Artlanta has urged children who want to pursue art to continue believing in themselves despite the adversities they face.
“Anything is possible if you believe in yourself. There will be people who will pull you down, but it is up to you if you will stand up or let them knock you down,” he said in an interview.
Artlanta, who had his art pop-up exhibition at Beverly Center in Los Angeles on April 10, shared how he struggled to pursue the path he wanted to take growing up.
While he had big dreams as a child, Artlanta lamented how he spent half of his childhood growing up in the dirt projects of Atlanta.
“I was dirt poor and both of my parents just came from Nigeria. I’m a product of a father who was a scientist but sadly passed away when I was five, and a pastor mom who was left with eight kids to feed. My mom — a strong and diligent person as she is — has been a huge source of inspiration for me,” he said.
As a kid, he said he used to get bullied in school every single day, which made him realize that school wasn’t for him.
While people would always tell him that he couldn’t become successful through painting, Artlanta said he dropped out of high school in 12th grade and started to make a name for himself.
Artlanta said Basquiat Banksy and Andy Warhol were his artistic heroes growing up.
“I believed in myself 100 percent. People used to tell me to quit and I would never be anything in life, and it is through art that I proved them wrong. I am a living proof of how hard work and determination pay off,” he said.
Out to make a name for himself, Artlanta developed his talent in art and now sells $20,000 worth of paintings.
“I just paint the pictures I want to see in the world. My art represents my perception about the society I live in, day-to-day life, people, and culture,” the artist said.