We had the good fortune of connecting with Arm of Casso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arm of Casso, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose an artistic career because for as long as I can remember, I have always found that I am most passionate when being creative. My oldest memory is participating in a city wide art contest, representing my elementary school in my hometown of Philadelphia and I have been creating art ever since. I initially didn’t think it was viable for me to have a career in art, and instead tried the corporate world, but quickly realized that none of the jobs I had fulfilled me in any capacity. With the support of family and early supporters of my work, I took the leap of faith to turn my creativity into a career, and I do not intend to ever look back. An extra plus is the fact that I don’t have to report to anyone and I get to decide what my schedule is on a daily basis.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art style is a mixture of street art and fine art. I call it Sharpism because of the usage of many markers and sharpies. When I lived in Miami awhile back a party promoter put me in contact with Travis Moore who came up with this name for the art style!
What sets me apart from most artist is the different mediums that I use in my work. A lot of artist really don’t use sharpies and puffy paint to create pieces. I also intentionally mix fun colors/symbols/patterns, etc with my work, especially when it relates to politics and current events.
What I am most excited about is my work becoming an household name. I want my work to translate across all generations, genders and cultures. I’m seeing a glimpse of it right now and it’s truly a blessing to see!
How did I get to where I am today professionally. And was it easy? The hardest thing is becoming is making my artistry a full time career, but it’s very rewarding. How did I overcome the challenges? My faith in God and a great support system. It’s also great to surround yourself around other artists because it allows you to get feedback on your work, which only makes you grow as an artist.
The lessons I learned along the way is to never give up. And you never know where your next opportunity will come from. So don’t turn down any opportunity! And make sure you treat others like you will wanted to be treated. Burning bridges is not a good thing in this art business.
What I want the world to know about my brand is that I’m working on a movement. I want other artist to be a part of Sharpism. This art form should have a place in every museum in the world. The old masters used oil paints, acrylic, charcoal and watercolor. So now the new generation are using unconventional tools to create amazing works of art!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I live in Atlanta, my answers will be local to this city.
If my best friend was in town- below is what our itinerary will look like.
Saturday- spend the day on the Atlanta beltline, make sure to stop through Ponce City Market for some good food and some outdoor rooftop activities.
Sunday- attend the 12pm service at my church (Impact Church). Then we will go have brunch at my favorite local spot, Thumbs Up Diner
Monday- visit the trap museum to show my featured work and to see other artists being featured. While we are in the area, we have to do dinner at Negril Village Cafe
Tuesday- visit the high museum. The biggest museum in all of the south. After that, we might take a walk around Winn Park since it isn’t too far. For dinner, we will swing by Slutty Vegan
Wednesday- We might be interested in doing some of the more touristy things like the zoo, the botanical garden, the coca cola experience, etc. After a long day of action, we will stop by Dave’s Cheesesteaks to grab some authentic Philadelphia cheesesteaks to take home.
Friday- Our last day together, we have to go volunteer at my favorite local non-profit org, Pawkids. If we have time, we might do a stroll through piedmont park, and end the night at a new restaurant in Buckhead, called Apt 4b. Not only is the food delicious, but I also created the interior mural for the restaurant.
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 middle school teacher Mr Brown is the first person that comes to mind because he was so instrumental in who I am as an artist today. I am always going to dedicate some of my success to Mr Brown for a few reasons.
1) He was the teacher that nominated me to the creative and performance high school that I attended. This was where I really honed in on my skills and where most of the tools that I use today come from
2) He was the person that got me my very first sketchbook.
3) He taught me about the old masters and techniques of art
It’s been over 20 years since Mr Brown was my teacher and him and I still text and keep in touch til this day.
Linkedin: Antonio Mcilwaine