I love my sketchbooks so much! Maybe as much as I love my family, my child, or a good bowl of grits. Having a consistent sketchbook routine is so important and crucial to not only to me as an artist, but it is a necessary space for my rage, anger, joy, research, and observation.
When I leave my house and observe the world around me, I can’t wait to get back home and put it into my sketchbook. When I am out, I can taste the inspiration that I get when I see something that interests me. I am also the type of person that carries little sketchbooks and pens with me in my purse. My purse is usually filled with mobile art supplies and Fenty.
As an artist who also suffers from chronic pain I am consistently impaired physically. In the last 4 years I have been recovering from major surgeries that have kept me in a space of pain. I thought about Frida Kahlo and how she pushed through her pain during her recoveries while painting in bed. Well, that didn’t work. Painting can be so physical, and I just couldn’t make it work. Learning more Frida Kahlo, she had a bit more support than me to do her artwork from her bed.
Instead, I poured my anguish into my sketchbook and committed to working on paper with drawing, collage, pastels and colored pencils and tempera sticks. I was able to snuggle with my sketchbook when I was tired or in a lot of pain. My sketchbook is a space that holds some of my purest forms of expressions.
I don’t show people my sketchbook. To me it’s like showing my underwear. My sketchbook assists in rescuing my sanity and it helps me heal from the ills I face every day and it is a space where my mind and creativity can flow safely. I much rather go to my sketchbook, than curse someone out.
Sometimes it doesn’t work.
Being an artist is all about creativity, self-expression, and bringing your imagination to life. However, amidst the canvas strokes and musical notes, there's a less glamorous but equally important aspect to consider – taxes. While the thought of diving into the world of tax preparation might not be as exciting as creating art, it's a crucial step for us artists to ensure financial stability and compliance. Here are some informal insights on how artists can prepare for taxes without losing their artistic spirit.
Check out these tips:
-Keep track of income and expenses. We artists often have multiple income streams, from selling artworks to freelance gigs or performances. Try to establish a simple system to record all sources of income and related expenses. This not only helps in accurate tax reporting but also provides a clear overview of your financial health.
-Consider setting up a separate business bank account. Mixing personal and business finances can lead to confusion during tax time. A dedicated account for your artistic endeavors streamlines financial management, making it easier to identify and categorize transactions for tax purposes.
-Take advantage of deductions available to artists. Many expenses related to your art practice can be deducted, such as art supplies, studio rent, or even travel expenses for exhibitions. Keep receipts and documentation to support your deductions, ensuring you don't miss out on potential tax savings.
-Embrace technology to simplify record-keeping. Numerous apps and software are designed to help artists manage their finances efficiently.
-Consider consulting a tax professional specializing in creative industries. Tax laws can be complex, and having a professional on your side ensures you're taking full advantage of available deductions while staying in line with regulations.
While taxes may not be the most thrilling aspect of an artist's journey, they are a necessary part of maintaining financial stability to be less stressed during tax time. Especially if you don't want to wind up eating your arts supplies at the end of the year.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has long been championed as the cornerstone of preparing students for the future. However, an integral component often overlooked is the 'A' for Arts, transforming STEM into STEAM. The infusion of arts into K-12 education is not just about adding color to the curriculum; it's about cultivating creativity, critical thinking, and innovation.
Incorporating the arts into STEM subjects offers a holistic approach to education. Creativity, nurtured through activities like drawing, music, and drama, enhances problem-solving skills and encourages students to think outside the box. In a world driven by technological advancements, the ability to innovate is paramount. By fostering creativity in the early stages of education, we empower future generations to become adaptable and resourceful thinkers.
Consider the impact of visual arts in helping students comprehend intricate scientific processes or the use of music to teach mathematical patterns. Integrating arts into STEM subjects not only makes learning more expensive, but also ensures that students from diverse learning styles can grasp and retain information effectively.
STEAM education fosters collaboration, mirroring real-world scenarios where professionals from various disciplines come together to solve complex problems. Team projects that incorporate both STEM and arts elements encourage students to appreciate the value of different perspectives and skill sets. This collaborative approach prepares them for the interdisciplinary nature of many contemporary careers.
The arts contribute to the emotional and social development of students. Participation in creative activities boosts self-confidence, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. Students engaged in artistic endeavors learn to express themselves confidently, an invaluable skill that extends beyond the classroom.
The Arts in STEAM education is not a mere embellishment but a catalyst for holistic development. It empowers students with a diverse skill set, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. As we navigate an era of rapid technological evolution, embracing the arts is not just an option; it is a prerequisite for unlocking the full potential of our future leaders and innovators.
The world is crazy. And if you are Black, well you know the rest. The past 10 months have been exhausting. From the Pandemic, injustices Black people, uprisings and incessant murders of Black men and women.
