Illustrations for Local Spa in Delray Beach, FL

A month ago I went to an entrepreneur meet-up at Vegan Fine Body, a local shop in Boca Raton that carries my Epurée Collection Notebooks.

It is always nice to meet like-minded ladies in the area, a great way to network and make new friends! From this meeting alone, I was able to connect with Mallory Hopes, a health and wellness professional focused on Yoga with whom we organized a contest, and many other great ladies.

That day I also met Stacy, the Spa owner in Delray Beach, and we decided to collaborate on a series of illustrations for her Spa. She wanted a variety of women represented in different Spa + Peaceful situations.

After doing some research on Pinterest as well as pictures she sent me from previous photoshoots, we finally decided on the images I would reinvent. Here are the results:

I also create used one of my symmetrical designs to create a new 52 Weeks of Gratitude Journal you can now find exclusively at her store or online on Amazon!

I can’t wait to collaborate with even more people in the area.

Let me know what you think 😉

“Sip + Shop” with us at Cyth & Co. Oakland Park, FL

Next week Saturday come “Sip + Shop” with us at Cyth & Co. {pronounced KiTH}⚜ @cythco in Oakland Park, FL (3446 NE 12th Av.) from 11 to 2pm along with other local vendors: @thehauteandhoney @roxycesscreations @flwr_pao

Hope to see you there!

Honeymoon Love Commission in Gold Black and White

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stylized illustration of a couple wedding depiction

Last year I was commissioned by a dear friend of mine to draw one of her wedding pictures.

Of course it was a bit daunting because I had never done that type of work, but I felt I could definitely give it a show.

I have to say, I impressed myself with this one! Not only did I love the artistry, I also enjoyed the experience of creating a piece that portrayed L.O.V.E was even better is that she loved it!

Needless to say, she also enjoyed it ❀

Check out the close ups!

Daphné Mia Essiet © All rights reserved.

News: I am the New SistrunKollective Member in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I am really excited to announce that I am now the newest member of the SistrunKollective.

The SistrunKollective is a Co-op style retail boutique featuring merchandise by local artisans and entrepreneurs. The boutique is located inside the Sistrunk Marketplace (10 top-quality restaurants food court), 115 NW 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale’s  Art District.

This basically means that each member pays part of the rent and in exchange has their own display. The “Kollective” allows each artist to display their items. With a wide range ranges of goodies from jewelry to handmade candles, hats, clothes, and of course (in my case) stationery it is a prime spot to stop by whenever you enjoy some time at the Sistrunk Marketplace Food Hall and Brewery! You can find the entire list of the vendors here.

Take a Look at my Display

Postcards

Featuring five illustrations from my latest collection, All That Pop. The postcards are 5×7 and come in a white blank envelope. You can also frame it and make it a “mini-poster”.

Notebooks

Journal your toughs and feelings, take notes, write lists, sketch, brainstorm ideas, doodle, document your feelings thoughts, and ideas or write songs, it is up to you to fill this diary!

  • Cover Finish: Matte or Glossy
  • Lined or Dotted
  • Perfectly bound glued spine
  • White Paper

Coloring Book

Also available on Amazon

Coloring is a great way to relax and restore. Take a “Zen-Break” and instantly break free from the stresses of everyday life, away from the million tasks and responsibilities of your to-do list. This coloring book is original for all coloring fans.

This book contains 50 original and unique symmetric zen doodles with blank back pages, so you are sure to be able to color with the confidence of not ruining your masterpiece due to bleed-through on the page.

  • 50 unique coloring pages, no-repeat
  • Single-sided print to prevent bleed-through
  • Great with pencils and Crayolas
  • White Paper, 90 GSM
  • Size: 8.5 x 8.5in pages
  • High-resolution printing

Perfect gift for experienced colorists/colorers looking for a little challenge!

Poetry book

Thoughts and feels of a woman in her mid-30s emerging and merging into the woman she was always meant to be.
#OnLustLoveAndEverythingInBetween
 Fifty curated poems I wrote between 2015 and 2019 plus a series of 4 short thought essay pieces.

Specialty Prompted Notebook/Logs

From gratitude journals, Kanji practice notebooks, and ukulele tabs, through primary composition notebooks for early writing learners, I got you! You even have an updated planner, in case you would like to get better organized!

