Prosper: For those who may not know you, what’s your name and where your from/currently located and what do you do?
Ceaux : My name is Ceaux. That’s short for Courtney. I'm a multi media artist, I kind of float between different things. I paint cars, I tattoo, I do large scale murals, I also do design work, logo work, graphic design, anything that exists in a creative space I pretty much dabble in it. Like I guess the true essence of what a visual artist is.
Pro$per: And where are you from ?
Ceaux: I’m born and raised in New Orleans, at charity hospital , my younger life spent in the 17th, mostly in gert town. The 8th ward for a few years but I’m from the east. I moved to the east when I was 12 years old… so, my important years of my life was spent there. Like… learning how to drive, getting introduced to girls, the teenage years I spent in the east.
Pro$per: that’s dope you got a nice lil New Orleans experience.
How would you say ..from New Orleans influence your creative work?
Ceaux: Being from New Orleans it .. influenced the creative side because there’s so many creative people here that don’t even realize what they do. Like, it’s so natural here. There’s so many musicians , so many artists. You grew up seeing that and you don’t realize what they do is a big deal to everybody else — because it happens so naturally. You could walk out side and , you know, see somebody with drum sticks in their hand, some one walking from the bar with a trumpet in their hand. Stuff we take for granted , that other people kind of.. praise..you know..it’s all cultivated here. All types of creativity, so it’s easy to be inspired by it because we literally walk around with it all day.
Pro$per: that’s facts I can definitely relate to that. Especially when it comes to the music side man. It’s like everywhere you go.
Ceaux: it’s like tradition. Heritage. All the stuff people wish they could experience, we experience on the day to day basis. Like it’s no big deal to us.
Pro$per: Right it’s very casual.
So, I already know people a lot of people know you for your murals around the city and beyond. Shout out to you for the amazing work.
How long have you been painting and when did you make the decision to transition from It being a hobby to a full time career?
Ceaux: that’s actually not a decision I made it kind of just happened that way. Murals was something that I actually was doing first. Like I’ve been doing that since high school. I actually put that on the back burner when I got interested in tattooing, cause tattooing was just something so new it was still kind of taboo when I first started. I did my first tattoo in 2002. But I started tattooing in 2003.
So… you know.. I just like turned up with it because I was trying to figure out every aspect. I was trying to learn everything I could possibly learn about tattooing. Murals kind of came easy because it’s paint. But tattooing it just more focus because it’s more prep work. You know, people live and breathe and walk around with it. It’s like living artwork, it’s permanent. You can’t f*ck it up you know what I’m saying. Like painting, I can f*ck a painting up and just paint over it. With tattooing it’s so much prep work that goes into it. It’s a different type of zone you got to go in to, to get it right and perform at a high level.
Pro$per: wow. that’s dope.
So as far as murals do you have a favorite mural that you’ve painted? If you do what was your process when you approached that mural?
Ceaux: ima be honest. I don’t have a favorite anything of my own work because they all kind of exist in the same space. It’s just, that thought, that day. Once I walk away from it .. I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s for the people at that point.. like you know..I’m on to the next thing. So, I guess the cop out answer would be whatever I’m working on at the moment is my favorite because I kind of treat it as this represents how I feel or decisions I made in real time so I pour all my energy and focus into the present project.
Pro$per. That’s dope. And that almost Answers the next question. In regards to kind of like .. the reaction you were getting When your murals were getting seen in more like.. pop culture events like the Drake video, and Don toliver. For you.. I’m sure ..it was dope to experience.
Did you feel like it made a difference in how your work was received after those moments happened and came to pass or was it kind of like a cool moment then on to the next thing ?
Ceaux: It was cool to watch it happen organically. Because at the time when I did that particular mural, the weezy Mural, that’s not nothing I thought about ..like long term. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just felt .. you know.. I think I spoke on this before. That was like a time where he was , he just kept getting .. bad breaks. He was f*caked up in his contract. He was unhappy with what he was doing. You could tell he ..wasn’t moving as strong as he felt he could. So you know,home grown , he’s a home town hero. That was just my small attempt to show him like.. my n*gga whatever you going through. Like we f*ck with you tough. Like the situation that you’re going through, that don’t define your career. You laid down so much. I’m a artist. I can express myself visually so just putting up a portrait of him in his own neighborhood was just my attempt to show love and just like a homage piece. You know what I’m saying ?
