It’s that time again! As always, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to our face of Feature Friday this week-Mr. Roger Anthony! Enjoy.
(Baby ‘Raffe by Roger Anthony)
1.Talk about the moment you realized art was your calling.
Unlike most artists, I didn’t spend my childhood years with my head down drawing and doodling, so when I started sketching tattoos for myself in college I honestly thought it was a fluke. I was simply drawing out of necessity because I loved tattoos and couldn’t find anyone to design them for me. Once tattoo artists started complimenting me and asking me if I ever thought about tattooing, I realized it was a possibility, but I still battled with working “safe jobs” year after year. Last year, after only being at the new gig 3 months, I’d had it. I was literally so stressed at work I was getting sick, and I knew then that I didn’t just love art, I needed it. My life changed after that.
2.What do you like most about being an artist?
I love how free I am. Over the past few years, I’ve realized just how important time really is. When I was working a 9-to-5 my time was all scheduled based on what other people needed from me. So in essence, my time was used to help their goals get accomplished, while mine had to wait till I got off. As an artist, I can just live. My work and my life can coexist. There’s no such thing as work-life balance because I never really feel like I’m working.
(King Trayvon by Roger Anthony)
3.Where do you draw inspiration from for your paintings?
I can be inspired by anything really. I take in everything. Early on music and nature were my main inspirations. Now, much of it comes from current events. In my first solo show, State of the Union, the pieces ranged from police brutality to social media addiction to poverty. Our country is a mess, so I’ll always have things to talk about.
4.How has attending Howard University helped shape your current career?
This is a funny question! HU is everything! Of course I’ve had to work hard to grow in my industry, but Howard instills a sense of pride and confidence in you that I don’t think you get anywhere else. Not to mention, when I started out, over 95% of my clients were all fellow students, so I was able to tattoo a lot more than most artists would in their early years. Howard teaches you how to be noticed, network, and be persistent when you need to make something happen (thanks A building), but most of all HU allows you to have a vision beyond school. It almost forces you to have one because so many of your peers are “ON IT” and you want to be just successful. The healthiest competition.
(Elephunk by Roger Anthony)
5. Is there any artist whose work you follow, or hope to meet some day?
There’s so many, but Hebru Brantley is dope. I saw some of his “Flyboy” pieces a yea or two before I really got into art, and they were just so dope to me. His style is so different from my own, and I’d love to pick his brain for a while.
6.Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Let’s see June 2021… I’ll definitely be back in Atlanta by then. Lord willing, I’ll be a father, and I would’ve opened my own tattoo shop and art gallery.
7.What advice would you give up and coming artists?
Work. And surround yourself with artists that are doing better than you. If you’re driven, their success will inspire you…
To keep up with everything Roger is doing, check out his site, and his social media pages below! On Sunday July 17th, Roger will be holding his 2nd Annual Client Appreciation event (open invite). Check it out!
Facebook Art Page: Roger Anthony Art