The Artist as Entrepreneur
Since becoming a full-time artist in 1995, after graduating from Grambling State University, Cbabi has stayed true to himself by creating what he enjoys.
His name, which is an acronym for Creative Black Artist Battling Ignorance and Blessed African Youth of Creativity, allows others to realize his mission and blessing in life. Through his artwork, he is able to show his passion for both music and human expression.
After working as a caricature artist at Six Flags Over St. Louis, in 1997, Cbabi pursued a career as an illustrator. His first big client was Rap Pages magazine. During the entire year of 1998 he was given the RPM section on a monthly basis to display a caricature of the feature artist. Because of that job, he was approached by Violator Management to do the cover of the Violator Compilation, Vol.1 album (people still remember the cover to this day).
Over the years, Cbabi has had the pleasure of working with many more famous and not-so-famous folk. All are equally appreciated. Some clientele include Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, New Line Cinema, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MCA Records, and singer, songwriter Prince.
Born in New Jersey, Cbabi has lived in Louisiana, Illinois, and Korea before making his home in St. Louis with his wife, Reine and children, Jurni Moon and Ajani Day.
The following is an interview with Cbabi conducted by Allison Levin, UM-St. Louis, in July 2004.
Q. Have you always worked in your current profession?
A. This has been my gig since graduating from college in '95. The only jobs I've had during that period included being a caricature artist at Six Flags in '97, working at a gallery in Union Station for a few months, and working at Artmart for a few months.
Q. As a teenager and young adult, did you ever doubt that you would be able to make a living in your chosen profession?
You may visit Cbabi's on-line gallery at bayocstudio.com.
copyright 2004, Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis