Urban Report


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jason Bradley (Host), Raymond Wade


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000144A

00:01 Stay tuned to meet a man that has a
00:02 strong passion for art and an even stronger passion
00:05 for serving the Lord.
00:06 My name is Jason Bradley
00:08 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:34 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:36 I had the opportunity
00:37 of going to the General Conference Session
00:39 where I ran into an old friend,
00:41 Raymond Wade has been a volunteer for Dare to Dream
00:44 since its inception and designed the logo for our D2D Program
00:49 called "The New Journey"
00:50 which highlights the testimonies
00:52 of offenders and ex-offenders,
00:54 he also designed the Virtual Set for our "Did you know Fillers?"
00:57 Let's take a look at his testimony.
00:59 What a blessing it is to be at the General Conference Session
01:08 of 2015 in San Antonio, Texas, where I ran into
01:12 a wonderful family friend of mine
01:14 that I've known for probably about 19 years,
01:17 Mr. Raymond Wade, welcome, welcome.
01:21 Thank you, how are you Jason? I'm doing well.
01:23 Good to be here.
01:24 So, tell me a little bit about your background
01:27 you're an amazing artist, a wonderful God-fearing man
01:32 tell me a little bit about your background, where were you born?
01:35 Well, I was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
01:39 that would be Allegheny East Conference
01:41 that's where I was born and raised.
01:44 I was the youngest of four children,
01:47 I was raised in West Philadelphia
01:50 and that's about it.
01:53 Okay, the youngest of four children
01:56 what was it like growing up with four children
01:57 and being the baby, were you spoiled?
02:00 Well, being the youngest
02:02 you always manage to get in trouble,
02:04 Okay. or at least blamed for getting
02:06 in trouble for doing things you might not have done,
02:08 like for instance, I remember one incidence
02:12 when my brother broke a leg on a chair,
02:15 and the older brother would always prop the chair back up
02:19 and then when we play in the house,
02:21 he would always make sure I was near that area
02:24 where the leg was broken, then once I tapped it
02:26 and it fell, then I was to blame.
02:28 It was your fault.
02:29 It was my fault so, those kinds of things,
02:32 when you're the youngest but other than that
02:34 it's been a pretty good life, we had a good time.
02:36 Now how were you educated?
02:38 I was educated... we weren't a rich family
02:42 growing up my father wasn't an Adventist at the time,
02:46 he was a... my mother started Adventism
02:50 when I was a one year old,
02:51 and she was determined to give us a Christian education
02:55 so he didn't believe in Christian education at that time
03:00 so he would fight against it but she struggled and made sure
03:04 all of us got a Christian Education
03:07 in the local church school there in Philadelphia
03:10 and then we went on to Pine Forge Academy
03:13 and we went on to Oakwood College as well,
03:17 and then I went on to an Art School from there,
03:21 University of Memphis where I got an Art Degree.
03:24 Wow! wow! so you had a long journey,
03:27 Yes, yes. lot of school,
03:29 so you have a college education,
03:33 when did you determine that you wanted to pursue Art?
03:37 Well, growing up in that era,
03:41 I grew up around the late '50s- '60s- and the '70s-era
03:49 I didn't get a lot of encouragement for Art
03:53 Okay. I know downtown Philadelphia had
03:56 a great Art Museum there, they had a great Art School,
03:59 but I used to always look and admire it
04:02 but I wasn't able to attend it...
04:04 attended the school
04:05 because a lot of people were telling me
04:07 that Art is not something that I'm going to make money at,
04:13 do something else, but I was determined
04:16 you know, I had that...
04:18 so I didn't get a lot of family support
04:20 my sister was a very good artist as well,
04:23 and I used to study her art,
04:24 there was a fellow at the church who knew how to draw,
04:27 so I would tinker, you know,
04:30 but one thing that I learned that...
04:32 even though I didn't do a lot of art when I was young,
04:36 I used to look at things and imagine
04:39 that if I ever had the opportunity,
04:41 how would I draw that? How would I paint that?
04:45 How would I make that in a sculpture?
04:49 and that type of thing
04:50 and everything in my early childhood
04:52 was unique because
04:54 most of my art was contained in my mind,
04:56 Okay.
04:58 so when I finally started doing Art on my own,
05:01 things just started happening and I was able to create
05:04 things very quickly because I've studied it
05:06 even though I didn't put it down
05:09 in actual image form.
05:10 Okay. Does that make sense to you?
05:12 Yes, so you've always had a very creative artistic mind.
