We had the good fortune of connecting with Rich Royal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rich, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up in the inner city of West Los Angeles, gangs, drugs, prostitution and violence was the way of life in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, with all the bad the surrounding the area, it had creative vibe to it. I could feel the story behind of the all graffiti artwork. I was intrigued by all the art morals and graffiti art on the walls.

I joined a gang at the age of 11 years old due to my environment at the time; it was a way of life. I was not the most talkative person, because I seen the people who talked the most got themselves in the most problems. I started looking at the people faces and their expressions. I used to sit on the porch and just draw people around me.

I looked up to a gang member name Derald, he had everything a kid would want; low riders, Camaro, money and women. Most importantly he had respect. He used to pick me up and take me to school. I remember when I was 12 years old, I was sitting on the porch with him and he told me, “Don’t go after what you see, but to go after what you don’t see.” A week later, Derald got murdered. My heart was broken. After that day, I drew my first portrait, and I was only focused on getting everything I wanted out of life.

I always knew my creativity would be apart of my success and my ability to create concepts that intrigued me growing up, by adding an artistic creative urban twist to my artwork, and other business ventures including nightclubs, dispensary, pent house, restaurants, and lounges.

Art allows me to heal from my past but look towards my future. My art tells my story; it helps me to express my feelings striving to be a successful black man in America.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Currently I’m working on a dispensary, art gallery, and lounge concept in Los Angeles, CA. My eye for detail, and ability to think outside of the box with my creative concepts sets me apart from others; I strive to perfect everything that I touch. I’m most excited about my upcoming business ventures, and what the future holds.

The road to get to where I am today has not been an easy feat, I’ve overcome many obstacles, trials, and tribulations. I’ve had friends turn to foes out of hatred, and business deals go bad, I learned that corporate business is more corrupt than what people think. When you’re doing million dollar deals, the game becomes shady; being well educated, and outspoken has been a crucial part of my success.

If I could give one piece of advice to readers, is to always make sure that you have the right people around you, and do your research on business partners. Everyone is not pure hearted, and you have to learn to adapt accordingly. You have to stay on top of what’s yours, no slipping. Protect your work, and your value.

I want the world to know that I’ve seen the world from every angle, and with every stumbling block there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and mostly importantly lessons learned. You shine bright, even in the dark, which is why I use diamonds and glitter in my portraits.

I thank God everyday for seeing me through it all.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Take them to my area where I grew up at to see where Baby boy and Malibus Most Wanted was filmed. Staples center
Whale watching at Rancho Palos Verdes
Roscoes Chicken N’Waffles in Hollywood, CA.
Venice beach to see the culture
Art galleries and museums
Mountain climbing

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout my professor Crystal Stelle from the HBCU Langston University. I left the streets of Los Angeles, CA to Oklahoma City, Ok in 2002, and my mentality was not suited for college at the time. Ms. Stelle helped me to change my way of thinking, and see the world from a different prospective. I ultimately transferred from Langston University, and graduated from University of Central Oklahoma, but she still remained a positive person in my life.

Most importantly I would like to shoutout my daughter, Royal. She is the driving force that pushes me to succeed and to be a better man each day. I know that she is looking up to me, and I strive day in and day out to set a positive example for her, and set the bar for how she should be treated. I want her to chase all of her dreams, and always strive for greatness.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/richroyal3x

Image Credits
I own all images.

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