‘To create something from nothing is a gift, and why not utilize it to show the world?’
“Since I was a little kid, I loved coloring books and drawing superheroes. I didn’t take art classes until I was at Walt Whitman High School. I would get into a lot of fights because I moved to Huntington from Queens at 10, and the places were so different; I was all about graffiti, street art and hip-hop. I always felt like an outcast, but I let that be my drive. In high school I went to Six Flags and some guy was airbrushing t-shirts. It intrigued me because it looked like a pen, but there were no paint strokes and he could blend colors.
“I saved up to get myself an airbrush and air compressor, so in my senior year I started airbrushing t-shirts. I also wanted to be a rapper, but my skill was in creating paintings. Later I went to F.I.T., I found the G-Unit offices, and I started doing custom airbrush shirts for 50 Cent and all of the rappers.
Everyone tells you art doesn’t make money. When I relied on my own thoughts and my faith in God, I realized that I can do whatever I want to get done.
“In 2010, I opened my own store in Huntington. At first it was a clothing brand, Andaluz Designs, and then it became a branding and marketing store. I was doing custom sneakers and canvasses, but I really wanted to be a street artist and do music. The first mural I did was Robin Williams at Painted Pieces. When Pokemon GO came out I saw it as an opportunity to do something huge. I painted 151 Pokemon on the side of my office building because you have to go large or go home. It went super viral. The next wall to go viral was a Kobe Bryant mural in front of Barclays Center. I just did it out of love.
“During quarantine, I created live art auctions where DJ Scram plays music and I will paint somebody in one hour. On the anniversary of Kobe’s death, I painted Shaquille O’Neal. Out of nowhere, Shaq popped up in my Instagram Live. I was buggin’ out. He ended up purchasing my painting! I just shot a music video from the album I dropped in March, “Welcome to the Quarantine.” It’s uplifting, Christian hip-hop. I’ve learned that it’s hard to be an artist. Everyone tells you art doesn’t make money. When I relied on my own thoughts and my faith in God, I realized that I can do whatever I want to get done. It’s just a matter of working hard. To create something from nothing is a gift and why not utilize it to show the world?”