E L Montgomery, Manasses Member Since December 2011 Artist Statement I began drawing at the age of 3, influenced by my mom who had attended Arts High in Newark NJ and F.I.T. in New York. A class-mate's suicide due to the stress of keeping good grades caused my mom to change paths. She became a social worker.
For me the torch was already lit. I was constantly drawing. By the age of 9 I would sit my brothers and sister down and sketch portraits of them. Through my early teens I began dabbling in graffiti; that soon led to getting an after-school and weekends job in an airbrushing shop. I later went on to make airbrush collages on sweatshirts. I had a few of my airbrushed sweatshirts for sale in a small clothing store off of Halsey Street in Newark. I was selling them for $70 per shirt. I went in one day to ask the owner how things were going. He told me that he had sad news for me. He pulled me outside to tell me that someone had stolen one of my shirts; just grabbed it and ran out. He offered to pay me for it. I declined the offer. He was also surprised that I wasn't sad at all but surprisingly elated. When he questioned why I seemed happy, I told him: "so you mean to tell me that someone had risked going to jail, just to have one of my shirts?"
I later hooked up with a fellow artist "Sultan" and got deeper into graffiti and airbrushing. I began to get into several mediums: colored pencils, pen and ink, markers, photography, painting. Then I found Photoshop and that's when my love for abstract art skyrocketed