Framed Mini Posters

Mainly prints from my newly created NFT Collection “Les Meufs” with some additional prints from other collections, framed and ready to be hung in your living room, office space, or bedroom. Their square shape (8x8in. frame for a 5x5in. illustration) are perfect if you are into tiles arrangements.

Posters

Mainly illustrations from my newest collection “All That Pop”, but also some oldies! Sizes are 12×16 or 11×17. Come wrapped in plastic with a kraft paper board backing.

Original Paintings

I created these pieces during the first lockdown, this one exactly 2 years ago, in May 2020. Painting truly helped me cope with the loneliness, fear, and everything that was going on in the world, at this time. If you come close enough you’ll become mesmerized by the detailed work, where each acrylic dot was painted, so to cover the surface of the canvas.

I hope you will get the chance to come by and see all of these “IRL”

Thank you!

So, I Launched My First NFT Collection: Les Meufs

Back when I was a kid, I used to collect and be obsessed with Panini stickers. I can remember when once, one of my uncles (or was it my grandpa?) came home with at least 50 packets of cards (each containing 6 stickers). The thrill of opening the packets and then looking for the corresponding page and place in my booklet is unequaled to this day. The highlight of my youth, is probably an understatement! Subsequently, I collected stamps and other trinkets, but nothing as exciting as the panini stickers.

Well, the process of creating these NFTs, reminded me of my childhood.

But What is an NFT?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Here is the Wikipedia definition: “A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded. Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.”

Still confused? Here I gathered a couple of videos that IMO will do a better job than I will ever do:

Today, the majority of NFT creators are males, but I can see how, in the future – more and more women and artists from all horizons will be interested in creating these!

Les Meufs (the girls in Parisian slang) is an NFT collection of women who love bold colors and fantastic fashion.

Here are my first ones, that you can digitally purchase on Opensea

Not ready for NFTs? No problems – if you’d like to purchase these actual beauties as posters for your office or living room, head to my website (and be patient while I am uploading them) if there is one you are specifically interested in, please let me know and I will prioritize!

Pourquoi Je N’utilise Plus le Terme MĂ©tis(se)”

Avant tout, je pense qu’il est important de prĂ©ciser que je crois en une seule race: la race humaine, mais que dans le contexte ci-dessous, je dĂ©finis les race en tant que construction sociale qui affecte celles et ceux qui sont catĂ©gorisĂ©s de “racisĂ©es”. Les valeurs de chacun sont Ă  prendre en considĂ©ration car si elles sont sincĂšres et ne s’inscrive pas dans une politique de respectabilitĂ©/sont performatives donne une meilleure idĂ©e du caractĂšre des gens que leur origines. Finalement, meme si j’ai pris quelques classes sur le sujet, je ne suis pas une sociologue ou une universitaire.

Je fais partie de ceux qui pensent que la sémantique est importante et que le poids des mots façonne notre façon de penser et donc de nous comporter les uns envers les autres.

RĂ©cemment, lors de l’une de mes expĂ©dition Youtube – ou – I went down the rabbit hole – je suis tombĂ©e par hazard sur une video ou des jeunes filles parlaient de leur expĂ©rience de femmes “mĂ©tisses”. Cela m’a bien sĂ»r interpelĂ© Ă©tant moi-mĂȘme considĂ©rĂ©e comme telle. Cependant, plus je les entendais prononcer ce mot, plus mon malaise grandissait, sans pourtant pouvoir en articuler les raisons profondes. J’avais sans doute lu ou entendu lors de mon Ă©ducation des choses qui m’avaient marquĂ©es, et qui avait au fil du temps malgrĂ© s’ĂȘtre estompĂ©es dans ma memoire, laissaient place au sentiment de mal-ĂȘtre. Etant quelqu’un de curieux, je dĂ©cidais donc d’explorer les raisons pour lesquelles ce terme me dĂ©rangeait autant. Mon malaise Ă©tait-il justifiĂ©, ou mon ressentiment avait-il lieu d’ĂȘtre?

