Painter and sculptor Damien Mathis is a Fayetteville native and resident, and an avid Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club member. A Marine Corps Combat veteran, Mathis served two tours in Afghanistan with 1/6 Bravo Infantry Battalion before earning a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts from HBCU Fayetteville State University. Mathis recalls drawing as a child even before he learned to write, but only began painting eight years ago, in his early twenties. His art has since been collected and exhibited throughout the U.S., including the Arts Council of Fayetteville, the Harlem Fine Arts Show, Fayetteville State University, A&T, and various communities along the coast.
3 Things you can’t live without & why: The 3 things I can’t live without is ambition, blessings, and lessons. You need all of them to become individually great. They will balance you.
Local artist (any genre, Cumberland County preferred) you admire: Shane Wilson is a good friend who taught me the meaning of a giving friend. He has a welcoming heart open to the world around him. Other artists are Professor Dwight Smith and Professor Soni Martin of Fayetteville State University: they taught me the freedom of the mind with all materials and to always trust the process.
What is one of your current artistic experiments? My current artistic experiments are learning how to mold and shape fiberglass and different resins with different materials.
What changed about your practice in 2020? Will you keep this change? Self management and preventive procrastination changed in my practice in 2020.
Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. I mostly do my creating in various places–maybe in my studio or in the woods somewhere–where everything feels natural. It just at that moment has to have a calming environment as the foundation to start the process.
How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? Usually the next idea just comes from everyday thought in life… sometimes it’s from boredom. I guess it’s just supposed to be created into what it shall be.
Advice to newer artists in your genre. You don’t know everything. You barely even know yourself. Never stop trying to learn or pick someone’s ear. Never know where your interest may take you!!! Creating comes in many forms.