Fantastic collection of scarves from A Peace Treaty. They remind me of the ones my mom used to rock back in the day.
I've been busy making little valentines using found papers and bits from my Paper Bit Collage Kits. What kind of crafty/creative projects have you worked on for love day? Are you cooking a dinner? Presenting a poem? Making valentines by hand? Please share!
January 1st marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and recently, the United States Postal Service released a stamp commemorating the occasion. For the 100th anniversary African-American designer George Olden was commissioned to design his now famous stamp (in 1963). This year the amazing Gail Anderson was given the same honor. (You can learn more about her process in this interview.)
I was excited to learn that the design started out as an actual letterpressed poster printed at Hatch Show Print (a famous printing shop in Nashville) and that the limited edition prints are available for purchase on the USPS website. I purchased mine immediately and can't wait to have it framed.
On top of all that goodness, I (along with the help of my wonderful colleagues) are preparing for Gail Anderson's visit to our school next week. She is our spring artist-in-residence and will be presenting a lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 19th. It's open to the public, so if you live in the area come by we'd love to have you.
Gail Anderson Lecture
February 19 @ 6:00 pm
Stevenson University/Greenspring Campus
If you can't make it, please support this design. Purchase the stamps at your local post office and/or the limited edition poster.
Last week I finally had the chance to see Fela! as it kicked off another leg of it's tour across the country. All I can say is that I was incredible speechless throughout the entire show. The costumes, the set design, the video projections (which I absolutely loved) and the choreography blew me away. And of course the music...the music was hypnotizing. I want to see this musical at least three more times to absorb it all again.
I was really drawn in by the ladies/dancers, Fela's Queens, who represented Fela's 27 wives. They were amazing! The show made me want to know more about them: they're personalities, backgrounds, dreams and aspirations.
In the play, their make-up and costumes picked up on how incredibly beautiful and stylish they were in real life. From what I've gathered about them and based on the art and props that decorated the set of Fela! I created a collection of items I imagine they would have in their boudoir at home for this Inspired By post.
clockwise, Isis Printed skirt; Poppy Red Leather Tassel Fringe Necklace; Hand-printed Quilted Pillow; Nakimuli Dookie Bracelets; Nelson Mandela print from Bao Studio; Cascading Cowries; Samra clutch; Vintage Morrocan Basket; Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas; Mosaic Scarf; Printed Pumps from Forever21; Orange Jade and Onyx necklace.
I highly recommend Fela!, please check out while it's on tour now!!
In preparation for that birthday party I remember my aunties, grandmother, and ladies from the neighborhood sitting around the table in the hot summer heat rolling dozens of hardened condensed milk balls between the palms of their hands and placing them in little pretty colored paper cups. It was such a production and I was in awe at all the work they were doing for me.
This weekend my mom and I decided to do the same on a much smaller scale for my birthday. We made chocolate flavored versions, the ones rolled in coconut were super-delicious. It was so hard because I was busier licking my fingers covered in sprinkles and chocolate than making the brigadeiros.
They have all now been consumed.
...kstore/studio/office/gallery space. :)
(late post since my bday celebrations started yesterday and went well into the night...)
As we know, it is customary to make a wish when you blow out your candles on a birthday cake. After reading a monthly horoscope, I thought it was interesting when it mentioned that our birthdays are the real new years of our lives and that we should write down our dreams and wishes at that time to bring power to the things we want to achieve. I've been wondering if that is where the birthday wishes/candle blowout thing came from.
I dream about and want to achieve LOTS of things, way too many to list here. But on my bday I thought I'd share one of the things on my dreams/wishes list: I would love to have a space outside of my home where I can create, inspire, and teach, as well as share the work and talent of the amazing people I've met throughout the years. In that space there has to be lots of books. Everywhere. Artwork and textiles, and tea to offer when visitors stop by. As well as tables and chairs for events and folks to lounge. What is this space? I have no idea but the thought of it makes me smile.