Tout d’abord, je comprends que dans le vocabulaire courant le mot “mĂ©tis(se)” est utilisĂ© afin de dĂ©finir toute sorte de mĂ©lange, qu’il soit culturel, racial ou ethnique. Je ne l’entends pas comme cela: je l’utilise exclusivement pour les hommes ou les femmes issues d’une union noire/blanc et c’est de cela dont je traiterai ici. Chacun est bien entendu libre de l’utiliser comme bon lui semble. De plus, j’ai passĂ© mes annĂ©es formative en France mais habite aux Etats Unis depuis l’age de 23 ans, cela fait maintenant plus de 17 ans. Je pense que c’est un dĂ©tail que je me dois de divulguer, car trĂšs important pour expliquer la logique de mon raisonnement personnel. C’est ici que j’ai pu en grande parti m’affranchir de certaines attentes sociĂ©tales qui m’avaient Ă©tĂ© inculquĂ©es, pour la plupart Ă  mon insu, grandissant en France. Une prise de conscience quant aux limitations que j’avais internalisĂ© au fil des annĂ©es non seulement en tant que femme, mais aussi en tant que personne racisĂ©e. Principalement, dans le cadre de l’éducation supĂ©rieure que j’ai pu recevoir ici – et l’étude de textes historiques et de sociĂ©tĂ© notamment Ă  travers des classes comme African-American Studies, People+Power & Politics, et Advanced French Literature (ou nous Ă©tudions en grande partie les auteurs issue de la diaspora noire).

A partir du moment oĂč mon prisme s’est Ă©largie, j’ai commencĂ© Ă  voir les choses sous une autre perspective. Par exemple, j’ai une vĂ©ritable passion pour les arts et en particulier pour la musique; il coule donc de source que l’agrandissement de mes connaissance m’ai encouragĂ© et permis de postĂ©rieurement redĂ©couvrir des musiques Pop, Hip Hop et RnB amĂ©ricains qui avaient bercĂ©s mon enfance et adolescence dans les annĂ©es 80 et 90 – mais qui avec la barriĂšre de la langue et sans rĂ©el contextes historique et sociĂ©tal n’avait eu qu’un impact partiel. Comment aurai-je pu savoir que la chanson “Happy Birthday” de Stevie Wonder Ă©tait une maniĂšre de popularisĂ© l’anniversaire du Dr Martin Luther King Jr, l’une des figures emblĂ©matique du Civil Right Movement, en afin que la date de son anniversaire soit reconnue comme fĂȘte nationale aux Etats Unis? Ou que dans “Redemption Song” de Bob Marley cite l’extrait d’un discours de l’activiste panafricain originaire de Jamaique Marcus Garvey, donnĂ© en 1937 (We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind 
)? Je me rendais compte Ă  ce moment lĂ  que les artistes n’avaient pas que pour but de divertir leur public, mais Ă©galement de faire rĂ©flĂ©chir ceux qui les Ă©coutaient, dĂ©noncer les injustices et faire un Ă©tat des lieux: de planter des semences qui sous des circonstances favorable pourraient fleurir. Plus tard, j’ai Ă©galement revisiter de textes de Rap et RnB français (je pense notamment aux albums de iAm, NTM, la B.O de la Haine, ou les Nubians, pour n’en citer que quelques uns) qui avec le recul me parlent dĂ©sormais encore plus.

J’ai continuĂ© mon processus d’apprentissage Ă  travers le cinĂ©ma, la littĂ©rature afro-fĂ©ministe, psychologique, sociologique et sociĂ©tales, romans et autobiographiques, podcasts, Ă©missions tĂ©lĂ©visĂ©es (merci Youtube), et plus rĂ©cemment l’art visue, tant d’outils qui m’ont permis de peaufiner ma vision afin de recalibrer et recontextualiser mes experiences et developer une sensibilitĂ© sur certaines thĂ©matiques pertinentes aux inĂ©galitĂ©s en gĂ©nĂ©ral. Finalement, il va sans dire que mon expĂ©rience personnelle fut elle aussi un atout qui me permis d’analyser mes progrĂšs, in real time.

Pour en revenir a mon sujet initial, c’est dans cette optique que je considĂšre le terme “mĂ©tisse”.

Aux Etats Unis le terme “mĂ©tisse” n’a pas lieu d’ĂȘtre. Pendant 400 ans d’esclavages, les violences sexuelles envers les femmes asservies Ă©taient parties courantes, conduisant a de nombreuses naissances d’enfants issus de ces viols. De ce fait, la quasi majoritĂ© des noirs amĂ©ricains ont quelque part dans leur gĂ©nĂ©alogie une ascendance EuropĂ©enne. La loi du “One Drop Rule” dictant que toute personnes ayant ne serait-ce qu’un ancĂȘtre d’origine Africaine soit lĂ©galement catĂ©gorisĂ© de “noir(e)” – fut instaurĂ© afin de bloquer l’accĂšs aux droits fondamentaux exclusivement octroyĂ©s aux blancs, comme le droit succession, l’accĂšs a la propriĂ©tĂ©, le droit de vote, la citoyennetĂ© etc
 pour que quand bien mĂȘme un exclavagiste aurait voulu reconnaitre s ou ses progĂ©nitures, il n’en aurait pas eu la possibilitĂ©. C’est pour cette raison que des personnalitĂ©s comme Mariah Carey, Tracy Ellis Ross, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys ou encore Jennifer Beals sont considĂ©rĂ©es comme noires.

