Q: Tell us a little about your creative process. Where do you usually start?
A: Where the creative process starts is dependent on the type of artwork I am beginning. When creating commission work for public mural projects or private collectors, my engagement and communication with the person is imperative. I become very inquisitive,wanting conversations and stories, to absorb their ideas, and then work fanatically toward creating art concepts that are beyond anything that they could have imagined. When beginning on a personal piece, the process is very inward — reflecting on collected images that are rich with meaning and working to evolve it to give the traditional art a modern voice.
Q: From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
A: Artistic inspiration comes from everywhere, ranging from classical narratives to abstract works and Mother Nature. Remembered dreams, song lyrics, books, design magazines, current news, even online at times will inspire my art. They all forge stories of color, hope, sorrow or the taunts in life’s sense of humor. The point is not just another beautiful painting but one that expands my kills and understanding of art in knowledge.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Tampa’s art community?
A: All the opportunities to give back to this city that has had a hand in raising me to be the artist that I am. One of the largest festivals in Florida, Tampa’s own Gasparilla Festival of Arts, is 100 percent volunteer-based. It has been pleasurable and fulfilling work to sit on the Board of Directors the past three years. To collaborate with men and women who might not even make art but understand the importance of supporting it enough to give their personal time, for the betterment of Tampa’s art culture, has been awe-inspiring.
Q: How do you see Tampa’s art scene changing?
A: Tampa’s art scene will be forever changing and growing, thanks to the city’s own art department, the museums, galleries, and the grassroots movements by local artists themselves. My current initiative is creating and curating the public art murals for the Channel District’s unique urban neighborhood in Tampa’s downtown. The ChannelDistrict Community Alliance and the Tampa Downtown Partnership grant programs have helped to fund most of the murals painted by my fine art company, Tada! Traditional and Digital Arts. The CDCA’s art committee shares the mission for an abundance of public art and inspiration for our community.
Q: If you could describe Tampa’s art in one word, what would it be and why?
A: Cross-cultural. Tampa’s cross-cultural dynamic drives opportunity for all types of artists in this large, flourishing city. Museums and galleries, such as Cass Contemporary, excel at bringing national and international artists to our city, match-making businesses with muralists to create beautiful works of art for our communities.
Q: What do you think Tampa’s art scene will look like in 10 years? Do you see more digital integrations in the future?
A: Artists’ efforts will continue to mold Tampa’s art scene in new and innovative ways. I absolutely see more digital infusions in architecture, design and even modern art. Tada! has been established in Tampa for almost two decades now and will continue to evolve our own work. I truly am excited to see what the future holds for my hometown.