Born: Buffalo, NY
Edreys Wajed is a Buffalo based creative entrepreneur. He has transitioned through several crafts and artistic media throughout his life, working as a visual artist, jewelry maker, craftsman, musician, graphic designer and educator.
Wajed was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, coming from a family of multifaceted artisans. His father was a jeweler and craftsman, and his mother would hand sew the family’s clothing. It wasn’t long before Wajed began to develop his own creative talents. At a young age he taught himself how to cut hair and quickly built his clientele as a barber. He would soon begin to develop his voice as a musician and writer, creating rhymes, hip-hop beats and spoken word poetry. He would also venture into his other creative pursuits, including customizing hats, clothes and designing logos. He took these skills and further developed them in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design from SUNY Buffalo State.
He has pursued many of his creative endeavors professionally and made himself known as a multitalented force within the Buffalo community. Combining his assorted skills under the company By Edreys, his work has included establishing himself as a successful hip hop musician, developing arts education programming initiatives, working as a visual arts teacher and running Gallery 51 with his wife Alexa for three years, a minority owned art gallery and boutique. Wajed and his wife continue to sell merchandise through their online store Eat Off Art. The concept and subsequent naming come from the “starving artist” cliché and attempts to break that trope by inspiring artists to strive and make a living from their creative pursuits.
Despite his many business endeavors, Wajed continues to create and exhibit his visual art as well. His most recent visual work has been line work, specifically black and white line-based portraits. Though he finds inspiration for his visual work in his day to day observations and intuitive temperament, his biggest inspiration “is to actually be an inspiration. I want to be an inspiration to others through my thoughts, words and actions.”
His work has been exhibited in group shows at the Main Street Gallery, SUNY Buffalo State and the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology. His solo exhibition, White Lines Matter, was featured at the Western New York Book Arts Center in 2017.
Wajed has also completed public works projects. In collaboration with the Albright Knox Art Gallery and NFTA Metro, Wajed participated in the completion of the Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Ave. and East Ferry St. with fellow artists Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley and John Baker in 2017.
When it comes to his approach to his life, his art, and all his pursuits, Wajed’s motto is simple: “Creativity is my neighbor, I live by it!”