Elmont Graphic Artist Designs His Own Blueprint for Success
By Karl Valere
You may have seen his work, but didn’t yet know his name. Pretty soon, though, it will be difficult to scroll down your timelines without recognizing at least one of this Elmont alum’s popular graphic art projects.
An Elmont Memorial High School Class of 2012 graduate, Oswald C. Wallace III, or “Ozzy” as he is typically called, began drawing at an early age and cultivated this skill through self-determination and with support from his parents.
Today, Ozzy is taking the professional graphic art industry by storm, especially in the Hip Hop market where his work ethic has earned him collaborations with acclaimed artists such as the Migos, 21 Savage, Juelz Santana, Fetty Wap, Remy Ma and Gucci Mane to name a very select few.
“I hate sleeping because I have nightmares of dreams I haven’t achieved yet,” Ozzy writes on his website.
We got a chance to catch up with the creatively restless and virtually relentless Ozzy in order to ask him a few questions. Please enjoy the interview:
Name: Oswald C. Wallace III
Year Graduated: 2012
Schools Attended: Alden Terrace Elementary, Elmont Memorial High School, and one semester at Five Towns College
What are you up to these days?
Right now, I currently live in Orlando, Florida designing the blueprints to expanding my business with my business partner and girlfriend, Hughlanda Bennett. While doing that, I am also networking with many upcoming and mainstream artists who are in the music industry.
Did you ever think you would someday launch your own business? What did it take for you to reach this point?
Well, I do have my own business already. What I would like to do is expand that business by opening a store in Elmont or the New York City area to help bring jobs and new opportunities into the community.
To reach this point I’ve had to be dedicated and consistent with myself; every day I push myself to the limit. To add to that I have a strong support team, from family to friends, to the community a lot of people help motivate me to keep on striving.
Back in Elmont Memorial High School, were you passionate about art? Were there any teachers who supported you, or did you mostly do your own thing?
High school for me was a time to try to find out who you are as an individual. With that being said, I did have a passion for art for parts of high school, but I also found a love for music, photography, and videography.
When did you first begin this craft? Talk briefly about your journey to reach where you are now.
If you ask my mom, I’ve been drawing since birth. She tells the story that at the age of 3 years old, I drew Bugs Bunny and she knew exactly who it was when I drew it. As I grew older, my parents saw my potential and enrolled me into an animation/design class at Hofstra University on Saturdays.
After that experience, I spent the next few years learning and perfecting my craft, to then developing my own unique style that you see today.
Describe a typical day for you as a graphic artist:
No day is typical; my rule of thumb like any other business would be that the clients come first. Therefore, once I wake up I am responding to several text messages, emails, Direct Messages, etc., to make sure everyone is happy and satisfied with their work.
Your favorite thing about Elmont:
I don’t have a specific thing I like more or less about Elmont entirely, however, I do appreciate and admire the love and support I receive daily from everyone.
How would you describe your graphic design style? Is it safe to say that you’re inspired by cartoons & video games? What else inspires you creatively?
My style is heavily influenced by today’s Hip-Hop and Pop culture. It’s consist of today’s latest fashions trends and styles.
One thing people would be surprised to learn about you:
One thing people would be surprised to learn is that I spend endless days and nights working on my craft. Monday through Sunday I work on what’s asked of me as an artist.
What role does social media play in your graphic design business? How, if at all, does it help or work against you?
Social media is a vital part of my business, it’s what keeps my business thriving and how I can reach out to people all over the world. Through social media, I’ve reached out to celebrities and completed artwork for them, as well as done artwork for clients in Canada, Alaska, the Caribbean, etc.
Name one milestone you are most proud of today.
I am most proud of myself for being able to move to Florida and come as far as I have through graphic art. It’s truly a blessing to know you can wake up and do what you love to do. I do not regret any steps I have taken to get this far and I will keep on striving to make my support team proud.
Tell us what’s next for you:
Like I said before, I would like to open a building in Elmont or the New York City area where you can come in a sit with an artist of your choice and get professional graphic art done.
Best advice you’ve received or would give:
One advice I would give would be to never give up. Find something you love to do, something where you can perfect that craft or hobby and invest as much time in it as possible to then make people want to see you do that as a career. In the end, it’s doing what makes you happy.
Blessings and thanks to Oswald Wallace III for granting us this interview! Don’t blink — or else you’ll miss what “Ozzy” has got next up his sleeve.
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