We had the good fortune of connecting with ChrisTeddyPaints and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi ChrisTeddyPaints, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think about risk as an opportunity for growth. The term “risk” tends to have a negative connotation and we really have to start training ourselves to be at peace with failure. Things may not always pan out the way you intended but you have to turn those losses into lessons, apply them to your life and translate them into wins. Taking risks allows you to see a different side of yourself; it’s a refreshing perspective that challenges you to be vulnerable. Three years ago, I left everything I knew and moved to an entirely different environment to start over and find peace. Taking that leap has opened so many doors that I would’ve never dreamed I’d walk through.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Art is not only my love language but it is my means for survival. Without art, without color, without freedom of expression, I could not exist. My art and practice are heavily inspired by my experience as a person of color and the black woman. There’s a certain power and willingness that the black woman exudes, a superpower where things will ALWAYS get done regardless of circumstances. I’ve been blessed to witness that power firsthand and my mother’s sacrifice is something I will never take for granted. Her style, her power, her grace.

I was raised by a single mother who had three kids by time she was 19. We were poor but my sisters and I never wanted for anything. My mother made sure of that. I remember days when my Mom would go hungry just to make sure we ate. She has always filled my siblings and I with the power of faith, perseverance and the will to fight.

My mother used everything she had to get my sisters and I through college. I attended The Pratt Institute, a private art school in Brooklyn where I studied architecture. I earned my BA in 2012 and landed my first job in the field with Ron Kopels Studio in 2013. I worked in Chelsea NYC for 5 five years before relocating to LA to pursue work as a full-time artist and landed a position with Ralph Gentile Architects.

I’ve very much enjoyed my professional career and I’ve learned a new level of perservance in the face of mounting adversity. Being young and black in my field comes with immense challenges both personal and practical. Throughout the decade that I’ve worked in the field pre COVID, I dealt with microagressions and dissonance daily. I’ve gotten used to be being the only person of color in the room and the implications that come along with that role but longterm exposure to those conditions can take a toll on your mental health. As with any challenge, I’d take that energy and always put my best foot forward. As a society, we are conditioned to always care about what others think but it’s toxic behavior that I’ve learned to give very little energy to.

What I want the world to know about my brand and story is that I put my heart and soul into my work. Any chance I have to inspire or put a smile on someones face, I take it. My brand and my story have never been and will never be about accolades or riches but will always hinge on my love and passion for 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.
So I love showing my friends good time when they come to visit however I honestly don’t like to plan though so our trips are almost always impromptu. My fiancé and I loveeeeee The Waffle in Hollywood. We’re plant-based and its one of the only spots in LA that has all of our favorite bites. As an artist, I always try to infuse a little art into my itinerary as well whether that be a trip to the Gagosian to see some Murakami or the downtown arts district to see some of the most incredible street murals. i like to close out by swinging down to the Santa Monica Pier or to West Hollywood for a little excitement. You’re guaranteed to find a good food, good drinks & good people and in both of those areas.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my Shoutout to my mother Markell. I can never thank her enough for the sacrifices she made to raise my sisters and I from such a young age. Without her love, understanding and guidance, I would not be who I am today.

Website: www.cvisualsllc.com

Instagram: @christeddypaints

Twitter: @christeddypaint

Image Credits
Courteney Morris, Roberto Hannibal III

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