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Hello, I am Dontae Brown!

Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?

I come from the city of Montreal based in Quebec in Canada. I am a graduating graphic and web design student at Vanier College. I want to gain a hands on experience in the graphic and web design world because from day one, one of my main interest is art and the thing I always love to do from then until now is expressing myself through my art and let my message be shown with little bit of words said. I have been always creative in the way that I do things and I am looking to express my creativity in taking Street Art Amsterdam’s branding to a different level and help the museum to expand.

Can you tell something about the place where you come from?

Montreal is a nice small city that is mostly known for its multiculturalism and bilingualism with both core languages being English and French. The city is always full of hard working people, go-getters and talent that the world don’t know about but with the right exposure, the city can take off and be up to par with Toronto where talent is concerned.

What is your favourite activity/ the things you like to do during your free time?

The thing I always love to do is make music. From when I was a child, my three main interest was art, writing and music. Not only I am a graphic designer, I am also a music producer and DJ that always create captivating artwork through sound. I mostly make instrumentals of different genres such as Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Dancehall and more. I always try to be experimental in my production and create unique sounds to stand out. Another thing I also do is make DJ mixes, remixes and mashups of songs by Montreal artists to help push the underground Montreal music scene to a wider audience.

What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw-West?

Well to be honest, I have never really travelled outside of Canada but I have seen videos of Amsterdam and from what I have seen, it’s a nice looking city. Really captivating and I have heard people say good things about the city. It’s so interesting that I have the chance to expand my graphic design skills outside of Canada and be of a big help to those all over the world rather than just only being a help to those in my city.

What is your relationship to street art? Art in general?

Art was always one of my main passions. I got started with art from the time that I always used to color in coloring books. I also used to sketch my imaginations down in sketchbooks as a child and it used to be so many sketchbooks I used to sketch in. As time went on, I always used to do sketches and now, my favorite form of art is digital art where I love making illustrations and graphic designs. My favorite form of digital art was graphic design. When I was putting out music, I would always make cover art and I would let my imagination run wild where that was concerned. Even though what I was doing was good, I felt that my graphic design skills so as a result, my love for music made me end up taking a college course in graphic design to not only help me get better with my graphic design skills but to help me get better with my branding skills because branding is perception and a good graphic design that is simple to understand plays a big part in that. In general, I’m always passionate about expressing myself artistically because whether it be me writing, making music or making designs, all of those hobbies fall under art because they’re all artistic expression and for a long time, I have been able to express how I feel smoothly and creatively through these different forms of art.

From I was a child, I was a fan of Hip Hop music and culture and the aspects I loved about it was the four elements being graffiti, rapping, breakdancing and DJing. One aspect that always stood out was the graffiti. I like the concept of expressing yourself in a raw way through letting the public know how the people feel so that it catches people attention in such a way that it’s hard to turn away from it. The public have no choice but to observe. It’s good to know that there was so many street artists that was risking to sacrifice everything and risk getting arrested to express their emotions and the emotions of the people that was struggling through colorful street art on public property and train cars that would carry the message of the artists from coast to coast.

One of the movies that I have seen that blown me away where the power of street art is concerned is the 1983 Hip Hop movie Wild Style featuring street artists Lee Quinones, Fab 5 Freddy and DJ Grandmaster Flash. The movie really captured the essence of Hip Hop culture and exposed it to a wide audience outside of the Bronx in New York who wasn’t familiar with the culture that was taking the streets by storm. It’s so good to see that an art form that originated from the early 1970s that was seen as vandalism is now in high demand, officially have an outlet and is preserved so that people never forget the roots. It’s amazing to see how far Hip Hop culture came.

What are your responsibilities at SAMA?

I will contribute to the brand being clearly understood to people coming across SAMA by helping to design the website to make sure the street art museum has a good reflection given off. I am going to be responsible for the redesign or the SAMA website.

Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?

An artist that stands out to me in the SAMA collection is Bastardilla. His design style is captivating to people walking the streets. I like how he visually design people and their experience summed up in a colorful artistic manner. The designs and the concepts are very creative.

What interests you most in the concept of SAMA?

What I like the most about SAMA is that its there as a platform for people to express how they truly feel and is there to encourage street artists to not be afraid to say what’s on there mind. I like how this street art museum is trying hard to preserve Hip Hop culture through graffiti, rebellion and creative self expression.

Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?

One artwork in the SAMA collection that I like the most is the “Perspective” wall painting by Btoy. I like how there’s a smooth variety of colors coming together in unison to highlight the woman’s beauty displayed in the artwork. Everything was put together smoothly to give off a journey type of atmosphere to the people that look at it.

Another artwork I like is the “Fatherhood” painting by Stinkfish. It is wonderful to see the true rich beauty importance of fatherhood highlighted in street art for people to see. The way everything was put together with the style of painting and colors comes together smoothly to bring the message that a father’s guidance is important to any child growing up.

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