How long have you been in Atlanta and how did you end up here?
I moved up here in 1999 after college and a hard night of partying in Mobile, Al. A girl said I am moving to Atlanta, I said sure Ill go. I moved to South Florida in 2003 for about a year and a half. Then we moved back up in 2005.
At what point did you realize art was something you wanted to pursue?
I was going to school to be an anethitis but then transfered to Design. I guess after my first design job, I saw that I could make some cash in art. So I hustled my stuff until I could stop working doing design.
Did you go to art school or are you self-taught?
I went to the University of South Alabama. Graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing. All the painting came naturally and I nurtured it myself without any education.
Who/what do you feel influences your style?
Just about everything. Other peoples work, conversations, architecture, cultures, a moment and my life. I am always experimenting within my style and I let it go where it goes sometime. I guess one of my main influences is simply the random nature of things. The random nature of my process.
Take us through your creative process.
I start. I add music. then just experiment. Lately I have been using razorblades to handcut out drawings and designs. It seems to sharpen up my designs and elements that I use in my work. I feel it is a new level.
My studio has colors and paint and pens laying everywhere so what is present to work with, sometimes is what dictates the work.
What does the bird symbolize in your work?
I guess they symbolize to me what they have always symbolilzed universally... A freedom. Letting your mind just fly through your influences and creativity to come up with something solid visually.
Other times, I use it as an omen, or a marker for someone to figure out something I may be trying to convey. I am usually not very obvious on the meanings of my work, I like people to figure out their own interpretation. Sometimes too, it is simply a painting with no meaning, just more experimentation within my style.
How do you feel about Atlanta’s art scene?
The artists in the scene are great, strong and determined people. The scene tries harder than any other scene in the world, but we are here... and those of us that want to stay here keep chugging to make it work. But there is little support from any aspect of the city. Only reviews you get are bloggers, the only shows you get are private galleries (not museums in the city). I have seen some of the best artists ever leave and go to the staple cities of New York and LA. Just easier there I guess. People actually support and collect your work. Some of us in the scene want to live here for the rest f our lifes, so you try to make it better and deal with what you have. I guess I will just have to try more government art and have taxpayers pay for my art (ha).
How would you say Southern culture has influenced your work?
It is my life. It is my family... my grandparents. it is my childhood. It is what I see. I love the difference we have then other cities. We are less politically correct. We acknowledge the truths of the world and society and dont pretend things dont exist. I think that it has only started its influence. It will build more as I get older and wiser. Michi the other day saw a huge Escalade full of Black folk flying a huge confederate flag... where else. We are the only culture in the US that is still developing under its own rules. It is unique.
Who are some of your favorite local artists?
What is your favorite local hang out?
Honestly, I am a rare person to site out on the town. My favorite place is my backyard - from there it would be Michi's studio.
What music/album are you currently listening to?
I dig the pandora.com thing. A little Young Dro... going back to Medeski, Martin and Wood again.
What is one thing you love about your life?
My sons. Blaise is almost three and Reid is still in the belly making his entrance in Early December. I cant wait to paint with their imaginations.