Is your birthday this month? What do you wish for? And happy birthday :)!
I watched a lot of TV coming up. Playing outside was my preference, but I was also a latchkey kid, so on the days when I had to stay inside afterschool (and the days where I didn't feel like sneaking out) you would find me glued to the TV absorbing my favorite shows or playing Ninetendo. Because of this, pop culture/media had a heavy influence in my life.
Thank goodness I came up during the only time in our short film and media history, where there was a rich range of black characters covering the gamut of positive and negatve characteristics and roles with depth as well as roles that simply entertained.
Between The Cosby Show, A Different World, Living Color, Arsenio Hall Show, Living Single, Moesha, Martin, New York Undercover, South Central, Girlfriends; you could find something for your tastes. And that doesn't include the cornucopia of films that were also being released during this time. Again, what a perfect time to be watching television and going to the movies if you were interested in stories and characters that told your story in some way or opened your eyes to different perspectives.
Which brings me to this post. In honor of Black History Month I wanted to share a few fictional characters who have inspired me. Real or not, the mere fact that these characters existed has an influential place in our history, and definitely in my life. Here we go...
Rudy Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Aside from being adorable and an incredible actress at such a young age, in my imaginary world Rudy Huxtable was my friend who just happened to live on TV. We were (are) the same age, and although my life was completely different from her television role, we shared similar interests: she wrote stories, I wrote stories; she believed she could be and do anything, I did too; and she was smart. We even went through the same awkward chubby stage at the same time.
What I appreciated most about Rudy's character is that she represented little brown girls in a way I had never seen before. She was bright and curious, but still silly and fun. As a little girl, seeing someone who looked like me and act as she did confirmed everything I already believed about myself.
You may have read this on Fly before but Angela, the art director/artist/art teacher in the film, had a huge influence on the career path I chose to take in my life. Before Boomerang I had no idea you could make money creating and designing things. Let alone be a black woman doing it. When I saw Angela pull out those brushes to paint her "blue people" I was in awe. I remember thinking, "she paints, too!" This character introduced me to graphic design, even though I had no idea what it was called at the time.
I saw this film just before heading off to college, before being exposed to more things outside of my suburban teenage life. Love Jones was my first real taste of artsy black folk who wrote and photographed for a living, hung out at open mic nights, and had freestyle jam sessions in their living rooms. Something about all that really appealed to me. I wanted to hang with them.
Nina was a struggling photographer in the midst of a bad break-up living in the cosmopolitan city that is Chicago. She was stylish, flirty, self-assured and smart, yet vulnerable. Nina had depth.
Again, the way the film presented her character was so different than anything else I had seen before.
Needless to say I had been exposed to a new world through her eyes in this film, and for the next year found myself writing poetry and going to open mic nights, and having the guts to perform a piece on stage. Soon after and beyond, I was (am) addicted to going to art-y parties, gallery openings and the like.
These are examples of how media and pop culture can influence us. When a range of stories are told from different perspectives we open up opportunities to people who may not be exposed to these things in their day to day lives. I am thankful for these characters (and the people who created them) for their wonderful inspiration.
Were you exposed to any characters that influenced a decision or impacted your life in some way? Do share!
In honor of Black History Month I will be sharing a few posts about African Americans who's stories and talents have inspired me. Like, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who's work continues to inform and enlighten us; especially in the realms of fashion, design, and other visual arts.
I always enjoy having a few items around me to commemorate the legacy of people who have played an important role in history. Whether it's something to wear, watch, read or hang, it's good to be reminded of their wonderful contributions to our story and culture.
clockwise, Basquiat by Mark Mayer; Reebok Basquiat I Am Tee; Jean Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child; Basquiat giclee print by Alison Black; Jean-Michel Basquiat x Reebok NPC Clean; BASS-QUIAT Bowtie; Basquiat Dragon Candle.