Today we’re excited to introduce you to Malik Greene. Malik is a Creator/Artist and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Malik below.
Hi Malik, thank you so much for sitting down with us again. For folks who might have missed our initial interview, can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
My name is Malik Greene, I was born on July 8th, 1997 in Columbia, South Carolina. I’ve always had a curious mind and factors such as broken homes, lack of resources and witnessing systems designed for dissonance turned me to an exploration of self, just figuring out where I stand in this world. As a kid, I gravitated towards art forms such as illustration and clothing design through learned experiences with family and friends but I developed a strong passion for painting while attending college at Coastal Carolina University. During this time I sought to incorporate my passions with effective means to reach back to communities I grew up in, ultimately I pursued a full-time interest in painting in oils and acrylics. My work captures my mental state as well as the perspective of my own world. My art allows me to stand in the center, painting what is around me. My desire is to use painting as a form of record-keeping, using art as a means to be the bridge between creativity and capturing my own personal epic. My work also captures an intimate narrative, as well as historical, political and popular culture influences.
What is it about painting as opposed to other mediums that you love the most?
I think for me I love how tangible paint is so I’m constantly amused by how it moves, dries is applied it’s almost like a science for me mixing the paints. Overall I am just more intrigued by the naturalness of oil paint and I love that from its origin until its completion finishing a painting is almost like solving a puzzle. I have tried my hands at a lot of other mediums be it physical or digital which are equally impressive but the process and progression of a painting are what inspires me to push the limits of my skill. I love art of all types, but aside from music, oil paintings are my favourite form of artistic expression. Before I started painting people would tell me waiting on me is like waiting on paint to dry, now that I know how long it takes for paint to dry I might be a little slower.
Outside of creating art, what is your ultimate goal? What do you find your purpose to be?
For me, my ultimate goal is to be able to live a life not controlled by the stigmas that are placed on everyone in this human experience. I think a lot of the things that we as people have been taught are tailoring us to live a carbon copy cookie-cutter “American Dream” but who even created that standard? No one asked to be on this earth so it bugs me even further that expectations are placed on people, why can’t we just live life! Do the things that make us happy and inspire others to do the same with what little time we have. Within my family, my friend groups and how I have decided I want to be conveyed to the world, I want to be a form of glue. I just wanna bring people who want to be together, together. I found my passion with art and this passion sparked a light I did not know existed in my life and in my greater purpose if I can do that for someone else, I won. So at the end of the day I’d love to have my own facility and more importantly an entity designed to amplify finding your place in this life that we may only get one of.
Does your art aim to say, are you influenced by political/ social issues?
Um for me I don’t personally see myself as a political or social activist by any means. I do see myself as a person, and politics are usually for the people, so I don’t find myself out of place for touching on socio/political issues. I do believe the role of an artist is to speak on the world that is around them because if they spoke regarding anything else the art just wouldn’t be genuine. So if the world of politics is full of issues, and this is what I see in my world, I think it does become my job to relay my message. I think oftentimes people and artists get pigeon held into what they should be expected to be, but the only expectation I place on myself is to make the best art I can make while staying authentic to my own story. So occasionally I step into my politic bag but if I do it is only strong, supported and reflective of my feelings no one else.
How do you balance your time in the studio with other commitments such as a part-time job and family?
For me, the best way I prioritize things is just by keeping in mind my wants and my needs. Guns and butter, like Baby Boy. Some things are just for the look some things actually mean something, so the guns I stick with the butter I try to stay away from. I want to be free and express myself I also need to have a roof over my head but once I lose sight of either of those I don’t feel right if that makes sense. So it is a balancing act one that I kinda lean more on the freedom and expressing side. Because If I just hate the quality of my life and day, I won’t be good to pay bills and be there for those who need me. I understand this about myself though moreso just knowing a lot of jobs are replaceable, my time and happiness are not in any capacity. My art is heavily involving my family so I love staying in touch with them and allowing them to be a part of my journey. I have nieces and nephews I inspire daily because I show them you can wake up and do what makes you happy what else could I ask for!
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I am actually working on my debut solo exhibition! I’ve been keeping it under wraps just to make sure I have all of the background set up, but right now I’m beginning my little press run to gather a bit more attention. I feel really confident in this work as well as the hard work and thought that I have put into creating it. The title of this exhibition is “Baby Boy” and ultimately I want this work to serve as my autobiography and even more so my introduction to being a full-time artist. This exhibition will be in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina and will be presented by StormWater Studios. I started working on these pieces around march of 2020 and although this is not a pandemic exhibition, having this much time to myself, to discover what It is I wanted to create, what it is I want to be and how I choose to convey this I created this body of work. I realized that as an artist one who views my work may only see the art, or an even smaller slither of the artist. To my friends, I am Leak when in the public scope I am Malik, but to those who love me the most I am just “Baby Boy”. This collection shows that the boy has become a man.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as an artist?
Just continuing to be me, being genuine, searching for genuine connections and making what makes me happy. Between being deep in the belief that things will work because I am following my dreams I also have to continue to practice be it in actual painting but also practicing with establishing relationships and continuing to practice what. I preach as a man, the art will always follow. I am allowing myself to think openly, think confidently and I firmly believe my art is a reflection of me, if I can be the best leak every day my worth and work will only continue to be a reflection of that. If I only painted… the paintings wouldn’t be good so continuing to experience life shows me that art really does imitate life, I can’t live a boring life.
Alright, so before we go, how can our readers connect with you to learn more and show support?
The main way that you can reach me is through my website at www.malik-greene.com
I am also on social media platforms as well. You can find me on Instagram @leakylifeafaucet_ where I often paint live and Twitter @leaklikeafaucet where I often spill thoughts. I also have prints available on Etsy @leakyfaucetcompany if you would like to support me!
- Website: www.malik-greene.com
- Facebook: Malik Greene
- Twitter: leaklikeafaucet
- Other: Etsy: LeakyFaucetCompany Behance: Malik Greene Art Station: Malik Greene