How critical is art to our community and culture?
Art is a fundamental piece of the fabric of ALL cultures. Art is critical, because artists create, and others duplicate.
Tell us about when your reality of painting professionally became real.
In 2001, while still in corporate America. I woke up and said to myself "damn, corporate America! I had been painting for people, but not really understanding the value of my works. I still had a lot to learn. I was making money and was only getting a fraction of what I could’ve been making. Eventually, I was able to turn the art into a business, once the money became consistent, and sustainable, painting professionally became real.
What motivates you to create art?
Legacy-what you leave behind. My works will outlive me! Generationally, my art will exist in families outside my own family. However, I am perpetually tied to those families through each piece. One day, I would love to have a descendant of mine go into someone's home and say my (insert relationship) painted that! That is what motivates me to create art!
Tell us about your most special creation and where it is today.
My first sale, at my first show. I was touring with the artist, Frank Frazier and my mentor, Windell Gordan, in Virginia. My first original was sold to Katherine Lane. The rendering was my number one online seller through the art.com/posters.com website. Selling the artwork was a confirmation that I was doing the right thing, that I was on my path. The painting was named, “in the heat of passion” and currently resides in one of Katherine Lane’s homes in the U.S.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The perception that there is an artist rivalry and competition. We are ALL great artists in our own right! The thought that there is politics in a market that is so vast, is ridiculous! Whether trained, or naturally skilled, artistic creativity is obtained through shared knowledge.
Tell us about your most proud moment as an artist.
Going home. I am from Omaha, Nebraska. Yes, there are black people in Nebraska. I've done two shows in the /O\NE. The first show was LOVEAM. The second was at LOVE galleries. The turnouts were amazing, LOVEAM was just a cry moment, the billboard, the love literally the LOVEAM love. AMAZING!
LOVE Gallery! What can I say? The fire marshal came out; there was wall to wall, family, friends, and people that I grew up with—showing up and showing out! SMH! I'm so emotional recalling those two events. The only person, not present at either event, was my deceased mother. However, I do believe her presence was there.