When did you first discover you were an artist?
Not very sure when I first discovered it, whether in kindergarten drawing on the class carpet during nap time, or doodling underneath my bunk bed as a child. I grew an appreciation for art mostly through my high school art teacher Carol Hackler. While I used to say this was what most kids do in high school is take art for the easy A, I have to admit I was one of them, now I look back at how it was a release of emotions and tension in my life. Not only was our class comprised of 2 guys and about 10-15 girls ~, but I would find myself skipping other classes, going to studio before basketball practices and lots of night spent painting with Carol. So the majority of our class was spent as a spewing of all our emotions, Carol was without a doubt our artistic psychiatrist – and through that our art flowed. The more I look back at my art career I see how emotionally driven it all is. This can be a downfall and a blessing! But to answer the direct question I knew I had a love and appreciation for art through Carol Hackler at the Dunham School in High School my Senior year. Went on to play college basketball asked my coach if i could participate in the art program and was denied because I supposedly didn’t have time for the two. Had ongoing nagging injuries that year and came back home, after getting my degree in marketing and dabbling in art, several years later and bundles of celebrity driven art, Im doing art full time and traveling the world doing it. (Enjoying every bit of this “child-like” career of being an artist)
What would you say is your artist statement, why you create?
In a world of spiritually, politically, racially driven differences, I try to create a platter of things anyone can relate to. Compositionally creating a way to make my art parallel present day culture and spiritually driven view is key. Most people walking by my art may not be a spiritual person but molding pop culture/everyday situations into a spiritual under lining is my goal. For the most part I’ve gotten the two down separately, It’s a matter of coinciding them in a subtle way that some may not see at first but can relate to. Where as then can take a deeper look into situations of life to have a better outlook or opinion on certain things to bring positivity and art to the south.
Do you feel painting is a spiritual gift?
Absolutely believe painting is a spiritual gift. Being able to create for a living is the most special gift God has given me. Being able to create as he did. Following in the footsteps of the greatest artist of all time – God. Our world and society we live in needs beauty, beauty and love will save the world. Seems that the art world has gone from completely Christian driven to today’s view of a secular art being the only ‘good’ art. This is something I plan to change. Being an artist I have truly seen how much of a sense of humor God has and how fruit comes from skill, prayer, and loved ones, but also how quickly he can humble me in the process of creating – the harder I work and stay in focus the more blessing come my way. Art is a very emotional and spiritual battle. Through prayer and discernment of his grace and mercy, great work is made. All glory to him. The church and our world today is in desperate need of spiritual sacred artists.
Just to name a few of the greatest renaissance artists and beyond who created spiritual works throughout their career who inspire me, DaVinci, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio – and the list goes on but just to bring back the fact of the matter of these men all being within the top notch skilled artists ever known creating beauty in the spiritual subject matter.
You have been selected to go to Sacred Art School of Firenze which is quite a honor, please share how this all came about for you?
This came about through my future brother in law discerning the decision of going. Norman and my sister were speaking about the potential journey out to Florence if he were accepted. I thought this was a cool opportunity for him but wasn’t for me. God had other plans, over the course of about a month of prayer and thought I decided he was calling me to set things aside give the talent to him and go learn. This would give me an opportunity to not only learn art for the first time but become more spiritually sound in my everyday life and career future. Normans work is all Sacred Art – amazing, so I figured he was a shoe in, me on the other hand have art that ranges from rappers to weddings to spiritual themes. We were told to send in our portfolio and write an essay of why we wanted to attend the school. (the story that I sent you in my first email can answer most of this) About a week or two later they sent me information of being 1 of 12 accepted into their program.
Do you have a favorite book of the Bible or scripture that you have always enjoyed or reflected up?
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love is everlasting… His Mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118: 1-2