The beginning of my time as an artist well at least that I'v let people recognize me as such is very gray. It was in 2004 after the tragic passing of my dearest and most adored friend, partner, my brother which turned my life upside down and I turned to art as the keeper of my sorrows. Since i was a young boy I would always see my mother draw and heard of all the great things that her brother had achieved as an artist back in the homeland which made me always wonder what if. As time passed and in my desperation as a rebel in my mid teens i wondered into a popular store in downtown brooklyn "dr jays" which had started hosting an artist that would airbrush on the many garments the store sold. One afternoon I met that artist which was working in that store - he later became an amazing friend of mine and mentor until this day-, his name is Mark Lawrence. Mark had a shop in the Bronx and had a contract with dr jay's that procured him the ability to place an artist in many of there most popular stores. The way we met was not one that im very proud of but it worked, I stood on front of his counter for about an hour a few days a week for a couoke of weeks but one day we exchanged words, talked about my many interests in art & the airbrush. He invited me over to his main shop for classes that he used to host for neighborhood kids and beginners. I took that train ride from sunset park Brooklyn all the way out to Bronx with only a couple bucks in my pocket and ample imagination even though I almost never went up to the bronx and much less alone but that day my trek as an artist had begun. Mark gave me classes free of cost, he was charging all the other students but he understood my financial situation at the time. Rather than roam the streets I made my trips daily to the bronx and put more dedication into my craft as an artist. Shortly after I discovered all the wonderful media, colors and ink available in many art supply stores all over NYC. During the last years of high school I started hanging out with people who liked to go bombing walls, subway stations, roofs. It was then when I experienced the feel, texture and dimension of the cap & can. As I left my wonderful teen years, my parents moved back home after all the pain they suffered with my brothers lose. Another reason for my parents leaving me was that my mothers health was deteriorating, they also had the hope that I would one day leave my street ways to become a family man.
Life sure has its ways because after they left another turn in my life left me almost homeless and hungry, but my parents raised me to never give up. I stood up many mornings and walked Coney island day after day until I met a local shop owner who's family family rented a few stores out in the strip. So after begging and negotiating a good rate I got my first 2 foot x 2 foot rental. Hah! Well I honed my airbrush skills and soon after I learned body paint, henna, airbrush, temporary tattoos and what would be called bedazzling. I expanded to having three pop up shops in coney island during the 3 years i worked there. Coney island started changing soon after and with new equipment plenty of experience I made my way unto having a full store front where I was airbrushing full time anything from shirts to hats, helmets bikes, cars, skateboards, backs, legs anything really as well as graphic design and sending those digital masterpieces to print, the shop was so successful that we even came out on MTV for the sucker free countdown. As the economy started to drop it was time to close the doors to this learning experience. I left with my pockets broken and empty but my business experience and art were at levels beyond what most folks at 20 could imagine.
My next venture after that started with a heat press machine to produce my art on garments at a much faster rate than i would ever with a airbrush, then a small laser printer and next thing you know I have 3 stores revolving around the same corporate umbrella and till this day it continues to expand as a leading innovator in rush printing services right here in my NYC hometown. Right after I started with printing I also started learning how to do tattoos. Many beginners tend to practice on pig skin, fruits or test rubber skin but not me! My first time practicing was on my cousin's arm and he was a real believer in my art I can now say lol! Since those days until now I have continued to expand my skills, expertise, abilities and knowledge in the many forms of art and everything that revolves it.
I have started this design studio "Tesla Creative" to express my vast experience in the various forms of art i know. Follow me on social media in my adventures as an artist and as a business man, you never know we might learn a thing or two from each other, a true artist is ever-learning!