A Dee (The Artful Dodger) is credited with being one of the first aerosol writers to come out of the UK in the 80’s. Transferring depression in urban areas with bright colors and innovative urban art, A Dee started catching media attention at a young age.
He took his skills and transitioned them as a weapon for following his passion, and he soon worked creatively for large corporations such as LucasFilm, BAA Heathrow Airport, MTV and The South Bank Show. In addition, A Dee has created many backdrops, album sleeves, logos for music acts and record labels, and is very passionate about producing urban art workshops and various art projects for young people for encouraging and developing their creativity.
Currently, A. Dee is heading a campaign for an artist run community arts-hub called Negative Space where creative people can connect, irrespective of style, format and discipline.
Here are the highlights of my funky conversation with A. Dee:
- 09:37 : Working with artists all over the world and setting up their art space to help young artists get their footing in the art world through promoting and selling their work in the studio in their community,
- 13:44 : About his partners, Gerome and Olga, their background, where their passions are coming from and the good things about doing workshops with young, local kids,
- 17:38 : Sharing his background from his roots in Ghana, West Africa; growing up in a family wherein you are expected to have a proper career; how he became a black sheep after announcing that he wants to be an artist and sticking to his guns anyway; learning the value of hard work, compassion and art which led him to the workshops that they are running to spread the message of each one, teach one,
- 19:53 : Getting noticed through calligraphy and how he got the chance to work with LucasFilm,
- 24:36 : Their vision for Negative Space, the art space that they are developing, such as helping artist in marketing, curating their work, basic contracts and financials, and
- 28:22 : Their plans for Negative Space including launching a Kick Starter campaign to set up running costs and setting up international exhibitions.
One hour to create something, with anyone…
- “It would have to be da Vinci. I would have him invent a can of aerosol spray during the renaissance when he was around.”
To defeat Godzilla with his talents…
- “I’d build a giant mecca Godzilla-bot which would spray paint instead of fire. I would then dazzle him with these big, beautiful murals.”
- If a young person grows up in a society where he or she feels that the society hasn’t given them anything, if they get the chance to be successful, they are not going to give back, whereas, if they have been nurtured by that community, they will want to do the same and give back.
- Each one, teach one.
- Do you want to know the secret of being successful in a business? If you want to do business with someone, ask them.
- Do what you feel you should be doing and everything else will fall into place.
- Be brave. The road to success can be a lonely path.
- If you have the idea, the imagination, the creativity and the guts, that’s worth more than money.