Vernon Payne was born and raised in Chicago’s south side neighborhood, “Beverly”. He began to be inquisitive in the world of arts when his sixth grade teacher at Sutherland elementary school stole his drawings during social studies. 

During the summers of 1999 through 2002, Vernon attended Chicago’s infamous student art program “Gallery 37” where he was introduced to silk screening. He later enrolled in Columbia College Chicago’s printmaking program to pursue his passion for art. During college, Vernon had two big influences in his work, Loise and Emmanuel (nick name Matthew). These two friends help guide him into understanding meaning in his art. Although people would often question their relationship, as a group Louise, Mathew, and Vernon talked about philosophy, psychology, art movements, classical music, traveling the world and much more. Before Louise and Mathew, art was arranged colors and patterns designed on a canvas, but afterwards it grew into creating intimate conceptually surrealist portraiture. Also while attending Columbia, Vernon was hand picked from hundreds of artist and awarded an artist studio with an apprenticeship under Max King Cap.

As a student Vernon worked at “Spectrum Art and Framing” where soon after graduating from college he managed the store. While working at Spectrum Art for five years until the recession hit and Vernon was forced to retire from managerial duties at Spectrum Art. Without employment Vernon met Yoppichan, and together they were inseparable . They traveled the city of Chicago’s art scene and traveled beyond to other cities learning together the fascinating world of art. With three pivotable relationships in the balance, that of; Yoppichan, the great friend and owner of Spectrum Art, Susan Larsen, and the passing of his father, Vernon experienced first hand the intimate value of relationships through portraiture. 

Living in New York City during 2008 through 2012, Vernon worked as a creative assistant for a high end fashion designer “Sang A”. The fashion designer “Sang A” became Vernon’s most valued mentor, teaching him the pleasurable pain to produce work under limited resources, and tight deadlines. While working for Sang A, Vernon created over 300 small drawings on the streets of New York City eventually creating his book launching 2014. In 2012 Vernon moved back to Chicago to began production of his new works of the city.

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