From Pablo Picasso to Frank Morrison to Ernie Barnes with his most famous painting Sugar Shack, artists have a knack for making their work an aesthetic success.
Our entire civilization was founded on art. Art is everywhere; from a head full of braids that are intertwined into a design, the shape and structure of a building or something as simple as candid images of ourselves. Understanding these concepts, a young man in Compton, California, began drawing and tracing images in coloring books. He had no idea at such a young age that the simple childhood pleasure would become his daily life and career.
An artist was born and his name was Riskie. Never abandoning his desire to be artistic, Riskie left the coloring books behind* and became a graffiti writer, more commonly known as a tagger. It was Ms. Marta Farris, Riskie’s high school art teacher, who encouraged Riskie to take his art more seriously. In time, she helped him study his craft to become more detailed so that his street approach to art could be viewed as fine art. Riskie decided to take his talents to the mall, where he opened up a booth and began airbrushing designs for customers in the mall. The success rate was overwhelming and Riskie knew his dedication to his craft had finally paid off.
His dedication even caught the attention of Death Row CEO and rap mogul, Suge Knight, who introduced him to Tupac Shakur. Riskie’s first project for Death Row was the insert for the Tupac’s All Eyez On Me album. Based on the quality of his first assignment, Riskie was commissioned again to complete the album cover for one of the most illest and influential albums in hip-hop; Tupac’s Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory. Tupac informed Riskie of his vision for the album cover. Once Riskie had the idea sealed in his mind, he set out to create one of the most talked about album covers in the history of hip-hop. Though Tupac never received the opportunity to see the outcome of the new album due to his untimely death, he was able to witness Riskie’s finished product for the album cover. Needless to say, he loved it! Other members of Death Row began to embrace Riskie as well.
He did several album covers for the label to include Death Row’s Greatest Hits and Death Row’s Christmas Album, album covers and inserts for Snoop on the Snoop Doggy Dog's Tha Doggfather album, Daz Dillinger’s Retaliation, Revenge and Get Back, and Nate Dogg’s G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 &; 2.
Not limiting himself to airbrushing and album covers, Riskie is versed in painting everything from canvas pictures to murals, customizing articles of clothing, shoes, skatedecks, and the list could go on forever. Riskie works with everyone from the celebrity A-list to the everyday people just trying to survive. He is a father, artist, mentor, visionary and creative giant far beyond his years.
* Until he decided to create his own coloring book! The Unauthorized Death Row Records Coloring Book is available NOW right here.