05:18 Right, but I didn't have a lot of support
05:21 so basically I just looked at certain people
05:25 like... we had a lot of Bible story books
05:29 I used to study a lot of Harry Anderson's paintings
05:33 and I used to say,
05:35 "How would Harry Anderson paint this?"
05:37 I studied a lot of old Masters, go to the library,
05:41 that type of thing so, I was more or less
05:43 a self-taught artist up to a point
05:45 I went to Art School where I developed more skill.
05:50 Okay, now, did you have any mentors
05:52 as you were coming up,
05:54 like, people that worked hands-on with you
05:56 with this artwork?
05:57 Well, yeah, growing up my sister used to draw
06:00 I used to admire her work,
06:01 there was a fellow at the church
06:04 I used to admire his work as well,
06:06 and, you know, studied some of the artists
06:10 that I looked at in books and that type of thing.
06:13 Okay, okay. So those were pretty much
06:15 my mentors early on.
06:17 Okay, so there was a serious lack of support
06:20 for you coming up as an artist,
06:24 Yeah. it's interesting that
06:27 you look at a lot of artists
06:29 and they don't really make it until they're dead.
06:32 We don't want that for you,
06:34 we don't want that for you,
06:36 we want you to thrive and survive.
06:38 That's true.
06:40 So, I've seen your artwork and it is amazing,
06:44 we actually have a picture of a piece
06:46 that you did, it was the "Jumping the Broom"
06:50 tell us a little bit about, "Jumping the Broom. "
06:53 Well, "Jumping the Broom" is an African-American tradition
06:58 that used to take place during the
07:02 pre- and post-slavery times
07:05 where many of the wedding ceremonies,
07:09 it's kind of like a doorway into the home,
07:12 they would put a broom there to symbolize
07:15 their industry or their working conditions
07:18 and they would jump over this broom
07:20 into a ceremony which symbolized their marriage
07:26 in their union together,
07:27 and that's what the painting is symbolizing
07:30 you see in the background is food,
07:33 Oh yes.
07:35 this particular painting is done in a...
07:38 what I call an Afro-Centric way where everything has
07:42 pyramid shapes... Okay.
07:44 which was a shape that many of the
07:47 Nubian cultures used in Egypt
07:50 where it was diamond-shaped or pyramid-shaped.
07:54 if you look at the artwork,
07:56 you'll see that the dog there has...
07:59 you could draw like a triangle, so all through it is triangular,
08:04 or pyramid shaped, Okay.
08:06 so that's the composition and the design of this piece
08:09 and if you see, all the different things
08:12 that they used in African-American culture
08:14 like the food in the background, the living conditions,
08:18 I had showed pictures of happiness and dance
08:22 and I have one of religion, you know it's all comprised
08:26 within that painting, Okay.
08:28 That is a beautiful painting
08:30 by the way. Well, thank you.
08:32 Now where is it that you pull your inspiration from,
08:35 where do you get your inspiration,
08:36 when you're sitting down and you're getting ready to
08:40 paint one of your masterpieces where does it come from,
08:44 because you're creating something from nothing,
08:45 you have a blank canvas and then you're working away
08:51 and creating something spectacular.
08:53 Well, most artists receive a lot of inspiration
08:57 from their lifestyle, Okay.
08:59 I call myself... I'm a realist...
09:01 you know, I paint things that I see
09:04 and that are realistic,
09:05 I like to paint things as I see them.
09:07 Okay.
09:09 Realistically, as far as the images,
09:12 realistically as far as the social aspects
09:16 of what that person is doing socially, economically,
09:21 and spiritually, so, I consider myself
09:24 a realist, I get a lot of my inspiration
09:27 from religious art as well,
09:30 I tried to do things that are positive and cultural
09:34 and that's basically where I draw my inspiration from
09:37 and I also like to study some of the old Masters
09:41 as far as their techniques, I like their style,
09:45 I like some of their...
09:46 now one great Adventist artist...
09:49 I follow his style as well,
09:51 that he has an exhibit here in the General Conference as well.
09:56 I like his style of painting because he paints realistically,
10:00 spiritually scenes, Okay.
10:02 and I like to paint cultural scenes
10:04 and also occasionally I dip into a little abstract
10:08 I like abstract but I like to have an image
10:11 not just something you don't recognize
10:14 but an image, an abstract image,
10:16 so, those are the things that I like to paint.
10:20 At what age did you develop the passion for Art,
10:25 I mean, sometimes you get into things,
10:27 you begin to do them you don't always start off
10:30 that great but then as you build like, what age did that passion
10:36 burn inside you?
