CJ is an emerging visual artist from Norfolk, Virginia. She has recently been a part of many events in the area such as The Nightly Dose Candid Live Show as well as Blackhearts Club Naughty List 3. This week we got a chance to hear more from her about some of the obstacles she has over come as well as her advice to artists in her area.
Q: Where are you from
A: I’m from Norfolk VA.
Q: When and How did you discover that you had a passion for art?
A: I’ve always had a passion for art since I was a baby. it fully developed around high school when I found out that I was a very talented visual artist in an art class I was taking part in.
Q: Who do you consider to be your biggest influences?
A: My biggest influences would have to be Keith haring and Brian Donnelly of Kaws. Not necessarily in the art aspect because my art is way less structured than either of theirs is, but more so the way they went/go about things pertaining to their everyday lives and certain things they do in their art.
Q: What has been the hardest thing for you to overcome as a creative?
A: The hardest thing I’ve had to overcome as an artist would be the fact that every isn’t going to like your content, and they won’t. But that’s okay because you have to remind yourself who you’re doing it for, which should be nobody but yourself. When you create for your own liking, then the haters and naysayers will be blocked out in your mind because you’re in tunnel vision for making the best content for you and your brand. That’s when you’ve achieved full creative happiness. When you can create what you want and could give a damn about what anyone has to say.
Q: What do you think is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
A: I think my biggest accomplishment is honestly making it this far. I’ve been an artist for almost 3 years and I’ve wanted to quit countless times. but the fact that I never gave up and kept on going really makes me proud and it makes me want to keep on creating.
Q: What upcoming projects do you have in store for this year?
A: I can’t reveal any secrets but stay tuned. There’s a lot of cool stuff happening in 2020 for me.
Q: How do you feel about the creative scene in your area?
A: I feel like it is cool and a lot of the people are genuine and authentic. There’s this huge issue with being your true self and light definitely needs to be shed on the subject. You will not have supporters not being who you’re called to be. Because if you’re not living in your truth and trying to impress others by being something you’re not, people will see that and not want to support you. It’s happening a lot in our area and I hope some of these people can get it together before it’s too late. Just be yourself and know that you’re good enough.
Q: What qualities about yourself do you feel separates you from other artists?
A: Well, I’m a very genuine person myself. I love to support people and buy from my friends. whether it’s a ticket to a show or telling them about bhc and how to get plugged in, I’m always going to show love to my people and people who deserve. I’m also a wonderful energy to have around there shows and events too 🙂
Q: What was your biggest failure as an artist and how did you overcome it?
A; My biggest failure? Would have to be during my first year of making art, I didn’t know what avenue to take so I was trying to create with all mediums and not mastering one at a time and that caused me to be set back. It kind of made me feel like “damn lol” because in that time I could have been mastering one particular medium and not wasting time trying to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. So my biggest failure was definitely not mastering one thing at a time.
Q: What advice do you have to upcoming artists who want to make a name for themselves?
A: My biggest advice would be to be yourself, stay in your own lane, don’t let people sway your decisions, stay organized, be hardheaded sometimes, and to always be firm and straightforward (not rude!) in telling people what you want. Follow those and you’ll be set for life.
Check out CJs blog and keep up with her on social media!
IG: @itsgnarlycj & @itsgnarlycjsart