Mshindo Kuumba I. is mostly well known for his enduring attention to detail and the “Afro-centric” look to his work. “Africa being so instrumental in civilizing the world, I found it peculiar that a strong positive image of Africans is largely absent from contemporary media. Since my youth I wanted to build a career addressing this discrepancy.”
Born in 1964, Mshindo, largely a self developed talent, moved through his early years developing each aspect of his art one skill at a time. “I was fascinated by art that looked realistic and photo realism.” Studying one aspect of the process at a time allowed Mshindo to develop strong foundation skills that would become the hallmark of “The Mshindo I. look”.
Moving from pencil techniques to ink, color pencil and airbrush in that fashion allowed for lengthy study with each technique. Some of the early influences were: his Father, older brother, Mike Bonum (the after school teacher who he did his first painting with), Frank Frazetta, Amsel, Keith Pollard, Neal Adams and many others whose names were not known… just the fantastic lessons in their work.
After high school and a three year infantry medic stint, Mshindo ventured out into the world as a freelance artist selling tee shirts with a newly acquired airbrush at a flee market while living on Oahu Hawaii. It is here he met a Rastafarian named Bongo I Fareed who would change his entire life! He was the true African influence that not only taught Mshindo to be an entrepreneur, he lead him to the waters of African culture which Mshindo drank freely from. He stressed the need for self knowledge, self education and the truth of the Africans place in the world historic view.
Returning to the states in 1985 Mshindo continued to vend and grow a reputation for being a “true artist.” He began to attract clients like The Salvation Army, The NYC Fire and Police Dept., McDonalds, and the V.I.M. store chain. Celebrities and educators were also apart of this long list such as: Bobby Brown, Vertical Hold (including Angie Stone), Arrow, Mathew St. Patrick, John Henrik Clarke, Leonard Jefferies, Queen Afua and Baba Heru. Mshindo’s talents were also noticed by comic companies like; A & B, Ania, Brainstorm, Continuity, Defiant, Valiant, Broadway, Crusade, Kevlar, Amara and DC comics.
Currently Mshindo is honing his digital skills to complete yet another learning cycle in his over 20yr. experience. He is working on self publishing and reproductions of his astonishing work. Please visit www.mshindoiart.com to see more work from this bright star of the artistic universe.