Kevin: You have a wealth of diverse talent. As an artist, you challenge yourself in different ways. What's the inspiration behind your artistic expression?

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Face: My inspiration is my family. From top to bottom. My father used to inspire and challenge me to do everything right the first time. My mother was extremely supportive and encouraging. My oldest sisiter was my biggest fan, and her enthusiasm kept me moving. My other sister kept me going with words of wisdom. But above all, my WIFE is the reason I do what I do. She is my toughest critic, and challenges me to not only create something unique, but make sure that it is relevant and send the right message.



Kevin: Spoken word is a form of oral tradition, how do you feel about it's reemergence in popular culture?


Face: I am excited that it has reemerged and intrigued to see where it goes. I know I started writing poetry at a young age, but left it behind to explore the rap culture. My foundation in poetry enhanced by my rap skills; but I got tired of the commercialism of rap and how no one was talking about anything anymore, and I went back to my roots. I enjoy the freedom that spoken word gives an artist; with spoken word, you are not confined to a specific beat pattern or duration of music. You are free to go as far "left" as you feel, and that feels good. 


Kevin: Can you name a few of your favorite poets?


Face: I admire poets like Prentiss Powell, Black Ice and Shihan for lighting the fire and leading the charge to put spoken word back on the map. But my biggest poetic influences came from my own circle of poets back in San Antonio, Texas. I started a "poetic crew" known as the Bulletproof Caterpillars. Six poets who believed that there should be no form or fashion when it comes to poetry. You just say what you feel. The members included: myself, Rooster, Rayner Shyne, Paul Wilkerson, Keith Mitchell and Saint. Those dudes drove me to create some of my most off the wall poems...AKA "Butt Naked With A Headband."


Kevin: You have left a legacy with Soul Sophistication that is continuing to carry on and grow. What was your intent with staring this venue?


Face: Back in San Antonio, my crew attended every poetry spot in the city, it was like clockwork. Poetry spots like 2nd Verse and Soul Sessions. Upon moving to Ramstein, I wanted to see if they had anything like these events. The only event anyone knew of were Dizzy's Def Poetry which only happened when she was here to host the Apollo, and another "open mic" night that took place in Spang, and that was every quarter or so. For a poet who was used to going to poetry events every week, this was a nightmare for me. I wanted to create an adult atmosphere where the talented individuals in the KMC could come out and share their art form on a more consistent basis.


Kevin: Your stage presence exudes a heartfelt and genuine delivery. Where do you draw your energy from when performing?


Face: My energy comes from the memory of my oldest sister. I perform wearing baseball gloves in her honor. She played softball like a monster, and one day we were sitting around and I was looking for something to be my signature when I perform, and she suggested batting gloves. Since her death, I refuse to perform with out her. It is like she is sitting in the front row laughing or crying or whatever emotion my poem makes the audience feel. And that is all I need to get by.


Kevin: Mindzeye Photography takes us on a different path. When composing, what are the elements that you are working to share with the viewer?

 

Face: Photography is a new love for me. I love anything artistic, but photography challenges me more than poetry; although I sometimes try to incorporate my poetry into my pictures. I am more into conceptual/artistic photographs. I want my pictures to tell a story. I want there to be some sort of emotion felt. I love being so far left that the picture almost seems wrong, because you get to that point, your audience has to talk about it. And that is a win situation.  


Kevin: You have been instrumental to serving the community through your artistry. What impact do you hope to have with your work?


Face: The only impact I can hope and pray to have is to be an inspiration to someone. I mean there are so many talented individuals in the KMC area, who don't have an avenue to express themselves. I can only pray that I have set the ground work for them to build on. My prayers are starting to show themselves true with all the good things I have heard Iri J. Nelson and Matt Sion are doing. I was so blessed that these two have stepped up and taking the baton and ran with it. I am honored and humbled at the same time.


Kevin: What do you suggest for those who are looking for ways to channel their creativity into a positive outlet for others to share?


Face: I would say to be dedicated and patient. If it is truly your desire, it will come. God works everything out in His timimg. And all you can do is be ready and patient.


Kevin: How can our audience connect with you and your work?


Face: My Facebook page is the best way to holla at me. Search for me in two ways: MrFace Thaprodigalson Lee and Minds Eye Photography.










San Antonio, Tx.

Words offer an endless array of expression. Artists use words and perspectives to motivate, inspire, share experiences and creative energy. Maya Angelou once said, "Some day we will be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get into your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in you." Poetry translates the human experience. The subject of this profile is a true definition of the word "artist", creating a unique vantage point through words and from behind the lens. 

Express Yourself with Face