Pro$per: definitely and I definitely feel like it was received that way.
Ceaux: it definitely was received that way. Once I got word from him. You know what I’m saying? He hit me. Especially when he retweeted and then the Drake thing happened. I knew that was happening. He actually reached out to me a week before he even came down to shoot his part. Like the video director came and shot all the b roll stuff a week before he even got here so I knew the itinerary. My name was on the itinerary next to the mayor, the security, the caterer, I seen the whole layout. And that made me appreciate it because they really approached it professionally.
Pro$per: they were intentional.
Ceaux: yea, you know. Licensing fees. We talked about all that. Like damn , this real. This man team is business savvy. Cause most dudes when you do a mural publicly, they don’t even think about that they just go shoot their scene and put the video out not knowing knowing this is that artists’s intellectual property. So I had to sign off and be compensated for that. And they just took care of me. Like I real appreciated how his people handled business .
Pro$per: that’s dope to hear that they went that route. A lot of times artists do these type of things, the murals and all that, and they don’t really get the credit.
Ceaux: They don’t really understand, like I said, any intellectual property they don’t realize.. you didn’t just have a bright idea to shoot in front of this image. This image had to connect and that’s your attempt to sell this image as part of your song or your video that you’re selling to the public. So the same way you get paid, a artist need to get paid for what you putting in your work too. Like I own that just like you own your lyrics and you own your visuals.
Pro$per: right. And it’s definitely dope that that’s being highlighted because that’s something I feel like any artist could take from this and know moving forward how to make sure the business is handled properly.
Ceaux: if you care. If you want to invest in your career then you got to take care of all that upfront. Not knowing , like I say. Artists own intellectual property and any artist could sue you for putting any of their work in any of your stuff if you don’t clear it. And most artists don’t understand that, but a lot of us move around on a small scale so it don’t even matter. Because it’s not generating that much. Soon as it start moving you could step in like uhhhh..
Pro$per: What has been the biggest challenge in your artist career so far and how were you able to overcome it?
Ceaux: uhh… challenges for me..is.. I have too many ideas. Like, I hear artists talk about creative blocks, writers block.. I never have a block ..ever. I have too many ideas. My hardest challenge really is trying to find how I want to present these ideas to the public. Even if I have ten ideas and I only think two will work , I’ll still sit on the other eight and just find out when is it time to release these. It might not be time present, but I might develop two or three more and then present that in my next series. So I hold on to ideas….It be hard for me to decide. I be excited about a lot of my ideas. It’s just deciding which ones I want to lock in and present to the people first.
Pro$per: yeah I can see that. That’s how it is when your balancing different ways of self expression. And so what would you say.. and you might have answered this already but I’ll ask anyway.
What would you say is the biggest accomplishment of your artist career to date?
Pro$per: or something that maybe when you think about out of the things you’ve done, something that you think about and say yo.. that was dope like I enjoyed that experience.
Ceaux: like I say, I enjoy it all. I be more amazed…. To answer your question first I think my biggeSt accomplishment really is to make a living off my ideas. To be able to move in a space where you can think of something, develop it, present it, and then people f*ck with it, it’s just like, you never get tired of that , because it’s like damn.. people really f*cking with some sh*t I just thought about. You know what I’m saying? And they give you good reception. And appreciate the small nuances that they never would have though tof their self but they see it. And instantly connect to it.
That’s more fulfilling to me than anything else. Just watching people respond to something that I thought I or only a small group of people could relate to. Just watching people receive it on a large scale.
Pro$per: Right. That’s amazing.
How does collaboration play a part in your creative projects? Do you prefer to work alone or in collaboration? Or is it kind of a balance between the two?
Ceaux: I’m definitely a collaborative person as far as brainstorming or developing ideas. I like executing stuff on my own. Like if it’s my stuff I like executing it. But I do run a lot of my ideas around my closest potnas. It might be two different text threads I might run every idea through to see who f*cking with what .. cause my people know me and they understand each goal and objectives I’m going for even if they ain’t f*cking with it..I’ll still listen .. you know what I’m saying ? Even If I don’t feel they criticism or whatever and I feel strongly about what I go through I’ll still do it. But if they make a good point then I be like damn.. I didn’t think about that and probably pull back on this idea. So, brain storming, developing, I’m definitely very collaborative but if I feel strongly about something that I’m doing ..I just trust myself and I just do it. And most of the time.. ninety something percent of the time it work out well.
