Have you always had a spirit of creativity about you, or did it develop with time?
Always. I just wasn’t as aware of the spirit because it was within me. So, I had to tap in and see it within myself.
What made you transition from rapping to pursuing art on a broader scale?
It happened organically. It was fate. When the jobs and the music weren’t working for me, at the time, I felt like my ability to draw was all I had left. Truthfully, I just didn’t have enough information. I would’ve initially pursued art from the start had I not listened to the myths that artists only make money when they’re dead. That’s false. We have control over our own destiny.
Many of your pieces are portraits of yourself or other people from all walks of life. In what ways do you challenge yourself with each piece that you create?
In my earlier works, I was only creating to showcase my skill level. I thought that was enough. Now I’m more focused on impact and messages. The challenging part is making the impact clear, and the message hidden enough for you to search through the art to find.
The term “starving artist” is always a connotation attached to creatives who step out on their own outside the confines of Corporate America. What are some ways that you’ve learned how to generate income from your artistry?
I had to get my art out in the faces of people who love art. I had to put myself in the atmosphere and be my true self. I learned that people buy my work because it’s me…. not just because I’m good at it but also because of my journey. They want to be a part of it. It’s the relationships you build that generate the income.
One of your most iconic pieces is a self-portrait of you donning an identical headdress worn by Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamun, formally known as King Tut. You received mixed reactions when you revealed that you were selling the painting for $25,000 in 2020. What was one of the most important takeaways you garnered from that situation?
I would say that $25,000 is a lot of money to some people. When in reality, that’s just around the cost of living, depending on where you live. Or it could be less. If you do the math, that could be your essential expenses in a year.
In late 2020, you ruptured your Achilles while working out at the gym. Fast forward to today, you’ve completely healed yourself without surgery and transformed your physique. What are three lessons you can give regarding the power of resiliency in all areas of life?
Lesson number 1: DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF.
Lesson number 2: MAKE NO EXCUSES.
Lesson number 3: DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO PROJECT THEIR FEAR ONTO YOU. In the end, you won’t be the horror story…. you’ll be the success story.
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