The St. Louis Public Library's Artist Spotlight highlights the work of professional local artists who are making an impact on the St. Louis community.
Selected artists and their work will be featured online for two months, by invitation only.
Featured Artist: Cbabi Bayoc
Cbabi (pronounced Kuh-bob-bi) Bayoc is a visual artist and illustrator residing in St. Louis, Missouri. His work can be identified through unique, bold, and colorful artistry while adding some “phunk”. Bayoc, whose given name is Clifford Miskell, Jr., adopted his name CBABI (Creative-Black-Artist-Battling-Ignorance) during his time at Grambling State University (‘92-‘95). BAYOC (Blessed-African-Youth-Of-Creativity) provided a unique and deep connection that could be one day shared with his children.
After working as a caricature artist at Six Flags in St. Louis, Bayoc pursued a career as an illustrator. Motivated by his love for art and hip-hop, Bayoc obtained his first notable client, Rap Pages magazine. During the entire year of 1998, he was given the RPM section on a monthly basis to display a caricature of the featured artist. Through that exposure, he was contacted by Violator Management to create the artwork for the cover of the Violator Compilation, Vol.1 album, featuring the likenesses of Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Q-Tip, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe, and Big Pun.
Bayoc continued to excel throughout the years where he draws inspiration from personal experiences, community engagement, world issues, education and so much more. Creating art is a strong passion where he is able to highlight important messaging, while at the same time providing hope. His cool and culture-changing creativity can be backed by years of a variety of projects from murals, customized portraits, and even children’s book illustrations.
He also maintains his dedication to supporting his community and takes action to help shift the narrative for African American culture and establishing a breakthrough for black artists. Bayoc continues and will always use his platform and talents to voice the need for equality, social justice and economic fairness, systemic changes, and development for African Americans.