10:37 I really enjoyed Art as far back as I can remember
10:43 even at the age of five and six,
10:47 one of the North American Division Vice Presidents,
10:53 used to be my classmate
10:55 back in our school in Philadelphia
10:57 and he used to tell me
10:58 that I used to always get in trouble
11:00 because in the early years
11:02 when I was supposed to be paying attention to our teacher,
11:05 I was tinkering and drawing and scribbling on my pad,
11:09 so even early on as far as first grade
11:12 I had that passion to do something in Art.
11:15 Wow!
11:16 I knew that was something that I wanted to do.
11:18 I know plenty of first graders that draw better
11:21 and paint better than I could ever paint
11:23 I did not inherit that artistic gene.
11:26 And I think you have an inherent...
11:30 you have something in you, creative,
11:34 but that talent has to be developed.
11:37 Okay. You have a desire to paint,
11:39 or to draw or to create something,
11:42 but you have to develop that talent.
11:44 Now do you feel like it's something that could be learned
11:47 and acquired or do you have to...
11:49 do you feel like it's something that
11:51 you have to just be born with naturally?
11:54 I think it goes both ways, you can...
11:56 because when I started out,
11:58 I've been looking at my early paintings
12:00 versus as my paintings now,
12:01 I don't like the early ones anymore
12:05 I like my later paintings because they look more polished
12:09 but early on,
12:11 you know you have that desire
12:14 and in your mind, it's the greatest thing ever
12:16 but as time went on I got...
12:19 you know, you develop and you get better
12:21 and you keep working at your skill till you develop it
12:24 but Art is something that you really never
12:27 reach that point of perfection,
12:31 you're always striving to get better.
12:33 Yes. You always see another Artist
12:35 and you say, "I want to do that... better
12:37 I can do my hands a little better,
12:40 I can paint 'noses' a little better"
12:42 and that's... so it's always something you're striving for.
12:45 What struggles did you have as an up-and-coming Artist,
12:49 what challenges did you face?
12:51 Well, like early on I had no encouragement.
12:54 Okay.
12:56 My parents didn't see there was something,
12:59 they felt that it was something that rich people did
13:04 and a poor African-American kid
13:10 in Philadelphia living in certain conditions,
13:14 they felt like I needed to do something else
13:18 to maintain a living and so... that was some of the struggles
13:23 when I went to college, I was actually studying
13:27 Medical Technology. Oh really, okay.
13:32 Yes, but I enrolled in school a little late
13:37 and I wasn't able to take the courses that I wanted to take
13:42 so the only thing that was available left
13:45 were some Art Courses and I took these Art Courses
13:49 and I dropped out of Medical Technology
13:52 and continued in the Art,
13:54 because that's what I really wanted to do.
13:55 So those were pretty much some of my struggles growing up.
14:01 And then how did you take that passion...
14:04 that desire for Art,
14:06 how did you take that and turn that into ministry?
14:08 Well, after I graduated, I met my wife,
14:14 Jeanette Hikes, at that time
14:18 and she wasn't an Adventist but we gave her Bible Studies,
14:26 she became an Adventist, and we got baptized
14:29 actually we're celebrating 35 years next week on the 13th.
14:35 Congratulations!
14:37 I just saw the pastor that baptized us
14:39 not too long ago... a few minutes ago
14:42 out in the General Conference area
14:45 but anyway, I went on... after I got married
14:51 and I finished college, Art School,
14:55 in the back of my mind I kept hearing,
14:59 "You cannot make it in Art, you cannot make it in Art"
15:03 because these are the things that I was taught,
15:06 my wife encouraged me to try out for this
15:09 large advertising company and I said, "No way"
15:16 I said, "They're not going to hire me,
15:18 I'm fresh out of college"
15:20 it was an outdoor advertising company,
15:23 it was actually painting billboards
15:25 I said, "They're never hiring me"
15:28 and she said, "Well, you're telling me
15:30 about faith, what about your faith?"
15:33 So, I said, "Okay" so I went down there
15:36 and it just so happened that some of the painters
15:40 had this little mini-revolution at the company
15:44 and they got fired, so they needed three painters
15:49 very quickly, and I happened to interview
15:51 right at the time they needed the painters
15:54 and they said, "All right, come on in"
15:57 they hired me, and this was the largest
15:59 advertising company in the world,
16:01 they do outdoor advertising, they do all the advertising
16:05 for airports, they're on TV Stations
16:09 as well as most of the major radio stations
16:12 and I was working in outdoor advertising
16:15 so, at that time,
16:18 we used to hand paint the billboards
16:22 these billboards were 14 feet by 48 feet
16:27 so they were huge,
16:28 now inside wasn't too bad because
16:33 you can stand back from it
16:35 but when you have to work outside,
16:37 and you had to climb a hundred foot billboard
16:42 and you are on the scaffolding,
16:44 you're right up on the billboard so,
16:48 that became very difficult
16:50 so you had to know what was going to look good,
16:53 and what wasn't going to look good,
16:54 but I learned so much from that company,
16:58 I worked for that company for 18 years
17:02 but the problem that I was having at that...
