ARTIST OF THE MONTH: RONALD DRAPER 

It’s finally artist of the month time!!!!! And I am so excited for today’s interview because  Ronald Draper  is a guy whose work I truly admire.


Now y’all know my social media artists “stalking” game is strong…if I find an artists that I like, respect and that I can learn a thing or two from I want to know everything about what makes them tick.

I have been following this dope artists on Instagram for quite some time and needless to say I made my “followration” very known.

Well that turns out to be a good thing because now I can share his voice with you all!

1. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Harlem, New York

2. WHEN DID YOU START CREATING?

I’ve been creating since I was a little kid, I still have art that I created when I was 4 or 5. My Mother kept me involved in all types of creative things growing up. That’s probably why my art is a combination of so many styles.

3. SELF THOUGHT OR ART SCHOOL?

A little bit of both. I went to the High School of Art and Design. There, I learned all the rules, but I tought myself how to break them all.

4. HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR WORK?

Mixed-media, large-scale, inspiration driven, a multi-faceted and multi-sensory artistic experience.

5. HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED OVER TIME?

Methods change, but style remains the same. Your style will always be a direct reflection of who you are. My work, without question has evolved, but the style will never change.

6. WORDS ARE AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF YOUR WORK, HOW DID THAT COME TO BE?

When my father passed in 2012, I had a tough time dealing with the guilt I felt from the way I treated him the last few years of his life. There was a quote from Albert Einstein that helped me place everything into perspective (“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”). If that single quote did what it did for me, I had to figure out how other quotes could affect others through my artwork.

 

7. DO YOU HAVE ANY ARTISTS YOU LOOK UP TO, OR THAT YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED TO COLLABORATE WITH (PAST OR PRESENT)?

Growing up I was a huge Keith Haring fan. He was my introduction to Art as I saw his work all over NYC. I love his use of color, motion, and lines, and even the words in his work. As I grew older and did my research, I thought it was amazing how he used his art to help generate awareness for causes that he felt strongly about. For him, it was all about the message. There are tons of artists that I’ve worked with, collaborating in different forms (consultant work, merchandise etc). I just want to keep on working with those who are all about inspiring others.

 

8. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK TAKING YOU?

I try not to think that way (I know it’s odd). If you were to ask me 3 years ago if I would be where I am now, I’d think that you were crazy. I’m just working hard to inspire as many as I can, and whatever opportunites come from that will come.

9. PROUDEST ART ACHIEVEMENT?

I think it’s a tie between opening my own showroom and becoming the Director of Contemporary Art for Harlem Hospital. My studio space is something that I thought was so far from reality at one point, and just a big part of my life now.

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Working with Harlem Hospital to curate the art experience for the entire campus is HUGE. I was born there, and I relish in the opportunity to help other artists by introducing their work to a new base. I believe that Hospitals should be the agents of truth, especially truth through art. Art has the underestimated ability to heal, so it’s important to have it present in spaces, and not that stuff that hospitals order online, im talking art of the people.

Oh yea, those two and my 20ft installation in the hospital.

10. ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS TRYING TO LEAVE MARK?

Keep working. Don’t stop. There will be those who don’t acknowledge your greatness. That’s not your problem, that’s theirs. Know that you have amazing things to come, even if you’re the only one that knows it. Don’t work to prove them wrong, work to prove yourself RIGHT. and always work like there is someone working 24hrs a day to take it all from you.

Hope you enjoyed Ronald’s story, you can learn more about him and what he stands for here and  on his website.

Ciao for now,

Be art!

Aby

 

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