Thaddaeus Arvie is one of the most ambitious and multi-talented artists in the Houston area. The 33-year-old from Ville Platte, Louisiana has created a name for himself as a craftsman, set designer, muralist, and painting instructor, but his passion for multimedia art is what he says sets him apart from the competition.
Unlike your conventional artist, he isn’t afraid to step outside the box, find new avenues to pursue his talents, and create masterpieces that leave his audience in awe.
Bayou Beat News got the opportunity to speak with this Houston artist to discuss his upcoming projects and journey to success.
Bayou Beat News: How did you get started creating your artwork and what was your inspiration?
Arvie: I started off drawing characters and cartoon characters like Looney Tunes – that was my earliest start of art. I didn’t take any art classes until I went to college. Before then, I created art out of pure passion. I would draw in notebooks what I see around me. Then I went to college and graduated with a bachelor in fine arts. That was where I fine-tuned everything and my passion grew even further to want to become a professional artist.
Bayou Beat News: What kind of art do you create?
Arvie: The mixed media art that I create is a combination of everything I’ve built over the years and learned growing up in a small town countryside. My dad was a self-employed carpenter and I had to help him with a lot of his own projects building things in the yard. I always had a good sense of operating tools. I eventually learned how to abstract, so now, I just throw all those things together and make one big installation.
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Bayou Beat News: How long have you been in the business and what has your journey been like thus far?
Arvie: Professionally, I’ve been on this journey for five years. Seriously, I’ve been on this journey since I’ve graduated from college and moved to Houston in 2013. It took me a while to get started, but I started doing little shows and my own underground shows. From there I just kept trying to do different things and it eventually led me to where I’m at now. I’ve been on this journey for nearly 15 years.
Bayou Beat News: What was the inspiration behind your art exhibit for 5015 art bar?
Arvie: This installation called “Do The Right Thing” came from a lot of different inspirations. Spike Lee is one of my top favorite artists ever and the greatest Black director in film. The kind of movies he produces are so revolutionary so I based my art off of “Do The Right Thing,” which was a movie directed by him. Secondly, the aesthetic of the art at 5015 is an older crowd. The owner already had a sort of feeling that was tiptoeing a “Do the Right Thing” type of theme, so I ran with that. I wanted the art to coincide with the world. Most importantly the riots, police brutality and everything that the movie “Do The Right Thing” spoke about 20 years ago. I wanted it to show how these issues are still happening in our community the same way.
Bayou Beat News: What do you hope people gain after seeing your artwork?
Arvie: Everything that I do no matter if it’s a small piece or a big installation, I just want people to escape for a minute. I do a variety of things and some are more serious than others but I just want people to take a moment to let their imaginations run wild. I want them to forget whatever it is that’s going on in their life and allow themselves to be submersed in the artwork.
Bayou Beat News: What’s been the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an artist?
Arvie: I think trying to find my actual audience has been my biggest challenge. I’ve struggled with that a bit. Whether I want to do fine arts or stay underground or figuring out what kind of artist I want to be. I want to do everything. I like doing installations, murals, bigger parts, projects, abstract work and smaller pieces. I’ve been trying to buckle down and find where I fit. What I’ve realized is that I can create my own lane. What I’m doing is creating a lane for myself and developing my own fanbase along the way.
Bayou Beat News: Your artwork empowers and embodies the positive aspects of the world we live in. Tell us a bit about how your art is advancing your community and Black people?
Arvie: I think just being a Black artist is empowering because there are very few of us in the industry. There are very few of us that are spoken about. I didn’t have much representation of what I wanted to be growing up so I’ve tried to represent for other creators in my community.
Bayou Beat News: What’s some advice you have for up and coming artists regarding following their dreams and work ethic?
Arvie: Consistency is everything. There’s been a few times where I wanted to give up but you have to keep pushing. You have to keep facing your fears and keep going. No matter how hard or how bad it gets sometimes, even if you have to slowdown, you have to keep going. Socrates said, “A wise man is a man who can admit he knows nothing” so that really stuck with me. A person who can go out there and admit he knows nothing but be open to learning and growing from other people is key. Teaching others and building relationships helps you move ahead and put money in your pocket. It will also help you help other people.
Bayou Beat News: What are some upcoming projects you’re working on?
Arvie: I’m currently working on the Power Forward project in Ville Platte, Louisiana, which is my hometown. I’m doing a project for a basketball court. This town has been digressing and the crime rate is going up. There are many building abandoned. I want to bring some more life to it. Sports is one of the biggest things that a lot of people start there. It’s really the only way to try and get out of that place. Basketball, football and track sparked a culture of competitiveness upon everyone. There are a lot of great athletes from there so I want to take a basketball park and reservist it. I want the kids that are coming up to have a cool place to go that they can call their own and appreciate their community for. I want to bring a sense of value to them. I’m also working on a new lounge in Houston. It was an old lounge that they’re redoing. I’m doing the art installations for that. I have a few other big things coming up this summer back in Louisiana with some murals. It’s been very busy and I’m grateful.
For more information about Thaddaeus Arvie’s journey and artwork, visit Creativelyinsaneart.com
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