T. J. Bates, Artist
RYG: Who/what inspired you to become a abstract/graffiti artist?
I would have to say that my particular style of art was inspired by or more so influenced by this art class I took at Stevenson University. That was the first time I really was introduced to using positive and negative space to create images and it was also the first time I really used Sharpie as an artistic medium. There is no particular person in general that inspired me but by being able to search sharpie artwork on instagram, I was able to connect with other artist who used sharpie as a medium and really find inspiration and what they created. I would also like to believe that hip-hop culture played into my style, it kind of gives me a new age fresh perspective on art.
RYG: Have you encountered any opposition with you art style?
The funny thing is that I really haven’t encounter any opposition. I think its a style that really hasn’t been seen around this area much. I also believe that when people find out most of my artwork is in sharpie, it blows their mind to a degree. I do feel that my style of artwork has a ceiling because its not done in the traditional sense of classic artwork such as paint, oil painting etc. So on that front I do feel that my work may not be taken as serious by some people.
RYG: How did you overcome?
Well my current plan is to push the limit. I think now days its so many avenues for you to get your artwork out there that you can find a space and flourish in it. Between doing actual canvases that go up in galleries and places of business to local art events, to making clothes and even just contributing to other local acts such as musicians with album covers and what not, I think I can push the range of my artwork. I think people will love the art they just need to see it, need to feel it and you can only do that by bringing it to them. So you need to really innovate current ideas to push the work out to the people.
RYG: Your inspirational words for future artists?
Don’t be afraid to study and mimic current artist moves with their artwork to help find your lane with yours. I think we all feel a certain way when a style is copied but that develops with time and practice. Its the ways you go about getting your artwork out there that really helps you grow as an artist. really look into what other artist are doing, you might find a lot of support and help. In conclusion my words of inspiration would be to stay true to yourself, find liked minded individuals, look for support from family and friends and just go for it, I mean its art, the beauty of it is that we interpret it the way we do and no two interpretations are the same so someone will always enjoy your work and buy your work.