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A self portrait depicting the two sides of Forrest.

Forrest Knoll 

Forrest Knoll is a testament to the duality of the human spirit.

He is a motorhead who knows how to swing dance. He is an understated individual with a love for loud, confrontational music. He cannot be neatly categorized by a single hobby, pursuit or even a job title. In a way, Forrest is a collection of opposites.

Without a doubt, Forrest’s eclectic set of interests are a product of his upbringing. In addition to being raised by a young mother, he was often the only dude in a household of women. On his mom’s side of the family, there were no uncles, only aunts along with his two sisters Madison and Felicity. On his dad’s side, he shared a house with his sisters Alyssa and Moriah. Unlike many men in a similar position, Forrest does not see growing up around women in a negative light. It also never bothered him that his family structure was different from his friends. Clearly, he was secure enough to see that his “normal” wasn’t any better or worse than anyone else’s.

Since he was often moving between households, Forrest became accustomed to adapting to his surroundings. But this does not mean he was a chameleon, simply a man familiar with adaptation. While at his dad’s, Forrest was a martial artist earning a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do. At mom’s, he cultivated a love for music and learned the intricacies of the electric guitar.

In particular, his musical pursuit opened up a new world for Forrest. For the first time, he had friends with a shared desire to create.

It’s no surprise that Forrest gravitated to more traditionally masculine pastimes. With boyish exuberance, he crafted makeshift weaponry in his spare time. You might find him making a bow and arrow out of wood, rocks, scissor blades and as he recalls “whatever was around.” Before you turn your nose up at him, Forrest maintains he had not ill intentions with these items. No score was settled, no debt collected with these instruments. He was simply exploring, making and creating.

In his later teenage years, Forrest and his guitar were nearly inseparable.

A formative moment in Forrest’s young life, was his introduction to Metallica. From the opening of "Enter Sandman," second grader Forrest was blown away by the attitude, the punch and the passion of the band. To this day, this group has made a lasting impact on him. Although his musical taste is quite diverse, nothing compares to the power and potency of a guitar tuned to drop C, the energy of a double bass pedal or a singer screaming with all abandon.

But even though his interests tend to change, he is not prone to running with the latest fad.

In fifth grade, when all his skater friends caught wind of the preppy clothing trend, Forrest declined to trade in his DCs for Nike Shocks. He faithfully continued wearing his baggy pants and Billabong hoodies.

Whether it’s skateboards or automobiles, Forrest holds an appreciation for things that move. His so called “pride and joy,” a Honda Civic Si, gets plenty of care and attention from him. But this fascination for cars came relatively late in his young life. Upon turning twenty, he took a ride in his current car and was hooked. He loved the sound of the engine revving up, pushing the car to its limits and the workmanship behind this mechanical masterpiece.

Funny enough, before he even had a passing interest in cars, Forrest briefly studied to be an auto mechanic. But after the first week of classes, he switched to graphic design. Today, he designs by day and tends to his ride by night.

After technical school, Forrest pursued a B.A. in Graphic Design at Maryville University. He fine-tuned his ability to make imagery, both stills and moving pictures. From photography to motion graphics, Forrest learned to create visually arresting images for the web and world.

LEFT: Forrest pictured with his final senior project at Maryville University. RIGHT: Forrest and his mother with artwork featured at a gallery for Art STL. 

Forrest has the habit of lending his creativity to matters of social concern. This could include the horrors of human trafficking or the necessity of caring for our warming planet. But of all the issues plaguing our world, equality is top of mind for Forrest. He has a concern for the division and hatred being sent across the figurative aisle. You can find a desire for unionity in much of his work.

In his own words, "What I want to convey most through my artwork is a message. I want it say something. I want it to mean something to someone."

There are those of us who say we have a diverse set of interests. And then, there are people like Forrest Knoll, who truly and authentically embody this desire. In the halls of Paradowski, it’s easy to forget his actual job title. Is he a video editor, designer, art director...who knows? He can film a virtual reality experience, fix a car, make a documentary, write music or create a simple banner ad. If it moves, hums or makes noise, Forrest Knoll is ready to create it.