17:04 I started feeling bad about that because
17:07 Outdoor Advertising Companies during the '80s and '90s,
17:12 did a lot of cigarettes and they did a lot of alcohol
17:17 and the Holy Spirit started working on me
17:19 "This is not what I want you to do"
17:22 And I'm glad that you said that
17:24 because that was going to bring me to another question,
17:26 what challenges did you face as a Christian artist
17:30 you know, not wanting to compromise
17:32 the faith to make a quick buck?
17:34 Yeah, and it was a difficult decision
17:38 because the money was good,
17:40 you know, I was able to buy
17:41 any car that I wanted, live where I wanted,
17:44 but it started bothering me
17:48 about doing certain types of
17:53 advertising... now, I did go to my supervisor
17:57 and told him that I wanted paint maybe... restaurant things
18:01 and not so much alcohol and cigarettes,
18:03 so I did get a break
18:05 but sometimes you would have to do it,
18:07 so I still felt bad about it
18:09 so the Holy Spirit started working on me
18:13 and around 2000,
18:15 that part of advertising,
18:18 as far as hand painting, was phased out
18:21 and they started letting painters go,
18:23 Okay. so that's when I started
18:26 my own company,
18:30 Okay, what's the name of your company?
18:32 RJ Wade Enterprises
18:35 And what's the website
18:37 for your company, how can you be reached?
18:38 You can reach me at www. rjwade. com
18:44 and my email is: raymond@rjwade. com
18:49 Okay, okay,
18:52 now you said earlier, "I want to take it...
18:55 move towards the family aspect of it"
18:58 unfortunately, now-a-days, in our Society,
19:02 there are so many broken homes,
19:03 there are so many failed marriages,
19:05 there are so many kids without fathers
19:07 and et cetera, et cetera,
19:09 how did you manage to maintain
19:13 such a fruitful and happy marriage
19:18 for 35 years, and raise a kid,
19:22 you have a son as well that I know quite well
19:25 who grew up to become an anesthesiologist,
19:28 how did you, what are some tips
19:31 what are some tools that you implemented?
19:33 Well the first thing you have to do is find a great wife.
19:36 That would definitely help.
19:38 You have to find a great wife,
19:40 and I found that in my wife, Jeanette,
19:44 she was very supportive and she gravitated towards
19:50 Adventism very quickly,
19:53 she has always been the type of person
19:55 that was an Adventist waiting to be introduced
19:58 to Adventism, she gravitated towards
20:01 the diet, the ministry,
20:03 so that's a great help, and also embracing my...
20:10 I learned a lot from my mother as well,
20:13 my mother was a Bible Worker but my father, growing up,
20:19 was... he was a hard worker
20:22 but he was an alcoholic early on
20:25 but my mother stuck with him
20:28 she prayed and she
20:31 constantly worked with him
20:32 and my father ended up joining the church
20:34 under C.D. Brooks one of his evangelistic meetings
20:39 in Philadelphia and he did join the church
20:43 and became a Literature Evangelist
20:46 until the day he died so, praise the Lord for that
20:49 so that has kind of stuck in my mind,
20:51 and some of the things that she taught me growing up
20:54 Christian education,
20:56 and when my own son,
20:58 I said I was going to
21:00 pay him a lot of attention
21:03 go to his games. I never missed any of his games,
21:08 I taught him sports, I wanted him to be a man's man
21:13 we all used to play ball together
21:16 Yeah we did.
21:18 and Gabriel became a very good basketball player
21:20 but one thing I noticed about my son
21:22 he was very smart,
21:24 because my wife used to teach him to read early on
21:26 Okay. and even at the age of two
21:29 he was able to read small books
21:31 and I saw that he was very gifted,
21:33 he was a very smart young man
21:35 and I used to want to be a doctor... growing up
21:38 so I said, "Well, maybe I can help him
21:41 become a doctor as well"
21:43 if he decided that he wanted to be something else,
21:46 that was fine also but he stuck with it
21:48 Gabriel made good grades.