Pro$per: well, it’s good to trust your gut for sure. You can’t go wrong with that especially when creating.
Has there ever been creative projects where you found yourself using different mediums to achieve a common artistic goal?
Ceaux: yea .. I don’t look at mediums I guess like the typical artist do. I don’t look at it as a boundary. I’m a artist. A medium is just that. A medium. It’s just a way for me to get my idea out. It could be a spray can, it could be a tattoo, it could be a paint gun. I’m still the one behind each of those things making the decisions about what I want to happen so I just never get caught in… ohh this tattoo might come out different from this painting. No. I’m doing it so the b*tch gone come out how I want it to come out. So I just kind of flow in between whatever I want to do.
Pro$per: that’s real.
As far as inspiration. Where do you tend to look for inspiration? Or when your looking for motivation to create..what keeps you motivated?
Ceaux: these days… ? the things that keep me motivated is … series. The past three years I got heavy into story telling because just understanding you know I’m in my thirties now.. so I’m. It looking at sh*t from teenage or early twenties point of view. I understand how important my experience is. The stuff that I lived through, I’m almost embracing my art like media. Like I’m documenting stuff that I lived through that my children or the next generation not gone really relate the same because that part of life.. especially in this city has changed so much, they’re going to have to look back at the stuff we did like damn.. it changed for them. They not gone even have the same neighborhoods, the same music that we grew up on. You know that define who we is. It’s like, they done grew up in something redefined, something different, something outside, so you know. I take my time and understand ..my experiences hold weight in recording history in this city. You know? I’m an observant person. I’m an artist so, the smallest idea I can probably tell that story a little bit better than someone else because I pay attention to it a little different. So you know stuff that they might take for granted or over look I just make sure they know, this how it was. How we living now it wasn’t always like this. We was different. We held our own weight, you know what I’m saying? So I just want to, pretty much keep the youth inspired on who we are. And let them know .. who they is..you ain’t who they say you is.. you’re who you say you is, who we say you is.
Pro$per: right. Fire. So How would you define success as an artist ?
Ceaux: success as an artist to me is..we touched on this earlier. Being able to make a living off your creations. Like, success to me, is a moment you decide .. maybe I can get by.. I don’t need to keep this job no more. Like
Pro$per: I can relate to that.
Ceaux: if you want your job and you feel secure… by all means.. keep it. Art could be a hobby. Art could be a side hustle. As long as you’re happy and you’re satisfied that’s cool. In my eyes, I feel lucky because I’ve never had to have a job. I’ve been surviving off my art since a teenager I just found ways to turn it up a little more each step that I make .. so .. being able to make a living and take care of my family..you know what I’m saying? Off my own art. That’s success to me.
Pro$per: yeah, I definitely agree.
When it comes to opportunities. Do you have certain opportunities..Let’s say one that might have been considered a big opportunity .. that you said “no” to ? and if so ..how did you address it ? You know , was it something like… the money might have been right but it didn’t go along with your color values.. you know ?
Ceaux: Yeah, believe it or not I turn down way more stuff than I accept. Like, I got to be in the mental space , it gotta land right, you know ? Like, it gotta feel good. Some people like attaching their brand to your brand, to co-sign or stamp it, but it don’t be that. It just be like a money play. Like a lot of corporate jobs do that. They’re in no way tied to nothing cultural they just seek out a office to stamp whatever movement , whatever campaign they’re doing.
I’m be mindful of that. I don’t move where the money at. Even though I make sure I’m paid with whatever I do. It’s just some things make sense , and something don’t. You know ? And I don’t ever want to attach my name or my brand to something that I don’t really support. Or something that I’d side eye and look at crazy. I know my peers would do the same thing so I just kind of pick and make sure whatever I’m at matching my name to, feels good, looks good, and is received well.
Pro$per: Right. Because that representation does matter.
Ceaux: yeah. Because you spend money, but, you can’t get time back. It’s way harder to undo something than it is to do it initially. So I just try to move as graciously as possible. I don’t over think nothing. If it feel good , I’ll f*ck with it, if it don’t feel good I don’t even try to rethink or make it feel good I kind of pass and wait for the next gig. You know ? Because they’re going to always come if your moving in your path how you’re supposed to move. They gone always come.
