When the Integrity of Art battles Fame…

basquiat (2)

This morning, I got the chance to watch a bio-film about Jean Michel Basquiat. I was already intrigued about his work as artist due to his affiliation with pop artist, Andy Warhol. Being an artist requires integrity. How can we stay true to ourselves when we can’t stay true to our art/craft/aesthetic. Whatever we do as art (in my case, martial arts and fashion) should be treated like a sanctuary. A utopia where negativity becomes positive or creative energy, Lines aren’t always straight, and coloring outside the lines, etc.

Despite his efforts to remain true, he was inevitably exploited from his talents whereas it destroyed himself and the very few people who supported him when he had nothing. As I watched this, I question the battle between fame vs integrity. Is this price of fame we all strive for? Do we confuse success with fame?  People constantly dissecting our lives like a scientist performing a genetic experiment? Will my integrity be altered in such circumstances? Some of the most artistic and influential people are often the most loneliest. A high cloud where the layman would not begin to comprehend. The only language that speaks to them is the art, not the artist.

glasses me

The truth of the matter lies he wanted the drug of fame but unaware of what side effects it could deliver. For example, he was a heavy drug addict. A man’s escape from reality has manifested into a tragic exit. From a series of unprecedented short comings, I became angry of the inability to become a top martial artist competitor, having my fashion label, and styling work. I resented the phrase, “in due time”. However, I reflected from my shortcomings and appreciated it. Experience added fuel to push forward in life. Moderation is key!! Excessive dosage of anything can plunge the individual. This is what I have learned from Basquiat. Seeing how people can treat you and how you treat others (Whether you in the elite or an underdog) is essential. No matter what we experience, must maintain that integrity. I will use his life as a lesson of awareness (minues the drugs; I am drug free). I hope my years of martial arts experience helps reinforces that.

“Iron Will”



Projeckt F.O.N.As today is the final day of 2012, it is safe to say WE ALL HAVE SURVIVED!!! Today, a particular word has stuck in my head, reflect. It is safe to say I have grown alot compared to 2011. This year I have been taking my aesthetics about life into another level! From martial arts to styling and parenting, for the first time I truly feel like I have something to offer to the world! Progress is indeed a slow process, but this little dragon will be breathing fire to every end. There are many creative works (also personal content) will be displayed more next year. I challenge everyone to “reflect back from this year” and see what they would honestly want to improve.

Once you have figured out what this is, make IMMEDIATE ACTION. Evolution is the word for 2013. Never let any one tell you can’t do anything. As long as you have the vision and will power, you can move mountains. Doesn’t whether if they are big or small, all it takes is a little push. Find people who share the same vision as you or share the same work ethic, and remember dreams can’t work alone; if so, that would require a miracle.

As we “reflect” for 2012, lets “evolve” for 2013.

“Iron Will”


Whether you love it or not, but Kanye West was indeed the most talked about artist this year! His 2010 comeback proved he is completely relevant and has much to offer in pop culture. How can you not respect someone passionate in their craft when they spend almost 24 hours a day working on their product?

Kanye was featured in I-D magazine. The look was quite modern with garments ranging from Tom Ford, Dior, etc.  I have read many of Kanye’s interviews (practically all of them), but this particular one was by far one of the most humane of them all. In the interview, he discussed his views on fashion, the kind of woman he love to marry, and of course music. One of the questions which was asked was, “On the qualities he looks for in a woman?

”Integrity. I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m looking and trying to decide who the mother of my child will be. It’s not going to be based off a whim of being in love; she has to bring a certain level to the table. I want to be married, I want that super dope counterpart, that one woman, but she has to be super-fresh, super-smart and not overwhelmed, because being with me is gonna be a job (laughs)….The main quality is that you know that this person will ride or die for you. Whether she’s mad at you, whether she’s with you or not, she still loves you, she still bigs you up in any circle. She doesn’t talk down about you to other people. That’s the main thing I need.”

I really loved that statement he has made in regards to finding the perfect woman for him. whenever we want something, whether it is from a relationship or achieving a goal, it must not only enhance the fathoms of our well being, but add comfort in our lives. The worst thing we can do in this world is lie about ourselves or compromise more than what’s needed! Surely we should seek the strive of excellence of an individual; on the contrary, you must exit the building if they not producing the equivalent amount of work.

Here you have a highly successful artist close to mid-30s who has yet to find the perfect woman for him. Honestly this is nothing disturbing; however, the comment ” being with me is like a job” is what flicked a light bulb in my head. Integrity  was the keyword because in order to be able to humane in situations, we must not lose our focus. We have people in our circle who tend to be fairweather friends. Its kinda scary because you often not sure if they are gong to be there for you unconditionally or not. It must be hard to find someone who is genuinely for you when you are when you are successful without ulterior motives.

The job has to relate towards security in a relationship. I can truly vouch on his statement because being a straight black man whose speaks proper, into art, and fashion is often stereotyped is a job in its entirety. Honestly it is very hard for us to find a woman (particularly a black woman) whose sexy with an intellect and a sense of style to equate her physical attributes.

Sometimes it is very hard for us to be understood when we are not the typical quote on quote archetype black man society displays us. Its very easy for us to be ourselves internally, but its difficult to capture that in a methodical world. How does creativity and innovation is formed? We must have to do things from a different approach from the status quo for us to stand out. Unfortunately, some of us are ostrascized. I truly don’t be like sitting at the lunch table at school by yourself, but ostracized mentally.

This is very common in our society because we are so focused on the joneses’ but you must have the mentality, you are the joneses’ (Nene lol). Why is it that we have care so much about what the next person is wearing or doing? If it is not true to yourself, then do what is true to you! Being creative is often called being weird, but is it really? Sometimes being “weird” is what makes people like some of us more in tuned with the world than the AVERAGE person can imagine. Despite everything, we must not lose our self worth for others.

even though i tend to speak upon fashion and martial arts, but this are issue we all find in ourselves pertaining towards our passion, being humane with integrity to the fullest. There are plenty other interesting responses he made, but this was the truest of all.