HAWT: What artist living or dead would be your dream collaborator?

DM: Dali

HAWT: What artist out of the artists from HAWT 2013 would be your dream collaborator?

DM: I would need to get to know the artists and what they are about.

HAWT: What is your favorite part of your creative process when working on something new?

DM: Brainstorming and finding interesting ways to incorporate disparate ideas into a dense sound work of art

HAWT: What's one thing that has stood out to you about Casa Frela Gallery?

DM: The openness and welcome atmosphere and of of course, the tea

HAWT: While creating, what are TWO things you cannot go without?

DM:Art supplies excluded! Depending on the subject i may need to refer to the internet for some basis or fleshing out of my idea. Thats about it really.

HAWT: What was the moment you knew you had to pursue art professionally?

DM: Since i was about 6 i was going to pursue comic design and cartooning to have my own comic universe and animation network of my originally designed characters and storylines. Then I studied fine art in high school and college and have yet to deviate from a professional career in the arts yet.

HAWT: Who's been your biggest art influence? (doesn’t have to be an actual artist)

DM: Main influences in fine art: Dali, Van Gogh, Michael Hussar, Jean Singer Sergeant, etc. Animation: John Kricfalusi, John Dilworth, Ralph Bakshi, Joe Murray and of course Bill Plympton. In Fashion I have been inspired by Marvel comic characters, Alexander McQueen the Dogon Tribe, etc.

HAWT: What's your favorite spot in Harlem?

DM: My studio. then Id say the Studio Museum

HAWT: What's your favorite aspect of Harlem?

DM: The potential and the drive people have to maintain what Harlem is about as gentrification changes it.

HAWT: How has your art evolved over the past few years?

DM: I have transitioned from painting on canvas to surfaces such as tables, piano, and clothing leading to the fashion alter ego Daft Minerva (which shares my initials) I also branched into graphic design specializing in logos and digital art creating and exhibiting under the alias Apophenic Graphics which is mainly political in nature. This digital art direction lead to BuddhaHood, a line of graphic apparel and knit BuddhaHats.

HAWT: What are some of the things/people/events, etc., that inspire you the most and why?

DM: People who try to surprise themselves with what they can do next. Constantly reinventing and reinterpreting things.

HAWT: How do you, as an artist, represent Harlem?

DM: I am a visual artist with many series representing people of african decent as well as a collaborative T shirt line with Darryl Collins called Moor-Ology: Native Tags representing the sovereign nations founded by people of african decent around the world. and curator CEO and Founder of AnkhLave Mind Media presenting events such as the Annual Unsung Heroes Award Ceremony and a Bi Annual NYFW show in collaboration with D'Evolution Productions. We organzine these shows to showcase, honor and celebrate local talent in our community.

HAWT: How did you first learn about Casa Frela Gallery and HAWT™?

DML I saw the gallery through a gallery directory online and liked it on Facebook. I also had a thanksgiving dinner with a friend Carolyn and and met the curator Lawrence there.

HAWT: When you create, do you usually work on a piece in one sitting to completion, or can you put it down and pick it up again at a later time?

DM: I prefer to work and complete a piece in one sitting. I don't like to work on a piece for too long as i have too may ideas, but i have yet to leave a piece unfinished and have over a thousand finished paintings and over two thousand original cartoons. I can't help but get them done.

HAWT: If you were commissioned to create a piece for a Harlem-based business or organization, which business or organization do you feel would be the best fit for your esthetic?

DM:The Studio Museum. I have submitted to their residency program.

HAWT: In which Harlem venue would you like to be presented for HAWT™ 2014? The Alex Adam Gallery

HAWT: If you were to speak to children about the art of creation, what's the most important thing you'd want to impart?

DM: To keep questioning your self and your intensions as you create as you will dig deeper and challenge yourself further as you create. Keep asking why and seek to widen your understanding of your voice.

HAWT: Do you have a specific intention as to what your art speaks, or do you leave that to the eye of the beholder?

DM: I have specific intensions with both deliberate and subconscious voices showcased in the realm of spirituality. My most recent series is an exploration in the human figure, Chakras and sacred geometry to exemplify varying dimensions of consciousness.

HAWT: Do you have a specific time or day that's most conducive to creating?

DM: Anytime. When I have the time I create all day with a gym or bike riding break.

HAWT: I see you utilize quite a variety of materials in your artwork. What draws you to those materials?

DM: I see myself creating visual statements out of most things. I went through a phase creating assemblages and that really pushed me beyond my box at the time.

HAWT: You have quite an eclectic collection, spanning many different media - painting, poetry & prose, fabric arts, jewelry and much more. Do any of those art forms tug at you more than others?

DM: Fine Art is the foundation of all of my work.

HAWT: What media was your first, and then how did you morph into the others?

DM: Illustration (Cartoons, Comic Art), Painting, mixed media, and various other fine art mediums, assemblage, street art and graffiti, graphic design, fashion, jewelry

HAWT: Can you take me through your process of one of your creations, from idea to inception?

DM: I get a revelation or something inspiring associated to a half baked idea and i flesh it out. Depending on how innovative it is and how many other artwork ideas are generating my enthusiasm will execrate and in turn so does the process of creation.