How did i come to art as a form of expression and healing?
I've been a creative professional for over 10 years with a diverse range of skills spanning various industries. Most of my creative focus has been in graphic design. I began in my teens, designing Myspace profiles and taught myself. But over time the work felt unfulfilling. I wanted to be more, do more and offer more. One of my main goals was to diversify my creative abilities as well as accept the challenge of expanding my ideas. I had returned to school around 24 and during that time I took some drawing classes. It felt so good to not only learn how to refine my self expression, but that I actually had something to express period. By the time I completed my Associates I'd created my first series of paintings and submitted them to the student Juried Exhibition. From there I was hooked and decided to forego the advertising program and go to the University of South Florida College of Fine Arts for Studio Art. (which is a wonderful program by the way)
During my time at USF my entire world expanded. I began to learn more about art history. It completely changed my understanding of our development as a collective, as well as my own personal biases. I was exposed to all of these wonderful contemporary artists, my favorite being Wangechi Mutu. Her work inspired me immensely and showed me the power of free expression. That art wasn’t just about beauty and aesthetics. It's deep and healing in so many ways, yet can simultaneously be grotesque and magical. Performance artist Marina Ambramovic also moved me. The vulnerability that she displayed in efforts to test the human consciousness gave me the courage to confront society as well.
Being an artist and creative professional hasn't been an easy or care-free journey, but more of an uphill climb that has made me resilient. I've had to roll with the punches, take many rejections, continue to learn and refine who I am and keep moving forward despite obstacles. Through it all I've now become the proud creator of Dust II Onyx Tarot. I'm honored to carry on the legacy as the first black woman to create a widely distributed Rider-Waite based deck since its originator Pamela Colman Smith published in 1910. No one was aware of who I was as an artist, tarot enthusiast, or business woman in an industry lacking in diversity. Now I have successfully crowdfunded one of the most anticipated tarot decks in 2017 with over $30,000 in preorder sales.
My next mission is to create a publishing platform that caters to minority and marginalized artists who desire to create uplifting and educational products for their communities. In my spare time I look for ways to help other creators on and offline, plan and create work for art exhibitions, binge watch netflix/anime/kdramas, play with my 14-pound "fe-lion" baby Bella, travel, and spend time in nature.