Pro$per : A few years ago you opened up your own gallery. Which is where we’re at now..Axiom Art gallery. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind opening this space and what it means to the artist community in New Orleans? As we both know this has been a space that many artists have come and been able to contribute to this space and showcase their work as well.
Ceaux: yeah. It’s really just to…this space really came about because.. going around to other people gallery, the Julia streets, the royal streets, French quarters, they kind of look down on… I hate the term “black art” but they look down on something they don’t understand. They don’t have the market or the clientele to tap into what we do just because… I don’t know.. if they look down on us or they’re intimidated by us..but they do a great job at dissociating from whatever we do. And I felt that early in my career. Like , how can I get my art in galleries.. just following protocol how you think it should happen..but you know after going around you feel the vibe that they ain’t f*cking with you kind of early. So , like man f*ck it ya dig? We could do this sh*t our self. Really just making decisions. Kind of stepping into the role. I don’t want to say that I had the idea that I want to do this and that.. I just seen a space where it can happen .. you know what I’m saying ? Where I can do what I do in this lane and when I take my stuff down there’s months open where anybody can just fit in. As long as you got a decent enough put together show and you know how to market to your peers,this and that, you know … most of the people I work with we’re in the same market so it’s easy. You know what I’m saying? And it’s thoughtless too . Just understanding when people trying to get a shot . You know what I’m saying ? I know that feeling so I wouldn’t eve want a young artist around me whether I know them or not to feel like they didn’t have a space. You know what I’m saying. That could be discouraging when you really trying to build a career. So just to try to be as open as possible you know to younger artists who I really see doing something. I can step in and offer advice , if they’re willing to receive it. Most of the time it works. Like I said, Sharing my own experiences,with somebody who just trying to start, I feel like that’s important because a lot of us didn’t have that , like I didn’t really have that. I had to figure it all out on my own.. you know what I’m saying? So just
Sharing it with other people. To make sure nobody don’t have to go through that if they don’t want to. Just trying to be there for them. So that’s really how this space came about.
Pro$per: and it’s definitely been a space I can say I’ve experienced some of my favorite art shows here, including yours, and even hip hop shows, and then you even got the tattooing here, you got the studio in the back. You know ? It offers so much. It perpetuates so much creative energy and I think that something that should be celebrated and is appreciated for sure. So shout out to you for that.
So let’s see…
Now I know we mentioned tattooing earlier. And I know this going to hurt some people’s feelings but You recently retired from tattooing. And umm I’m a just get straight to this question. What made you decide to retire and would you consider picking the needles back up ?
Ceaux: what made me retire is , I can’t handle the demand no more. Like mentally , I’ve been in it twenty years. This month makes twenty years that I’ve been tattooing. And I can’t handle the demand no more. The time. The pressure from people. It’s just something that I don’t want to deal with no more. Like I just want to live life free. I don’t want to talk about tattoos. I don’t want to be in Walmart and people showing me sleeves. I’m just so over that. Tattooing is so.. it’s so many time constraints because I’m booking sessions four months out. Like I got a whole third of my year is already booked from sessions. So if a tour pop up or something I can’t even go because my time booked. Time with my kids.. it’s too much time dedicated to one thing where I can’t move as freely as I want to at this stage in my career. And by.. just speak frankly, the past couple years showed me, I could make just as much money painting and doing murals , so I don’t have to tattoo. So that was the key thing to let me know like f*ck it if you don’t want to do this you don’t have to. Like you can support and still maintain your lifestyle with other forms of art work. So tattooing it will be a hobby because I still got a itch. Because it’s still competitive. I would never want to lose my spot in this. Because twenty years is a long time to dedicate energy to something. I would just at least want to maintain that. Doing exercise pieces here and there. I wouldn’t want to just drop it cold. But I’d never tattoo in the capacity that I used to. It’s not there for me anymore. I’d rather just treat it like a hobby than a job.
Pro$per: and that even goes back to, like the saying no thing. Now it’s like you’re able to say no because ..you don’t have to.
