The Interview

Willie Williams Jr.


Studio 2500 

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Q/Who is Willie Williams?

At my core, I'm a very determined, hardworking, sensitive, humorous, and generous individual. I care deeply about the state of the world and society. However, as sensitive as I am to those things, I enjoy life very much and as hard as I work on a daily basis, I can play and have fun just as hard too. At heart, I enjoy giving back to the community I live in and to the next generation.

Q/ What do you look for in reviewing a piece of art and what do you strive for in your own art? 

When I review art, I look for three things. First, is it unconventional in any way, meaning does the piece have an oddness about it that requires me to revisit it to understand what it could mean. Second, is it unique formally and visually moving and intriguing? And third, does the piece have conceptual power and is the concept important to the audience? I strive for these elements when I create art as well. Every piece that I began to create I primarily want the concept to be just as strong and captivating as the piece itself, for they work hand and hand in creating work that is relevant especially to the audience and to the time in which we live. To me it's not enough to just create a beautiful piece, but a work of art that speaks deeply to the eye, mind, and soul.

Q/ In addition to being an artist, you are a gallery owner - a business owner. What is the difference between being an artist and in being a business owner? And how did you navigate the change in thinking? 

One major difference between being an artist and being a businessman is how we value the end product of our creation. Typically, an artist is concerned about the idea itself having integrity, and the business person is concerned about an idea generating profit. I navigate through these thought processes by reminding myself that I can indeed stay true to my ideas as an artist, but I can also be just as creative in making my ideas sell without compromising the integrity of the work. I think most artists get caught in the mindset that making money off of your art diminishes the art. It is only diminished when you try to be a "trendy artist" and nothing more than that, and art to me is supposed to transcend trend and normality.

Q/ What are 5 rules you follow in business and why?

1.. Stay true to your brand - because it's an extension of who you are as a person and it reflects in your business to the public. By staying true, you can always be unique and stand out from the rest.

2. Stay current - because it is important to know what competitors are doing in the current market that you are in. Also to keep track of changes that occur so that you can prepare accordingly.

3. Count the Cost - because the goal in business is to profit, and if you fail to calculate cost before executing a plan, you will lose.

4. Surround Yourself with Influential people - because it helps you get better mentally and keeps you inspired.

5. Make good use of time - because there is always important work to do, developments to be made, and those things require a large investment of time. Once wasted, it becomes a perpetual cycle of unfulfilled goals.

Q/ What are 2 absolute "nevers" for you in art?

1. I never throw away older works I've done. It is good to see the evolution of yourself and even gain newfound inspiration to add to your visual vocabulary.

2. I never stay away from art - the creative process. Whether it be through painting or playing music, I keep the juices flowing through constant creation.

Q/ What are 2 absolute "nevers" for you in business?

1. Never embark in major business moves without contractual agreements. Contracts establish clarity, expectations and boundaries from the onset of the endeavor and preserves business relationships in the future.

2. Never have poor costumer service. In other words, treat a potential costumer like family. Invest in them genuinely before you ask from an investment from them. Have an enthusiasm that is hard to ignore and people will gravitate to you

Thank you, Mr. Williams. 

You're welcome.