En français, Le terme “mĂ©tis(se)” vient du mot espagnol “mestizo” qui avait pour but de qualifiĂ© les enfants issus d’unions entre autochtones et espagnols dans les AmĂ©riques, (*different de mulĂątre, terme pour dĂ©finir les enfants des noirs et espagnols) terme plus tard adoptĂ© dans les Antilles françaises. C’est donc un qualificatif qui s’inscrit dans l’idĂ©ologie racialiste, un mode de classification fondĂ© sur la notion de race apparu en Europe au milieu du xixe siĂšcle, crĂ©e par les colons afin de caster socialement les individus selon leur proximitĂ© Ă  la blanchitĂ© ou la negritude, et je ne veux pas utiliser un mot inventĂ© par des colons pour hiĂ©rarchiser et minimiser mon humanitĂ©, et Ă©tablir une domination.

DeuxiĂšmement, je considĂšre ce mot ayant une connotation exotifiĂ© et les individus perçus dans cette catĂ©gorie fĂ©tichisĂ©s; Tout en restant noir(e), la femme ou l’homme le/la mĂ©tis(se) peut se rapprocher d’un standard de beautĂ© plus eurocentrique de par la couleur de sa peau, ses traits, la texture de ses cheveux, et recevoir un traitement privilĂ©giĂ© par rapport aux personnes plus foncĂ©es. J’ai mainte fois entendu comme rĂ©flection “les enfants mĂ©tisses Ă©taient trop beaux”, ce qui malgrĂ© l’intention des gens – de donner un compliment – s’inscrit pour moi dans une logique nĂ©grophobe. A cela s’ajoute le phĂ©nomĂšne des personnes non-noires adoptant les codes de la communautĂ© noire et mimiquant des traits physiques afin d’ĂȘtre perçu(e)s comme noires ou mĂ©tisse (voir Kardashian et blackfishing).

Finalement, je parlerais des consĂ©quence de l’adulations des noir(e)s-amĂ©ricains en France. Que ce soit de la part des blancs comme des celle des noirs (ou autres), les noirs amĂ©ricains, de JosĂ©phine Baker Ă  BeyoncĂ© – en passant par Denzel Washington ou encore Will Smith, crĂ©e un veritable engouement. En effet, pour les raisons Ă©rigĂ©s plus haut, ces individus ont en general des caractĂ©ristiques physiques moins prononcĂ©s, accuplĂ© a l’hĂ©gĂ©monie amĂ©ricaine – accentuĂ©s par des series comme le Cosby Show dans les annĂ©es 80 et le Prince de Bel Air dans les annĂ©es 90 – qui dĂ©peint les vies Ă  succĂšs de ces individus – rendent leur nĂ©gritude plus acceptables dans l’inconscient collectif, et ceux perçus comme “mĂ©tis(se)” plus souvent comparĂ©s Ă  ces “idĂ©aux”.

En definitive, aprĂšs avoir analysĂ©e les raisons pour lesquelles ce mot me dĂ©plais, je le banni sans crier gare de mon vocabulaire, car je considĂšre que c’est un terme colonial qui contribue de la nĂ©grophobie.

February 2022 and the 28 Days Of Black Hair Challenge

This past February month, in honor of Black History Month 2022, visual artist Vashti Harrison initiated a Black Hairstyle Illustration Challenge on Instagram #28DaysOfBlackHair – to celebrate Black Hair’s beauty and versatility. I decided to participate (although haven’t completed all entries)

The Idea

Initially, I created this girl character for a children’s book I would like to develop. I came across the online challenge and thought this would be a great incentive for me to be consistent in my process and a way to come up with different ideas.

