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I Became A Professional Contemporary Artist At 17 Years Old

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

I kept it low key.

Championships in Football & Wrestling at 13 years old in 8th Grade

*Fast Forward to 2009-2010*

Multiple Offensive Player Of The Week’s

Multiple Defensive Player Of The Week’s

Defensive MVP

Numerous Varsity Letters

Cobb County All-Star

Shiiidddd… I even got a 3rd Place Ribbon in a Bridge Building competition in Science Olympiad… probably would have gotten 1st place, if I actually applied myself lol

Nobody would believe that by 17 years old I would have done the above and more, while also selling my first sculpture at the Upper School Art Exhibition for $100.

Before I even apply for college, I have a lifetime of achievements.

It felt like playing MyPlayer in real life.

Maybe that’s why, after years of football, I tore my ACL dismantling my opponent in a pickup football game.

I was doing too much without even giving myself recognition or validation.

Always on to the next challenge without proper reflection.

I was flying too high without a landing gear.

So I crashed.

After the surgery, it felt like my world came to an end. I felt like I forgot who I am. I started focusing on regrets and loses instead of victories and future wins.

I chose a different path at that point, even though it was not a new path.

Just as I developed into the player I wanted to be, I developed myself into the Artist I wanted to be.

Already backed by the credibility I needed, I initially Reject The Status Quo by changing my major from International Studies to Design, once the Design Major was offered my Sophomore Year.

Originally, I wanted to be a spy for the CIA. I really just wanted to be the African-American James Bond, however… have you ever taken a Law class? I have ADHD… soooo it didn’t sit well with me.

Design fit my ADHD like a glove.

So much so, I didn’t even realize that I could do things with the program that others don’t.

What was once a super power on the football field is found again as a super power in the art field. What fueled my art before college has arisen again to fuel the Reject The Status Quo Exhibition.

The fuel is not Diesel, even though I can drive manual 18-wheelers now.

The fuel isn’t even gasoline…

The fuel is racist attacks against me, whether verbal, physical, or psychological.

I feel like some people have a hard time grasping the concept of not being better than me. Unfortunately for their ego, I have mastered the art of turning their bias into fuel for more art.

I guess it’s a good thing that I became a Professional Contemporary Artist at 17 years old.

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