Q: What inspires you to create?
A: My main inspiration is connecting with others. Being an artist I’m privileged to make this connection in a very unique way. Whether that is through a collaboration, photo shoot, commission, mural, wine label etc.. I truly feel as if I’m giving a piece of myself to others through my work.
Q: At what moment in your life did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?
A: I was always dedicated to my art no matter how tough it got. I didn’t start promoting myself until my Junior year of college. There was one big moment after I finished my Misty Copeland mural in San Pedro when I took a step back and realized that my art was taking me somewhere. They constructed a stage at the San Pedro Ballet where my mural served as a backdrop for the unveiling of Misty Square. It was an eye opening experience. I still get the chills thinking about it today.
Q: Who or what is your largest artistic influence?
A: My biggest artistic influences would be my mom and my grandpa. They were very creative individuals and from a young age were always supportive of my creative aspirations.
Q: What message(s) do you strive to communicate in your work?
A: I don’t strive to portray any literal message through my work. I stay away from political and religious messages, as I believe everyone has a right to their own beliefs and who am I to try to manipulate or influence your ideals through my art. That’s not what I’m here for.
Q: Is there a particular commentary you instill in your public works?
Q: How would you describe the DTLA art scene right now? How do you see yourself contributing to it?
A: The DTLA art scene is on the cusp of turning into a highly influential creative hub. It has always had a presence but is growing rapidly along with the expansion of the city. I feel as if I share the same reputation. I’m at a similar period of growth in my career and I want to share it with the city I love.
Q: What are some of the challenges artists face in Los Angeles or elsewhere?
A: There are so many artists out there and social media acts as a double-edged sword sometimes. On one end it’s easier than ever to get our work out to the public and on the other end the artists who are already established in the art scene kind of take over all the air time. It’s just a big popularity contest.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring artists in Los Angeles and/or those hoping to enter the DTLA arena?
A: The best way to break into the art scene would be to create a following around your work through social media. You don’t have to have the big warehouse studio or be painting massive murals, you just need to put yourself out there, love what you do and more importantly love the hustle that comes with it. People will respect you for it. It’s not just about what you physically create, it’s about the person behind the paint brush, spray can, camera etc. and the relationship that person has with their work.
Q: How will OLiVE allow you to pursue and progress your career? (Or what does this residency mean to you?)
A: I’m at a very exciting time in my career where my art is starting to take me in a direction I couldn’t have imagined back when I was painting in my garage studio in college. Creatively I’m starting to push the boundaries on my work and explore different avenues. I’ll be using the OLiVE workspace to create a massive series as well as a sculpture that I will exhibit at my show this summer in LA. Los Angeles literally made my career and I want to use the space at OLiVE to explore these avenues and give back to the city.