Me: Hey Andre, it’s finally good to connect?
He: Definitely, I know we both have busy schedules so I’m glad we could work something out.
Me: With all the great images you’re capturing I’m sure you’re a busy man. What’s your typical day like?
He: Thank you. As of now, I’m strictly a freelance artist. So days start really early and end super late. I have to work harder than everyone because if I don’t, bills won’t get paid and the numerous projects I work on won’t get done. I spend a lot of time reading and researching, always trying to learn and come up with creative projects or whatnot. Emails and answering questions usually happen in the morning as well. Some days I spend tons of time shooting, some days I’m working on stuff with The Strivers Row and other days get spend editing photos all day. Everything that I’m doing, I try and make it connect in some way…that way it’s easy to stay in the realm of it all. I also run/workout 4 days out of the week.
Me: Word, that’s cool, so let me barrage you with the general questions. How’d you start?
He: I took my first and only photography class in my second year of college. I thought it was going to be a easy credit, instead I spent tons of hours in the dark room. It was a black and white film class. After the class I didn’t do too much shooting, basketball was taking up all of my time then. It wasn’t till basketball came to a end when I started shooting digital photography. That was about a year and seven months ago now..
Me: What inspired you to be a photographer?
He: There wasn’t really a photographer that really made me want to shoot, I didn’t really look at photography the same way I do now. The artist that inspired me was Keith Haring. The way that he impacted culture and touched lives was something that I always wanted to do… and now that’s what I try and do through my photography. But now I’m very inspired by Gordon Parks. He was an amazing photographer and the way he told stories through his photographs are timeless.
Me: Who are your influencers?
He: I’m really influenced with just life. I’m touched my the homeless man that sleeps on my block, or the single mother trying to provide. I’m influenced by the community I grew up in knowing that I have people watching and counting on me. I guess I’m just influenced by the people..
Me: How can I be like you when I grow up?
He: Haha, idk.. you have to be better than me.
Me: Lol, okay, I’ll try really hard. Let me flip it because I like t pick people’s brains. Get their insight. What do you feel about blacks and creativity? Do you think that the media portrays us as a unique people with a diverse set of interests? Why do you so answer?
He: I think black creativity is very important in our society. Being a black man myself, more than just being a creative/artist I just try to be a man on character. I feel like the creativity puts me in positions to be seen, and I take that as a challenge to live a as a better man, and just to live better in general. Because what I do is think about where I come from and who I grew up around.. there wasn’t many black influencers, and its so needed for our youth today. It’s needed for our world today.
Me: Tres intessant. Very cool input. Okay man, thank you so much for your time. I’m sure we’ll meet in person. Same space. Same time. Digitally sending my love. See you on the block.
He: Thank you for the opportunity to do this 🙂