Why do you support 50 Shades of Black?
I see 50 Shades of Black as a wonderful platform to help facilitate the important conversations we as people of color have, or need to have regarding the issues of identity and sexuality we face in today's world. The use of art, articles and community building, are all things that attracted me to this project even more.
What is your overall design philosophy and how do you apply it to this project?
My design philosophy is based on simplicity, while letting strong imagery merge seamlessly with content. While looked at as a clichéd term, I still believe less is more when it comes to visually making a statement in a clean, but still artistic manner.
Has working so intimately on this project changed the way you view your own artistic process or the way you view collaboration?
Interestingly enough, one of the things I promised myself as the year began, was to be more open to the collaborative process. Aside from direct client collaborations, I typically have not, in the past, made an effort to join artistic and aesthetic forces with other businesses and minds. With this collaboration for 50 Shades of Black, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Carlton to help bring his vision to life, while having the artistic freedom to express his concepts visually. If anything, I see myself collaborating even more with other like minds as the years progress.
What are your thoughts about hosting a 50 Shades of Black Open Shoot in NC?
After seeing the great amount of love Atlanta showed for the inaugural 50 Shades of Black open shoot, I am more than excited to see North Carolina represent in the same way and come out for our shoot. We are currently in the process of securing a venue, all we'll need is the support of NC to take it home.
Any further thoughts?
I just wanted to thank Carlton Mackey for having the vision to put this movement together. The talent and minds involved in this project are a sheer testament to the strength of the vision behind it. I knew when I first saw Carlton's original 50 Shades of Black graphic, that it was the start of something special. I'm looking forward to the positivity that will continue to grow from the dialogue this has created.
"Sometimes inspiration can be found as much in the individual as in the art the individual creates".
This is definitely the case with how I feel about Chris Charles. I discovered his work about the same time that I joined Tumblr and released my initial 50 Shades of Black concept design. I knew this brother was seeking to convey meaning through his work that was larger than himself. I think that this is something that all great artists do. The secret seems to be that as much as we, the consumers of the work, are convinced that they have already found it, the artist never seems to think so. They are therefore always reaching -always seeking for the transcendent (to them) just beyond their grasp.
To me his work conveys as much of a quest as it does a discovery. For that I am grateful that he has decided to journey with me.
-Carlton Mackey (Creator of 50 Shades of Black)