Born in Ilo-Ilo City, Philippines, AJ Lavilla was first introduced to art at the age of eleven where he first used an airbrush. He then moved to New York with his family at the age of thirteen.
Without any formal art education, AJ is a self taught visual artist that learned his trade through observing, reading and studying the works of his favorite artists like Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mr. Brainwash, Kaws and Murakami just to name a few.
He was evicted from his apartment in Queens, New York after resigning from his job in the medical field to focus on his art. AJ describes this experience as "one of the major obstacles" of his life and career. But he also saw this experience as the turning point of his life that helped elevate his spirit and work to a whole new level.
His work can by identified by the vivid colors that encompasses a nostalgic feel through the incorporation of vintage cartoon characters from the comic books, luxury brands and pop culture.
AJ would describe his work as "a mix of organized chaos that contains elegance through bold colors." He hopes "to inspired the next generation to pursue their dreams, be passionate with what they do." And that is the message he wants his audience to take away from his art.