An experience to view my parallel universes and experiences through the lenses of a Nubian Gawdess in full transparency; be it real or imagined. A particular attention is made to the African continent, the African Diaspora, their stories past, present, and future.
1. How did you get to where you are now as an artist?
Well, to be honest, I don't feel like I am "there" yet. I love where I am headed, I can already envision certain things, but a big part of it has been following my intuition and allowing myself to find courage where there was extreme fear. I've always been creating, one way or another, I never felt that my forms of expressions were "ready" in their raw state until I allowed myself to open up to trusted loved ones who supported my vision and believed I should share these things with the world. I also got to a point where I believed I was ready to dip my toes in the water, even if it was just a little bit. Then, the rest of the magic unfolded itself...
2. What is your typical day like?
Right now, I wake up and whatever happens, happens. A terrible thing to say, for a very organized Capricorn. Sometimes, I don't even sleep, so, I don't have a typical day, per se. I definitely ensure that any work that has a specific deadline is handled with extra care and attention. I write a lot, to stay on top of things. Post-it notes, paper, voice notes; you name it. I literally have to do it all. Some days I may do more writing, posting & connecting online, otherwise, I will be networking & performing live art. Some days, painting or shopping for art supplies take place, then packaging other pieces for clients and etc. There is always something to do, and I like to think WAY ahead of things. I believe in a balance in being spontaneous but also being organized and prepared to prevent or minimize disasters. I try to prepare myself for the future as much as I can so that on "weak" days, I have something I can still work with. I brainstorm a lot; there's always something going on in my head. All. The. Time. Day. Or. Night. Until I have professional assistance or a studio of some sort outside of my home, I don't think I will have a typical day; there's constant motion; especially when everything has to be handled on my own. It's adventurous; I just want a little more structure in the clerical aspects of my day. I also try to be mindful to balance my health to prevent days where I have to slow down even more.
3. Who or what inspires you?
This is a tricky question. I have to say artists who really do not follow specified rules, but allow themselves to create as they feel. Interestingly enough, music has a major influence in my creation of art and even my writing. Sometimes I may write a poem and it may inspire a visual piece and vice-versa. I am attracted to creatures many may consider eccentric, sometimes it may not necessarily be the finished product that gets to me the most, but the process itself. I draw energy from my past, present and what I would like my future to be like; always keeping in mind to channel my feminine energy and empowering it. Melanin inspires me dramatically.
4. Do you think it's necessary to have a formal education in order to be an artist?
5. You create multi-faceted art. Is there an art form that you prefer over the others?
I like variety. There are seasons in my life where writing has been more prominent than creating visuals and vice versa. I will say, however, that writing has been at the core of all of my creative projects. They are all essential in a way, I wouldn't be able to choose a favorite part of my body because everything has its role. The same goes for my creative outlets; depends on the season. But, I have to say, pastel is bae.
6. What is your dream art project?
Well, down the line, I would like to bring all my creative sources together and do something major. I definitely would like to travel internationally for the purpose of sharing my creative energy. That is all I will say for now.
7. What has been the highlight of your art career so far?
Being noticed, even when I am not trying to be noticed but just doing my own thing. It's nice to go to an event and have someone compliment you on art that you create (even when the art is not with you). It warms my soul every time. Not to be dramatic but ACTUALLY being alive when my art was first purchased was a great feeling; always is, especially when we look at how artists have been treated from the beginning of time. I do not believe in the concept of "starving artist", never did and never will.
8. What's the best art-related advice you've ever been given?
I work a lot with pastels, so I've been encouraged to continue to do so. I don't know a lot of artists who use pastels primarily or alone as a medium, so in a lot of cases, I find myself alone... I've also been encouraged to keep diving into my style. I always wondered if I had a "style" and I am able to see it more and more when I am looking at how I've evolved. So, I'm encouraged to keep pouring more of "me" into my pieces.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creatives?
Start with what you have; expand from there. Surround yourself with people who uplift you; otherwise do not be afraid of standing alone.
10. What's next for you?
Everything. Everything I've ever wanted is next.
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Interview by Glodeane Brown
All photos provided by Safi Nakihimba