Having images around me that reflect my interests, memories, and ideas is very important to my creative process and well-being. With the semester coming to a close and my schedule slowly opening up a bit, I'm dedicating little pockets of time to getting my space in order, and that includes finally getting artwork up on the walls — especially in my studio/office space.
Over the weekend I framed some of the many things I've been excited about hanging. Like a Grace Jones album cover, some labels I found at a fleamarket in Spain, a vintage map of Africa, and a collage illustration by Peggy Wolf I found in Tokion's Factory Magazine. (I love her work and love that collage and had been wanting to frame it for a while.)
There is still so much to hang, mainly more prints. In the future I would like to use more family photos and original prints or paintings. I'm totally excited about building my collection.
What is your art collection like? How do you display art? What do you display? If you're an artist do you hang your own work in your home? Share!
Read more about my thoughts on collecting art in a post on Refinery29 from last summer.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed I doodle. For me it's a wonderful stress reliever; a mindless creative activity that brings me a lot of joy. Because they're so much fun to do I usually take it further by scanning them in, cleaning them up and adding color (that's how the Crowns of Color series started out — as little doodles).
I like to doodle names, patterns and lyrics and terms from pop culture (you can see more of them on Instagram). Doodling is a great way to distract me from any worries.
What about you? What is your creative distraction?
Like a few of (rapper) Drake's songs "Started from the Bottom" gives listeners a tiny glimpse of his life before his successful music career. His lyrics share a narrative about the hardships and challenges he experienced before making it big, and then finally the rewards.
I always like hearing the back-story. The process, experiences, and lessons learned on the way to "making it" are most intriguing to me. Especially when you hear stories from people who started from the very beginning.
From knowing absolutely nothing to becoming experts, there is something so beautiful about getting from point A to B. Whether it's starting out as an intern to becoming the CEO, learning a new language or even having your first child the pursuit of something new is exhilarating, educational, and emotional.
One day recently, "Started from the Bottom" had me thinking about how far I've come but mainly about others (specifically young people) who are just starting out as I had done many years ago.
Because I work with young adults everyday, I see it first hand. Young blossoming designers so new to the world of design; college students who will soon be pursuing their very first full-time jobs. I see them so worried and stressed, so consumed with challenges and struggles. At times I try to share a little insight to smooth out those concerns but I also understand they have to live it and move through it, as I did. As you did as well.
Yet, I still know how it important it is to share a story, give advice or an encouraging word. None of us could have made it without the help and/or words of others.
Which brings me to my intention for this post. I know there are a range of wonderful readers here: mothers, business owners, artists, designers, educators, students — all at different points in your path and all of you have started from the beginning at some point in your life. If you're graduating this spring, there's someone who is preparing to begin their freshman year in the fall. If you're an artist who has shown in a gallery, there's someone who dreams of having their own exhibition. Although, our individual paths are very different, we sometimes share similar dreams and goals.
I'd like to know what would you tell that person who started from the bottom/beginning. What would you say to encourage them? Teach them? What do you wish someone had told you when you embarked on your path of something new?
For me, I would say to anyone starting out to pay attention. When you are starting fresh whether it's working, interning, or creating make sure you take a moment to pay attention to what people are telling you (good and bad) and pay attention to how certain situations make you feel. When you are observant and aware of how your experiences can impact your life or career you are more capable of making solid decisions on how to move forward. Your gut is your guide, follow it.
So what would you say? I'm sure there is another reader who would benefit from your story. Please share in the comments below.
Check out Pop'Africana founder, tastemaker, stylista, and dj, Oroma Elewa's mix of mellow sounds called Brooklyn Bound. The collection features music from her favorites like Clams Casino, Shlomo, and Flight Facilities.
I've been enjoying both as I work from home on this Friday.
What about you? What will you be jammin' to this weekend?