Monthly Artist Feature (October 2020) – Zachary Black

Artist’s Name: Zack Black

Name of Brand: Zack BlaXX Photography & Design

Instagram: zackblaxx

Artist’s Age: 27

Artform: Digital Art- Graphics and Photography

Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?

I have always been into art even from a young age, art has been an influence in my life in some way or shape – using art as an extension of myself to express and showcase myself. Art has always drawn me and been a class that I always loved and did very well at.

What is your educational background?

I attended Wolmer’s Boys School and then attended SCAD ( Savannah college of art and design) in Atlanta, GA where I obtained a BFA with a major in Photography and a minor in graphic design.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?

Being able to separate myself from everyone and being different in a good way. Being away at college was a bit difficult also; with culture shock, changes and forcing myself to look at things differently and learning to be able to create for a wider audience.

Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

YES! Being a “artist” or “creative” wasn’t as popular as it is now and I got a lot of questions about how I will make a living from being a artist. But I love to prove people wrong and rise above the negativity.

How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?

Proving them wrong! There will always be someone to critique your work or process and you just have to focus on you. Negativity will always be there best thing is to focus on you and your craft.

What are some of the fears that you face even today?

Life right now, especially with COVID, because a lot of plans have been pushed or even deleted.

How do you deal with those fears?

Just got to keep your head up and keep trying and pushing. The bad times don’t last long so just have to keep positive and try and keep strong. You try and that’s what matters

How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?

I have a very fast turnaround time so I like to attack the project and give it my all. My mind is always running so learning to filter and pin point my creativity towards it has taken some time but you have to find what works for you as a creative and do it. No matter what method of madness it might be but as long as it works for you that’s what matters. Just be organized it helps in the long wrong.

What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your artform has the power to benefit society?

Art in whatever form it will inspire a reaction from the viewer/customer. The reaction may be good or bad, but the it is a reaction nonetheless and that is good. That is good because the mere fact that it has evoked emotions in someone makes it successful.

Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

All of them, I can’t pick one per se. Each design or photo represents a different part of my life and journey so they all have different meanings and feelings attached behind them. 

But my final series I did for my college final year – taking sneakers and deconstructing them into abstract art. That art work was featured on a billboard in Atlanta. Taking me out of my element and allowing me to be venerable in the creative scene. It was a piece that allowed me to take a form / structure and re-using in such a way that made it art again.

Where do you see yourself going?

To the top and being able to grow my business and  allow my services to help companies and such reach their true potential and the market they want.

By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

You just know and have a feeling you can’t explain but you just know – “BOOM! A it this.”

Also asking people for their input and feedback is always good. It allows you to get a different set of eyes and a new perspective, which always helps.

What elements of your career bring you the most stress?

Dealing with clients who are all over the place and not communicating … it’s the worst. We artists aren’t mind readers.

The word “Ubuntu” means “I am because we are”; how have you seen that reflected in your own life?

Working with a team teaches you that it’s all for one and one for all. You have to work together to better yourself and those who you are working with. We give, take and learn. Don’t be selfish with your knowledge share it and help others better themselves and their craft.

How has another artist or creative supported you to pursue your passion?

I have a lot of friends from college and persons I worked and collaborate with that give me the encouragement and the push to keep going. KAWS is an artist I hold very high and pushes me to better myself. I have a tattoo of his XX on me and I collect his art. He is one of the most influential artists now working and collaborating with everyone and every brand. He started as a misfit with street art and turned his art into a money-making venture and is now respected by everyone.

What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?

Knowing your worth and not underselling yourself!

Remember you don’t have to do every job you get let it be aligned with your goals and what you want to be aligned with.

Remember you’re a artist not a Magician.

“Don’t be selfish with your knowledge share it and help others better themselves and their craft.”

~ Zack Black