17 Nations: Meet Lebaron Murray

17 Nations is Pick It Up LA's latest Pop-Up Exhibition that creatively explores the beautiful spectrum of masculinity through visual and literary arts.

Lebaron's work will be displayed July 13th. Read our conversation below and get your tickets here.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is it about art that you are drawn to? I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, saw my older cousin doing it and picked it up after him and never let it go. It has always been my outlet to really express myself. I live for being able to keep expanding on my knowledge of the craft and trying to new things, and inspire others to do the same through my love for the arts and love for the people. Art builds great character and in some cases helps being courage.

What is the last song you listened to?

My friend Rex B. on SoundCloud. He sent me a track he made that’s unreleased but it’s banger for sure. I actually cussed him out the other day for it being private because I want to repost it but I appreciate being THAT friend [laughs] that gets to hear all the bangers before they get put out.

Name 3 things you can't leave home without?

Can’t leave the crib without my phone, my sketchbooks and my Switch.

"I know I’ve been blessed with some talent but I would chalk it up to drive and hard work..."

How do you combat creative blocks?

Usually, I just force it out to be honest. My blocks are usually due to something I can’t control. Once I put on some good music and have a good smoke it usually puts me at ease and I can think freely and creatively again.

Who or what are some of your biggest influences?

Some of my biggest influences include Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee, Will Smith, The Rock, Martin Lawrence, Akira Toriyama, Shigeru Miyamoto, Pharrell, Lebron James, Keiji Inafune, Old Kanye [laughs], Drake, Jamie Foxx, Soulection, Sango, Kaytranada, Lakim, my friends in their respective fields of passion, just way too many. I’m like a sponge.

What impact do you hope to have on the world?

I just want to be able to inspire people to believe in themselves. People love to tell me I’m talented and even though I know I’ve been blessed with some talent, I would chalk it up to drive and hard work. Everything I’ve ever done art-wise, I’ve sought out to do. If I wanted to learn how to paint portraits, I did the research. If I wanted to learn how to paint denim, I watched videos. If someone asked me if I could do wedding art for chalkboards, at one point in time I didn’t know I could until I tried it out. Basically what I’m getting at is that everything I’ve done, I’ve done because I wanted to and through passion, and I hope by me explaining to folks that it comes from within, they too will want to take that journey and unlock the artist within them because they’d never know they could do it unless they tried. I also hope to bring a level of nostalgia to my art so people never forget why they fell in love with these larger than life characters no matter how old we get.

Come see Lebaron's work in person at 17 Nations Exhibit July 13th. Get your tickets now. Keep up with his latest work here.

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