As a queer, weird, introverted, out-spoken artist of color, I constantly deal with internal struggles of not knowing where I belong or how I represent myself. In a male dominated society, I have to remain consistent, constant, and focused. I can't tell you how many times I speak to talented artists who have allowed other people's opinions or their own insecurities of their works to force them to change the direction of their art to the point where they loose themselves and in turn, produce art that mirrors their competitors.
Our notions of beauty are constructed by the media and our peers. I would be lying if I said that I haven't been affected or felt insecure about my art, my beauty...and self worth. The media shapes our notions of culture, race, sexuality and identity to the point where people aren't thinking for themselves, looking like others, not feeling pretty enough, hating on others...hating on yourself.
With this being said, this is our ode to POWER. Power from within, internal beauty. When you begin to recognize your self worth, your strengths, natural beauty...you will begin to act as such and others will see this in you and want more of that from you. I always say...when you know better, you do better.
OWN YOUR POWER.
An elephant sporting sneakers...no better way to illustrate who I am. This design is inspired by and dedicated to the loners who choose the road less travelled. My views about the world are constructed by what I see, how it makes me feel...and how people are directly affected by institutional tools to oppress us.
Basquiat holds a large influence over me. Artists work diligently to express their feelings through our art that cannot be expressed in words. Our art has personal and social significance which can't be put into a box.
My path is hard, I can't lie. My activism lives through my art and if it means that I am at times alienated, criticized or misunderstood then I'll take that.
Like the talented Erykah Badu stated, " I think a lot fo people have lost respect for the individual, you know, the person who doesn't conform."