Brandon: Brother, I am great! Thanks for the opportunity to share my work and passion with your fans!
Dion: Great to have you. So I know you have founded @CANVASxDetroit which has produced tons of freat art in the past couple years in the Detroit Area. When Did You get started and why did you start @CANVASxDetroit?
Brandon: I opened CANVASxDetroit in 2013 on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit so we have been running (and profitable) for 4 years now. (There's now a HUGE Nike store where my store used to be which should give you an indication of how much has changed in Detroit over the last few years; I would NEVER be able to occupy that same space now because it is TOO EXPENSIVE) It's crazy to think about how I started especially since our birthday is tomorrow, August 12th!
As far as why I started CxD, I wanted to create a platform to achieve 4 things with regard to art. 1) Provide arts exposure for those who have never been to a museum, never seen an oil painting, never gazed at a beautiful sculpture. 2) Initiate arts engagement opportunities for anyone interested in experiencing the joy of creating. To that end, we offer painting classes for all ages, art workshops for corporations/nonprofits, and art installations for public participation and enjoyment. 3) Offer art-based solutions to address civic and social problems. Recently, CxD completed a project where we cleaned up over 600 tires that had been illegally dumped in a residential neighborhood. With the help of local residents, we turned the tire waste into a public art space complete with murals, totem poles, and benches made from recycled materials. We have also developed BOUNDLESS, an installation framework that allows for a street art/graffiti effect without damaging property. BOUNDLESS has been instrumental in helping us create positive, uplifting imagery on blighted/abandoned properties, thereby mitigating some of the negative psychological effects of living amongst dilapidated buildings. Currently, we are working on a top-secret art project to be deployed in Flint, Michigan that will creatively address some of the ancillary problems caused by the awful water crisis. 4) Lastly, I started CxD to prove to people that anyone and everyone IS an artist. For instance, when most people find out that I own an arts studio/platform, the first thing they say is "I can't draw/paint," or "I'm no artist," or "I can only draw stick figures." Part of the reason for the existence of CANVASxDetroit is to combat those negative ideas about an individual's ability (or lack thereof) to create art! This is why our motto is, "in each of us, an artist."
Dion: Thats amazing man.. It has to be hard starting a new buisness? Did U Ever Get discouraged? What kept you going? Or what keeps you going?
Brandon: Detroit is a pretty unique place with regard to the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem. There are a ton of programs and resources in the Motor City for people who want to start a business. Thankfully, I was able to benefit from quite a few of these programs and quite frankly, I don't think I would have been able to start and successfully run this business anywhere other than Detroit. Now, having said that, starting CANVASxDetroit was not exactly easy. There have been more challenges than I care to name but when the going gets tough, I always remind myself that I DID NOT MOVE TO DETROIT TO FAIL. I'm not a loser and I don't plan to become one. By keeping my focus centered the creative, community-based work that I do, I'm able to conquer the doubt, fatigue, and challenges that inevitably come with being an entrepreneur.
Dion: You certainly have done a great job with becoming an entrepreneur. doing great things sir!!! What Is Your Overall Vision For @CANVASxDetroit & The Artists That Are Showcased?
Brandon: The vision for CANVASxDetroit and the CANVASx brand in general, is to create a global environment where art is universally appreciated and practiced. Right now, art is still a very niche space that many people find intimidating. The CANVASx brand is one of many catalysts working to shift the way that people experience art by showing that art already lives inside every single person on this earth. Every day, we work to bring this vision to fruition!
Dion: Where Can People Contact U & See Everything Your Working On?