We had the good fortune of connecting with Cinque Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cinque, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor to my success thus far has been my family. Without a strong base and support group I wouldn’t be in the situation that I am in now. They saw how hard I worked then and currently work now at my craft, and they pushed me to showcase it and share it with the world. I actually used to be quite the introvert as it pertained to my work. Fearful that my talent wasn’t great enough to be on the highest stage with others, always letting in self doubt.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well I come from a small town in the mid-west in Dayton Ohio and I was always enamored with art. I was never really the academic kid much to the chagrin of my parents but what I excelled at was art, hard-work, and being able to be relatable and humble. I started off putting together my own shows in Cincinnati and Kentucky. I would find a venue and use whatever connections that I had acquired to essentially throw a huge party . What I did was bank on myself as the investment. I paid for all the expenses out of pocket, promoted across social media and succeeded on my own terms for complete control and %100 profit margin. Nothing has been easy perse commission work, contracts, deals and or submissions fall thru get cancelled and you find away to move on from it. Hard work beats talent if that talent don’t work hard. I learned to play the long game I don’t work 1 day or 1 show I work for 365 days a year. One of the things that sets me apart from my peers is that I am multifaceted. I do Gallery showcases, put on my own shows, travel and do comic cons, trade shows, I work with restaurant groups my goal is to tap into as many avenues as possible stay busy and treat every project as if it was my last to stay hungry. My work is an ever evolving depiction and introspection into what the human condition has been subjected to in everyday life. I am self taught so my style is a combination of trial and error. Learning what didn’t work leads me to better results most often times than not. I study illustrators and the most dynamic artist that I can find. I tend to examine their styles and can see what their highs and lows are, where they excel and falter and apply the same measuring stick toward my own artistic narrative. I never wanted to be pigeon holed so I learned to work in various mediums. Though graphite is my first love, today I primarily am both an ink painter and a mixed medium painter. I find that both give varying degrees of transparency both visually and emotionally not only with myself but also with the viewer. What excites me is the ability to push my limits with my creativity to the highest ceilings until I’m exhausted. At the end of the day I want people to enjoy the work and see that there are no limitations to how far you can go if you put your mind to it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Lets see I would definitely go to OEB for breakfast or brunch. Maybe stop by some of the art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale. Stop by Hush Public House, Pomodoro Italian Seafood and Grill, The Americano and Oceans 44 for great dinners. Take them to my favorite speakeasy Pigtails to try some craft cocktails. Stop by All American Sports Bar for the best Whisky Selection. Maybe cap off one of those nights at Evo in Old Town Scottsdale for a little late night party. Go for a walk somewhere local and spend a night with my family for dinner, drinks, and relaxation.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
No one person in particular, just my immediate family and those whom have been with me from day 1 whom continue to push me and my fans and supporters.