As a Black woman, visual artists, and mother I have always been on watch. I think about Black families and all the things we must go through to simply live, love and survive. Our children are our ancestor’s dreams! They are not meant to have their wings that were given at birth clipped short due to bigotry, injustice, and jealousy.
I came across an image of a Black women who was marching in the riots that followed Brianna Taylor and George Floyd’s death. She was heavily pregnant holding up a sign that said, “We are not carrying for 9 months, laboring for 9 hours for you to kneel on their neck for 9 minutes. Black Lives Matter!” I truly felt that sentiment specifically as a Black woman and as a parent. Her statement was so loud to me and I uplift her and women and families who are parenting at this specific time. As an artist her image impacted me and inspired me to make this piece.
Another element to the image was that I am her. I relate to her because the fact that she must hold up a sign to prove her point. to prove her humanity is something Black people, Black people and other People of Color must battle with every day. I have this battle with my job, at school, and every time I step outside my house.
I am a Black woman and mother! I am here! This Black North Philly Woman is here! We are still here! Black women and Black mothers are always at the frontline the revolution because we birth, the future. We birth revolutions. We gon' stay free my looking to our reflections for the answer! We are the answers we are looking for!
In a world that often emphasizes traditional paths, fostering the creative spirit of our youth is more important than ever. Whether your child is passionate about painting, dancing, writing, or any other form of art, providing support and encouragement can make a world of difference in their artistic journey.
It can be crucial to listen and understand your young artist's aspirations. Engage in open conversations about their passions, interests, and dreams. Create a space where they feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment. By actively listening, you not only show your support but also help them gain confidence in their creative endeavors.
Encourage exploration by exposing your child to various art forms. Attending local art events, visit museums, and explore different artistic communities together. This exposure can broaden their perspectives, inspire new ideas, and help them discover their unique artistic voice.
Provide the necessary tools and resources to fuel their creativity. Whether it's investing in quality art supplies, enrolling them in workshops, or creating a designated art space at home, these gestures convey the message that you believe in their talent and are willing to invest in their artistic growth.
Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Display their artwork proudly, attend their performances, and share their creations with friends and family. Positive reinforcement boosts youths self-esteem and motivates them to continue pursuing their artistic passions.
Supporting your artistic youth also involves respecting their artistic process. Avoid imposing your expectations on their creative expression. Instead, encourage them to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from the artistic journey. Embracing the uniqueness of their artistic voice fosters a sense of independence and confidence.
Connect them with mentors and artistic communities. Networking with experienced artists and like-minded peers can provide valuable guidance, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. Attend workshops, join art clubs, and seek out mentors who can offer insights based on their own artistic journeys.
As a Black artist, who was a youth; no one in my family was an “artist”, however they observed my budding skills and supported me with materials. This can be difficult especially for marginalized communities due to systems that mystify creativity and artistic lifestyles. Being an “artist” or “creative” feels unattainable.
Supporting your artistic youth is about creating an environment that nurtures creativity, fosters confidence, and celebrates individual expression. By doing so, you empower the next generation of artists to embrace their talents and contribute to a more vibrant and imaginative world.
Shout out to all the parents and guardian supporting their creative youth. I got a lot of paint stains, ink blots and clay on the rug in my youth.
Visual art can speak a universal language that transcends barriers and connects us on a deeper, more emotional level. The interplay between visual art and literacy is a rich tapestry that weaves together diverse forms of expression, fostering a nuanced understanding of our surroundings.
Visual art serves as a powerful complement to literacy, offering a unique perspective that words alone often struggle to convey. It bridges gaps in communication by providing a visual vocabulary that is both immediate and intuitive. Whether it's a vibrant painting, a thought-provoking sculpture, or a mesmerizing photograph, visual art can communicate complex emotions, narratives, and ideas in ways that words might fall short. It's a silent storyteller that speaks to our senses and emotions, encouraging us to explore beyond the confines of written language.
The relationship between visual art and literacy goes beyond mere aesthetics; it nurtures critical thinking and enhances our ability to interpret and analyze information. Visual literacy, the ability to understand, interpret, and create visual messages, is an essential skill in today's visually driven society. By engaging with visual art, individuals develop a heightened awareness of symbols, metaphors, and visual cues, empowering them to navigate the complex visual landscape that surrounds us.
The arts have the power to inspire and ignite the creative spark within individuals. It encourages a multidimensional approach to problem-solving and expression, complementing the linear nature of written language expanding our capacity for empathy and connection.
The symbiotic relationship between visual art and literacy enriches our cognitive and emotional landscapes. It transforms the act of reading and writing into a dynamic, multidimensional experience, fostering a more profound connection with the world and with each other