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Art is a Language: Interview with @Carlton_Banxx

Wow...chatting with Carlton was so much fun. Carlton is a father, teacher, and artist with some dope insight for all of us! See below for our conversation and some words from Carlton as well!

Q&A with Carlton

How would you describe your art using 6 adjectives?

Nostalgic; Witty; Funny; Sexy; Cosmic; Deep

What led you to become a creative/why do you express yourself through the arts?

I believe every human is an artist naturally (from childhood) and most of us stop trying to progress it for one reason or another along the way. I never stopped. Art is a supernatural language that I love learning and using to communicate parts of life and mind that art gives us a chance to do. Absorbing art and letting it flow from you is a scared place.

What inspires your creative expression/what do you do to generate new ideas?

My eyes, ears and physical feelings... I love beauty. I love to see nature show off and 99% of the time I am inspired to make art afterwards. Most the time if you look at my artwork you can tell what I’ve been absorbing prior to. I don’t have a lot of patience so usually I want to get an idea out in as short a time as possible so I can move on. My ideas have a shelf life. Music is a huge “inspo” I try to translate sounds and music into visual art and illustrate my interpretation or literal meanings of lyrics. I love cerebral hip hop artists like André 3000, Tobe Nwigwe, and Lupe Fiasco. I try to make artistic expressions from their lyrics often. Some rarely make public appearances. Lastly, I try to convey a feeling via art. One of my adjectives is ‘sexy’ because love making one of the most influential feelings... I used to paint couples in a galactic and cosmic entanglement full of energy but those works would get confused with space smut of the cliche Serena Williams built goddesses with universe afros trend. So I’ve moved to more cerebral and story telling work. Ideas are all around I just have to realize them or notice them.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire other artistic people. You all are my favorite. There’s an unspoken understanding most of the time and it’s almost tribal. If we can talk we could pop on some music, have drinks, make art and vibe out effortlessly. (That’s what I think at least) Mostly I admire seriously talented musicians. People that suck you in and are super confident and flirt with displaying a little bit of arrogance when they perform. Like a woman that knows she’s sexy and knows you’re looking, lol. I admire fun and loving families and people who aren’t afraid to care and be compassionate... especially in public. I admire athletic prowess. I admire what you’re doing and watching your growth from afar.

Who are your favorite artists?

Visually, Ive come to really like The Radiant Child, Jean Michel Basquiat... his art for me has been like learning to appreciate and acquire a taste for fine wine, after coming off of cranberry juice and soda. I incorporate his style in my work for a couple reasons... his art seemed to have an energy like he was hiding the secrets of the universe in it. Saying deep things. His work also seemed like exactly what I’d imagine as a kid. It’s hard for me to explain so I’ll leave it there. I’ve been drawn to the work of a DC artist named Billy Colbert... I hung his first art show at Delaware State University and later we taught together at DSU. I’m attracted to people’s work that figured out what I’ve been trying to convey in mine. It’s like an RPG where you meet a character and level up or learn a new skill that progresses the main story or makes the story easier/more fun.

What do you think is the value/importance of creative expression in the world today? It’s one of the most important things! Things that can only be articulated by a supernatural language that helps everyone understand the state of the world and the potential of where the world can be. Artists show the truth... sometimes the truth is an artists is trying to make a buck or get a follow, but given the opportunity an artists can change the world. Everything runs off of art. Everybody needs art to live. I started a thesis that a human would physically die with no form of art. That’s another convo.

What do you do to create peace and happiness in your everyday life?

Detach from the madness of the rat race... play with my kids, enjoy my wife... make art and lose myself in some music and a good drink... ultimately I pray and not worry about a solitary thing.

Carlton's website is Please check out his work and purchase!

He is on IG as @carlton_banxx

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