It’s somewhat of an understatement to say that this HBCU graduate’s future roadmap on his art collections is one of the most encouraging in the history of the art industry. I’m a big fan, and I think this is like our 5th interview on HBCU Buzz. Even with Valentine’s Day now being over, Central State University alumni Christian Drye promises more than ever before. It’s up to his supporters to pick up the ball and run with his hopes and dreams in creative ways to make that happen. I recently reached out to Drye for the chance to interview him regarding the new edition of his Valentine’s Day cards, his inspirations, and more.
This interview took place via email.
Tommy Gene Meade Jr.: What inspired you to create artwork for Valentine’s Day?
Christian Drye: Well, what soured me in general to create the whole card line was finding new ways to get my art out.
Everybody will need a card at some point, and Valentine’s Day was a no-brainer.
Even shoe brands do Valentine’s Day colorway.
Plus, it is another way to spread the love: It’s too much going on in the world.
TM: Who is the first person to believe in you and the movement?
CD: I believe it was my big brother Branden Smith.
If my memory serves me right, we were at my midtown Detroit apartment, and we were both at Wayne State to be principals educational leadership majors.
We were both doing good but not fulfilled: I told him I was thinking about switching to fashion merchandising.
Ironically, he was about to say he was switching to music.
We both told each other to change, and I eventually took a drawing class in 2014.
Now I am with my greeting card’s second annual Valentine’s card.
TM: What are three things every man should invest in their partner on Valentine’s Day?
CD: I guess you could make Valentine’s Day every day if you invest love in your partner, like really being intentional.
But I could say the same for time and understating.
TM: Where can we buy this year’s edition of Valentine’s Day card by Drye?
CD: You can find my Valentine’s card here at www.SeeDrye.com/shop.
TM: Which Valentine’s Day themes are you focusing on next year?
CD: I’m not even sure.
I will use the next year to experience life and love and let those experiences guide me next January when I create it.
TM: Why should we buy Drye, mainly Valentine’s Day cards?
CD: I want to say this: even though Valentine’s Day is over, the whole idea was to create a collectible product where my customer could grow with me.
I’m working intentionally for these pieces to be worth something.
I delay your investment in me back into yourselves, so whether it’s my Black History Month card that featured HBCUs this year, highlighting my alma mater Central State University, or my Winter Holiday card.
Everything I create is 1 of 1 (minus the cards, but they’re like nothing else you’ve seen), so I’m creating a mysterious connection with my customer.
I want people to turn heads and draw attention to my brand because it’s colorful and loud and represent it with the value I intended it for: I made my brand with pain and love.
I’m expressing it and making it beautiful for you to buy.
TM: Anything else you would like to add?
CD: I appreciate the opportunity to be a feature on this platform again.
I’m at the point where I realize people don’t have to do anything for you, so when they do, you need to appreciate it.
If you read this far into my interview, I want to tell you: DONT GIVE UP: All the pain you’re going through right now prepares you for what your purpose weighs.
It has to mold your character so you can be ready.
I’m going through it now, and I’m happy, my breakthrough will be worth it.