Ceasar Westbrook, “C-West,” is a Pennsylvania-based artist. As you’ll see, each of his paintings is extremely unique and interesting, but they all have the C-West style to them. They pull you in. I recently had a chance to speak with Westbrook about his work, his motivations, and his brand. During our conversation, I could immediately tell that there were two things that made Westbrook a perfect UpByFive spotlight: first, he’s a talented entrepreneur who knows how to market his art and second, the passion for his work goes beyond the canvas – he’s dedicated to his customers and his community.
Interview as told to and edited by Maggie Tarasovitch.
1. Tell us about your art.
I am a self-taught, full time artist specializing in realism and abstract painting. One thing that sets me apart from a lot of artists is that none of my pieces are the same style or created the same way. Every time I do a piece, I try to do it differently – I don’t want them to look similar. Some artists find their niche, their style, and stay with it – and that’s fine. But, I don’t just sit in one kind of style – I like to mix it up. It helps me in the long run.
If someone asks me for something, there’s nothing I can’t do. I’ve already tried it and tested it out.
Watch a 60-second time lapse of C-West creating one of his latest pieces. (Volume up!) To see the finished product, click here.
2. What sets apart your work? How do you promote it?
I usually touch on social issues and voice my opinion through my work, which I find speaks to my customer. [These topics] are so universal and touch people on so many different levels. Sometimes customers even ask for it. I usually focus on whatever is current. Whether it be political, sports, tragedies, etc.
I did one piece that focused on social media. That’s one of my favorites because the message is so true.
It’s not just a painting – there’s more behind it.
3. What about your art and your brand motivates you to keep pushing?
What drives me is the ability to take a blank canvas or surface and bring it to life with an inspiring image or painting –being able to connect with people through a certain piece and inspire them.
For example, I recently finished a piece for a high school basketball player who I had known since he was probably seven or eight. Time flies by – he just graduated high school. Basketball was always his getaway and this year his high school team won the district championship. I had already known that he wanted me to make a piece for him, but when I came across a picture [that was taken after the team won], I thought, “Wow. That’s a great picture. It tells so much – him accomplishing something, surrounded by his friends, basking in the moment.” I wanted to make him something he could have for the rest of his life.
4. What setbacks have you encountered so far?
I recently lost my studio space where I would create and do my paintings. But [the situation] made me improvise and really push hard to get back on my feet.
5. What advice would you give someone who is anxious to start a company on their own?
I would tell them to just go for it and don’t think about it to much. Don’t be afraid to fail or take risks because that’s usually the thing that will trigger success.
6. Are you UpByFive?
Yes – most days!
Find Westbrook on Instagram @C_West100
Shop his collection at cwestcollections.storenvy.com