We had the good fortune of connecting with Ajamu (aka A’Muveau) Frasier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ajamu (aka A’Muveau), what do you want people to remember about you?
I want the legacy of my artwork to be that African American’s are more than the stereotype and we are not monolithic. I hope when everything is said and done folks will not only remember me through my artwork but how my art and life mirror each other. Talking the talk while walking the walk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work as a story artist. I work directly with the director to visually develop and design scenes for a film or animation in pre-production and production. I’m also an illustrator who has done work for exhibition, graphic novels and graphic short stories. Before working in entertainment I was a therapist in the behavioral sciences and personal trainer in my spare time . What sets my style apart is that I bring these other disciplines into my artwork when developing story and character. For animation and print I like to add more of a cinematic quality to my work. For live action I like to bring some of the intensity that can be found in animation (i.e. anime) when needed. The path definitely has not been easy but I’ve enjoyed every bit of the process.
The process for me has been to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That may sound like an oxymoron but what I mean is there are always going to be obstacles. The question is how will you get through the obstacle. When developing a story there are constantly ” problems getting solved” and many “brainstorms”. Composition, dialogue, pacing, negative space, empathy, and plain O’l cool are a few variables that I’m always working with and/or solving. Like my artwork in my personal life as a husband and father me and my wife make decision as a unit for things that don’t always have a blueprint. However, with the experience of living a full life I have found answers for both the art and personal life. Thus A’Muveau is all about Being The Art of Your Life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Wife and I love to host friend’s, especially those from out of town that don’t get to L.A. often, and take them site seeing. Some of our site seeing has even been known to extend up into the Bay Area.
Here in L.A. we take folks to the Griffith Observatory so they can see just how far and wide LA stretches and the beauty of L.A. from high up on a mountain.
Following up with a drive up the PCH to Malibu. We’d stop along the way to take in the view and have lunch at Malibu Farm Cafe out on the water or maybe Mastro’s for some surf and turf .
Hiking on Fryman Canyon or Temescal Canyon for exercise is a must along with brunch at & Waffles afterwards. We’d have to stop in Pasadena and have pizza at The Luggage Room then go up the street to the creamiest ice cream at Creamistry.
One of the days we’d take a trip over to Santa Barbara into wine country for wine tasting all day. Coming home we take the scenic route through the mountains. For dinner we’d stop at one of the many seafood restaurants.
Sunday morning would be spent at the Smorgasbord downtown to indulge in the lobster rolls.
Often we drive friends to Skid Row. We take everyone through there as a reality check of life and how sometimes what we complain about isn’t as weighted as we think. Also, so people see the true need we have for reform with our homeless population.
Saturday we could explore exhibits at various museums and drive to Manhattan Beach for some delicious fresh seafood at Captain Kidd’s. BUT if you want ribs (Beef and pork) sooo good you don’t need bbq sauce you’ll want to go to Burbank to Handy Market. They cook ribs outside only on Saturdays from 7:30am to 7:30pm.
If the timing is right we would go to the Hollywood Bowl for an excellent evening show.
Other places that give of some pleasure if time permitted would be Gasolina Cafe and Claudine’s both are non-chain places to eat (mom and pop) that you can only find here in the Valley.
There is so much to see and do not only in L.A. but but in the state of California that a simple drive is often all that is needed for the itinerary.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Wife, two children, extended family and friends are the juice that gets me going all day everyday!