We had the good fortune of connecting with Cameron Abrams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cameron, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I pursued a creative career because I believe that our purpose on Earth is to create. Everything we use/do in our lives was created either by nature or by human beings. I chose to start my own business because I wanted to have as much creative freedom as possible. I want to be able to create the change I want to see in this world. I also want to be able to inspire those after me to create the change they want to see. Hopefully, the world will continue to evolve into a better place because of it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think my art is unique because I focus on African-American subjects and I try to bring out as much beauty as possible in each piece. I also try to make a lot of my pieces feel like Los Angeles. I am proud of where I am from and want to create art that represents that. I want black people from Los Angeles to be able to see themselves in my paintings. I am a completely self-taught artist. When I was younger, my parents would buy me tons of “How to Draw…” books. Eventually, I started going to the internet to learn in more detail. That is pretty much all I have done up to this point. I have found that learning how to draw is not the hard part; developing art skills is a life-long process. The hard part comes from getting other people to care about the art. I am still trying to figure that part out, but I am not too worried since I know that my art will continue to improve along the way.
My art journey has taught me a lot about perseverance. Art is all about perseverance; on both the macro and micro levels. For the former, I have been able to see my progress over the years that is a direct result of sticking with art for so long. There are times where I go on a break from creating art because I am not happy with what I am producing. But I never quit for good, and every time I come back to it, I usually make a leap of progress. On the micro-level, I constantly have to push myself to complete a painting when I am in the “ugly stages”. In every painting process, there is a point where nothing looks right. I have learned that if you just keep working at it, you either finish with something you are proud of or you just finish and can move on to the next piece.
I want the world to know that there is a lot of beauty and talent in African-Americans of Los Angeles.
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.
First, I would take them on a tour around my neighborhood (Crenshaw District). I would show them where I went to high school on Crenshaw & Slauson. Then I would take them to Hungry Harold’s for breakfast. After that, I would probably take them to the Santa Monica Pier. We would try some of the bars and/or restaurants before renting bikes to ride along the beach. Then I would take them to USC where they can see the coliseum and visit the museums next door.
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?
I would like to shoutout a book called The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutter, M.D. This book is continuously teaching me how to deal with adversity in a positive way. Even though this is not a business book, it is easily applicable to running a business. You will constantly be faced with adversity along the journey, and being able to do that with a smile is something I think we all want. This book has taught me the importance of having an open mind, shifting your perspective of a problem, the benefits of compassion along many other things.