Reformed graffiti renegade Proton has always had an eye for the quirky and colorful. After spreading his video game and cartoon-themed artistry through the streets, Proton found himself face-to-face with a few unimpressed officers of the law. Since this unfortunate encounter, he has started up a legally acceptable outlet for his work: Proton Factories. Through his business, Proton now sells a variety of art ranging from canvas paintings to T-shirts.

Proton says he’ll be spending the holidays traveling between comic book shops where he’ll be presenting his pieces and meeting fans of his geek culture-themed art. So why did he choose those themes? “That’s what my friends and I grew up with,” he says. “ When I would visit my dad’s house every weekend, there was no cable, and the antenna barely picked up anything. But there was always my Super Nintendo and a Hollywood Video around the corner.”

The awards Proton created for this year’s City Paper Music Awards reflect both his cartoon muses and his love for the Charleston music scene. While you’re at the ceremony this Saturday, check out the colorful, stylized walkman and blank cassette tape plaque he used to congratulate the winners.

“I chose the cassette retro thing after I was asked to be in a “mixtape” group show at the Speakeasy Gallery in New Jersey earlier this year,” he explains. “Every artist had to pick a song as inspiration and create a piece using a cassette tape. I think they took all the songs that everyone picked and turned it into an actual mixtape that they gave out at the opening.”

To check out Proton’s artsy award pieces as well as the winners showcase — featuring the High Divers, Matt Monday, the Dubplates, DJ Rehab, and Gaslight Street — and oyster roast this weekend at the Pour House, get your tickets now.

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