South Central Hills, CA
Here is an unbelieveABEL artist I would like you to check out. His art has a bit of a “gangsta” feel to it but looking a bit deeper, it has a history. Having a chance to get to know OG Abel, the artist behind the designs, has been motivating. He stands firm in believing that no matter what negatives you may have experienced in life, you can always turn it around and be successful – quite obvious in his personality, success and of course his designs. Read more to get to know OG Abel and allow his creativity story to inspire you.
Tell us a bit more about your background. How did you get started as an artist?
As a kid I couldn’t imagine myself as a successful artist or anything close to what I do now. I thought I would always have to hustle for money. My father telling me that artist’s die broke didn’t help either. All I know is that art sometimes would shelter me from the environment that we lived in. With so many friends and family falling victim to street violence I don’t think I ever imagined myself living this long.
I thank my mother for being so strong after dealing with so much of life’s hardships head on. I remember her asking me as a kid to draw her religious images from the bible. I would always look forward to drawing the Garden of Eden because of the animals, my favorites were lions. As a child, I would complain less about going to church if it had great paintings, architecture, and/or sculptures. I remember how I would sit with her on Sundays and pay little attention to the day’s sermon; I would study the elaborate religious paintings through instead.
Give us a little more information about your work. Did you go to school to study? What or whom inspires you the most? Are there any particular websites that you frequent to find inspiration?
My art education came from art classes in Junior High, High School. As a kid I loved participating in contests throughout the LAUSD. It was my way of making some much needed cash.
I also attended a two year Visual Communications program at Los Angeles Trade Tech (LATTC). It was at LATTC that I was introduced to the computer, so I had to get one. My sister’s friend worked for APPLE and got me a very good deal on a Powermac 9500 at almost half price. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me at that time! I remember many sleepless nights just myself and my Illustrator and Photoshop!
I’m inspired by life and by its wonders and by people who are free and peaceful even after living through life’s hardest struggles.
What is your typical work day like? What tools do you use to help the design process from start to finish? i.e. traditional art tools, digital art tools and anything in between.
First thing I do when I get up in the morning is check the stock market on my iphone and catch up a on the day’s news on TV before I drive to the office, Where I start the day by going through all my emails and messages.
When doing artwork, most of the time I start with a rough sketch in my sketchbook or a blank piece of paper. I then scan it into Photoshop and make a few more revisions and then print it out as template and sketch a little more over it and then re-scan again. Sometimes I repeat the same process a few times until I have captured the look that I want. Once the final sketch is done I can complete the final Illustration in any medium I want, like Adobe Photoshop, or Illustrator or I can also paint it by hand on Illustration board.
What are the most difficult challenges you face when marketing your work?
I think I might have gone through all the difficulties early on in my life that I don’t notice many challenges now. All the long sleepless nights spent in front of the computer have helped in preparing me for these present day challenges.
We also have the internet to thank in making the world so much smaller, so that we can now reach out to people across the globe with just a “click at the mouse”.
What one mistake has taught you the most in your design career?
There have been many mistakes that have taught me a lot in my career. One of the most important mistakes that I don’t want to repeat is to cheat myself or better yet to put out half fast work.
What “words of wisdom” would you give to an up and coming designer?
I recommend to all up and coming artists to take advantage of their free time and research their interests, Learn from others that have paved the way… And to never think that they are the greatest or the best at anything because only then is when you stop learning. Life is full of information and wonders. There have been many greats that probably didn’t know of the impact they would have on future generations.
How do you spend your off time?
My off time is spent with loved ones. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of family and close friends.
How would you like for your work to impact the world?
I’m not really looking to impact anybody. I just love being able to create and I thank the creators of Photoshop and Illustrator because they have given us a wealth of tools and techniques for us to use.
OG Abel is the man – creating triumph from tragedy. What a pleasure it was to get to know more about him and his masterpieces. Be sure to check out his website and let him know what you think here by posting some comments.