An Interview With Artist PeQue Brown


By Staff

Why did you become an artist?

I had to become an artist. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for art. Yet at 16, my father told me art was not a “real job”. In response to that I joined the  Navy and became a medic. Six years into that journey, I had a life-defining moment when Jose, a colleague, asked, “What’s your passion?” He specifically meant in the medical service field. By that time, my dad’s words had stamped out any dreams I had of becoming an artist and the concept of having passion for work was foreign. Meanwhile, I was a pretty good medical assistant but didn’t like the work at all. Jose’s question and encouragement for me to find my passion brought me to a point of introspection that helped me to remember my original love for art. Thus, I began a long arduous process of convincing the United States Navy that I was more valuable to my country serving as an artist than as a medical serviceman. After months of research, compiling a portfolio, and filling out a plethora of explanations for a review board, I was chosen as 1 of only 12 applicants selected out of a field of over 200 occupationally undesignated sailors to become Illustrator/Draftsman. In short, I became an artist because I was destined to do so.

What inspires your artwork?

Many things inspire me to create art. Yet, love is the motivation behind everything I do. Like everyone, I love to see beautiful things. So I create them. But more than that, I have a great love for the overlooked, unsuspecting and nuanced; love for the outcast and ridiculed; and a deep love for hidden beauty in things that have been deemed ugly by society. While I am prone to create things that provoke thought and evoke conversation, I love most to see positive paradigm shifts as a result of my creations.

At what point did you realize that you had the talent to create professionally?

As much as I’ve always enjoyed creating art, it was years after I began working as a professional artist that I realized I actually had talent to create professionally. In spite of my successes as an artist, sometimes imposter syndrome would convinced me that I wasn’t good enough. However, as an instructor, teaching aspiring artists, it became obvious to me that my talent to create was genuine.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be an artist professionally?

For those looking to become a professional artist, first and foremost, my encouragement to you is to create. Make things, draw things, paint things and most of all explore things. Art is subjective. Everyone won’t like everything you do. Some may not like anything you do. Yet, the fact that it’s in your mind to create gives reason enough to do so. If you truly desire to be a professional artist, keep creating until you find your voice as a creative. As you hone and perfect your craft, your audience will hear your voice and beat a path to your door. There you’ll find a sense of accomplishment and ultimately experience fulfillment.

Tell us about your favorite creation and why is it your favorite.

Asking for me to choose my favorite creation is tantamount to asking me as a parent about my favorite child. Each piece is special to me for a variety of reasons. On any given day, I am in love with one painting and frustrated with another. On a different day, I’ll point to the same two pieces with opposite sentiments than the day before. Consequently, today my favorite piece is a painting of the musical genius, Stevie Wonder, entitled “As”. It is my favorite now for several reasons: One, Stevie’s music has been the sound track to so many of the episodes of my life for as long as I can remember. Two, I chose to paint him as he appeared in five eras of his illustrious career; a couple of them hidden. Finally, this painting includes every album made by Stevie Wonder over his 61 years in the music industry. It took decades for me to shape the concept of this piece. But once I saw it in my mind’s eye, creating it on canvas was a breeze.


Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?

In the next five years, my desire is to broaden my reach; to have worldwide exposure and to inspire generations.

I’ll continue to utilize my platform as an artist to uplift my people. When I was a teenager, I didn’t have a mentor and didn’t know that I could be an artist. Equally, I didn’t know anyone who enjoyed what they did for a living. Most of the adults in my community seemed to have little time to invest in the success of my peers and I. As an accomplished artist, I have noticed similar trends in our communities today. Through mentorship classes, and workshops, I have made it my life’s mission to find ways to inspire youth and young adults in ways that can bring forth positive change.

Complete a coffee table book series currently in progress along with an illustrated biography.

Continue educating through documentaries, podcasts, live performances, community outreach and mural projects.

Develop mentorship book series utilizing Art as a vehicle.

Social Media handles:
IG PeQue Brown
FB: PeQue Brown
LinkedIn (inactive): PeQue Brown
Tik Tok: pequeartist
Twitter: liquidpq (inactive)

About PeQue

Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, PeQue developed his eye and honed skills for visual art while traveling the world for military service, teaching in the church as an associate pastor, and serving as a community activist in cities throughout the United States of America. He has borrowed from these varied experiences to create art in a variety of disciplines, genres, and styles. Whether painting vibrant murals to beautify urban blight, creating collage portraits of iconic legends, or illustrating scenes on canvas of everyday life, PeQue utilizes color, craft, and technique to inspire hope and promote unity everywhere he goes. To assist the underserved and support the disenchanted, he founded LIQUID, an all arts collective aimed at creating platforms to encourage and mentor people through the performing and visual arts.

Notably, PeQue was the featured artist on a commercial for now Vice President Kamala Harris during the 2020 campaign. He has also appeared on WEtv’s “I Do Again” reality series featuring Diann Valentine. PeQue’s portfolio includes art created for several corporations and entities such as Nike, Nordstrom, HBO, LAUSD, the Cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Compton, California. He is currently working with programs throughout the country to help beautify and revitalize schools via community mural projects.

PeQue has established and maintains Studios and Galleries in both Southern California and the Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia Area.