Welcome to the TMC interview! You’re originally from Raleigh and you recently graduated from NC A&T. What attracted you to NC A&T and the Greensboro area in the first place?
I didn’t apply for a lot of colleges leaving high school, but I knew that I wanted to get the exciting HBCU experience I’d seen and heard so much about. To be a hundred percent honest, I chose A&T because the band played so many of the classic songs I grew up on, and I just wanted to dance at the football games!
Why did you choose Greensboro as your new home after graduation?
Before college, I was sure that I’d move away from NC after I graduated. After making friends and building my professional network, I realized that Greensboro is a hidden charm. Also, there is a brewing music scene that is waiting to be recognized, and I can’t wait to be a part of it!
What, or who, is your biggest inspiration as a designer and artist?
My favorite artist will always be Ernie Barnes. He considered his art as a method to celebrate diversity, as well as presented people in a way that was contorted, twisted and freakishly beautiful. His subject matter was always something that exemplified a staple in black culture while including different colored faces amongst the crowd.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Not until college! As a kid, I would get into big trouble every time my mom would walk in on me painting or drawing instead of working on schoolwork. I never believed it could be a sustainable career, until my sophomore year in college when I’d met a friend in the Graphic Design Technology Program at NC A&T. After looking into the career of being a designer, I fell in love.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully in a nice open apartment, working as a freelance designer and creating music as well. At that point, I’d love to be making a living off of both music and graphic design.
What is your ultimate dream job? If you could make an impact doing anything, what would it be?
My ultimate dream job is to be a musician because music was my first love. I want to provide a workshop space so that younger musicians and artists have a place to work on their music and art, as well as have access to materials they may not be able to afford. Maybe even throw events there to raise money!
Who is currently on your playlist?
De La Soul, Ahmad Jamal, Slum Village & J Dilla, Little Dragon, The Smiths, Mos Def and Butcher Brown.
What is your favorite medium for art?
It’s a tie between collage and animation. I can’t choose!
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Ernie Barnes, Jordan Casteel, Kerry James Marshall, and the whole Golden Wolf animation team.
What surprises you the most about Tigermoth?
The work dynamic! I’ve been a part of many creative teams in my short career as a designer and I’ve never seen one that works like Tigermoth. Everybody has their avenue and they navigate it so well, it seems like work (to some degree) just gets itself done!
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned, funny or serious, while working with the Tigermoth team?
Meeting people can change everything. For better or worse. Life will always work itself out because even the wrong people that bring trouble always bring laughs in the end and the right people can bring you to a higher place than you’d ever planned for.
What advice do you have for other designers looking to find their specialty?
Always, always, keep your eyes open. Design is literally everywhere, which means so is inspiration! Constantly be on the hunt for new ideas and try new methods that you’re not used to, because nothing ever comes to those who sit in the same place, doing the same things. That’s called insanity.