Ceaux: yeah. You know it’s different. It’s aggressive like tattooing is very competitive. It’s very aggressive. You’re not dealing with , your cliche corporate people or your nine to five people. You’re dealing with who creative in their own sense. They’re very expressive as they want certain things. And they don’t have no problem expressing it to you. So that type of energy all day, it be draining to me …as a person, where I’m at in my life,right now. I don’t really want to f*ck with them type of vibes. I just want to link with cool people. Who got good ideas, you know, and we’ll just get work done. I don’t want to feel pressured by someone who just excited to get a piece, for spring break , or they birthday coming Saturday. Don’t rush, don’t call me trying to get something done in the next two weeks. Let’s sit, and decide if this is possible. If we can really do it. Because you know, I’d rather it happen organically and naturally than somebody just too excited just to get a tattoo just to say the got a tattoo.
Pro$per: Aside from painting, and tattooing, you’re also a really dope music producer, that has seen a great deal of success in that. Can you tell me when did you start producing music and what inspired you to start making music ?
Ceaux: I actually started producing music in 2004.
Pro$per: you’ve got some years in that.
Ceaux: it was something I was dabbling with. Even before that…damn this crazy.. I never thought about this in this aspect. I actually was learning how to DJ first. You know what I’m saying ? My cousin was teaching me how to DJ. On some techniques some 1200’s. But I started noticing as I’m playing records I started hearing samples and stuff. I’m like damn I know this. So just hearing different samples over and over I’m like damnnn I didn’t even know this was a sample. This was a sample. So it just made me more keen to listen for samples. And so it got to a point where I was like f*ck it I can look this and I can put some drums on this part. And find different things. So , I bought a MPC, a 2000 xl. I paid $2500 for that b*tch. And going in guitar center you know what I’m saying ? In ‘03 , ‘04. Me , Zella, Niyo, my potna JB, my potna twin, and my other potna Dutt.. who I think he was going sledgren, I think they did like three tracks on spitta and wiz “how fly”. But we all put in on the motif. We used to take turns.
Pro$per: the motif ! Wowwww!
Ceaux: we’d take turns three days here three days there, we’d just be rotating. Even before that. Every keyboard they had in guitar center. I brought a memory card. So before I had a phantom I had a memory card where I’d just go in there , make beats, and I’d save them. By the time I bought a phantom I had like 50 beats already.
Pro$er: had them cued up ! That’s fire! Hahaha
Ceaux: now fast forward from that.
Pro$per: kids these days will never know about the phantom and the motif man they don’t know them times.
Ceaux: we had it all dawg. MP. Like I said the techniques. The iMac way back then. I got on I Mac because that’s what I learned how to use photo shop on. So ironically just learning that this is a editing , this computer is made for editing. I naturally just had one of those. Fast forward, my dad was a dj and my step dad was a dj. That play a major part. My step dad still dj’s to this day. So I had access to hundreds of records. Thousands of records. At some point my collection got, I don’t want to say bigger than my step dads, but it was comparable to his. So just fast forward a little bit to like ‘04. Me, Niyo, zella, and JB. We officially formed flight school as a unit you know what I’m saying ? So just working with all the rappers in the city and stuff you know , it became fun. Because none of us ain’t rap. But we on the scene you know what I’m saying ? I played background because I was more of a idea man so I could chop make beats , but I’d be towards the back. Niyo was more the facilitator with linking with this one and that one. So we worked good. It was a good movement while it lasted.
Pro$per: y’all were the first producers I could say I was fans of.
Ceaux: huh bruh. It was fun.
Pro$per. Yeah man that’s dope man and flight school to this day. You already knowZ classics.
What’s would couple of your favorite moments / projects you’ve worked on as a producer? Do you have any in particular that you think about that’s your favorite ones?
Ceaux: I can stand one. It would have to be Paasky. The fifth child project. I produced eighty percent of that album. Me and merc. I did eight and merc did two. So out that ten, sitting and having P really listen and receive the stuff I’m telling him, because I was a fan of him before we even started working together so the critiques I had for him as a artist, he was humble enough to even receive that. You know what I’m saying ? The criticism and it worked well together because this n*gga one of the best rappers that I know and I just wanted to provide a different style of production. We’re both more keen to it. And kind of grew up on it. I didn’t want him to separate from how we sound. And it turned out great. I had the best time on that project. Even on getting paid. Because I produced music under a different name.
Pro$per: professor bling right ?
