NEHS - Artist Profile
The Lake Wales Arts Center is excited to be hosting NEHS’ POP! exhibit in the Micheal Crews Gallery. We sat down with NEHS and asked him about his career, ambitions, and inspirations for our very first artist profile. We hope you enjoy the interview!
What inspired you to become a visual artist when you were a child?
When I was in 2nd grade I saw a boy by the first name of Adam drawing characters from some of my favorite arcade games of that time including a game called Final Fight. I’ll never forget that moment.. after that, I’m in 4th grade when I met a boy by the name of James Ingalino. I would go over to his house and we’d draw from spawn comic books. He taught me how to draw, how to understand anatomy, and how to express myself through line drawing.
Did you go to school for visual arts? if not, what did you study and why?
Yes, I went to the University of Central Florida. I pursued and obtained a Bachelors of Fine Art in graphic a design.
Did you ever work within the school system for visual arts education?
Yes, I was a substitute teacher for roughly two years and then I became a full time middle school art teacher after my second year of substituting. I was a full time middle school art teacher for almost 5 years before I quit to pursue a personal and professional art career.
Can you name a rewarding experience while teaching?
It’s hard to choke one specific moment but I’ll most certainly say... the conversations I had with my students before and after class were many times the most rewarding. I liked teaching art but I loved being able to help a student with real life problems they may have been dealing with while under my watch in the classroom. I found those moment s way more rewarding.
What motivated you to give up teaching and pursue a career as a professional artist?
In my personal walk in my art journey I started realizing that I would be more influential showing showing and documenting my hustle and struggle navigating through the my art career actually doing my art full time. That thought finally pushed me to quit.
Can you speak on your first art sales experience?
Back in 2007 I had my first art show that I held in my college drawing classroom after hours. That night I showed 15+ paintings and drawing and sold 2 pieces that night. That was the first time I had ever shown work in a gallery and to have had the opportunity to sell was amazing!
What is the most rewarding part of being a professional artist?
I would honestly have to say the day to day freedom I have with my time. I’m able to make decisions on the fly.
What makes you so successful on social media as an artist?
It’s taken me about 3 years of dedicated hustle on social media with consistent posting and also reaching out to social media “influencers” that were able to “shout me out“ and help boost my following on a consistent basis.
What does your exhibit at the Lake Wales Arts Center mean to you?
It’s means a lot. This art show is the first time I have ever had a legitimate art gallery ask me to take over a dedicated space let alone have the opportunity to showcase art in an entire gallery space. It really gave me the emotional boost to keep striving for my dreams and goals.
What do you hope people gain from viewing your exhibit?
The biggest thing I want people to be able to gain is the encourage to pursue their own personal goals and dreams. This has been 6 years in The making. And I want to be able to show people that things don’t happen overnight. It’s takes perseverance and persistence.
Do you have any new projects coming up that you can speak about?
2019 will be filled with a lot of video work. The new expansion of my studio has a lot to do with showing people through short and long form videos the process and everyday hustle of art journey. I’ll be taking a lot of time to showcase the lives and personal collections of my “NEHS COLLECTORS.“
Visit NEHS’ Website at www.officialnehs.com and see his new exhibit at the Lake Wales Arts Center from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Monday-Friday.