We were lucky to catch up with Craig Flux Amosun Singleton recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Craig Flux Amosun , thanks for joining us today. Can you talk to us about how you learned to do what you do?
I learned to do what I do by playing around, my high school learning, professional experiences, trail and error, listening, observing, applying some of the knowledge I gained, doing what I wanted to do and prolly some more stuff. HAHA. Knowing what I know now, I could’ve taken my career a bit more seriously. creativity seemed to come easily to me which showed me that I have the gift but constructing better outcomes for my self is another type of work one has to put in. Some essential skill were learning how to assess my feelings and perception/observation. Which means knowing what effects me and the why, how and what I understand. Helps for good communication which is what art is doing. The only obstacle that stood in the way of me learning more is me. Whether it was arrogance, a limit to what I can absorb, thinking that there is one perfect way to achieve my success. There is prolly some more too.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
The first thing I’ll say about me is, I’m very optimistic and believe in the power us artists have. Maybe it was because I was so moved by art itself. Especially in the beginning. I love cartoons, anime, comic books, comic strips, graffiti, martial arts, Godzilla and music. These are my foundations. It was the influence of my older brother that inspired me to do more with art. I was always doodling and such but when I saw him recreate marvel characters or write his name in graffiti, I immediately copied. I mean from small tracings to a point where I could just look at his and etch my own drawings. I started to do that with comic books and comic strips too. Voltron, G.I.Joe, Transformers, Snoopy, Daffy Duck, Batman, Calvin and Hobbes, etc. I was on it. Needless to say but I’ll say it anyway, I liked drawing. HAHA. When the “World Famous Shirt Kings” (A custom graffiti illustrated clothing shop) in Jamaica Queens started creating Cartoon and comic characters in Hip-Hop styles, I was hooked and this was something I got into! I even practiced on my friends clothing. It introduced me to a business in art surrounding what I liked. This was the late 80’s, and this is where I found my love of art.
It was Junior High when my moms told me about the HighSchool of Art and Design. A school where I can do art all day (at least in my mind). She introduced me to the field advertising and that I should think about finding a career in that field. So I applied to it and a couple of other vocational art schools. Art & Design was the only one that accepted me so it was written. HA! There, I learned about color theory, layout, composition, psychology, symbolism, combining text and image, how to simplify idea’s and direct my art towards a specific target. It also taught me to utilize art for a client base. Meaning, create for somebody other than myself. From this point on into my early post college years, I wanted to be a part of an Advertising firm or a design studio of some sort but my experiences has always pointed me towards being independent. Deep down, I really think I wanted that. In 2005, my whole perspective changed, I was Freelancing and working part-time at the IRS. Went to and Art show call “Art, Beats and Lyrics” created by some friends of mine (Artist Dubelyoo and Jabari), which was inspired by a Radio Show by my other peoples Jay Force and “The Beats and Lyrics Show”. This is important because, I was depressed and ready to quit doing work for Graphic Design clients. Reason? I wasn’t finding satisfaction with doing art for myself. Everything I did was for a client. This show reminded me of Fine Art. although different. It’s what folks may call LowBrow Art. I didn’t care tho, I wanted to get in and like the good friend my brotha Goldi Gold is, he asked (really suggested) if I wanted to throw our own Art Exhibit. Hell Yeah! And we did just that with the help of our brotha Miya Bailey. and Tuki Carter (City of Ink). This was the birth of our Art Brand “24 Reasons To Live”. !2 pieces each! This extended to us putting together Art Exhibits with other artists and this also put our names into the Fine Art arena.
Doing Fine Art helped me hone my skills as a Graphic Designer and Advertiser into expression of my own voice. This is where I started to develop myself into a painter. My concepts, how I visualize content and my art style is what sets me apart from others. I mean, that sets all of us apart. For me, it’s about conveying a message. The streamline between symbols and life experiences are vast so my perception of them makes my expression unique. I work backwards at times. Like, know what I want to say and then figure out how deep I want to explore it. This is something I believe my clients pick up on. When working with clients, my goal is to find a balance between what their target audience may want as well as what they themselves want. It works a whole lot better if the client knows how they want to present themselves and what they want their customer to feel when viewing their logo, mural, etc. I’m helping them to define themselves.
