When and how did you become passionate about painting?
LA: I was always passionate about painting. Both of my parents are crafty – my mom builds stuff and my dad was always sketching or making next level paper airplanes. In school, I did one project on how spray paint affected the environment and another on the therapeutic effects of art on your mental.
What led to your interest in body painting?
An artist I follow on Instagram was doing body paintings and I thought it was cool, but my friend Troy is the one who kind of got me into actually doing it. I paint women to free them, to help them embrace the body that was uniquely made just for them.
“I’m TRIPLE tasking right now! Talking to two people, interviewing, and painting with two hands!”
Did you go to school in North Carolina?
LA: Yes, Hertford County High School in Ahoskie, North Carolina – which is named after a Native American Chief. There’s a lot of Native American presence here in North Carolina.
How did you come up with your name “Son Of Simba”? What does that mean?
LA: My name, LA, is a Polynesian word that means sun. I love The Lion King because there are so many life lessons and Simba means “lion” in Swahili – I wanted to touch base with my African heritage. They call God “the lion of Judah” and when you put that together, you have “Son of a Lion.”
We noticed on your Instagram that you’ve met quite a few celebrities. Can you tell people who’ve met and what was your most memorable experience?
LA: It was an honor to meet every individual that I’ve met so far and they each have their own story. I’ve met David Banner, Terrance J, Bryson Tiller, and The Internet. I’ve met a lot of dope people, but Phylicia Rashad! I felt like I was meeting a unicorn!
Is there any particular piece of your work that means the most to you and why?
LA: That’s a tough one. I have this piece that’s hanging up at the shop I work at and it’s an abstract piece that means me.
To see more of his work, follow LA on Instagram at @SonOfSimba