1. Tell us about your background. Do you feel your culture or upbringing has had an effect on your work?
I grew up in a military family and later attended a historically black college: Grambling State University. It had everything to do with my art and direction. It was there I chose my name CBABI, which stands for creative black artist battling ignorance.
2. How would you describe your art? Style? Preferred medium?
I am in the process of combining characters. Text and abstract shapes and below color patterns. I am a collage artist of sorts by way of how I construct my murals
3. What motivated you to become an artist? What inspires your work?
I am motivated by telling stories and seeing how I can push the design to pull that off. I sold art while in college on a trip to DC with two of my professors and caught the bug/belief.
4. Have you ever integrated topics of identity/race/social justice in your art? If so, how?
I didn't use to, but after doing an entire project celebrating black fathers, I have been called on to do more work in schools addressing representation and purpose.
5. In what way(s) do you feel art has the power to create change?
Art can create moods and narratives that are seen through different lenses. Art can inspire the mindset in individuals so that they believe change is worth working towards.
6. Tell us about your experiences as a student in K-12 art education. Did your k-12 experience have a direct influence on your decision to continue as an artist?
I only took one intentional class in high school and the seed of possibility was there but not the drive. I didn't get really interested until junior college.
7. What was your favorite art lesson as a K-12 student?
My proudest work was done on scratchcard. (See above).
8. What is one message you want to give to art educators?
I just say to expose students to everything but let them trust their inner artist on what speaks to them.
9. What is one message you want to give to art students?
Try everything before you decide what isn't for you. And just because something starts off hard has no say in whether that will be the medium to best seduce your voice into something wonderful.