21:51 And that's something that always
21:54 impressed me about Gabe
21:55 because coming up through the years,
21:57 I mean he was... everybody was like,
22:00 "Oh Gabe, come and play"
22:02 but Gabe could play basketball like no other.
22:04 He was All-State Basketball Player
22:08 and He still maintained like a 4.0 GPA
22:11 which never ceased to amaze me.
22:15 Well, I had a different scale for Gabriel,
22:17 I used to tell him that I didn't go below an "A"
22:23 I said, "A plus" is excellent "A minus" is equivalent to a "B"
22:30 and an "A" is equivalent to a "B"
22:34 and an "A minus" is equivalent to a "C"
22:36 so I had a pretty high scale for him
22:38 because I knew he could do it and he always maintained a 4.0
22:42 all the way through college and even into Medical School
22:47 you know, he did well, so...
22:49 And now he's an anesthesiologist.
22:51 Now he's a practicing anesthesiologist.
22:53 So, what's next for you?
22:55 Well, currently I'm working on a public art project
23:01 in the city of Fort Worth Okay.
23:03 and also, I'm working as a kind of a
23:09 graphic artist evangelist, I call myself a...
23:15 I have a ministry within the churches
23:18 in the Dallas Fort Worth area I do a lot of their literature,
23:23 people want to do religious CDs,
23:26 covers, I do book covers, I do a lot of brochures,
23:31 I do work for...
23:32 even work for North America Division
23:36 I do work for... I remember back...
23:41 not this General Conference but I think
23:44 two General Conferences ago
23:46 I did the Education Magazine Cover
23:48 so I work with that throughout the church
23:51 and I use that as a ministry
23:53 in order to get out the advertising and the marketing
23:58 so people could come into the meetings
24:01 and then to church. Okay,
24:03 now, in the short time that we have left
24:06 I want you to look into the camera over here
24:09 and I want you to tell that struggling artist out there
24:13 what advice do you have for them...
24:15 the up-and-coming artists?
24:17 I would say,
24:20 if you are an artist
24:21 and you have a passion for doing it
24:23 believe in the Lord and the Lord will lead you
24:26 into the way that you should go.
24:28 Art is not so much limited to painting or sculpture,
24:35 it's also... you could be a graphic artist
24:38 you could be an animator,
24:39 you could be... any creative field
24:41 is a field that takes some type of artistic ability,
24:46 even in a television studio,
24:48 you have to have some type of creativity
24:51 in order to work your cameras in...
24:53 you know to work different things into the stage
25:00 the stages are done by artists,
25:02 the graphics are done by artists,
25:04 so, I would suggest to anybody
25:06 that has the ability and creative mind,
25:09 is to seek the Lord first, and continue in prayer
25:14 and work hard at your craft,
25:15 and keep the Lord first in all that you do
25:18 and you will be successful.
25:20 Yes and again that's very important
25:23 you have to put the Lord first in all kinds of things,
25:27 see, you stood up for the Lord, you stepped away from
25:31 the guaranteed money, all of that,
25:33 and you stood up for the Lord,
25:35 and you stood up for your principles
25:37 and you still pursued your passion
25:40 but you did it in a format
25:41 that would honor and glorify God.
25:43 and whenever you do that God blesses that
25:47 He honors that and He keeps that.
25:49 Well, it has been such a pleasure
25:51 having you here... Well, thank you Jason.
25:53 and this is so much different from when I was a kid.
25:56 Yeah, I'm proud of you, I'm proud of you.
25:57 So, thank you so much Mr. Wade.
26:00 All right, thank you. All right.
26:03 Think about it,
26:04 Raymond sacrificed a high-paying career
26:07 to follow Christ, that reminds me of a text
26:10 in Mark chapter 8 verse 36 which reads,
26:12 "For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world,
26:16 and forfeit his soul?"
26:17 God is and was the greatest artist of all time
26:20 and His canvas is the world and all that's in it
26:23 Psalm 19:1 says,
26:25 "The heavens declare the glory of God;
26:27 and the firmament shows His handiwork. "
26:30 I encourage you to take a look around you
26:32 and marvel at God's creation,
26:34 our Creator creates nothing but masterpieces
26:37 which we have the privilege
26:39 and opportunity of enjoying,
26:41 each and every one of us possesses talents
26:44 that we can utilize to bring honor and glory to God.
26:46 Are you using the talents that God gave you
26:50 for His honor and glory?
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26:56 and I was so moved by the impact
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27:59 Well, we've reached the end of another Program,
28:02 join us next time and remember
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Revised 2015-12-09