In honour of Black History Month, we're interviewing some of our favourite Black Canadian artists to find out what inspires them and what advice they're giving for 2022 and beyond.
How did you get started on this career path? Was art always something you had a passion for?
From a very young age, I knew that art was something that I was very interested in. Initially, it wasn’t something that I thought I could succeed in, but I always knew I wanted to be a creative so I pushed to pursue the arts through my school years. University changed my perspective on art and I strayed away from it for a while, but I found myself always returning to art in times when I needed something to make me feel centered. Naturally, I returned to it and decided to pursue it as a career. I made it my goal to build myself, improve my skills and truly find my joy within art once again. I started sharing my art on social media and finding my voice through art, and now here we are.
Do you have a personal philosophy?
My personal philosophy would be to always be true to yourself and always show up as your true authentic self in everything you do. when you do that, things naturally have a way of working out. Being yourself will help in every aspect of your life, in building relationships, career successes, and putting yourself in the right places. It’s only natural that things and experiences that are meant for you find a way to attract you.
What inspires you?
My love for people is what really drives me. Understanding that we are all human with the same experiences good and bad. Wanting to use my skill and experience to benefit others pushes me to keep going.
Any favourite art trends for 2022?
NFTs are something that I am really interested in. I’m trying to make my mark in that market very soon.
What’s one piece of advice that you’ve received that you stand by?
Do not get comfortable being uncomfortable, and don’t agree to anything that doesn’t sit right with you. Always do what’s right for you.
What’s your favourite piece of artwork you have created?
If I had to choose, I would choose my painting Narak Ati or Blue Black. These two are my favourite because they express my motivation for the direction my art has taken. They express the insecurity I had to deal with growing up as a dark-skinned girl in Canada.
Are there any “art rules” you love to break?
I believe in breaking all art rules. Just do whatever feels right. Art should have no rules.
What is your favourite artwork from another artist?
I love Gosia Komoroski’s style. I love patterns. Her use of patterns combined with her unique style of portraiture and bright colours just speaks to me. She’s been a big inspiration to me and my creative journey.
How do you see the Canadian art community evolving to become more diverse?
I found that the pandemic really connected people to the arts. More people are showing an interest in art than I’ve ever experienced before. I think when it all boils down to it, art gives room for everyone to belong, so I just see more people searching for their creativity and finding ways to pursue that.
How has your work shifted in an increasingly virtual world?
I have been creating for several years - from watercolour to pastel and charcoal paintings - but it wasn’t till I took my art digital that I was able to propel my career to the level it’s at now. I owe a lot of my success to making my work accessible virtually.