Meet Kyle Black

Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'

The hottest comic book publisher in fifth grade, today the owner of Black Sheep Screen and Sign creates whatever customers — or he — can imagine, emblazoned in iconic pop art style on posters, t-shirts and more.

He's made friends, rescued pets, and had great adventures along the way — says he was born to create art and ride motorcycles.

"I've had several motorcycle accidents and several spinal surgeries, been rebuilt more times than I can count," he confesses. "But being on a bike is a nice taste of freedom."

His pet and creative muse is Myrtle "the turtle," a tortoise kitty. "She's super smart and weird on every phase!"

"One day my fiancé, Kalie, was looking at a rescue site and saw this little bobble-headed cat and said, 'I've got to have this one.' So now we have a one-eyed cat named Myrtle," he chuckles. "She likes to play-fight and bite — little lightning bolt around the house."

Kyle respects her mad, one-eyed agility.

"I split my cornea years ago and had to wear an eye patch for six months — not having depth perception is a real pain! Doesn't slow Myrtle down a bit!"

See Myrtle in pop-art creations on Black Sheep Screen and Sign's FB page.

Kyle has also rescued dogs. “One was Dante, a Rottie cross. He was rescued from an exotic bird theft ring. He came into my house, peed on my floor, and that was it — he was staying," he laughs. "Then there was Shiner, an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Dante and Shiner . . . what a team."

While "pretty much an open book,” Kyle says few people know he was once a professional body painter. “I painted people for photo and video shoots. I was an engineer tech and worked in the semi-conductor industry for about five years. It was fulfilling in its own way, but definitely wasn't my bag. I enjoy making art all day!"

Then there’s his flipside: "I'll get a pilot's license someday. As long as my life's an adventure until the day I die, I'm happy!"

Kyle’s #1 guilty pleasure? "I'm a sucker for vinyl!" LPs, that is.

What he hopes people see in him . . . "HOPE! To do what you want to do in life! If I can do it, anyone can! Alan Watts said it best: ‘If money weren't a stipulation, what would you do for a living?’ Watts changed my life — if you work hard enough on anything you can achieve it."

What cracks him up? "People falling down,” Kyle admits sheepishly. Laughing now, he says, “One of my friends did, and I laughed my ass off! It's not my fault; I'm not a mean person, but it happens. Or one of my buddies walks out of the bathroom, trying to be smooth, dragging toilet paper — hilarious."

Not surprisingly, Kyle’s most prized possession is "My Harley — I've got a chopped-out Sportster I'm really into. But if I could only have one or the other, it would probably be my art equipment. In my studio, I can make anything happen. It's like a sanctuary, its own entity. In that mode, I'm a different person." 

The shoes that are so Kyle? "Frye boots that I love very much; I wear the hell out of 'em. Feet don't get wet, everything's good."

A lottery win would fund "the best art studio I could have. They don't really have art in school any more, and I've wanted to be able to teach a few kids each year how to make a living in art. A lot of it is hustle — it’s all hustle. I was selling comic books I drew to other kids in the fifth grade, out on the playground."

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Ethiopian food tops his list. "I did some murals for a place called The Queen of Sheba and became friends with the owner — I learned to make some of the food. Now it's my favorite."

Many things inspire Kyle's art.

"You find beauty in amazing places — the line of a car, the female form, the way an animal looks at you in a certain way. The goal of any artist is to open people's eyes to things, and describe beauty in their own way."

Visit Black Sheep Screen and Sign on Facebook

Playbill cover photo by Camino Vale

About our Sponsor

Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years.  In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare.  Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood. 

Christy Caballero writes from her soul about animals and their humans. She and hubby Herb compete for space on the couch with three big RagaMuffin cats, two retired racing greyhounds and one slightly neurotic foster greyhound -- who never wants to leave. Ever.

UPDATE:  Slightly neurotic foster greyhound / failed foster number three. Never has to leave. Ever.