Almost a year ago I was commissioned to create a mural! Just wanted to share with you these picture ❤ This was my first time and it was much fun! It later inspired my notebook collectionof Afro Fairies!
In America, we often celebrate icons such as Toni Morrison, Dr Maya Angelou, Oprah or Angela Davis.
I feel like there is real a lack of Africans, Caribbean and Afropeans women depicted in art, so I decided to create some pieces featuring black and brown women I learnt about over the year, some in school in the USA, on French TV, or simply social media.
Do you recognize/know any of them?
Christiane Taubira is a writer and French politician, who served as Minister of Justice of France in the government of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault under President François Hollande from 2012 until 2016. She was a member of the National Assembly of France for French Guiana (1993-2012) and of the European Parliament (1994-1999).
Maryse Condé is a French novelist, critic, and playwright from the French Overseas department and region of Guadeloupe. Condé is best known for her novel Ségou. Her novels explore the African diaspora that resulted from slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean.
Calixthe Beyala is a Cameroonian author and member of the Eton people. She published her first book, “C’est le soleil qui m’a brûlée”, at the age of 23 and eventually chose to become a full-time writer.
Léonora Miano is a Cameroonian author and vocalist. She published her first novel, Dark Heart of the Night, which was well received by French critics, receiving six prizes: Les Lauriers Verts de la Forêt des Livres, Révélation (2005), the Louis Guilloux prize (2006), the Prix du Premier Roman de Femme (2006), the René-Fallet prize (2006), the Bernard-Palissy prize (2006),and the Cameroonian Excellence prize (2007). The Lire magazine awarded it with the title of the best first French novel in 2005. Her second novel, Contours du jour qui vient, received the Goncourt des lycéens prize, which was discerned by a jury of young high schoolers between the ages of 15 and 18.
Rokhaya Diallo, is a French journalist, author, filmmaker, and activist for racial, gender and religious equality. According to The New York Times, she is “one of France’s most prominent anti-racism activists.” She is a BET-France host and has produced and/or directed documentaries, television and radio programs.
Assa Traoré is a French activist and leader of the Committee for Justice and Truth for Adama. She became the Face of France’s Movement for Racial Justice after her brother, Adama Traoré, died in police custody.
Dr. Maboula Soumahoro is a French scholar whose work focuses on US and African-American studies. Since 2013, she is also the president of the Black History Month (BHM), an organization dedicated to the celebration of Black history and cultures throughout the world. Dr. Soumahoro is the author of Le Triangle et l’Hexagone, réflexions sur une identité noire (Black is the Journey, Africana the Name, La Découverte).
Noémie Lenoir is a French model and actress. She is known for her work with Gucci, L’Oréal, Next, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Balmain Paris Hair Couture, and Marks and Spencer. She has been featured in a line-up of the world’s most successful black models by photographer Annie Leibovitz
I am super excited to share this new piece with the community!
The large canvas (24x30in) was quite daunting at first, but the process became my main focus. I never really plan what I am going to draw beforehand, just that I would use a grey background (it wasn’t even the gray I was planning on using haha). Then I picked up my ruler and compass and let my imagination run wild.
Every single dots shares similar traits: they are even and have a nicely rounded shape; however, they each carry their own “DNA” which make them unique!
I love the result and I am looking forward to create even more geometrical pieces like this one. I totally can see those in an art gallery, a museum, or your beautiful home! Meanwhile, it is in my home 😉
I have always loved paper goods, and particularly notebooks, diaries, and planners. I have been wanting to create some new I had the opportunity to create some featuring my own illustrations, which are now available on Amazon (and with prime shipping)
If this was up to me, I’d spend my life in school. When I say “if this was up to me” I mean if I had the financial means to do so. I have been “visualizing it” and “calling it into existence” – probably not hard enough or too many people are doing the same and I just have to be patient…
I dream about money coming out of “nowhere”, meeting a generous billionaire who wants to facilitate someone else’s life: mine!
All I want is a house, my own house – two stories with a well-lit attic (cause you know I don’t like food smell in my bedroom and I be cooking) – may be close to a lake (like in that last “This Is Us” episode) with a beautiful kitchen with a gas stove – where I can host dinners for my family and friends, a place where they can come spend some time away, a peaceful place – close to nature.
I want a car, doesn’t have to be new – just have to be reliable, with a large trunk and good on gas so I can take road trips if I want to, or get large canvases to my house when I need to.
I want to be debt-free and have enough extra cash to take some leisure trips if I want to or visit my people in France and if someone needs I can give some of that € away.
Also, have access to higher education so I can get the help I want to craft and edit my book.
I want free+great healthcare so I can do my yearly checkups and tune-ups when I need to. That’s all – if this was up to me…
Because “longing” is probably one of the most inspiring topics one can write about. The turmoil of wondering is proportional the indifference given by the object of desire… isn’t it something we can collectively feel in our bones and relate to? • what bout you? : Do you think bout me still, or do you not think so far ahead – cause I been thinkin’ ’bout forever…
It is hard to project yourself when we don’t know what tomorrow holds, which for lots of us, including myself, induces lots of stress.