Ceaux: haha yeah even like that. I always was a part of a group where we pretty McCullough split things and that was my first venture off into .. alright .. this is my music. It let you see what you built. What you are capable of. Because the group is strong but knowing who you are individually is just as important as knowing how strong your team is too. Like now you realize oh alright I’m a strong link in this
And it felt good.
Pro$per: yeah that’s what it takes. Iron sharpens iron but also when you talk about team it take each individual knowing their strong suits. That’s fire. Shout out to Paasky my dawg.
Real quick. Didn’t you do the .. I might be mistaken but you did the visual roll out too ? you helped with that too right ?
Ceaux: yeah. All the creative. I was the creative director on that project.
Pro$per: right so you was doing the production and you was doing the visual roll out.
Ceaux: and the art work.
Pro$per: that’s dope and that plays a part because the visuals and the rollout that cohesive roll out is just as important as the music.
Ceaux: right that’s why I just generalize it under creative director. That’s the first full venture. And it was easy because like I said it’s just ideas. And watching them being executed by the close team it felt good watching how people received that.
Pro$per: right and it definitely translates when the project came out too. That’s dope man.
How do you balance working on music projects and visual projects simultaneously? Do you scale back from a particular medium to focus on the other? Let’s say, if you’re working on a painting , but then you got this music project. Would you give one less time to focus on the other? How does that work out?
Ceaux: I don’t interfere with the creative process. However it come ,it come. I could be sitting here painting , but I got a whole playlist full of samples. The moment I hear something I just chop it, you know what I’m saying ? Make a quick skeleton beat, sequence that, then jump back on the painting. Like it might take me forty five minutes to listen through the playlist to find something that I like. I’ll just favorite that then put it in a To do playlist now…so now out of fifty songs I listened to full of samples I might have a to do list of eight songs. So now when I finish this painting I might go listen to them eight and remember the parts I want to chop I just go chop them b*tches up. Even if I hear a baseline while I’m driving , I just record it on a voice note. You know what I’m saying ? Whatever to hold it over until I get to the studio and I can just play it out. A drum pattern I might just him it in a voice note.
Pro$per: so you just let the inspiration flow. That’s dope.
Ceaux: I don’t get in the way of it dawg.
Pro$sper: that answers another one of the questions I had so that’s dope.
Are there any music artists in particular that you would like to produce for/collaborate with that you haven’t ?
Ceaux: on what level ?
Pro$per : any level ? It could be whoever
Pro$per: Andre 3000?
Ceaux: He always is my go to. He’s been my favorite rapper on record for twenty years. Since aqumeni dropped he was always the one or the two on my list the tie goes between him and Wayne. Because Wayne just too cold. But Andre and Wayne been on my list.
Pro$per: I feel like that Wayne got to happen. And then maybe you can get Wayne to back door the Andre ?
Ceaux: but see I done did stuff with Wayne. But as a far as I want to sit down… a Bling and Wayne or a bling and Andre… I’d love for that to happen.
Pro$per: We gone have to manifest that. Andre we gotta get you to make some more music man! Where ya’at?!
Ceaux: haha I’m sure he got a lot
Pro$per: he probably got a bazillion songs man. But that’s fire..
Ceaux: I think the Wayne could happen. It’s just a conversation.
Pro$per: absolutely I could see that happening. Sh*t next album.
So…And you might have touched on this already but I’m going to ask it. I’m goi to sun Arabize how I was going to ask it in its entirety because you answered some of this already. But How do you maintain a living and working balance? I know you mentioned earlier having a family. Things like that. So how are you able to balance the time to create? And then finding that time, to spend with your family To make sure your mental is good and all that ?
Ceaux: I’m in a space where it’s time to…. Like I hate cliche terms like work smarter not harder. But right now I’m in a space where I realize, I don’t have to physically have my hands on everything . I drop my kids off at school, I bring my daughters to they events and stuff like that. All the important stuff. I make sure I’m home more in the evening , for whatever it is. To give baths, or tuck in the bed, feed dinner. I’m way more intentional about that type of stuff. But, At the same time, I’m more intentional about making my work ..work for me. You know. So paintings ..I might have ..a different range of prints , available to the point where I can produce more income off of one piece. I can paint one big piece. Have the big piece for sale and have the prints for sale.