In the Black community, hair has always been a way of expressing oneself. In the past years, the natural hair movement has reached mainstream media and more people have become more familiar with it and aware of some of the challenges we have been facing in terms of fascination and discrimination

I believe that representation matters and because of my personal history, I have always enjoyed and felt compelled to work on art that showcases Black hair.

The Process

I worked in both Procreate and Illustrator. Because I had already created a multitude of facial expressions for this character, I would focus on the hair, poses, and outfits on the day to day basis.

Once I was done researching and drawing in Procreate, I would export the black and white outline as a PNG in order to digitize it as a “Black and White Logo” vector in Illustrator. Once this was completed, it would be time to “assemble” the hair of the day with the body/outfit, make some adjustments (resize, redraw some things), then expand its appearance and add colors and patterns for a final look.

Finally, I would add the hairstyle using the same font each day (Epicursive Script) and export it to post it on Instagram. 

I was also able to repurpose some of my previous work for this project. For instance, I used  my Afropop patterns on some of the outfits (I used on the cover of the notebooks I created for Amazon as well as my interior design collection from my website)

Last Words

This was a fun project, and I plan on completing all the remaining entries at some point as it will not only give me a lot of practice but also a multitude of character poses to chose from!

Stay tuned for upcoming projects!

New This Month: February 2022

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Here are this month’s highlights. Feel free to reach out should you have any questions!

Click on pic to be redirected to item online boutique

1. Stationery

In French, Ă©purĂ©(e) could translate as “Sleek and stylish”. This is exactly what this line of notebooks stands for. Clean and minimalist, the 7×10 notebooks are perfect to track your life’s progress, practice, and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

2. Coloring Book and Children Composition Notebook

Here’s my first “Coloring Book for Grown-Ups“. I also updated the cover of my Afro Fairies Primary Composition Notebook!

3. Online Boutique

Noting new this month, but it is worth checking out my sweaters!

See you next month!

Sleek & Stylish: Introducing the ÉpurĂ©e Stationery Collection, by DaphnĂ© Essiet

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2 minutes read.

I don’t know what came first: my love for writing or my excitement with paper goods: all I know is that the possibility of pouring my soul on paper is something that fills me with joy. I love to travel and each time I have the opportunity to find cute notebooks or other goodies, I spend away all my pocket money!

Making my own notebooks was something I wanted to do since I started my artistic journey and as soon as I found out how to, I decided to go for it. I have created many covers inspired by my African and Afropean roots, such as Afro-Pop Collection with original “NĂŒ African Patterns”, or Afro Fairies Collection (click here to view)

and I thought that I could also create something more minimalist in themes and color.

The Meaning

In French, épurĂ©(e) could translate as “Sleek and stylish”. This is exactly what this line of notebooks stands for. Clean and minimalist, the 7×10 notebooks are perfect to track your life’s progress, practice, and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s a list of the available journal in this collection so far:

They are available for purchase on Amazon

Here are some previews:

What kind of logs/journals are you interested in? Let me know in the comment section and stay tuned for more!

Daphné

Happy Valentine’s Day! Free Download đŸ€

It’s Valentine’s Day and I am here for it!

I haven’t always celebrated Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day but as I become wiser in experiences, I feel like any opportunity is worth celebrating.

This year, I wanted to gift you something unique so here’s an exclusive illustration you can download, print and color for your friends!

If you decide to share the final coloring on Instagram, please remember to tag me @daphneessiet

You DO NOT have my permission to resell, modify, distribute or share the uncolored product with anyone in any form.

Please download the pdf or jpg.

For more coloring, please check out my Coloring Book for Grown-Ups – Original Zendoodles by DaphnĂ© Essiet available on Amazon.com (free shipping with Prime)

Your New Favorite Coloring Book for Adult

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Scientists, along with artists (who are scientists too – iMO) have demonstrated that people have a universal aesthetic inclination for symmetrical designs and patterns.

From Conceptualizing to Creating a Tool For Better Health

When I started my artistic practice back in 2018, this was one of the first principles I experimented with and honed my illustrator skills by creating my Chromatic Ecstasy collection:

Friends suggested that these designs would be perfect for coloring books. I thought it was a great idea, but I never got to put it together… I did some research and found out that coloring was a great way to relax and instantly break free from the stresses of everyday life! This was definitely something I wanted to get into. Of course, it does not replace seeing a professional therapist, but this is a fun tool to help people better their mental health by alleviating some of the temporary daily challenges, not unlike my gratitude journals!