My way of coping with anxiety has been to spend as much time as possible creating.
I was working with lots of black and metallic colors, then pastels – and here is something kinda new – acrylic paint on white paper.
Hopes it brings as much joy to you that is brings to me!
Similar in so many ways, yet unique. The dots, the circles, the people, the experiences: the circle of life represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement, God.
Have you ever found yourself face to face with a bear? I’ve personally never had myself, but the simple thought of it is terrifying to me.
Most likely, I think that I would try to run as fast and far as possible – understandably so: as human beings, we are built for survival; everything we do is instinctively wired so we can make it out alive the most stressful situations.
“Our sympathetic nervous system directs the body’s rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. A flash flood of hormones boosts the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. Breathing quickens, delivering fresh oxygen to the brain, and an infusion of glucose is shot into the bloodstream for a quick energy boost. This response occurs so quickly that people often don’t realize it’s taken place, according to Harvard Medical School.“
This post was to be published last month in honor of #WomenHistoryMonth but with everything that’s been happening, in New York and the world, I had put this aside and focused on other things. I’m happy and excited to finally do this and share these pieces with you.
It hasn’t always been this way, but sisterhood had become very important for me over the years. I really wanted to create something special for Women History Month 2020 and thought that portraying women I found inspiring would be a great way to celebrate – even tho, for me celebrating women is all year around.
I let you scroll down for the entire collection and visit their page to discover their work when available!
In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth + #theCrownAct I decided to make some figurative work subliming women’s hair.
*The CROWN Act is a California law which prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture by extending protection for both categories under the FEHA and the California Education Code. It is the first legislation passed at the state level in the United States to prohibit such discrimination.
Here’s my story:
Early on I internalized that my curly hair wasn’t “good”. I was so excited to get it straightened and every time it happened people positive comments reinforced this idea.
Once in my early 20s, I went to an interview – first year living in Paris – I had a nice Zara pants and jacket with cute shirt and since I knew that I had to look “professional” I pulled my hair very tight into a ponytail. I can honestly say I had a magnificently manicured hairdo that day. Still the interviewer felt the need to tell me that if I got the job, I would not be able to wear braids or my hair out. I was so used about that type of abuse and discrimination that I enthusiastically responded something like: “of course!”. I got the job.
When I moved to New York, one of the first purchases I made was a curling iron. For me it was a survival tool as important as a getting plates and cooking pans.
I think it was around 2007 I started to “transition” when my friend Fatima sent me this YouTube video of Taren Guy (I think that’s her name) basically explaining how to take care of your natural hair. It took years for me to unlearn and rebuilt the self-confidence and acceptance around my own hair.
In 2015, when I started to work at my last company, I was interviewed by an old colleague of mine Lana from my flight attendant days. One thing was different tho: she had switched her relaxed black hair to beautiful blonde dreadlocks. It felt so good to see a woman being top executive of a company wearing natural hairstyle – and encouraged me to also wear mine the way I wanted in the corporate settings.
When I started to work I decided to confidently wear natural hairstyles, especially when we were meeting with suppliers in Asia and Europe – to make a point to show that my professionalism was in no way impacted by how my hair looked.
It’s been a journey but I can honestly say that all these experiences empowered me to be the confident person I am today and pushed me to deconstruct other preconceived ideas about beauty and power dynamics.
Here’s some of my illustrations!
If you like these illustration, please follow these links below:
For clarification, this is a « reimagined » version of Van Hunt first album.
Van Hunt is IMO one of the most underrated artists out there.
Can I say I wish him all the success he desires, but also selfishly want to keep him to myself – sharing with us his artistry in human size intimate acoustic venues?
What can I say about the TRIM – Reimagined album, besides the fact it keeps me in my feelings – big time? I love every bits of it and wished I had known all the lyrics by heart last year at his summer concert downtown Brooklyn last year. The sound of this album feel like a long term relationship where you have beautifully matured into your grown-self and finally accepted that the textures and added layers accumulated over the years are what makes it *perfectly unique*.
I appreciate songs that make me think about my human condition, don’t you? In Hello Goodbye, Van delivers a potent truth: “love shouldn’t be so complicated”- yet, & once again – what would we write about if it was? (Asking for a friend)
Many have been stranded in *that* relationship – you know- with someone who can’t be in touch with their own feelings (you may have been that mofo yourself – shiiiiiittttt).
Well it’s healthy to bring what’s bothering us so openly – and almost taking the ultimate stand – not judging, just saying… it’s the first step towards untangling that type of situationships.
The shape of a pyramid is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun, and most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone, in order to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance. (Wiki)
I was frankly inspired this past week. I have never been to Egypt, but I visited Mexican pyramids and there were already pretty grandiose. I hope one day ❤
« 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 centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere’ (Hermes Trismegistus).