This all lead me to cfluxsing.com which is my website displaying past Graphic Design works, sale of Art Prints, promotion of solo Art Shows as well as my latest expression through murals. My growth in the mural sphere came through working with “Art, Beats and Lyrics” for over 14 years. Starting with these 7ft x 8ft walls to now painting over 400ft of wall. Creating art for larger spaces just inspired me to go big while still utilizing my design skills. One of the things I’m most proud of is persevering. To be able to find comfort and excitement in different forms of creativity. I’m telling you, I would have been board as shit doing the same thing over and over. However, this is different when it comes to my art tho. The consistency is, I always look to open up new paths of thought, different ways of looking at life. Helping my people to see the value in themselves or the power in being who they are. I’m proud to influence people in a positive way. That’s what C Flux Sing means. Although I’m using my name as the catalyst, it’s about sharing who you are. Hopefully with good character.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Two pivots to get back on the path I was already on! I was freelancing and working part-time at Rolling Out Magazine as an Illustrator. Let me clarify this, I wasn’t an employee. I was working directly with the Owner on a comic series we published every week called “Still Tripping”. It was his baby, his concepts and I would compliment them with the visual. Side Bar: Very thankful for that experience because if you ever look back at them, you can see me develop into a better illustrator over the course of 10years. So this was my tenth year and they let me go. Wasn’t an early warning, Just woke up one morning and read an email telling me this. I thought that shit was foul because they could’ve helped me prepare for it, told me in advance right?! Word, took it on the chin. To be honest tho, I wasn’t that upset because I was ready to go anyway. It’s been ten years, no growth in pay or my situation from helping create it so, they helped me there. HAHA. Either way, I didn’t know what to do next but I always seemed to be blessed in some way. You just gotta notice it right. In the next few days, I was asked to create an album cover for some people of mine. Money right when I needed it and truly, this is where I wanted to be. Working with different businesses or individuals on great projects. I needed more money tho.
The sky’s opened up when some other close folks of mine told me about an opening at the Boys and Girls Club teaching Art. Now, I thought about a career in teaching art. You know, giving back so I thought this was a grand opportunity to try it out. I did my due diligence and had gotten hired by the end of the next month! SCORE! I was on it. Everything seemed to be working right. I was in! Long story shorter, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Reasons could be many things, I was learning on the job, I wasn’t prepped well., I didn’t prepare well enough for me because most days than not, it didn’t go as planned. HAHAHA. There was never enough supplies. I’m an illustrator not a crafts person so the children wanted to do other things. Had to learn how to build a relationship with the children. It was a lot to learn. I had some good days. I made a few good art connections with some children but after a year and 4 months, I was ready to go. By this time, we had a new executive director and almost a whole new staff. Some good people there man but it wasn’t for me. At least not in this manner. I got fired right before the summer let in due to reasons not of my own. Still, this put me back on the path I was on before. The same I was fired, My brotha Mr. Soul 216 hired me for a design job. I vowed to never work for another company (As an Employee) and I haven’t looked back since. I wanted to turn my company into a real thing and I did. I feel like, I would have stayed in that place if it wasn’t for the energy behind those two events and I learned in the process.
I learned that having a clear intent and direction is important. I learned that I have to have patience for the emotional process in my experiences because what I feel is just as important in direction and clarity. I learned that too many children in one place at one time can run me crazy! I learned that the people who pay you may not be as thorough as they should so it’s your responsibility to be thorough. I also learned to be responsible for myself. A lot of times we grow up expecting things… You have to be responsible at least in taking the steps toward where you want to go in your career.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
The Lesson I have to unlearn is that, I am not my Art. My art comes from a part of me but it’s not all of me. Not really a backstory per say but, looking at how I treated my art over the years. I place a lot of value on my art. Not just from the time and creative blood, sweat and effort I put into them but what it means. The impact I imagine to be crafted within the concept and execution of my work. It’s a bit arrogant. Some of it lead me to not have a lot of work to share. Getting stuck on what I have already created and not producing more. Looking for solutions in the wrong results. I’m very personal in my expression and that is what I should be sharing. My work is to share so I shouldn’t get too attached to it. Just getting the thoughts out of my mind helps me so I need not hold on to it.
- Website: www.cfluxsing.com
- Instagram: cfluxsing
- Facebook: cfluxsing
- Linkedin: cfluxsing
- Twitter: cfluxsing
- Youtube: cfluxsing | FluxWondabat
Personal Image: By Melissa Alexander (@phyllisiller)