Carlos Mare 139 Rodriguez talks about his inspiration behind designing the BET Award. via Slamxhype

SXH – Where did you find the inspiration for the BET Award sculpture design?

CM – I found the inspiration in three key words- Aspire, Ascend, Achieve. It came to me on the spot. I believe I understood it on a deeper level beyond the aesthetic of the sculpture- it had to transcend material into a grand emotion. Another important feeling was my appreciation for the creative struggle, in particular in the contributions of African American artists.

SXH – How did you approach the design it to reflect the meaning of the awards?

CM – The design was already half there when the client drew reference to my sculpture. The intersecting stars played right in with their slogan mark Black Star Power. The real moment of truth for me was when I asked myself what would it mean to receive it… How does it feel? How do I look holding it? How much does it weigh? Is it an attractive object? Can I feel proud about this?

I have held an Oscar in my hands as well as an Emmy and one thing I found in common with these classic awards was that they have a strong visual identity and had a weight that made them feel substantial, by that I mean there is a connection and emotional response to weight that suggests value, not in money but in consideration.

The Aspirational part of the award is the base, it is the foundation, I chose to start with a black block that was polished, this is where the value of weight comes in. The Ascending portion is the swift upward motion, it’s in two parts and part connected to the struggle and journey. The Intersecting stars are reflective of Achievement, the goal realized and shining brightly. Having it in polished metal was also important because it made it seem more elegant and precious.