We had the good fortune of connecting with Von Deon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Von, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Anyone who chooses to become an artists automatically a risk taker. Yes, you can create a plan and strategically approach how you create your art and how you show your art, but overall you have no control over how you viewers will receive it. As an artist you’re taking a risk by putting yourself out there. I do always consider the risks of each decision I make, but being a risk taker is built into my mentality. I understand that no matter how hard I try to make what I want to work work I’m gonna have to take a risk. Whether that be risking my financial stability or my reputation. Overall as an artist I have to take the risk of being vulnerable in front of the World.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am “The Flower Boy”. What that means is I’m always looking to grow in different areas of my life and I’m always looking to help others grow whether that be by encouraging others in conversation or leading by example with the artwork that I’m creating and campaigns that I am running to create community conversation. It feels so cliché to say, but I just didn’t quit. When I first started painting I saw lots of painters that were larger than life. They were young, early to mid 20s. That made me feel like I could do that too and that I need it to do that and be that. I realized how unrealistic that is for most of us. Then I looked at my parents. I saw how they created their businesses and that they have been professionals in their fields for over 30 years. That gave me perspective. The reality is there’s always going to be someone who is ahead of you in your field and you’re going to have to find a way to get to where you think they are. Or get to a place where you feel strong in your abilities. That’s what my brand is all about. My motto is “Grow Wherever You Are”, That means you have to start where you are with what you have and continue to work it. Eventually, you’ll gain skill, you’ll become comfortable in that skill, you’ll refine that skill and you’ll be able to look back and see the path of your growth. My artwork is about the journey of growing physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s about the growth I’ve experienced in my life. I look at that growth as positive so I use bright colors, positive verbiage and flowers to represent growth in a very general way. I am largely inspired by street art and graffiti, so those elements are very strong in my work.
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.
OK, for starters anyone coming to LA from another city has to be introduced to LA the right way. Straight from LAX we are going to Abbot Kinney. First we start at Greenleaf Chopshop , hands-down one of my favorite places to eat in Venice. Then we can take a stroll down Abbot Kinney check out some of my favorite stores like the Lululemon pop up, Shinola of course because I’m from Detroit, the Adidas store and Buck Mason. Then we hit Salt & Straw for a nice waffle cone then Art Unified Gallery. I think that’s a great way to start a weeklong trip in LA. Day 2 Malibu Grab breakfast on the way from C&M Café and take a scenic drive down the PCH to Malibu. Spend the day at Zuma Beach grab lunch at Malibu Farm Café catch the sunset and dinner at GEOFFREY’S and head back home. Day 3 Museum Day There are so many amazing museums in LA but I think a nice museum for a visitor would be the Broad. The large scale contemporary art in this museum has always floored me, plus the Broad is manageable for at least a half a day of art viewing. From there we grab lunch at one of the many food trucks lined up outside of the Broad and head to The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. From there we head to Tatsu Ramen for dinner and that’s the day. Day 4 Shopping Because I lived in Ventura County for five years I have a special place in my heart for the Camarillo outlets. We can easily spend a morning at the outlets eating breakfast and shopping, catching deals on high-end designers like Gucci or picking up some new sneakers at the Nike outlet. Let’s grab some In-N-Out for lunch and head back to LA to check out the Grove. I would hit the APL store, Nordstrom and the farmers market to grab some sweet treats and quick bites. Day 5 A Day in the Life For the last day in LA after exhausting excursions, shopping and eating way too much expensive food. We will wake up late and do what I would do on an ordinary day. That means we are cooking breakfast at home putting on a new album or podcast and starting a painting. We will grab some lunch at Chipotle, meet up with some of my friends and relax a little then head to the comedy store to see one of our friends try out some new material.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This question is so broad. This article would need to be 30 pages for me to explain all of the people and things that have influenced me and helped me become the artist that I am today. I have to start with my parents because they are both entrepreneurs. They showed me that you don’t need to depend on anyone to create your future or to meet your goals. They never had to answer to anyone, yet they still conducted themselves with integrity and showed respect to anyone and everyone they worked with. I really admired that about them and I observed that throughout my childhood. It all starts with them they encourage me to read and research the things that I was interested in. They never told me that becoming an artist was impossible, they just continued to tell me “You will get out of it what you put into it”. There are a lot of people, books and resources that I could recognize as a source of inspiration and encouragement, but I think it all started at home and with those ideals I was able to navigate relationships and conversations that lead me to influential materials and people.
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