1.What’s your background?
I started sketching and drawing anime characters in middle school. Pokémon, Goku, Ronin Warriors, and other stuff. I didn’t start taking it seriously until I got deployed to Iraq in 2008. I used to write and draw while we weren’t on mission and I built up so many stories that when I got back, I wanted to put them into comic book form.
2. What does your work aim to say?
I just want to make life more enjoyable for people. Everything in life can be stressful and it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom all the time. I want to open people’s eyes to new possibilities and build something that has a lasting impact with characters like Aceblade and King Supreme.
3. How do you work or what is your process for a design project ?
I always tell people I’m a super impulsive creator. I get so many ideas that I KNOW if I don’t make something as soon as I get the idea, another idea is going to come along and wipe it out. Usually I start with a sketch or a few likes in a notepad. If an idea sticks around long enough for me to flesh it out, I tend to think it’s a good one, so then I start looking for the right people to bring it to life. Artists, Writers, Musicians, or whoever I’m connected to that can best fit what was in my mind.
4. Who are your biggest influences?
Dwayne Mcduffie and Denys Cowan. Two creators who were working in an industry that wasn’t really great for them and decided to use their skills to make their own. I think it’s important to make our own lanes in the world.
5. How have you developed your career?
School and Networking. I always told my kids not to start college until they decided what they wanted to learn. I waited a long time to go to school, but I was able to really learn graphic design and art theory there. But the real development came through going to comic book conventions and meeting other creatives and learning what THEY did to advance.
6. How do you seek out opportunities?
I’ve been super fortunate that I’ve networked in the comics game enough that people are starting to consider ME for opportunities instead of having to look for them. This year already I’ve gotten hired for 2 writing jobs, 2 Lettering Jobs, and almost 10 design jobs.
7. What role does the artist have in society today ?
I think everybody has the desire to create. Whether it be music, Painting, Comic Books, or whatever, every human has the desire to put what’s IN THEM, out into the world. Art gives us that ability in a non-destructive form. We can create without destroying ourselves and others. It almost therapeutic to create or to consume what artists create.
8. How do you navigate the art world?
I’m not extremely in tuned with my emotions like I should be. I like to use my brain to decide which projects to do, but my intuitions always get the best of me. Sometimes you can just FEEL that something fits for you and I’m learning to lean on those feelings thanks to my wife Teyona. She’s allowed me more freedom and trust over the years and most of the times it works out.
9. How do you price your work?
My expertise in an area helps me decide when to charge more or less. It’s weird now that I’m charging MORE for jobs that I can do quickly. Design and Lettering, I’ve learned the tools of the trade and can usually complete those jobs quicker that the average Designer, but writing is always a new experience. I can cut time on formatting and communication with the clients, but a lot of research goes into making a story seem authentic. SO it usually equals out in the end for me.
10. What are your favorite Kicks ?
Lebron XV - Purple
Reebok Classic - White
Nike Air Max 90