’t believe it! I fell to the ground when I saw it. It was like I went into shock. It’s definitely a dream come true. One of my biggest dreams is to have one of the images signed by the person in the illustration. I’m hoping I’ll have that done in my lifetime.
Who are your artistic influences?
My artistic influences are other low poly artists like Naturel, 13th Vision, and JC.RO. I looked up to these guys when I first started doing my own artwork. Naturel is my favorite artist of all time, so I hope my work reaches him one of these days. My homie Justin Richburg is definitely an inspiration for my work as well. We grew up together, and a lot of my work comes from the conversations we have. Ideas for artwork comes naturally when you’re around other creative people.
What was the inspiration behind the piece?
The city of Philadelphia was the inspiration behind the piece. I’m a Philadelphia native as well, and I believe the people are the ones who make Philly what it is today. So, I had to add the people who impacted the city the most. The only problem is I didn’t get to put everyone I wanted in the piece, so I’m going to do a part 2.
What set’s Philly’s Hip Hop scene apart from the rest of the world?
I believe the Philadelphia culture sets Philly Hip Hop scene apart from the rest of the world. The people in Philly have a story to tell because there’s a lot of struggle here.
Who is your favorite Philly rapper? and why?
My favorite Philly rapper is Meek Mill, but it’s not because of his music. It’s because I’ve seen his process. I had the opportunity to see him before the fame and then rise up into stardom. I appreciate his story more than anyone in Philly because I got to witness it all.
Has your work been displayed in any major places, TV etc?
Not yet, but I have had a few shout-outs from actors from TV shows earlier this year. I’ve had Tichina Arnold from Martin, John Amos, Big Daddy Kane, etc give me shout-outs and repost my work. So, I guess I can say it was displayed in some kind of way.
Do you have any particular favorite pieces?
My all-time favorite piece is the “Like Mike” design with Michael Jordan, Jackson, and Tyson. My other favorite pieces are the Philly Fusion” piece with Will Smith, Kevin Hart, and Meek Mill doing a Dragon Ball Z fusion dance (it’s a dance from the cartoon that allows two people to fused an create a new character.) I chose Kevin Hart as the end result because I thought it would be funny, considering Will Smith is funny and Meek Mill is a dark complexion, so they would create Kevin Hart together. Other pieces I love are the “Birth of A Nation” pic and “Black Shooter” because they speak volumes. I have other favorite pieces as well as “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and “Jordan 2 Infinity.”
Have you ever worked with Danny Simmons? (major NYC artist who lives in Philly)
I haven’t had the opportunity to work with any artists in Philadelphia except my homie Justin Richburg. I want to start doing murals soon, so I can collaborate with more artists soon.
What mediums do you draw in?
My medium is digital. I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create my artwork. It takes me a long time to create a piece, so I love every minute of it.
Who has the best cheesesteak in Philly?
If you want to purchase any of Mike D’s work check him out here