Tell us who you are and what you do!
My name is Sidney Snipes or 3amsnipes. I am a graphic designer and visual artist. I started doing graphic design around the time I was in the 7th grade, so about 6 years ago. Digital art and graphic design is where I spend a lot of my time. I do a lot with traditional art too but digital is definitely my main platform. At first it started as something to do for fun but once I learned graphic design was a legitimate career option I began to take it more seriously.
Drawing was another thing I always did for fun. I’ve been drawing my whole life really. Growing up I would always get different “how to” drawing books and just sketch on paper. My mom was an artist so I got to play around in her drawing tools every once and awhile before she passed them down. However I didn’t start taking art more seriously until last year when I first started painting. My school held an art show and I had a few paintings in it and nearly all of them sold. I ended making close to $200 that show. The very next day I spent just about all of it on new paint and canvas because I was only using the ones at school until that point. From there I just kept on painting and expanding what I did. I never even thought about painting as a career and didn’t even know it could be a full time thing until that show; figured I could turn that $200 into something more and I like how far I’ve come and where I’m at now.
What is the inspiration for your work?
My inspiration definitely comes from multiple places. Music is a pretty big inspiration. I listen to a lot of music and imagine an illustration as I’m listening. My recent illustration “Amerikkkan Freedom” was created while I was listening to the Joey Bada$$ All Amerikkkan album, so that’s usually how it goes when I’m using music as an inspiration.
I also get inspired by other artists. Some of favorite artists are John Born, Remain3k, Rob Regis, Pish Posh, Thomas Evans and Terrance Vann. I could go on because there are so many amazing designers and artists I keep up with but those are some big inspirations. I use my own art as inspiration as well. I often use old sketches or past work as references for new pieces.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
There aren’t many, if any choices I’ve made so far that I would take back, but as far as advice I would say study, study, study, and more studying. A lot of people see my work and when I started and assume I just started painting with ease and no insight. I mentioned how I bought a ton of art supplies after my first show but I never actually painted on any of those for the next three weeks.
I spent a lot of time studying techniques and other artists, through videos, articles, and just looking at art. Don’t be afraid to pick up a book or two either, the internet is amazing but there will always be information in books that isn’t found online especially when dealing with art.
Learn to study now because it’s something that you will always have to do. No matter how good you are now or how good you will eventually become as an artist you will always have to study and improve. Besides that surround yourself with other people that have the same drive as you and work on your craft everyday.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner? How did you overcome them?
I wouldn’t say I’ve faced any struggles strictly because of my race. Not yet at least, and hopefully not ever. If anything oddly enough I think me being black has helped my startup. My first couple paintings sold were bought by people who didn’t own any black art so when they saw mine they loved it. You don’t hear that too often and I don’t take it for granted so that’s definitely a blessing.