Watch his interview with CTA radio:
What’s your occupation?
I wear several different hats. First, I work at a group home for people with severe and persistent mental illness. 8 I have worked there for 6 and a half years. I work as an artist doing solo and group shows around North America. I have also started working as an illustrator. I was hired a few months back to illustrate a children’s book. Finally, I am also a student. I am studying commercial art technology at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio.
When did you realize that you’re an artist?
I have always been a creative person, but I didn’t really feel like an artist until a few years ago when I started getting really busy doing shows and exhibitions.
Where you afraid to call yourself an artist?
Yes! I don’t have as much training as a lot of artists and I was afraid people wouldn’t see me as good enough. I became more confident with every show I did. I have stayed pretty busy and I think people take me more seriously now.
Did you attend school for your craft, or were you self taught?
At first I was self taught. I later started attending Owens Community College and took some traditional art classes there. I have found the classes to be really helpful. They give me more tools and techniques to express myself.
Where do you see yourself in your career 5 years from now?
Hopefully I will be working as an artist full time. I try to be versatile. I would like work as a graphic and web designer, illustrator, and artist.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, portfolio website?
Any future events or shows where you are showing your work?
I am slowing down just a bit to concentrate on school. I only have 6 classes to complete to graduate! I am super excited to being that close to finishing my degree! However, I just wrapped up a solo exhibition at Southern Oregon University in January, and I am possibly doing art shows at a couple conventions. There is also a 2-man show in the works for later this year.
Advice for beginner artist?
I could go on and on as far as advice goes. Be unique. There are so many people trying to make it in the art world so it is really important to stand out from the crowd. Don’t get discouraged if you hear “no thanks”. This business is super competitive so some rejection can be expected. Keep an open mind. There are so many different outlets for your work other than just galleries. Take a class. Learn as much as you can because I really think it pays off to be versatile. The more versatile you are the more opportunities you will have in the creative field. Seek out as many opportunities as you can. You want as many people to see your art as possible. Network with other artists. I take in a lot of inspiration from my artist friends, plus they might let you know about upcoming shows and opportunities. Also I think it’s important to practice your craft everyday. I have a sketchbook that I draw in everyday if I’m not already working on a particular project. Have work in a variety of price ranges. I sell originals as well as prints. It’s important to make your art accessible to everyone no matter his or her budget. Learn to do your own framing. This has helped me cut cost tremendously! Sometimes I go to thrift stores and buy old frame
s to fix up and paint. If you can, stretch your own canvases. This also helps save money. Above all, believe in yourself and your talents!
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I am a % 100 multipotentialite. What most people call a jumper or flaky, for years I have struggled focusing on one thing and now I know its ok, my mental process is not crazy, its normal to jump from idea to idea. My projects that I have started for this year alone is a very long list, from designing clothes and shoes, selling weave, and of course photography, I am also taking a technology course soon and when I finally finally go back to school I will either study marketing communications or visual communications, I have other ideas but its in the back of my head somewhere, its a lot but that will somehow make me happy.
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