There’s so many different streams of income you can create as an artist. You know ? And I’ve dabbled in pretty much all of them so now I’ve just been focused on locking down the residual income. And I find little markets, here and there but it’s just like , until I can really sit to the point where I don’t have to work every day. And I can come in like two or three times a week. That’s what I’m aiming for right now.
Umm. Vertical integration. Where I can take care of everything and it’s just right there.
Pro$per: and that’s crazy because you have so many ways that can happen ..that’s the beauty of it. It could happen doing a painting, doing a mural, it could happen producing a record. It could happen doing a design.
Ceaux: and that’s what I meant earlier when I said the ideas just be there just trying to focus on what I want to make happen. Because all of it can happen . Anything I do that’s nurtured right, you know … it win for me. It’s just deciding on how I feel at the moment. For ten years straight that was tattooing. The last four or five years it’s been the murals. I had a music run for a couple years. That’s more of a hobby now and I’m focused on the paintings. It’s really just sitting and making sure it makes sense to the people who’s subscribing to whatever I’m doing. I just try to stay as genuine as possible where it’s received as genuinely as possible to them and they stay invested in it. I don’t ever want to sell out or change how I feel about what I’m doing , or specifically reach for a target audience. I don’t want to do none of that. I just want to do what I want to do. How it feels right. And hope that it lands right where people will feel it the same way.
Pro$per: right. Man. You nailed that one. I mean, you nailed all of them but this is just great. Everyone you’re saying. Even for me just being someone , even though we’ve broke bread and shared space a lot of times , hearing it from this perspective it gives me so much more understanding about how you got to this point that you’re in and it’s a lot to take in. I’m sure that everyone that’s tapping in is going to appreciate this.
Also I noticed You recently transitioned to painting cars. I’ve been seeing that you’ve been doing your thing with thatS Has that always been something you wanted to do or more of a new passion ?
Ceaux: nah. It’s an old passion but, I ain’t have space to do it. I had to literally stop tattooing to focus on that. Like I’ve always been , interested in cars. Like my dad Is a car n*gga. Step dad , every uncle. Everybody is , cars cars , cars. My potna Ryan who I went to school with. The moment I was getting into tattooing, he was getting into tattooing.. but he chose painting cars. When the first fast inland the furious movie came out… this was like ‘02 I think?
Pro$per: RIP Paul walker !
Ceaux: he chose car painting before we graduated. So the moment I graduated I started drifting more to tattooing because it made more sense with where I was. He started painting cars. I think we was 17 or 18 at the time. I was like …” I don’t really want to f*ck with it like that. I want to cop one but I don’t want to do that right now because this working so good for me. “ He was like “f*ck that tattoo sh*t ima paint these cars!” and he literally as long as I… I talk this man every single day, still to this day, as long as I’ve been tattooing, he’s been painting cars. I’m twenty years tattooing , he’s twenty years painting cars. So it got to the point where ..I physically bought my own old school with my own money. My uncle done gave me a car before you know ? To spin around and see my dad cars. But i physically bought my own car three years ago. You know what I’m saying ? And then , he lived in Atlanta, I drove to Atlanta, he painted the car. So that just locked me in. You know what I’m saying ? Like damn. All the sh*t this n*gga was talking the whole time it was right in front my face. He telling me how easy it is, how much he clear,what he charge per car and all that,and damn ! I seen it with my own eyes I’m like .. aww man.. I been sleep !
It just sparked it. You know what I’m saying so I just f*cakes with it. Jumped head first in it. Got a shop.
Pro$per: oh you got a shop too ?
Ceaux: yeah for a year now. When you see me posting ..
Pro$per : oh you’re at your shop !? That’s dope .
Ceaux: me and my cousin duck. We started BMB customs.
Ceaux: that’s fire. I didn’t even know that.
Pro$per: What’s your favorite car that you’ve painted so far ?
Ceaux: my monti Carlo. My 84 SS. I painted it matte white. All the trim is painted matte black. Custom for the leather and suede seats. It’s up. I been building this car for two years dawg. It’s not gone hit the streets until Mardi Gras this year. I had other cars. I had a S10. I had a camaro. That i just sold today. My black camaro. I sold that today. I’m working on the monte Carlo for Mardi Gras and a Malibu for summer time. Ima pull the Malibu out. But the monte Carlo was probably my favorite because that was like the child hood grail. That’s the first one I bought. I knew I wanted that one first. I waited two years to get it. And I been building it two years from that.
