MONICA DUBOSKIDUBOSKI ART COLLAB CO-FOUNDER AND CONTRIBUTOR
Sheefy McFly has been hard at work. After more than a year of quarantine, lockdowns, and unstable financial times for many artists, Sheefy McFly not only survived, but has carefully and thoughtfully positioned himself in the exact place that every artist hopes to land—in competition with only himself. In other words, on top of the world.
Duboski Art Collab first collaborated with Sheefy in January of 2020 for his very first Los Angeles solo exhibition, “Three Weeks in LA.” About a month and a half later, the entire country was on lockdown. Duboski Art Collab wanted to talk to Sheefy to see how things have changed for him since his first exhibition and what life is like for him now.
These days Sheefy can hardly keep up with demand. This past Memorial Weekend alone he hosted a pop-up shop at Movement Detroit and unveiled an entire roller rink proudly showcasing all the fun and vibrance that Sheefy and his art bring to the people of his hometown of Detroit. And he’s not stopping. Up next he has a collaboration with the NBA Pistons and multiple massive murals.
And yet, Sheefy shares with us that things really took off for him after his Los Angeles exhibition. He told us that his whole life he has been an artist. “It’s the only thing I’ve every wanted to do,” he says. “It’s the reason I breathe, it’s what I’m here for.” His LA exhibition was by no means the beginning of his career. Sheefy has been working hard for years to develop his style, find meaning in his craft, and to bring his art, soul, and vision to as many people as possible. By 2020, Sheefy had already made a name for himself in Detroit and was bona fide star in art music scene.
But after “Three Weeks in LA,” Sheefy says everyone started to take him more seriously. He says the LA exhibition “gave power to my story and showed that I was ready to go to the next level.” He states that it also allowed him to prove, even to himself, that he could make it as a working artist. “I definitely put myself under pressure. I had three weeks to make an entirely new body of work.” More importantly, it demonstrated how much love Detroit had for Sheefy and the intense draw of his art, as the show garnered many Detroit (as well as international) buyers who wanted to make sure they didn’t miss out.
From that point on, Sheefy began dropping monthly online print releases and has consistently sold over a hundred pieces of art a month to buyers all over the world, even during a pandemic. When we asked Sheefy how the lockdown affected his art and method, Sheefy shared, “The pandemic made me really sit with myself, made me realistic with myself, it really made me adapt. No matter what’s going on in the world, I’m going to be an artist. If the world’s about to end, I’m still going to be an artist.”
In many ways, for Sheefy, adapting means setting new (read bigger) goals. He says up next on his agenda is continuing to foster his global presence. When I asked Sheefy to describe his work in one word, “prolific” was quick to his lips. He wants to travel the world and recreate the energy and inspiration he found from the Los Angeles show. He states, “I’m at the point where I’m studying what I want to do and where I want to go. Taking it a day at a time. It’s a blessing and hard work. I don’t let it go to my head. I don’t let my ego take over, I just wake up and paint.”
While traveling is highest priority, he understands that he can’t be in a rush. He is focusing on completing work in Detroit and New York through the end of the summer and narrowing in on what exactly he wants to accomplish. He says, “I’m constantly evolving. I’m always looking for the next question, I’m always hungry for knowledge and inspiration and collaboration amid being of an artist. I’ve always been an artist, but you’ve got to prove it to the world. I feel like I’ve done that but now I got to find the next step.”
Through it all Sheefy has kept his unwavering cool and serenity. When I asked him how he maintained his joy and creative energy through lockdown and increased pressure and demand, he tells me that he always finds time for himself to reflect on what matters. He states, “I don’t want [art] to become my nine to five. It is my job, but I want to make it as fun as I can.” He also shares that meditation is the best way to keep him in balance. He tells me, “When I’m feeling down or some kind of negative energy, you’ve got to sit down and learn how to unravel things for yourself, sitting in silence or meditation. I make sure I keep that energy in my work, it’s not just about meeting deadlines.” He says, “Having that good feeling--I never want to lose that feeling in my art.”
Gallery photo's taken by DAC