Putting in the Work

Since I only had a limited amount of illustrations, I had to work hard and spent this past month creating the additional “zendoodles” to be featured in this coloring book: in total, this book contains 50 original drawings! I am so excited and proud to introduce you to my first “Coloring Book for Grown-Ups“. Here’s the cover below!

Perfect gift for experienced colorists/colorers looking for a little challenge!

some samples:

Timelapse of my work:

Click here to purchase

Stay tuned for more by subscribing to my newsletter: I am already working on the second volume.

New This Month: January 2022

Subscribe to my Newsletter. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here are this month’s highlights. Feel free to reach out should you have any questions!

Stationery

Log Books

Stay Organized With This Ultimate Automotive Maintenance Record Book!

Car Maintenance Logbook to help you to keep track of all essential repairs and maintenance tasks. It is the perfect size for your glove compartment, and its flashy color cover will help you locate it in seconds!

Grateful kids are happier!

Practicing gratitude increases happiness, improves self-esteem, and lowers levels of stress—this is a perfect journal for little humans to experience the power of gratitude. Each page gives the children to write and draw their thanks on a daily basis, as they develop a healthy habit in their lives.

Kanji Practice Notebook

This is a 8.5in. by 11 in. 100 pages Kanji Softcover Practice Notebook

This elegant traditional notebook-style notepad contains 100 pages of kanji paper, also known as Genkouyoushi paper.

Each large square holds one character and each square is divided into four quadrants to guide the correct positioning of the elements of each character.

Online Boutique

Blankets in Love is Love Collection: Do you feel that your home is missing an eye-catching, yet practical design element? Solve this problem with a soft silk touch throw blanket that’s ideal for lounging on the couch during chilly evenings!

See you next month!

Galentine’s Day: on Friendship and Sisterhood

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Every single year, a few weeks after Christmas – millions of people religiously celebrate the highly anticipated and anxiety-inducing (for some) commercial holiday Valentine’s Day, when all extravagances are permitted (if not encouraged), grossing an average of 20 billion dollars annually out of your pockets (statista.com)

For the past decade, a new trend has been raging: on February 13th – one day shy of Valentine’s Day – thousands of women have been celebrating Galentine’s Day, the holiday dedicated to L.O.V.E.S like no others in many women’s life: friendship and sisterhood.

Where does it come from?

The term “Galentine” was made popular by the comedic sitcom Parks and Recreation where Leslie Knope, one of the main protagonists, organizes a Dance to celebrate the women in her life. After the episode aired, back in February 2010, the term started to gain in popularity and started a life of its own becoming the phenomenon it is today.

Why Celebrate?

I usually try to celebrate and cheer up the women in my life as much as I can, yet feel for those who do not, it can become the opportunity to start something new. Society still tends to overlook our contribution as friends and sisters – and a gentle reminder of our importance is always welcomed.

How to Celebrate?

So many ways to do so! It does not have to break the bank and depending on your Galentine’s “Love Language” it can range from a handcrafted postcard to a phone call to remind them how much you appreciate and love them. , or a little gift to a coffee/lunch date!

Gift Ideas from my Stores

If you plan on spending some money, maybe that book they were talking about the other day, or a box of candy/chocolate is always a great idea. Here are gift ideas directly from my store:

Heart Blankets from my online store (enjoy $5 OFF with code THANKYOU22 – valid until 1/31/22)

Heart Notebooks from Amazon (free shipping with prime)

Gratitude Journals from Amazon (free shipping with prime)

Conclusion

Regardless of what you decide to get your Galentine, I am sure she/they will appreciate it!

Celebrating Love? Valentine’s Day is in Less than a Month!

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Love.

I wrote an entire section of a poetry book about it… Regardless of where you are from physically or socially, it is one of the topics most talked-about in the world.

I often think about it, especially romantic love. There seem to be many viewpoints and I am always open to hearing what others think about it, even if I have ideas of my own…

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought I’d share with you a short essay I wrote back in 2015 (found in that same poetry book) where I attempt – in my limited human experience – to understand what it could mean to me.

#OnLoveAndLustAndEverythingInBetween (part3)

In logic and probability theory, two propositions (or events) are mutually exclusive or disjoint if they cannot both be true (occur). Shall we treat Lust and Love as two distinct functions evolving in two separate systems? How do both those states relate to Happiness? It sounds concurrently simple and complicated, hence the trickiness. In a nutshell, there is the Lust and there is the Love
 and for the majority of my adult life, I somehow misconceived their respective meanings as well as mishandled their applications.