It makes me feel but I feel peaceful watching these! Check out some of my latest creations, soon available on Saatchi
Gold pen-touch by @sakuraofamerica on black paper.
So, let’s start at the beginning: it is for me physically impossible to be in a bad mood while listening to AP. Like he has an ON switch for my happy mood (I can’t think of anyone else making me feel that way on the top of my head.)
When I first heard him I thought: James Brown meets Kendrick Lamar for some reasons (that’s how I felt- still feel).
This is a gift but it also can be very deceiving; for instance, Your Prime is full of cynicism: “Know what she want and she know I ain’t shit but a savage” sounds very dysfunctional, right? Yet the way he says it makes me want to try it anyway, well if I were 23 and live on a beautiful campus – that is… which is not the case, since I am a GAW (Grown A$$ WoMan)
Authenticity is an interesting quality. It is admired but also feared by those who pretend to be someone other than themselves so to be liked by many. Her genuineness made Amy special – and also very vulnerable – but let’s talk about that song right here:
With an extreme nonchalance she delivers her simple and unapologetic truth: she was longing for her man. I know the lyrics sounds cold blooded but I have to respect how candid and honest her explanation was. Polyamorously…
IMO, the tune climaxes she call for forgiveness “How can I put it so you can understand: I did not let him hold my hand”
Two people can do or react similarly for different reasons. Two people can do and react differently for the same reason.
Read that again.
It’s hard to tell which is which for many reasons. One: we project – we tend to empathize more with those who look like us or we relate to. We automatically side their way – the one we feel safest.
Two: conditioning. In order to survive, humans instinctively form groups and rely on patterns to know what’s safe or not; we follow the rules so we keep within the group. Unfortunately, these patterns, although accepted as facts, don’t always hold true. That’s why it is important to understand who controls the narrative.
Three: we make mistakes. Our ego has a hard time admitting it could be wrong because it makes us uncomfortable – then, lacking comfort for too long leads to change and heighten humility. Our ego ain’t having that.
I won’t necessarily blame those who won’t challenge the status quo or « pretend » to be someone they aren’t so to be accepted, praised, liked, get liked. I can’t be mad at someone trying to do their best so they can « fit ». Been there, done that.
Honestly, I think a lot of people don’t even really know who they are, or what they like because they never really question whether they enjoy what they do or what was done out of habit.
Authenticity brings alignment – that’s the type of feeling we are longing for. It takes courage to reveal your true self. It also comes with a territory filled with vehement hate, fueled by fear of being left behind.
Ultimately, I believe it can be really challenging to be who you truly are for some people, simply because being accepted is fundamental to our survival as a species and in order to do so, we have to comply with certain standards rooted into some sort of privilege. It’s fair to consider the reasons we have at hand to understand why people behave the way they do so we can respond in a more informed way. It is not about being right or wrong, it is about doing what is right and consider everyone’s humanity.
There are songs, like this one, who keep me believing; keep me believing that one day, I will make someone feel that way about me – and It’ll be reciprocated. I guess what I particularly like about this tune is the “poetic simpledom” of it all.
This past December when I was at my cousin Virginie’s house in Biarritz I felt an immense sense of peace. Maybe it was the quietness or the clean bright uncluttered space, a cocoon if you will, or maybe a combination of all that made me feel like: this is how it should be.
I have lived in New York for 16 years, and although many times challenging, I absolutely loved the city with all my heart, from its effervescence to its diverse crowd and extreme weather; however, I also felt that – maybe – it may be time for a change. A change involving quietness and fresh air.
Every time I have ah-ha moments like these (or any strong emotions if I am being truthful), I tend to write them down. This time was no different. What I did next was to take my ukulele and wrote this song.
“On the way to Oz” deals with how familial and societal pressure contributes to our overall mental health – for me I started to question how my surroundings and perception of success affected how I was seeing myself. At 39, had I met these expectations? Did I use New York as a way to distance myself from the pressure I may have felt had I lived in a more conventional town or closer to family members at the detriment of my mental health? So many questions I am eager to answer!
The song and lyrics are below if you want to check them out. I personally love how it engages my mind and stimulates my thoughts on topics such as addiction, self-love, lies, community and empathy on the road to recovery.
There are places we’ll never let ourselves go
And to cope we drink, take drugs, have sex, and scroll
Up and down until we numb ourselves so cold, so cold
We pretend to enjoy things we don’t care for
And to cope we tell the world how much it cost,
And we post until we numb ourselves so cold, so cold
Produced by D’Angelo All vocals performed by D’Angelo Vocal and musical arrangements by D’Angelo Bass: Pino Palladino All other instruments: D’Angelo
Probably one of my favorite tunes on d’Angelo second studio album, Voodoo released 20 years ago, in 2000.
The intro is just a well-thought out foreplay to the song – and the layered vocals turn this particular performance into this almost elusive yet haunting feeling of golden love making – many can relate 👀
It is almost as if one could taste the compounded desire in their own mouth on this one, *while you sing or recite along’.