Highlighting & preserving women in Art
Having the pleasure of knowing this multi-talented artist for years, Art LovHer is delighted to have her bring her healing words and vision to the stage this month. Be IsLove is our visual art feature for this month, and will also be creating a live piece for raffle. We caught up with this phenomenal woman to take art & life.
1. When did you first begin doing what you do?
With Art, I’ve had an eye since before I can remember.
For poetry, I started writing in the back of my notebooks; songs & raps. At some point I didn’t want to be restricted by the idea that it had to rhyme for me to say what I wanted to say so I started writing poems. Poetry was also a way of coding my journal entries. I didn’t consider myself a poet or a writed until 15 after I met my best friend, whom also writes, event though I have writings as far back as 11.
2. When did you become serious about it, and pursue it as a life path?
Would you consider what you do your life path?
July 2009 I decided to make poetry a career. It was something that chose me. I was performing just for the sake of it. When I started performing I had a voice for the 2nd time. Visual Art was my voice when I didn’t have a voice. Its my 1st love. Now I have a physical voice on stage. A woman walked up to me at an open mic one day and asked me , ” Do you have product?” I replied, “No.” She retorts, ” WHY!?”
And that was the beginning of it all.
3. Why do you create?
I create because it feels good. I am an expressionist. No one can tell me who I am, or why I am or that my thoughts and feelings were invalid. Once upon a time I didn’t have the space to express myself. It was unfathomable that a “Child” could be just as valid as someone 21 & over. I’ve always had a vivid imagination so painting put those ideas on paper. It’s a way to focus my thoughts; organize them into something. That goes for both writing & art.
There really isn’t one reason why I create for the reasons multiply by the day & seasons. In the grand scheme of it all, I create because I have to.
4. Who are some of your major influences/role models?
Gabrielle Watson is an artist I just learned about a few weeks ago. When I saw her paintings I cried inside from happiness & relief. After 2 yrs of art school questioning; Was I enough? Was my art really good? Am I doing this right? Struggling to find a way w/o any confirmation other than my own faith that it would ok, then to see an artist hand that distinctly resembled my own paintings from a black woman no less ( a group of artist that went unstudied, & excluded in my college curriculum )
I felt like I made sense.
Raheem DeVaughn- His music makes me want to create better; to be that excellent.
Fredderick Douglass- he did alone what many of us have help to achieve, granted its not given to us.
Bert Gervais- A friend that I met a business conference, whom owns a mentoring co. for black males & speaks around the country. He’s my age, stays hopeful, & reflects the best of my character.
5. What inspires you?
Cartoons! I love cartoons. I loved getting lost in a dream land, escaping reality. I love the level of artistry in anime cartoons. I started drawing Dragonball Z characters to prove that I was a better artist than the boys in the 4th grade. After that I started making up my own characters.
Now-a-days pple inspire me. I like capturing moments that most pple overlook. I like showing pple themselves in a painting. It’s easy to lie to yourself about whom you are, & what you need to address but when you see yourself in a painting or piece of art, it stares back at you and there is no ignoring your fears or challenges anymore. I think thats the main reason alot of pple feel like they wouldn’t “fit in” at an art or poetry event. There’s a lot of truth to swallow.
6. What advice would you give a nineteen year old creative who wants to make their thing into their whole life?
There are many ways to apply your art.
Make a decision on which ways you want to do it, & make it into a business. There are so many pple whom get lost in the art and lose touch with the reality that you have rent to pay. Learn more than 1 way to apply your craft. Learn non-art skills & techniques so you can always have a way to make money. Be honest w/ yourself! If theres a certain part of this freelance business model that you can’t do, seek a professional. Be a smart artist, not a starving artist (…completely. Cause you WILL have to starve a bit while making that transition from a hobby to a career. it takes alot of energy to get that momentum steady)
7. What’s one of the most rewarding parts of your work?
The finish. I love seeing my artwork finished. Then I get to look at my painting and say, ” I DiD it!” Its proof that I have the ability. I’m not just half-assing. I am amazing. Sometimes the finish isn’t the completion of the art or the poem/performance but the affect that it has on pple. Knowing that I helped give someone else a voice gives me joy, because once upon I time I was quietly searching for mine so I know what it feels like; I get to enjoy that feeling all over again through them.
8. What’s one of the hardest?
FINISHING! Just when I think I’m done, nope! There are more strings to tie up. Wrapping up a project is tiresome. Making sure that everything is done right, especially when it’s just you can be exhausting even daunting at times.
9. How do you get through blocks in your creativity?
I go with the flow. If I can’t write a poem, then I don’t. I’ll write what I’m trying to write till the right words come forth. Same thing with a painting. I’ll know I’m looking for something or feeling some sort of way but won’t know what yet.
Usually I’ll take a walk, following my instincts till I find what I’m looking for. Sometime the uncertainty becomes the subject matter.
10. What have you got coming up in the next couple of months?
Feb 23 I’m performing poetry in FACES ll at the Mist, a Sistahs Black Like Me Production.
I’m working on a chat book of poetry. The 1st ed. is digital, and basically done. $5.
Im a host/ producer for an online radio show called, “Now Vs Then” or NVT on the Four Aces Network presents. The ceo is moving back to Cali, so I’m in training now. In June, I will be the full time producer of this weekly radio show.