As these two ever-overlapping “concepts” wildly encompass a range of compelling feelings, and because they (may) relate and (may) interact with one another so closely, it would be difficult for me to comprehend them fully, or even partially – for that matter; however, I feel that today, I took one step away from my initial cluelessness. It seems as if Lust and Love feed into each others’ narrative. It seems as if they share a common purpose.

Lust is straightforward, Lust is simple, and there is basically little that can be done about it: Lust assesses how chemically compatible we are to someone, and how healthy would an eventual offspring be. Plain and simple and pragmatic. *Lust* solely relies on efficiency.

Love is intricate, Love is sophisticated, and may or may not stem from Lust, but regardless of where it originates, is built from the ground up. Love is potent, and there is basically little that can be done about it: Love allows discrepancies to be efficiently taken care of – in case something goes down – aka imbalanced chemical compatibility. Love relies on the problem-solving skills our elaborated brain cultivated, a defense mechanism we developed over time, for survival. Lust and Love appear to be chemically induced for our species’ lastingness. They started mutually exclusive, and merged, inclusively, “byproducing” happiness. 

So what if everything we have been lead to believe all along was flawed? What if happiness, as a purpose, was an illusion we created to rationalize our urges when in fact this is nothing but a bundle of chemical reactions. Not to say that a delusional state does not perfectly fit my inner desires, as this so-called state is “inherent” to my human condition, and hence there is basically little that can be done about it.

Today, this right here makes total sense to me and ergo allows my soul to be soothed, and my heart to cope with whatever concerns is clouding my deepest thoughts. For what it’s worth, in a (my) perfect world, I will from now on use my brain to ponder if the situation is conducive to what matters most; I will, for now on, use that intellect so to estimate how a context can generate its highest yield of Long Term Happiness – for the latter turns out to be a convolution integrating a customizable blend of #OnLoveAndLustAndEverythingInBetween.

What are Your Thoughts on Romantic Love?

Anything you’d like to share on Love or lust? Go in the comments and tell us about it!

Shameless Advertising of my Products!

Notebooks are always good ideas, especially when they are as cute as those. Maybe as a gift to yourself, a good friend, your Valentine or Galentine? I got one for everyone! check them out below!

A Though: Is There Room to Celebrate Those Who Hurt Us, and Where Should We Start?

Just the other day I had a conversation with someone who was wondering how we could celebrate a man’s accomplishments’ when we knew he was a sexist, misogynist, and even beat his wife/girlfriend. I think that is a valid question. I sensed pain and frustration in that person’s voice. In this case, I believe it came from the fact women’s voices being silenced, their experiences minimized, abuse normalized, and how we have been historically gaslighted – combined with the lack of accountability and denial from those who perpetrated the harm.

So, “Is there room to celebrate those who hurt us and their contributions to the world?” Well, let me start by saying: this is the world we have been living in y’all. We have been celebrating talented thieves, bright colonialists, eloquent racists, intelligent narcissists, charming psychopaths, charismatic megalomaniacs, and the like for as long as we humans have been roaming them “civilized streets”. We have also been celebrating more righteous individuals, some of whom turned out to have very problematic ways as well. So, where should we start?

The “Hurt Legacies” Conundrum

I hear those afraid of “hurting legacies”. I admit, this can be a dicey topic, especially when systems of oppression in place that already vilify certain populations, could take hold of the process and sensationalize the truth to further already hurtful stereotypes. Think of revered African American leaders or celebrities being slandered for their infidelity, drug abuse, meanness, etc… I can understand how, especially when the person is no longer here with us, this can feel – what’s the word – blasphemous? I think, however, that it is necessary to recalibrate the stories we tell ourselves and the world and set the record straight so we can bring justice and peace to those who have been hurt in the process and still suffer from these consequences. Moreover, we may be attempting to comprehend the whys and hows so we can maybe prevent repeating the same patterns ourselves.

Of course, I believe that these attempts to reestablish the truth and “make it right” (if there is such a thing) should be centered on the healing of the victims, even when sometimes the pain abusers inflicted on them may be insurmountable and the damage irreversible. It is worth a try IMO.

