What is your creative work?
Illustration and Graphic Design (throw some traditional art in there too).
Tell us how you started your business / creative venture?
I’ve been drawing forever, way back from what I can remember. To give you a definitive time period I’ll quote my mom and say, “Since the age of three.”
So that’s how I started my creative venture per se. The business side still at a young age. I recall being asked, what I know at my current age is commissioned, to draw my favorite superhero from my very cool barber. I drew Spidey of course! Old school Peter Parker Spider-man, before we got all the cool alternatives from Spider-verse. I showed him and he paid me for my picture. Another time involved a logo design for a supervisor where I volunteered. There was also a family tree two-fold I did for my mom’s coworker. But what set it off with the big bucks was being commissioned for a logo design right after graduating with my associate’s. I designed an active ball bounce logo for a sports-type organization introduced to me through a friend. The burst of satisfaction didn’t end there. I would also start receiving recognition at art shows a few years later. And recently I’ve been able to showcase my art in a local art store called Crafted. Mostly my art is in the form of stickers there, with my bad luck kitty selling out all the time! Coming in a close second my quirky Atlanta-based Atlien stickers.
Now it wouldn’t be polite to mention all those reasons and not include TCF! You guys help me stay sharp and pursue different avenues of ideas in the creative venture. So thank you for choosing me to fight alongside you as you crumble this dull society’s way of thinking and shatter all artist blocks!
What made you choose this journey?
Cartoons and comics for starters. Along with flavors of diversity. And a lot of inside jokes with outright punnies. Oh let’s not forget symbolism either. The combination of all this stuff set my course moving. I’ve just been on the go ever since. For me, storytelling is a great and valuable talent that cartoons and comics convey visually with ease. I love bringing my own characters to life. Whether it’s with a single image or a comic strip, the essence of each character is their diversity. And with growing up around all kinds of ethnicities I tend to favor creating characters that can be universal. Such as my rendition of Cupid. I made a comic strip once where Cupid took the appearance of whatever attracted the person looking at him. He was definitely diverse. More recently I revisited Cupid and made him a little more eccentric with tons of love symbolisms on him and on his skin. I also converted his name to Q. Ph.D. The joke obviously being that he is a doctor of love. In another project, I’ve fused marine life and plants to create my hybrid creatures known as Aquamentation. These guys play on symbolism heavily with the combination chosen and a mist of deeper meaning with name choices. My favorite is Golden Thought, a goldfish, and forget-me-not flower combo. I’ll allow everyone to have their own perception of what it means and not ruin the mystery. Overall me looking at things from the inside out has proven to be a fun exploration of what I can create visually to emphasize my perspective on diversity and creativity. Endnote: As it has been said over and over that nothing is original. Yet even with that being true things have still been created that are diverse when put amongst like categories. Something makes it different for new releases to keep being made. So I’ll continue to share my jokes with the world, in hopes we all get a good laugh.
What kind of struggles did you face in your journey?
Procrastination and self-doubt are the biggest struggles for me. These two go hand in hand, fueling the eternal battle of “am I really good enough?”.
For example, you think rationally about doing something, you know it’s a little out of your comfort zone but you wanna attempt it anyway. Then here comes the doubt! It persuades you to wait till you’re better at it and procrastination says let’s watch a few shows while you wait. Then they both double team you and you become just a punching bag of mush and sadness.
Which it takes a strong sober mind to break away from those fears and just create. (Not recommending you do this under the influence to prove me wrong. Just get up and push yourself out of the funk.)
So in conclusion the struggle is real!
What is one advice you can give to creatives struggling right now?
Stop thinking. Act!
I often find myself generating countless ideas in my head. Then sharing them with friends, only to spend days on days talking it out with everyone. Just to wind up producing nothing because I’m bored of talking about it. Time goes by pretty fast when you need it and pretty slow when you have “nothing” to do. Somewhere in between there, however, is a point where you get an idea to create something and that’s when you need to jump on it! Jump on it! Jump on it!
Share a quote you live by. It can be yours or something else that inspires you!
Accept failure. It exists. Let it be your ally. But do not allow it to define you.
My first set of business cards held this saying. It was something I came up to ground myself to the reality that I’m not going to always succeed. However, to improve myself, I must admit it and push on.
Are there any products you recommend that helped you better your craft?
Wacom Bamboo tablet, Fujitsu’s Lifebook, laptop/tablet Digital artist glove.
Moving into digital art for me was a gradual evolution from those items listed above. And quite frankly those were all I really needed to keep going.
How can people learn more about you and your business?
What are some resources that have helped you succeed?
I always have a devoted fanbase at home. My mom motivating me to pursue my passion. My aunt supplying me with different comics. My grandmother insisting I create my own worlds and listening to all my ideas as I do so. I’ve never had to second guess where my support was coming from. So if there are people pouring out love for you and your passion please receive it. And use that fuel to combust your fiery desire to an even brighter reality.
Software (I’m big on pushing the limitations on free software and these two stands on par with some of the Adobe programs I’ve used) Gimp & Inkscape
Websites (Can always find inspiration on these) YouTube & Deviant art
Organization (This place was great for networking and lifelong friendships) Atlanta Fulton Public Library
CMATL is an interview series where our team collects submissions and find Atlanta’s hidden gems of creators and creative entrepreneurs. This project powered by The Creative Folks.