Q: When did you realize that you were a creative person? What was your first artistic medium?
A: My first creative experience probably would have been making comic books with a friend in second or third grade. At that age a child having an imagination wasn’t necessarily something that was unusual, but my desire to apply those creations into something tangible was.
Q: What motivates you as an artist?
A: That would be my daughters. I really try to lead by example, and my artistic side has allowed me to share and motivate them in ways that I don’t think I would be capable of otherwise. Yes, I have an innate desire to create. However, my motivation to create is spurred on by the impact that it has on my daughters whenever I finish any type particular artistic pursuit.
Q: Do you have a style?
A: I do. I like to think my drip paintings as a sort of stream of consciousness style. However, as free as it appears on the canvas, it is created in the most rigid process. The color, the application of the layers, the drying time, the background, and other aspects are done in the most meticulous fashion I can muster. My scrap paintings are done in process that is similar but different, as my thought process about colors are paramount and the intimate application of the paint is so much more personal.
Q: Do you use different art forms to express different aspects of yourself? If so, which ones and how?
A: Not so much these days, I used to be focused on my photojournalistic projects. In the past I have done drawing, writing, screenwriting and directing. However, at this point in my life I am 100% committed to painting, as I find it to be the ultimate form of expressing myself. I have always been able to find ways to express my creativity, but painting so happens to function as a perfect medium for me to express how I view myself and the human condition.
Q: Do you have any artists that you look up to?
A: I look up to Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, Helmut Newton, Basquiat, Clive Barker, Quentin Tarantino, Brian De Palma, Stan Lee, Spike Jonze, Kehinde Wiley and Lars Von Trier. All of these people inspire me. I don’t think I could evolve as a person without their influence in my life.
Q: What don’t you like about the art scene?
A: The lack of accessibility for everyone to have works of art from artists that they appreciate. Growing up incredibly poor in West Philadelphia was one of the most humbling experiences in my life. While growing up I didn’t realize it, but afterwards I would say that I was moved by the fact that even though I didn’t have much of anything, great pieces of art were still available for me. Those arts were comic books, books from the library, movies and graffiti murals plastered around the city. I understand that some of those things I could not physically take home like the cinema and murals, but they were there for me to see and enjoy and be inspired by. Those mediums weren’t so class based, they were there for consumption by all and that is the approach that I take with my own work. I hate to think of what my life would have been if I could not have seen and held and touched Marvel comic books – the stories, the characters, the history. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I could not have gone to the library and experienced that writing of H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Hunter S. Thompson and so many others. I can’t imagine what it would have been like not to see works of art like John Carpenter’s Halloween, Brian De Palma’s Body Double, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, and Benoit Poelvoorde’s Man Bites Dog. Nor could I imagine what it would have been like not seeing the many murals and tags that decorated the city of my youth.
Q: What creative things do you wish that you could do, but cannot?
A: Neck and hand tattoos. I look at those as a symbol of freedom and in order to be a truly great artist you have to be emancipated from the influences that stifle creativity. In my opinion, all great artists had a sense a freedom about them at some point and that usually was during their most prolific stages. Being free is how you create at the highest level. Whether is free from financial concern, restrictions of your sober reality or free from the drug hampered mind, freedom is key in order to truly create your greatest work.
Q: What artistic outlets would you like to explore more in the future?
A: Furniture making, large scale canvas, and medium format photography.
Q: What is your favorite project that you have worked on so far?
A: I’d rather keep that to myself.
Q: How would you describe your creative process?
A: I first think about colors and how I want to layer them. For me it is all about the color. Sometimes, a muse or story is the catalyst for the colors chosen. But at the end of the day it is all about the colors.
Q: Where are your most creative spaces?
A: Coffee shops and the street. Coffee shops probably because they allow me to collect my thoughts, meditate and people watch. The streets because they’re filled with creative artifacts. The street is a piece of art in its own right and just observing it inspires me to create.
Q: Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists?
A: Study the artists before you and keep studying them. The more well informed you are as an artist the more you will be humbled your own work.
Q: Do you have a final goal?
A: All I want to do is inspire people, teach people and leave something behind that displays a certain aspect of my humanity. It’s not all about me, but I am part of the equation.