At the time of writing this, it’s January 17th. 14 days before the Kickstarter for my first art book launches, and my mind is swirling with negative thoughts and feelings.Continue reading “When You’re Doubting Your First Big Project”
*Reading Time: 3 minutes*…Wow, it’s literally December already. I have no idea where this year has gone.
Not that RetroGameCon is over and now that I have time, I’d like to recap on my most recent art challenge, #inktober 2017.
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If you haven’t met me before or saw any of my videos, there’s one thing that sets me apart from many people…
…I’m…I’m black. *GASP!*
All jokes aside, there is a lot of under representation of people like me in the black community and in the art community. Where I come from, I don’t see many, if any successful black men and women during my commutes. I don’t see them happy and thriving. I see them surviving, downtrodden doing what they can to keep their bodies afloat.
I remember riding the bus on my way home one day. It was 12:30pm, lunchtime for those that work Downtown, and with the hustle and bustle of professionals coming from their offices to grab a bite I noticed something… Not a brown person in sight.
I happened to look around in the bus, and surrounding me were people of dark hues.
That got me thinking. I started making observations during my commutes in my city.
A majority of homeless men and women in my city are black.
A majority of people that take the public transportation are black.
I remember recalling only two teachers of mine in my entire school career that were black. This includes middle-school all the way up to college.
It’s something to easily gloss over, but when something like this is prevalent in your everyday life, where you aren’t surrounded by successful, happy people of your kind: Teachers, professors, artists, role models, it can twist your psyche. Whether you realize it or not.
I went to a minority business expo last Saturday and it was… phenomenal. Words couldn’t explain my feelings as the day progressed. Excited? Enlightened? Empowered? All of the above and then some?!
To see so many black and brown faces, dressed for success, with degrees, professions, business names, and business cards, God, It was such a breath of fresh air.
To see people, like me, making something of themselves.
To see people, like me, carry themselves with poise, with articulate speech, yet never forgot where they came from.
To see people, like me, exude so much love, positivity and.. business sense! Ugh, the business sense!
That. In of it’s own was life-changing. To meet and be a part of a large, influential group of strong, black men and women. Older, and my age, doing what it takes to succeed. To change our community. So many bright ideas, untapped potential. Some people were blossoming, and others were just starting to bud. Words could not explain the high I got just from being a part of #MBEES.
I realized due to us being so underrepresented in our communities at home, in the art communities abroad, I need to be someone known to other girls and black artists like me. Because believe it or not, growing up with a role model that looks like you, speaks like you, and understands you can be the most powerful thing in the world.
*Reading Time: 2 minutes*Hey all! I wanted to do something a little different today! I’m going to share 12 things you may not know about me!
1. I am the youngest of two. My sister is 10 years my senior.
2. I went to private schools throughout my entire school career. I never had to worry about an outfit.
3. My favorite color is blue, but I lean heavily on purple, orange, and sets of colors. Continue reading “12 Things You May Not Know About Me”
*Reading Time: 2 minutes*When it comes to sharing value, I thought it would be easy to type everything I know about illustration down and share it in a blog post format. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I never thought leveraging video would be easier.
*Reading Time: 3 minutes*As a creative, as much as I hate to say it, I’m a pretty sensitive person. Doing something artistic leaves me vulnerable, heart splayed on my sleeve as others judge me and my work. That can be scary. For others, downright terrifying. But you know what scares me the most?
*Reading Time: 1 minute*Holy crap guys! Creative Art Box contacted me to be their featured artists for this month! It’s such an honor to be a part of this!
Creative Art Box is a monthly subscription based box of supplies that comes straight to your door. They feature artists every month and I’m so happy to have the opportunity for January! You should definitely check it out, and see my mini bio!
*Reading Time: 3 minutes*
One of the things that makes us stuck in life is doing the same thing, every day, nonstop. Wake up, go to work, responsibilities, bed. Wash, rinse and repeat. You ever feel like the older you get, the shorter the years feel? Now, I’m only a millennial, but I do think that this year has been extremely short compared to 2010. So, taking this back to my previous point, if years feel shorter, and we’re spending that year working and providing, where does that leave us? Unhappy? I’m sure. As if the year has been squandered? Definitely so.
I decided to do things a little different. As a creative, I get my best ideas out of experiences and doing! So you know what, I changed my city scenery and traded it for a farm.
And holy cow, it was awesome!
Again, I’m a city girl, so all of this was brand new. The environment was totally different, from the air to the clouds… and the occasional whiff of manure.
My friends took me apple picking for the first time! I went pumpkin picking for the first time! I took a day where I enjoyed the fresh air and allowed exploration and adventure to unfurl as I wandered through a corn maze. I petted a freaking ALPACA! For the first. Time!
I say this because not only as creatives, but as people we just need a day to get out of the studio. Doing so refreshes our routine and breaks the monotony. It creates bonds with others, memories, things we can take back home and enrich our lives. Being in a new environment, even just for a day can do wonders for the mind and soul.
So here are 5 tips to break the monotony:
- Experience some place new. Even if this means taking the funds out to make a small trip for the future. Do it. You won’t regret it.
- Do something new/learn a new skill. Are you a terrible cook? Found a place hosting low-stress cooking classes? Jump on it!
- Spend time with people. I know. Illustration is a lonely job. Call someone up for a coffee or tea date. Let the conversation spin off. I personally need time to recharge after being around people for extended periods of time. But that’s the same way with being alone.
- Unplug. Seriously. It’s hard as heck to get off the phone. Especially my generation, but turn the phone off, maybe leave it home for a few hours, walk around your area and be present. Become aware of your surroundings.
- Look Locally. Cities are skyrocketing with go local mentality! Check in your area’s newspaper, art stores, small businesses and online for fliers about upcoming events. I decided to take my own advice and something amazing happened.
BONUS: Look for a store you’ve never been to before! Explore it, talk to people! Especially if it’s a local shop.
Switching up my environment was just what I needed. Apple picking, pumpkin picking, and tasting those deliciously crisp Fuji apples I picked all on my own inspired me to create this piece.
How have you broken your artist rut? Share your experiences below!
*Reading Time: 2 minutes*Revisiting one of my older characters filled with attitude, spunk, and irritability, it seems like my Jasmyn’s found her zen. She’s at peace with mind, her soul, and everything around her.
You know speaking of zen, I’ve started taking Tai-Chi this semester. It’s given me such a different take on my inner self. As a city girl and a millennial, everything is fast, fast, fast. From work, to school, to internship, to business, instant gratification is what I crave. Standard shipping? Pssh, yeah right, I need that 2-day option. Cashing out at the grocery store? I’ll self checkout and make it quicker. No more dial-up and landlines, I need that ultra speed and 4G. And while quicker is better with getting things done and being efficient, sometimes I forget to slow down and relax for a second. With everything in my life being so deadline driven and lighting fast, stress takes over my mind even faster. Have you ever had those dreams where you’re still at work with a never-ending line?
Excessive stress can do a number of damage to the body and the mind. I was speaking to someone who stopped working her demanding job and just now realized the stress from that job was the culprit of her backaches, chest pains, and migraines. Once she found her personal
zen which was visiting her husband frequently, her health significantly increased.
With the hustle and bustle of life, slow down to take some time out the day for you and begin your own path to self healing. Whatever that may be. For me however, it’s painting and Tai-Chi.
Please like, comment, and follow me if this tickles your fancy.
Until next time!