Hi, My name is Jamil Austin. I’ve been living in Long Beach for 7 years. I started drawing at the age of 11 and ever since then art has been in my life no matter what other activities I was into as a child. I wanted to further my art career after I noticed football wasn’t going to work out for me so I majored in Art at Grambling State University. I had a vision after college that I would start my own shoe customizing business since I was a shoe fanatic. I had an interest of standing out so I would paint my sneakers to look different.
As soon as I landed home I started my custom apparel company. I paint on denim jackets, canvas material, leather shoes, canvas shoes, t-shirts, purses, almost anything wearable. I had big named artist who I followed on instagram that caught my inspiration, so I mimicked their every move or strategy. I would sometimes beg to get a shout out by a paint company everyone used because I put my all in my work but they never reached back.
Years later I continued the to stay consistent and hungry and the same paint company (angelus direct) reposted lots of my work and even invited me to their warehouse to start doing “how to” videos for them. My life changed after that. My work was everywhere. My “how to” videos were going viral, I was going viral all 2018/2019! After that I continued to stay true to myself. Now I have artists looking up to me asking me how did I get in the position I was in. All I can say to them is to stay hungry, have inspiration and never give up! The beginning of 2020 my life drastically changes. I get an invite to do MTV Sneaker Wars! I would’ve never thought in a million years I’d be in the position I am. I do the show in front of millions of viewers and did great!
Months later after the show I’m guessing what’s next? More opportunities happened months later this year with Nesquik. They wanted me to paint 7 shoes that they were giving away for National Chocolate Milk day! I was shocked they picked me out of millions of artists like me. It was just pure luck and took the opportunity. I would love to do something for my community. I live right by the Arts Expo Center and they denied my entry multiple times just because I mostly use sneakers as my canvas as I saw many other artists using other canvas materials. I took that bad energy and fueled it to be the best Artist I could and was glad it happened because other things fell in my lap. I see these beautiful power boxes everyday and it would be my dream to paint on one.