When you're not creating, how do you spend your time? What else interests you, and how do those interests impact your art?
I like to read, listen to hip-hop, watch ‘80s and ‘90s gangster films. Hip-hop has influenced my color palette a lot, especially ‘90s hip-hop, when the clothing was really colorful. I think about brands like Fubu, Coogi, Tommy Hilfiger. I also think about impressionist works I see at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Who has been your biggest influence as an artist?
It changes often. My favorite artist right now is a modernist portrait and abstract artist, Beauford Delaney (1901–1979). I’m also really into Alice Neel, Kerry James Marshall, Henry Taylor, Danny Fox, and Willem and Elaine de Kooning.
If you could meet any artist in the history of the world, who would it be and why?
Probably David Hammons. I’ve always been interested in conceptual art that isn’t as linear as painting, with paint or sculpting with clay. I’d ask him how he knows when something “works.”
What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
Right now, it’s making large-scale paintings. Always a battle.
How do you break through creative blocks?
I try to make something every day, even if it’s bad. If you create every day, you’re one step closer to figuring out the next idea.
What are you most proud of?
Having artwork in the arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play (Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse), and being able to afford my own studio.