It's 2021 already! Wow! It has been such a long a time since I posted on this blog page. While I still create and display my original art, my main focus has been on expanding the art education division of our business, which you can explore by clicking this link. Nevertheless, I'm still on a creative journey and wanted to share some of the highlights we experienced from the last few years.
I had the pleasure of publishing a new children's picture book in 2018 entitled, Jamal's Creative Inspiration. This book is a companion piece to our other children's picture book, Jamilah Loves to Talk About Art . Both books help to introduce readers to important Black visual artists.
I had so much fun facilitaing/teaching creative events and traveling in 2018. I went home to Detroit, MI to host a joy-filled coloring party with my best fiend. We also went to the Dominican Republic and had one of the best cultural experiences of our lives so far. The art, nature, music and food are incredible.
W enjoyed partnering with Hope and Faith Rivers, the amazing business owners of Moazen Jewelry and Majestic Hue, to host fine art exhibitions and events throughout 2019-2020. The community support has been wonderful. We also attended a great African textile exhibition at the Mint Museum in the Spring.
Again, we had the pleasure of facilitating summer art camps/classes. One one of our favorite art camp locations was at The First Baptist Church-West in Charlotte, NC where they have amazing stained glass windows. One of our art lessons was inspired by the spectacular windows.
We were blessed to visit family in Jackson, MS and also experience the phenomenal island of Aruba. Both trips were fantastic. We were also fortunate to see these original paintings by Aaron Douglas as well as an exhibition of Frida Kahlo's original paintings at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC in the latter part of the year.
We began 2020 by publishing a new coloring book; African Print Inspired Home Decor Coloring Book. Coloring is a great way to promote mindfulness and relaxation. We also continued to teach/facilitate art classes around the Metro Charlotte, NC community.
Right before the world shut down as result of Covid-19, we had the privilege to travel to and experience the wonderful country of Costa Rica. The culture in Costa Rica is filled with color and beauty.
Even though we were quarantined throughout 2020, it gave us an opportunity to create new creative content like our Art For the Creative Soul Virtual Art Academy. We created this course to teach adults of all ages how to enrich their educational curriculum by creating art lessons inspired by Black visual artists.
We closed the year by hosting a safe and socially distant Kwanzaa inspired event with Faith and Hope Rivers. Even though 2020 was very challenging, it was also filled with blessings. We hope that you enjoyed seeing some of our creative highlights and that you all are safe and healthy.
2017 was a great year of growth and creativity for me. I met knew people, saw amazing art and created new products. Here's some of the creative highlights from the year.
In the beginning of the year, my handsome nephew and I had the pleasure of meeting prolific artist, Nellie Ashford. She was so kind and gracious.
I got to hang out and paint with some amazing people in 2017.
Paint parties are a fun way to release your creativity.
I conducted several art camps and workshops for students in pre-school.
They were so fun to work with.
I also facilitated several coloring parties in 2017. One of my favorite parties was the one I facilitated for my grandmother and her friends at her senior community center. Coloring is very relaxing.
Over the summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the DuSable Museum of African-American Museum in Chicago, IL. There were many inspiring works of art on display.
This is a woodcarving of Dr. Margaret Taylor Burroughs who was a co-founder of the museum.
She spent her life helping the community by educating them about and through art.
I also had the pleasure of meeting renowned artist, Richard Hunt at the unveiling of his public sculpture, Spiraling Odyssey in Charlotte, NC. He also inspired the creation of our other website.
I released two new coloring books in 2017. Click on the image to purchase a copy.
I am so thankful for all of the creative experiences that we enjoyed in 2017 and look forward to more creative experiences in the future.
As we leave 2016 and look at the beginning of 2017, I have been thinking about some of the creative blessings I experienced this year. While the year was filled with ups and downs personally, I really enjoyed teaching, learing about and creating art. Take a look at some of my favorite experiences from 2016.
I started the year by meeting some beautiful people at a MLK celebration that I participated in. We also published a new art resource featuring outstanding African-American visual artists.
While we facilitated some fun paint parties in the spring, one of the highlights of spring was meeting and hosting award winning illustrator, Vanessa Brantley-Newton at our school. She is a phenomenal artist and presenter.
During the month of May we released Jamilah Loves To Talk About Art and had a fun book signing party to celebrate the book.
I was excited to go home during the summer to visit my family and friends. It was also a working trip in which I hosted several art events, including a book signing party and an art workshop.
As the year progressed and fall rolled around, I continued to host paint parties and began teaching part-time at a new school.
We also published a new coloring book and had an intimate coloring party with some of my favorite friends to celebrate the release.
As we approched the end of the year, I participated in some fun art pop-up shops, attended some fantastic art exhibits and created new art products. One of the most exciting things that happened was, that I got to see beautiful art at the Museo De Arte in San Juan Puerto Rico. I am so grateful for the new people I met and places I went this year. I look forward to greater things in 2017. Have a blessed and prosperous New Year!
Recently, we celebrated the release of my latest art education resource entitled, Jamilah Loves To Talk About Art. While the party was a great experience, getting to that point was hard. I decided to write the story after taking a part-time art teaching position at a local school. Being in a school setting is inspiring and helps me to develop art education resources that I share on my other website.
After using many other children's books to enhance the art lessons we present at school, I thought that I could use the same medium to introduce young people to artists they may have never learned about or heard of. Easy peasy, right! Wrong!!!
Writing the story was pretty simple because I already had the main character and a list of artists in mind that I wanted to talk about in the story. But creating the art for the story was a whole different animal. This book is the first story I have ever illustrated and shared with the public. Even though I am a professional artist and art educator, I did not realize how hard creating the illustrations for the story would be.
I experimented with various media, did tons of revisions for each drawing and edited them on the computer a dozen times. My hands and wrists would ache at the end of each day. Once I had a mock up ready to print, I had to go through at least 7 different revisions with the printing company before I finally settled on the version of the book currently for sale.
It took me approximately 8 months from start to finish to complete this book. Even though doing the art was challenging, overcoming self-doubt was the biggest challenge. There were so many times when I wanted to quit, but thankfully had lots of support and encouragement from my husband and friends. I also did a lot of praying in which I received strength from God to help me finish. I am so glad that I finally finished this book and now it's time to take a break!