Gladney thought she was a decent artist. Until rapper
Gucci Mane shared her artwork on social media.
she knew she was great.
developed a niche as an artist creating inspirational
drawings for college graduates on their caps. She had just
graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016, the
same year she got into drawing.
didnít have a job yet. So I tweeted the cap and it went
viral. It just turned into a business," Gladney said.
Today, the 24-year-old has gathered thousands of followers
who loyally share her work.
is a great place," she said with a laugh. Her
business has largely grown thanks to the digital space.
self-taught artist remembers picking up pencil and paper
and being surprised at how realistically she could draw
peopleís faces. She was not an art major but had a lot
of exposure to creative people in her family and circle of
friends. She originally wanted to work in radio or
found out I could draw and wanted me to do artwork for
them. I would get nervous. I didnít know if I could
charge," Gladney said.
each semester she gets at least 100 clients on a waiting
list for their upcoming commencement ceremonies. For $85,
the Plano, Texas, native can put your favorite musician,
photo or quote into an impressively decorated cap. It
looks like a painting directly on the cap, but Gladney
uses her iPad to make her creations digitally. She sends
her masterpiece in a PDF file to the customer who then
prints it and glues it to the cap.
itís not what she wants to do forever.
dream is to one day create cartoons and programming on a
network. Gladney has already taught herself some animation
and saw success with a short cartoon she did about dating.
She wants to see more representation of the diverse
cultures in the country.
feel like the business right now is a vehicle to get me to
the bigger picture. I want to make animations and cartoons
for people of color," she said. "Once something
is not foreign to you anymore, it can feel