Today we’d like to introduce you to Charvis Harrell.

Charvis, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

I always doodled and made drawings but in 2004, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and I lost my career and direction in life and after many years of alcoholism and depression, I began to make art my focus to give myself purpose. I made art in isolation as a tool to explain things to my son and to slowly fill the void that I had inside of me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

My art is more expressions than decor, and people found it difficult to deal with the things I wanted to express, which was an identity of Blackness that was the direct opposite of what has been marketed towards and as Black. I have had work censored and until a few years ago, I was only showing art at The Douglas Theatre, I once left some flyers for my show at a local gallery, I returned to the gallery a few days later to see all of my flyers had been placed in the trash in a neat stack just like I placed them on the counter. I felt that the things I was expressing were important enough that I continued to make art, regardless if anyone would allow me to show it.