Pro$per: wow that’s fire. I’ma have to peep that out because I’ve been seeing little videos on Instagram here and there
Ceaux: I’m not going to post the full finished cars until Mardi Gras day. When I have five of them I can post at once.
Pro$per: that’s dope. So you got a whole collection. He ready for them.
Ceaux: not just my cars , my potnas cars too.
Pro$per: but you’re painting them though ?
Ceaux: yeah me and my cousin.
Pro$per: right that’s dope .
Ceaux: cause you know I want it to not look like a one of one. Like this is what I’m doing. this isn’t something I’ve done this is what I’m doing.
Pro$per: right. That’s where you’re at with it and it’s going to show. You’ve got five under your belt already and painting cars ain’t no quick process.
And you’re doing interior work and all that ?
Ceaux: I’m getting into it. Like i got interior work done. On all the cars it’s done .I don’t physically compost or nothing. But as far as designing how it’s gone look I got my hands in all that.
Pro$per: that was amazing man. Once again.. I mean , you’ve got so many ways of self expression I know people probably overwhelmed trying to figure out how you find the time to do all of this?? hahaha
Ceaux: that’s a question I get asked a lot .. I don’t know. I don’t want to say I suffer from anxiety but by me being so focused. I be focused on every conversation. I’m not the person who can just kind of brush off and float through the day. If we talking I’m engaged. You know , just exchanging energy with people all day … that’s the part that becomes overwhelming, but as long as I’m creating I’ll float through three different things in a day and not miss a beat.
Pro$per: I was talking to someone about Basquiat’s creative process you know he would be painting but then he might also be like .. he might have the TV on, then he might start flipping through a magazine.it’s these different things and he’s drawing this and working on like five paintings at once , you know it’s this constant bounce, between where ever inspiration goes he just goes there.
Ceaux : it’s a stream of consciousness. You don’t have to over think it. It’s feeling. People be trying understand how they feel before they start producing and that ain’t for you to understand. Just do it.
Pro$per: let it flow through the creativity , through the creative process.
Ceaux: I think it’s arrogant sometimes trying to understand your self. Like man f*ck that. Trust yourself. Then break it down afterwards. You don’t got to know everything you’re doing just to do it.
Pro$per: I hope everybody’s taking heed to that right there. Sh*t I’m even taking heed to that one. Xxl
Are there any creative goals you look forward to accomplishing in 2022 ?
Ceaux: yeah.. I want my shows to be received well because I’ve been working on these paintings for almost three years now. Or two and a half years. So you know.. ever present vol.1 and vol.2 is going to be the two shows I have this year. And then, like I said the cars, I want the cars, I want you to see it, and I want you to know as soon as you see it.
Pro$per : yeah it’s gone strike em. They’re going to feel it.
Ceaux: ima keep producing but like I said , I have to focus on certain things , the paintings gone still get done , the tattoos gone still get done, but the focus , the murals gone still get done. The art shows and the cars is where I’m at this year.
Pro$per: What’s one tip you would give an aspiring artist looking to take their career to higher heights ? What’s that one gen you could leave them with ?
Ceaux : do what feels good to you. Understand what you’re influenced by but don’t follow it. That’s done already. It’s no space for you in that. Be inspired by it , but understand you got to come how you come. The people who is attracted to your stuff. That’s the people who you’d Focus on. The people who not attracted to your stuff or they not f*cking with it, they’re not meant to vibe with you in that sense. You don’t even have to worry about that. The people who’s drawn to you. Keep creating and then more people will be drawn to you and that’s what builds your foundation around whatever you want to do. You don’t have to uphold an image. You don’t got to keep up with nothing. Do what you do , rock how you rock and then people will rock with that. Genuinely. All that fronting , changing styles trying to target markets and all that .. that’s bull sh*t. You don’t got to do none of that.
Pro$per: focus less on the business side and focus more on just being true to your creativity.
Ceaux: absolutely. Anything you come out with. Once you understand who you are and what you’re doing. And then people will see that you know who you are and what you’re doing , then they’re drawn to that. You’re not just selling pretty pictures to people. Like you’re selling life experiences, time, your own time you invested in something. You know ? People emotions be attached to a certain work. That’s the stuff you’re really focusing on. That’s what art is all about. Not just a pretty picture or a portrait that looks good. ***
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