I have known Reuben since high school and since then, he has remained one of my most trusted friends. he is honestly one of the most talented and smartest people I know. When i approached him with my idea for an art gallery, he was the one who suggested an art blog. when i talked to him about expanding the blog, he was the one who suggested the magazine. i have been waiting for his schedule to clear up so i can have a sit down with him and discuss what has been going on with him, his art, and his clothes.
GRITS….What was the inspiration for that?
Long time ago, I had clothing line that kind of fizzled out. I wasn’t really trying to do another one but I felt a lot of clothing stores here were catering too much towards brands that were not reflective of our culture. You would go to the store and see California and New York brands, but nothing that was truly for the south. There were a lot of clothes that were heavily influenced by East or West coast culture, but nothing really for the 3rd coast. So I wanted to make something that had that “southern flavor” to it, but design wise could compete with any of those lines from the coast.
So I tried to come up with a name, and when I came across the word “Grits”, it embodied what I was looking for. Something that was synonymous with the south.
You have a lot of hand drawn elements in you artwork; can you talk a little about your artistic process?
Its not really a “process” to me. It’s just the way I kind of grew up doing things. Some people are real good at going in and doing things on computer, I like things that are not perfect. I like looking at certain artwork which you can see those minor imperfections. There is an organic feel to it, a bit of character that hand drawing provides.
Explain how you got involved with the Kweli cover?
A friend of mine that I have been collaborating with for the last five years got approached about doing the cover and he hit me up. We already had some earlier work that we had done and he wanted to use it for the cover and we submitted that. And they chose it. From there I did some additional illustrations on the inside to go along with the cover art.
Does music influence your creative process? Or is it just work music in the background?
I think the music I grew up on has a influence on the what I decide to use for my clothing, such as different sayings and lyrics. The music I listen to now doesn’t necessarily influence me like that, but from a cultural aspect music has definitely influenced me.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far as an artist?
I know some people would think it’s the CD cover, but it is having the courage to start Grits. A lot of people talk about what they “want to do”, but not many people actually go out and do it.
Do you have any dream projects? If you had unlimited resources or budget, what would you, as an artist, like to do?
EVERYTHING!! If I had the ability to and resources to do whatever I dreamed, why limit myself to just one thing? I would like to do EVERYTHING?