How did you get your start in Art?
Growing up in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, I would watch my cousin, who is also an artist, draw every day. I eventually picked up a pencil and started drawing because I wanted to be just like him. From there, I went to an Arts high school and then to Savannah College of Art and Design where I received a bachelor degree in Graphic Design and a master degree in Illustration. I moved to Atlanta during the recession, hoping to find some work. I found a small job and tried to freelance on the side. I got contracted to do design work for a festival and that gig paid me enough to quit my job. I have been freelancing now for almost eight years.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I do a lot of my work in acrylic and watercolors. With watercolors, it's more vibrant and conceptual art. The best way I could describe it is... playful. With acrylic, my style is more tight and sharp with stronger concepts.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Just living. Good conversation. Good music. I made a series of paintings based on the titles of jazz and hip hop songs. I would paint whatever I felt the song was conveying to me. Other times I take naps and hopefully have a dream.
What was the first artwork you sold?
The first piece I can remember selling is a piece I called “Hard at Work”, a friend paid for it not knowing that she paid my rent that month because I was broke. I will always remember that.
What is your personal process for creating a piece?
I always start with a pen and paper and write a concept for the painting. Then, I draw several sketches to see how it works out. Once I begin the painting process, I have the skeletal process from the sketches. I try to get it as close to what I visualized in my head. Oh, and lots of whiskey.
What messages do you hope to convey to your audience through your work?
I would like to convey positivity through the art that I make. Many of my paintings are reflections of myself or my friends and what we see and what we go through. I hope through those stories; people can gain some positive energy.
What is the greatest sacrifice you have made in pursuit of your career?
I have two.
One would be financial. When it’s good, it’s good, but when it’s bad, it’s bad. At this stage in my career, I'm used to it, and I can prepare for those bad months.
The other sacrifice would be dating. Since the stability isn’t always there, it can freak the other person out.
I’m working on my third book, “Chocolate Covered Honey Buns,” and I’m filming a documentary to accompany it. The book will be comprised of short stories, poems, and one-liners on growing into “Adulthood.”
I also co-host “The Influencers presents” podcast with two of my friends. It is currently available on iTunes.
What quote or motto do you live your life by?
It is a really powerful piece of poetry. Along with prayer, friends, and good conversations, it helps me get through those slump periods.