1. When can you recall the moment you were inspired to playing/draw professionally?
Thank you Brother for reaching out to me for this feature, It’s an honor and I appreciate you highlighting my work for Black History Month. I guess it was around 2006 when I first felt any real motivation to pursue Art professionally. I started out doing small works on blank notecards, experimenting with paint and mixing mediums together. This led to a series of Greeting Cards that I would create for Friends and Family. During this time, a friend told me about a juried Small Works exhibit here in Atlanta. I entered and a few of my pieces were selected and sold. The response to these initial works really ignited something and pushed me to evolve the Art from there.
2. What experiences as an African-American man, do you think, influences your artistic creations?
My personal experiences along with what I perceive in the world around me will always be an influence in what comes out in my Art. As a Black Man, who grew up in Mississippi, I appreciate the history of our people that pushed through the brutal barriers of the South. So there is a sense of celebrating the Legacy of Black People that is reflected in some of my work.
3. Which African-American have you been influenced by.
There is too great of a number to mention. Family, Friends, Artists, Strangers, Musicians, Poets, Prophets, Healers and more. James Brown created a musical sound from a raw, organic space. His sound wasn’t immediately accepted because it wasn’t considered “academic” and went against music theory. What mattered to him was that it felt good and had Soul. I kind of create Visual Art in this manner, especially being a “self-taught” Artist. There is just something about music in general that feeds my creativity. I feel it opens me up to creative possibilities and expressions. Even as a Visual Artist. Music is the universal language. I also love the Creative Talent of Curtis Mayfield; he was another genius that infused different sounds and made them his own.
4. Who are some of your favorite artists, past and present, that has, and does, inspire u artistically?
Man that’s a tough one, I think I subconsciously infuse different styles from a wide variety of Artists, but I will mention a few Artists’ work that I admire: Tamara Natalie Madden, WAK (Kevin A Willams), Fahamu Pecou, Marcellous Lovelace, Tim Okamura, Najee Dorsey, and Romare Bearden. These are a few off the top of my head.
5. What emotions do you hope your paintings & drawings to invoke within viewers and patrons?
I don’t expect a certain emotional reaction from viewers of my work. My hope is that the art is simply engaged and experienced
from an open space, and appreciated for the artistic vision portrayed. I’m learning that what others see in my work is perceived from their own emotional state, state of mind and personal experiences. The whole idea and meaning of Good Art in general will vary from person to person. It’s our experiences and set of accumulated ideas that shape how we see art. One person may be content with art that matches the Living Room couch, while another’s approach to art rests in a deep appreciation for the artist’s technique, style or originality. My real hope is that the practice of fine artists is more appreciated for the time, vision and techniques the Artist put into the work.
6. What do you believe is the hardest duties of a professional artists?
It just depends, as we’re all individuals and have unique relationships to the work we do and how it fits into our lifestyles. The art market is competitive and fine artists still compete with the big business of mass produced wall art sold at department stores for low prices. For many, this is their introduction to what art is and how it’s valued and priced. I think this is one challenge, when most artists aspire to sustain themselves by selling their art.
7. Where can your art for purchased be found?
Art prints of my work can be purchased at Delvon Cunningham
8. Tell readers of cocktailmolly what’s next for Delvon the artist?
New works are in the making , which can be seen on my site above and by following “Art by Delvon” on Facebook. Also, the Facebook Group that I created is DISCOVER BLACK ART. It’s fast growing and will possibly lead to a website that features the best of these great Artists.