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Written by Gerald Jackson
Photos by Marquinn Gibson
Brother williams, you always preached "put your head down and just work" , where did that mantra come from? How has it helped your life?
Alec Response - My brother G. It’s great to be here with you and Q today, and to see what the DFTHDY movement has grown into, is truly amazing. So, for me “put your head down and work” comes from really my parents and grandparents. I come from a family of educated, hard working individuals. I always felt it to be something that helped me understand that if I literally stopped being distracted by all of the FUN FUN FUN around me all the time and focused on developing my skills as it relates to art and my career, that it would prove beneficial, which also helped develop my patience and growth potential. While in college, I maintained a full time job which often pulled 40+ hours WHILE still attending class and maintaining grades. That principle has transcended across my life thoroughly. Everything from changing my Major late in my college career and realizing I now had even more Economic Development and Analysis projects to complete and more principally starting my own custom art brand. Specifically with regards to art, it has helped because a lot of times I wanted to find the best way to see how my art was reaching people and the effect it had on them. A lot of people don’t know that I started by simply drawing some of my favorite celebs and models and posting it to my social media, but in the background I was tracking my progress as well as the responses received (thankful for my technological and statistics background). This has been atleast 3 years in the making on the large scale, but I have been an artist my whole life (24 years). I wanted to continue to show versatility so I taught myself the art of customizing sneakers and other leather goods/clothing. Once my following and supporters started to grow, I realized that I had something on my hands.
Do you have to plan ahead or be in a specific environment to put out your best work?
Alec Response - Honestly bro, It really depends on the project. Some of the celebrities that I have done work for prefer a more definitive direction, where as my return clients and people that know my work often times will request that I just “freestyle” it. I truly enjoy both sides of it, the freestyle and the specific format, because both present a challenge or puzzle as I would prefer to call it. I like to consider my work very organic, when I’m not being contracted by someone sometimes I will start with a plan or sometimes I grab the first medium (paint, graphics, graphite, etc) in front of me and get to work. That helps me keep my versatility as an artist and also make sure I don’t get stuck in one area of the craft.
What has been your biggest muse these past couple of years ? What motivates you to stay as tight as a coiled fence.
Alec Response - My largest source of inspiration these past couple of years has been realizing that my art was touching people outside of the confines of my peers and that this gift is not man made but given to me by God and I would be less of a man to act like “I got it on my own”. Some people are inspired by all those that didn’t believe in you, but I personally wouldn’t like to give them that much credit but rather use that as a catapulting force. Being the best man that I could and fully giving the glory to God while utilizing my talents that He has blessed me with has inspired me most. Of course my family as well, because I realize that I am a representation of them and growing up I always wanted to make them proud and then finally my brothers/peers, without that day to day interaction I would say that I would be lacking the very substance that makes up Hungerbrandart, the people who are touched by my art. That required a large amount of discipline along with pursuing a degree so that is exactly what I gave it. Discipline.
As spiritual people we believe that the long term development of the mind, body, and spirit is essential to the soul. What are a few of your successful habits to defeat the day?
Alec Response - I am huge on organization. I feel like you are more probable to miss an important element of whatever it is you are trying to do if you don’t have a good, clear plan. This is something that goes for anything I am doing. I am big on prayer as well. I continue everyday to build, strengthen, and fortify my relationship with the Lord in order to better serve those in my community and be a better humanitarian. I’m a big thinker too and I think that’s where a lot of my drawings come from. Sometimes I will literally grab my pencil and sketchbook sit down and just start making lines on the paper. Contingent upon how they (the lines) are feeling to me, I shape them into whatever it is I am working on. Whether it be a beautiful woman or a luxury automobile. Another thing that works well for me, exercise. I have more recently become engulfed in power lifting and strength/variation training but when I first started even running thirty minutes would truly help clear my mind and sometimes even help the direction of the piece I was working on at that time.
Moving on to your brand, what does HungerBrand mean to you?
Alec Response - HungerbrandArt actually started as ‘The Hunger 4 More”. The brand came from my hope that people could see beyond what is traditionally seen as cool and allow their own inner ambitions to drive them to achieve more than just what they are studying in school, more than just their jobs, more than just what was going on right in front of them. I built Hungerbrand with the idea to build a group of thinkers and intellectuals. I wanted to take “just being able to draw” and make it an inclusive experience for anyone interested in owning a piece of original art. I wanted to be able to create exactly what a person wanted and make it feel as though it had been personalized to their request, like they literally printed an idea out of their head. It is my belief that as an artist and a student of life, you can never reach your maximum knowledge potential. I plan on taking this movement farther than art. I want it to transcend into financial literacy training, increased diversity in the technological field and professional world, and wherever else God leads me with it. I want to make having good grades and “being a nerd” as some would consider cool again and show that there is nothing wrong with focusing on something that everyone might not understand right away as long as you have the faith to Follow God’s path and realize that everything that happens is due to his will and not ours, you WILL succeed. I stand on that.
Everybody occasionally has a theme song for their day, what could the fans of your work find you listening to?
Alec Response - Man, uhhh. Curren$y-AD4. But in also honesty It really depends on how Im feeling. I like to keep the trap music in rotation most definitely just because of the Hunger and ambition that a lot of those artists communicate to their listeners, it often helps me when I’m knocking out multiple custom art orders at once or trying to go up in weight at the gym. I been bumping Bankroll Fresh as of recent (RIP, one of the greats gone too soon) but you can almost ALWAYS find me listening to one of Curren$y’s projects and the entire JetLife movement. I have been a big fan of his since high school. I really enjoy the message that he communicates. I think that seeing how he took an independent path after being signed to some of the largest record labels in the game and then to branch off and build his own movement while maintaining the same respect and growing the music truly shows testament that if you focus and almost become engulfed in your craft, you can take yourself higher than you’ve ever thought. It will be rough, but you can do it, As cliché as that sounds. I like artists like that. I can appreciate the realness but also the facts that come with it. Mac Miller, Kanye, Chip the rip, Chance the Rapper, Herb, Bibby, and the list goes on. I’m very eclectic in what I listen to, you might even find some rock music while I’m lifting.
Being one of my closest brothers, I cant even guess what is next for you as a result of being so creative. What can your fans look forward to?
Alec Response - The supporters of my art and movement as a whole can continue to look forward to nothing but originally inspired pieces. I will continue to push the envelope and like to leave a certain element of surprise in terms of specifics.. For those that have been with me since the beginning such as yourself and the team at DFTHDY I couldn’t be more appreciative and there will be plenty of give aways this year to accommodate said loyalty. All I ask is that the Hungerbrand Supporters continue to walk with me. Thank you in advance and continue to be great. Blessings.
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Alec Williams Hunger Brand Art TM AlecWilliams4u@gmail.com #HungerBrandArt