When were you all introduced to Art? And, what impression did it leave on you?
I like to say I was first introduced to art when I was in 6th grade. I received my first sketchbook then. I don't know if I would've ever realized how much I could love drawing had my circumstances not led me to that art class. It was my solace during a very difficult time--I would draw things I loved and people would love them too.
What's a work that has left a lasting impression on you?
I wish I could remember all of the names of the artists I followed on DeviantArt.com back in the day... They inspired me and guided me through those early years. But if I had to pick a specific work that's left a lasting impression, it would have to be the illustrations of Fiona Staples in the comic book series Saga. The way she communicates sound and motion in her work just baffles me. I don't know if I've ever been so fully enmeshed in a piece than when I am reading those comics. There are times that I hear wings flapping or whistling and feel the wind they generate.
What's one word you would use to describe your Art? And Why?
Enjoy. Definitions from Oxford Languages (Google) en·joy verb 1. take delight or pleasure in (an activity or occasion). 2. possess and benefit from. Because this is why I do it--the joy it brings to myself and others. My work feels very happy to me--bright colors, simplistic designs, blue skies.
How do you feel that your work affects others?
I feel my work connects people. To themselves, to a community. I really like to take things that have a certain stigma around them--such as women's sexual pleasure, being Black, mental health--and represent them in cute and silly ways, making them more approachable, more accessible, and easier to talk about. I think it makes people feel less alone, encourages authenticity, and allows people to look at things in a different light.
What is your opinion on the rise of A.I. generated Art?
A.I. generated art is unethical.
Should Art have a limit or boundary? Why?
I don't think art should be used to oppress or harm others, just like anything. To offend people is one thing, to hurt them out of malice is another.
How would you like to evolve over the next 10 years?
Service is important to me. My work history is almost exclusively in the mental healthcare field and helping others is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I would love to incorporate my art into some kind of practice of helping and connecting others, whether that is art therapy, art education, or something completely different. Over the next 10 years I'd love to continue to grow and learn about how to help and connect people through doing the things that I love.
How does your Art contribute to the human experience?
There are a lot of parts of the human experience we try to ignore, or shun, or hide. Through my art, I try to bring lightness and humor to these experiences--things that are just part of being alive, being a woman, or being Black. Although, it's not always that real. Sometimes I just want to draw something cute. Range.
Are there any songs that inspire the creator in you?
Music was a much bigger part of my process in my earlier years. Lots of My Chemical Romance, Gorillaz, and Ingrid Michaelson. I am less likely to be inspired by songs now, but I couldn't tell you why. I listen to a lot of Doja Cat, currently.
Any Final Thoughts?
Vacation or staycation? Staycation Netflix or Hulu? Hulu Night or morning? Night Beach or Mountains? Beach Passenger or driver? Passenger Art museum or history museum? Art Train or airplane? Airplane Coffee or tea? Coffee Thanks so much for choosing me to interview!