Anxiety is what keeps us segregated in 2018, in Charlotte. Anxiety is when people are like "I didn't even know that when on over here, or there, or that was even a thing". It prevents us from knowing each other.
I also know that if I don't push past that anxiety, that person and me may never learn. That we may never have new conversations, I we don't push past the exterior, and have some real hard and honest conversations about stuff that matters.
But, the fact that I walk the Earth with anxiety of what people think of me, and what they interpret of me, because of how my skin looks and how my hair is done... that anxiety is, almost, retarding. It keeps me in one place.
I inspire men and women to be better than they were yesterday, and even better tomorrow #WeMakeLeaders
You realize that anxiety is an internal force, right? It starts from within. It is, literally, self-sabotage.
If you look around, there is art all in this room. You're wearing it, you're sitting in it, Christmas trees, lights, sound, video, photographers, we've all got our phone out... those are all designed and created by artistic people.
The arts are dying in school, and I agree, we've gotta find a ways to get it back in front of kids. It's the next generation of creative people.
I'm an artist, but basketball just got in the way for 10 years.
The journey and everything we do is the most important. The between is what matters most. It's not the beginning, and it's not the end.
Take some every once in a while and just reflect on how you got to where you are.... and try to find a way to utilize all those experience in day-to-day.
I'm proud of whats happened in my life. There was some pain at times, but I'm proud of what's happened because it's allowed me to be the person I am today.
I took all that anger, all that drive, all that emotion, and I just threw it into my art. To not just only create, but to speak to people with confidence.
My love isn't lost, it's just transformed.
Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance
Because when they put me in the dirt, no one is going to care about my Instagram likes or the Addie's I've won. I want to be remembered by the people I lifted up, the stories I supported, the space we created; that I did right by my mom, raised two little soldiers, and that I love my wife fiercely.
Folks come into my office scared, excited, empowered, confused, confrontational, and I have to meet them there emotionally. I'm not a designer; I'm a servant with a sketchbook.
I intentionally place my art in public space to say, 'We are here. We have been here. And this is what we contribute to our society and to this country.'
I see my work as an artist as cultural currency that I used to invest back into the communities I connect with.
When I come to this work, in all these different settings, it's not just finding the connections of our humanity, but it's understanding how I can utilize the creative process to amplify and elevate others' voices through the platform of public space in the most authentic way that I can.
Stories are powerful, especially within the context that they're told or represented. And, in my practice, i ask myself 'how do I begin to shift power structures? How do I utilize my privilege, skills, and resources as a way of providing opportunities to others? How can I support them to have the courage to share their stories, especially in spaces where they're not represented?'
We are living in a time where we have an administration that supports white supremacy, hate, and racism. And as we tear down these monuments, both the physical and symbolic monuments, I'm dedicated to building new monuments than honor and elevate the people that are continuing to fight for freedom.
As an artist working in communities, I believe it is important that we hold these experiences with care, and that we offer moments of healing through the creative process.
I intentionally place my art in public space to say 'we are here, we have been here, and this is what we contribute to our society, and to our country'.
I see myself and my family reflected in the many communities that I work with. I also understand that when I rise they rise with me.
As a child of immigrants, a product of two people who had experienced extreme poverty and migrated to this country for a better opportunity, I carry their triumphs and struggles with me.