As soon as Oswald Wallace III could hold a pencil, he could draw.
“You’d give him a piece of paper and a pencil and he’d be quiet until either the pencil ran out or the paper ran out,” his father recounted.
Now, at the age of 25, Wallace III is a renowned artist who has created commissioned works for celebrities such as Gucci Mane, Cardi B, Migos and Megan Thee Stallion. And on Nov. 30, the Elmont native returned to his home state for an art signing at P!Q in Manhattan, where his anime drawings will be on display.
“This is kind of like a debut,” he explained, adding that he loves to see people buy and share his original designs.
He was first able to express himself through his artwork when he was in seventh grade, he said, and his father enrolled him in a Saturday graphic arts program at Hofstra University.
There, Wallace III learned how to use an array of colors to make his drawings pop, saying the computer “makes the outcome of your art endless.”
“I felt like I got a head start,” he said.
By the time he was in high school, his father said, Wallace III decided to combine his love of art with his passion of producing music. His neighbors would come to his house and record their music for a fee, and sometimes, Wallace III would help them out by producing their music videos or creating logos for their brand.
He got a graphic design job at Universal Studios in Florida in 2016, and left his recording equipment in New York. “Since the graphics was all I had,” Wallace III said, “I was able to focus on that.”
Unfortunately, he said, the job — designing stencils for airbrush artists — was not what he had in mind when he accepted the position, and “I lost my ability to express myself.”
That’s when he decided to start his own graphic design company, Vyrus Graphics, LLC. The company, which was launched in November 2017, featured his anime artwork on clothes and apparels.
To grow the company, Wallace III reached out to rappers’ managers, and was “left on read” most of the time. But, he said, “sometimes they would share it, and that’s how I grew my fan base.”
Wallace III now has nearly 75,000 followers on social media, but said he has seen his artwork shared numerous times. “I feel like the influence is bigger than just the numbers,” he said.
Despite that fame, Wallace III never forgot his roots. Last year, he created a $1,000 scholarship for art students at Elmont Memorial High School. The funds, for books and tuition, went to the student who best explained what he or she likes about art.
To view and order Wallace’s art, visit www.vyrusgraphics.com.