I’d love to know a bit about you! Where are you from originally, and where are you based now?
I was born and raised in Richmond, Va. I went to Virginia Commonwealth University for my undergrad and then University of Georgia for my Masters. As of today I have moved back to Richmond, to continue my art practice.
What has your art education been like, whether formally or informally?
I grew up in a creative house hold and was pushed to pursue creative outlets growing up. I didn’t seriously think about the art world until my senior year of high school. I went to Virginia Commonwealth University for my undergrad and then University of Georgia for my Masters. VCU was the number one public art school at the time and It felt like the right fit for me. The painting department provided me with some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that I still hold close to me to this day.University of Georgia provided me with tons new experiences and new outlets that I never new existed in the world of art. UGA also provided me an opportunity teach as well.
When did you first discover art, or realize that you wanted to make it yourself?
As a small child, you see I grew up with a very creative mother who made stuffed dolls and bears among other things, so I’ve been around it all my life. Always with a mark making device in my hand doing something. College is when I first truly understood the value of making work for oneself.
You work in a variety of mediums, namely painting and drawing, but also digitally and other media. Can you tell me a bit about your practice? How do these different approaches relate or bounce off one another?
I tend to put my work into two areas, painting and everything else. Both have and generate their own sets of rules and problems that I am continuing to explore. Everyone revolves around the central theme of line and movement. I’m always trying to find newer ways to manipulate the line through all forms of media. With the digital pieces I and exploit animation and movement which pushes my ideas into a different level. The digital work and the other forms of media come to be a little easier then painting. Painting for me has always been a constant battle of how I push forth my ideas and manipulate the media in a way that suitable for my liking. The way I work with painting is always in constant flux. The recent works I’ve been trying to show marks that strengthen the contentunitey between the two.
Do you consider any portion of your work, or use of a certain media, to be central to your practice?
My choice of media is always evolving, but majority of my practice has roots through the internet. I do a lot of research online and watch/listen to a lot of videos that interest me. Most of my prototyping first runs through Photoshop and my sketchbook. I work though both forms of media almost simultaneously until I move on to the final edition of the work.
I have a passion for 80’s and 90’s culture and I consider my work extensions from these time periods, I want to viewer to get a sense of motion and make their eyes dance along each piece of work that I make. I have a slight fetish for bright neon’s and shinny colors, as well as geometric shapes. These are my crutches that provide foundations for my work in all forms of media I work in.
What is your process like?
This varies between the media i’m working on and what I want to outcome to be. Each piece whether it’s a digital work or tactile work takes anywhere from three to four days to two weeks. I tend to work on a piece right up until I think its finished then I put it away for a couple of days before I go back to it and decide if it needs anything else before I consider it done. I also work on multiple pieces at once through different media so my mind is always working through different situations and problems. With some of my digital works I tend to work through my mobile studio on my phone. The mobile studio is something exciting because I can literally anywhere in the world and make work. The internet is my research space where I spend the most of my time watching videos or looking at work.
What is your studio or workspace like?
I’m actually in between studios at the moment. Crazy as it seems I’m working out of my room right now.
What is the best advice you’ve received? Any that you’re glad you chose to ignore?
Make work make a lot of work, I’m talking make so much work that you get tired of making work. Then go back and go back after you made all this work and pick and choose what stands out the most, what you didn’t like what you do and really think about how it effects the work and your practice. That was said by one of my mentors in undergrad. You know I’m sure their might be some advice that Ive chosen to ignore but I seemed to forget it.
On your website, you mention that you taught for a bit (was it art-related?) — do you still? What was that experience like?
I went to University of Georgia because it was a three year masters program that provided you with teaching experience. I’ve taught basic painting and 2-D design in the past, and they were very rewarding. Making a difference in students even if its just one student made my time teaching memorable. Unfortunately I don’t teach anymore, not to say i’ve given up on teaching just at this point in my life I want to dedicate my life to my practice and my work.
What do you need or value most as an artist?
The chance to let your ideas flow without any distraction. I always value my time in my studio I always feel that I’m here for a purpose, sometimes I don’t know what that purpose is at that moment but I’m sure I’ll find it.
What do you feel is the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art, either creatively or professionally?
The ability to think of something new and present it such a way that people can enter a dialogue about it. Allowing yourself to evolve your practice and to take risks. The Art world is not an easy place to be, you have to have a tough heart and be willing to promote yourself no matter what.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I just finished up a painting and now I’ve been working on some drawings that closely relate to my painting practice. I’m enjoying these experiments so far.
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