Fel3000ft Builds His Legacy by Giving His Best Every Time
Over the years the expressive works of Detroit graffiti artist Fel3000ft have left viewers captivated. Bold color palettes and beautiful design coupled with well thought out quotes aid in making his artwork memorable. With an early start as a graffiti artist at the age of eleven, Fel3000ft has been refining his skills and shows no signs of slowing down.
“Rainy Day Robot” design on Artwear Detroit handbag. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
Artists can be the biggest critics of their own work. And while some artists are aware they are super talented , they sometimes become paralyzed by self-doubt and spend endless amounts of time comparing their work to those of other creatives. When this happens, some artists back down from life-changing opportunities because they feel they are not ready or their work isn’t good enough. “Everyone thinks that when I walk up to a wall there’s this epic music playing in the background and the sun is shining bright as birds fly in the right direction,” said Fel3000ft.
A mural by Fel3000ft found on the Dequindre Cut. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
“The reality is that every time I walk up to a wall I’m nervous, hopeful, and just wanting to do my best. I go through my own doubts like everyone else, but I know I have to do it. If I don’t, someone else will step into the shoes of greatness on the heels of whatever I decided to back down from.” He goes on to say “Those that commissioned me for the job obviously believed in me enough to invite me to the game; I might as well play it and see what happens. You have to challenge and push yourself daily and never settle. I don’t walk around thinking I have all this in the bag. Every day I’m like God, I hope I can just get it right.”
THE FUEL TO CREATE
It takes a great deal of mental focus and energy to repeatedly create art that is both timeless and meaningful. Once an artist is commissioned for work they are expected to deliver a finished piece on time in spite of their personal matters or emotional state. Fel3000ft shared what keeps him motivated during times he is low on creative energy. “It’s definitely the people of Detroit that keep me moving. I’ve always said you owe a debt to the people that believe in you. You owe a debt of giving your best and being the most that you could possibly be; because if not, then you tell everyone that they were wrong for supporting and believing in you. I can’t afford to have people put their faith in me just to turn around and slap them in the face with a piece of work that wasn’t 100%.”
You owe a debt of giving your best and being the most that you could possibly be.
(Photo: The Creative Armory)
“I’ve had so many people tell me that my artwork has moved them in a way; that is has helped them get through a tough time with drugs and alcohol or the loss of a loved one. People have thanked me for what I am out here doing and for my contribution to the city,” he says.
Mural on the side of Hopcat restaurant in Detroit. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
While speaking on inspiration, Fel3000ft also noted his inspiration from close friends and fellow artists. “A good friend of mine, Tim Jones, was a big inspiration to me. He was a multi-talented artist who could do anything hip-hop culture wise. We were always trying to outdo one another,” he smirked. “As far as Detroit artist, I love Sydney James, Ellen Rut, Malt, Tead, and a host of others. It would be an injustice to try and name all that inspire me for fear that I would forget someone.”
Juggling family and career life
Although the work of a street artist is fun and exciting, Fel3000ft shared that being a traveling artist comes with sacrifice. While he credits his family for always being supportive of his career, there are times where finding the balance between the two is difficult. “These days it has been the hardest part of my job. There are times when I’m on location for a month and I’m not able to talk to or see my family. Every time that I’m working on a wall I want to do the very best I can, but there is a part of my soul that wants to get the creation process purged from me so that I can go home and see them. I miss my family every time I’m out. I step out the door and I’m counting the seconds until I can go home and see them.” he said.
Previous mural created by Fel3000ft for ‘Murals in the Market’. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
ON HIS LATEST MURAL IN THE MARKET
Most art pieces are created with a deeper meaning behind what meets the eye, and Fel3000ft’s latest piece is no exception. As part of this years Murals in the Market event, he teamed up with fellow street artist Malt to deliver a work of art he considers an emotional labor of love. Fel3000ft explained that the untimely passing of his close friend, Jordan ‘Tead’ Vaughn, acted as a driving force behind the creation.
Fel3000ft working on the details of his recent mural. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
“When you see this piece, know there is emotion behind it. You might see a fox, some birds, and leaves. But know that the people that painted this did it out of severe love for each other as brothers and under extreme grief of a loss of a brother,” he said. “The leaves in the piece represent the beginning of something and how it changes. There is a mortality or shelf-life to us and we’re not guaranteed another second. We need to spend our time loving and fiercely cherishing one another.”
A crowd watches as Fel3000ft nears completion of his work. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
When asked about the next steps in his creative career Fel3000ft stated that he was ready to take up something new. “I was going to take up river dancing,” he said. “No, I’m just kidding. I’m letting that road find itself. God’s got a plan [for me] and whatever his plan is I’ll accept. If he pushes me in either direction I just have to know that I’m that vessel. As people, we interact with each other on a daily basis. How you interact with the next person may change their life in some way or another. Live life as a good person and maybe that will filter into something that speaks to someone else.”
With such a humble attitude and positive spirit, it is not hard to see why Fel3000ft is a legend of his time.
Fel3000ft putting the finishing touches on his latest creation. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
What are your favorite works by Fel3000ft? Tell us in the comments!