Cosmic Homeostasis

First, we must challenge our own beliefs. I often struggle with how the way I feel conflicts with my thoughts. I constantly have to remind myself that even tho life appears to be unfair – in reality, the Universe always has a way to balance things out: it is science, cosmic homeostasis. Trust: it is easy to mistake celebrity, the abundance of material things, and appearances for happiness, especially when living in scarcity. I do find it hard… I constantly have to remind myself – that what I have been conditioned to believe about happiness in our highly capitalized society is flawed, as it fails to recognize that true happiness and satisfaction comes not from money, notoriety, and looks, but from how authentic our relationships with others are.

Consequently, there is no way that those who hurt others by their actions, lie (to themselves and others) about it, and refuse to take responsibility, experience true happiness: it’s science, cosmic homeostasis – and isn’t it what we all strive for?

Is There a Path to Redemption?

I believe that the keys to redemption can be accessible to those courageous enough to take the path towards truth and accountability.

To those who may not feel satisfied with these ideas and instead would prefer seeing people suffering the way they did – I can understand – it is not easy. It may not be enough for those who have greatly still carry the visible and invisible wounds, and I am not here to police how anyone feels: you are entitled to your pain, but you also deserve to be happy.

Perhaps, in time, we will find ways to establish a balance and acknowledge individuals’ contribution – especially as we take a good look at ourselves and dismantle the systems that allowed abusers to normalize the harm.

New This Month of December 2021

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The year is coming to an end, and what a year! I believe that all that time alone away from usual distractions forced my creativity to show up in (un)expected ways. It has been a work in progress and definitely a time to reflect on life and try to find ways to cope with what was, and what could be. Here are December’s goodies, per category.

Stationery

Etsy: Etsy.com/Shop/daphneessiet (currently closed to the holidays)

Signed Prints of Bodacious Mane, Afro Dancers, and Afro Yogi Collections. Click here to visit the online boutique.

Online Boutique: DaphneEssiet.Shop

Afropop collection

Last Words

Wishing everyone a peaceful and safe new year. See you in 2022!

Artist of the Day: New Article in “Not Real Art” Online Publication

Months ago I applied for a grant through the online magazine NOT REAL ART that “celebrates artists and empowers their work with unique stories, podcasts, grants, experiences, and more.

Although I made it through the elimination stages for a few rounds, I didn’t become one of the recipients this year.

You can discover through this article a bit more about me! Click here for the full article.

Thank you all for this year’s support, and may you have a peaceful and safe end of the year!

New: Brightly Colored African Design Inspired Patterns to Warm up Your Winter!

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As we enter the cold months of winter, I thought I would share with you some new designs in form of colorful items right to brighten up your heart as well as your home sweet home!

I mentioned in a prior blog, I truly love patterns, and lately, I have been really active in creating some awesome ones inspired by African patterns. It took some time and work, but here are a new collection featuring some geometric and Colorful beauties, on a multitude of items that you can now find in my store! Check some of them out below:

1. Pillows

A strategically placed accent can bring the whole room to life, and this pillow is just what you need to do that. What’s more, the soft, machine-washable case with the shape-retaining insert is a joy to have long afternoon naps on. Comes in 3 Sizes.

2. Tote Bags

A spacious and trendy tote bag to help you carry around everything that matters.

3. Computer Sleeves

Protect your laptop in style—get this snug, lightweight laptop sleeve! To prevent any scratch marks, it contains an internal padded zipper and its interior is fully lined with faux fur. What’s more, it’s made from a material that’s resistant to water, oil, and heat, making sure your laptop sleeve looks as sharp as you any day of the week! Comes in 2 sizes

4. The Last Word

Interested? Discover and shop for the collection here and remember to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out deals and news! If you prefer notebooks, you can find similarly styled paper goods available on amazon. Some samples are below!

For Fine Art Lovers: the Dotted Circles Colorful Paintings are Back for the Holidays

Are you ready for pure bliss and happiness? If so, marvel in this multitude of colors of this dotted circle.

In her TED Talk “Where Joy Hides and How to Find it”, Ingrid Fetell Lee, aka @aestheticsofjoy on Instagram, eloquently articulated how I feel every time I add a colored dot to the paper. Each layer elevates how Joyful I am and that is primarily how I fought the feeling of isolation during the lockdown and still to this day. Thank you, now it makes sense

The circle represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement, God (‘God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere – Hermes Trismegistus).

6x6in Framed and Signed Dotted Circles, available on Saatchi

Acrylic on Paper, 6 W x 6 H x 0.1 Din – One-of-a-kind Artwork: