“With time and age I’ve grown into the woman that I am and my art reflects that." - Artist, Sasha-Loriene

 Artist: Sasha-Loriene  Instagram:  @sashaloriene

Artist: Sasha-Loriene

Instagram: @sashaloriene

I have so much respect for Sasha-Loriene. She's an artist that remains true to herself and really focuses on that.  

The Art and You...

"I feel that your art is a representation of you as a person. So in order to keep growing as an artist you have to do a lot of self work, internal work, always redefining yourself, and figuring out who you are." - Sasha-Loriene 

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I think everyone should be striving to find happiness and live the life that they want. Fear of the unknown is very common but in order to get to where you want to be in life, you will have to find a way to face that fear that stands in front of you and keep it pushing. 

"I like that I can be 100% my authentic self. I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do, that’s the best part. I get to be who I am, I get to make a living off of who I am and I don’t have to subscribe to the 9-5. Everything that I do is on my terms, on my dime, and all my goals." - Sasha-Loriene

We all have choices, you don't get to choose where you come from but you can definitely choose where you'll go.

"I made a conscious decision to only do what I want to do, what I feel like my purpose is. Not letting other people’s expectations of me of what I should do or should not do define me as a person. I'm an artist and that’s what I was always meant to be.” - Sasha-Loriene

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Sasha-Loriene is the founder of Black Girls Who Paint, a platform created to help and support black female artists. There are so many black women out there that paint and have a lot of talent, BGWP is a community that continues to get bigger and better and gives so many black women the opportunity to showcase their work to the world. Instagram: @blackgirlswhopaint

I'm looking forward to seeing what else Sasha-Loriene will do through her journey as an artist and innovator.

Visit http://sasha-loriene.com/ to see more work by Sasha-Loriene.

I'm De La True,

Peace.

DeVonté Giovanni Rhea

 Artist: DeVonté Giovanni Rhea  Instagram:  @vondon_art

Artist: DeVonté Giovanni Rhea

Instagram: @vondon_art

"The process of creating and inspiring people is what I love most." -
DeVonté Giovanni Rhea

In order to seperate your work from the work of others you have to step out of your comfort zone, DéVonté Giovanni Rhea has done that. I've been keeping up with the New Orleans artist on social media for a while now because I think his work is fire. Let's take a look.

Growing as an artist...

"I think over time I've learned to pay attention to minor details. It's crazy how minor details will enhance your work. I think just that helped me grow." - DeVonté Giovanni Rhea

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You never want to be stagnant at what you do, you should always be looking to improve in some way no matter what....

"It's really dope to be able to create something and actually feel it at the same time. I feel like it makes my work so much better. So I just love the process of being able to create stuff and express myself through my work. Especially since my work is different from anybody elses, I feel like it's a representation of me. And you definitely have to have passion. In order to improve you definitely have to have passion. If I didn't have the passion to do this, my work would not have improved and it wouldn't come out the way that I want it to."  - DeVonté Giovanni Rhea

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What I like about DéVonté is that you'll know a piece by him when you see it. You just just know, that's how destinct his work is. I think that's the difference between someone that is trying to leave a mark and someone that just rides the wave. You'll eventually be forgotten if you choose to ride the wave everytime, but being a little innovative and doing your own thing will always make you stand out. When I see that multi color drippy paint style on my instagram feed, I know that's DéVonté.

I'm De La True,

Peace.

Visit VonDonArt.com to see more work by DeVonté.

Shout Out Baltimore

I absolutely love the creative energy in Baltimore. Baltimore has one of those creative scenes that I honestly feel is in good hands, artists arn't just creating they are also finding ways to come together and celebrate each other. Throughout the years several different platforms have been started in the DMV and Baltimore area so that artists and creatives alike gain opportunities to showcase their talents.

Please check out the work and words of these four dope Baltimore based visual artists...


"A visual representation of my internal freedom." - Seshat's Brush

"They can have us in 9 - 5 jobs and we can be in debt, slavery, student loans, or whatever they say we owe them but in the end, if you're an artist, they can try to chain your body up, but they'll never take your mind. Your mind is free." - Seshat's Brush

Instagram: @seshatsbrush

"The fact that you can take something that literally does not exist and make it exist because you said so, I just think that's so cool. To actualy create something that was not here before you thought about it, before you planned it, and then took your time with it, I just think that's probably one of the best parts about being an artist. It's really meditative." - Nikki Moon

Instagram: @heyshedraws

"For me it’s more so than about creating whatever it is that I create. It’s about the creative process. I paint because I need to, I need to express something within myself. I love to be in the moment and locked in a painting and just forgetting where I am." - Briana Lenez

Instagram: @brianalenez

 

"I love that I can express myself and that other people love how I express myself. That’s my favorite part about being an artist, seeing how people react to my work. Art allows you to be who you are." - Nai Turner

Instagram: @sidelineimages


What I admire most about Baltimore artists is the amount of passion they have. The art scene continues to grow because artists are constantly working to sharpen their skills and support one another. I love the diverse creativity and I'm looking forward to seeing more of what Baltimore has to offer. 

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De La True

IG: @_delatrue | Twitter: @delatrue | FB: De La True

Artist to Entrepreneur | Melissa Falconer

 Instagram:  @melissafalconer

Instagram: @melissafalconer

"I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I hated working for other people. It had to be in the arts because that’s what I'm good at. It’s the freedom to move on my own path and do what I want to do with my skill set." - Melissa Falconer
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What I really like most about Melissa is that she remains humble and is always seeking information. She does research on new techniques to sharpen her skills which seperates her from other artists. One of the most recent techniques that she has been working on is color theory. 

"I want to diversify my artwork into more mediums instead of just acrylic on canvas and prints. I'm trying to work on doing apparel and other stuff. I want my art to be more than just on canvas, I want it to be more like a brand surrounding the artwork." - MelissaFalconer

I'm definitely rooting for Melissa's success. I like that she's aware that just having the skill is not enough, she knows that you also have to nurture and continuously learn. With that mentality I believe that she'll do very well for herself. She's already on the right track.

I'm De La True,

Peace.

Visit www.mfalconer.com to see more work by Melissa Falconer

Black Panther

The movie, "Black Panther" has definitely lived up to expectations. You already know that I'm all about ART and CREATIVITY. I'm seeing how this movie has inspired so many dope art pieces so I wanted to highlight a few. Check out these artists!

Artist: Steve Smith

IG: @steve__smith___

Artist: Creative Agency

IG: @creative_agency_

 

Artist: Dooga Art

IG: @dooga_art

Artist: Nikki LAVI

IG: @nikkilavi


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De La True

IG: @_delatrue | Twitter: @delatrue | FB: De La True

Shout Out Chicago

Chicago is a city with artists that have undeniable talent. When it comes to creativity it always seems to me that every artist had his or her own style, which I think is dope. I was able to have conversations with some of the talent coming out of the city and one thing that I can honestly say about them is that they are all extremely ambitious and locked into their passion. 

"I was just thinking that there are a lot of portraits of Obama that are around, I was thinking what I could do to be different, and also highlight it’s importance. A black president, somebody that made history, somebody that has importance in our community just from setting the example. I’m a fan of marvel characters as well so I was just like, what is something that could display what would match his characteristics?" - Arrington

Instagram: @heir_porter

"Most of time I know what colors I'm going with because of the specific music artists. Anybody who knows old school Busta Rhymes knows that he was always super energetic, thats why I chose him. Then I used the red because red is a color that's kind of like fire, that's how I play off the colors." - Ieesha Naeema

"Most of the time I don't have control over a lot of things that go on in my life. I feel like art is the only thing that I can say is trully mine and I can do whatever I want with it."  - Ieesha Naeema

Instagram: @i.am.naeema

"If I'm thinking something, I can easily bring it into fruition. What ever I'm imagining for myself I can create it, I have the hands to create it, and I have the means to create it. So I think it's something that artists are tuned into, that you know that you can make something from nothing really. I like the idea of that." - Chidile

Instagram: @chidile

 

 

"Art allows me to express myself creatively. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to see come to life and a lot of concepts that I want to bring to life. Art is one string that has definitely allowed me to start doing that and learn how to do that more effectively." - Blake Pierré

Instagram: @justblake_

They allowed me to explore and understand the process of the work that they create. I was extremely excited to highlight these Chicago artists, I'm glad I can show you all.

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De La True

IG: @_delatrue | Twitter: @delatrue | FB: De La True

Shout Out Toronto

Toronto's creative culture is thriving. There are so many dope artists based in Toronto and I keep up with them on social media. I had conversations with four of some of my favorites out there, all have a great amount passion for what they do. What I really like is that they all have their own unique styles which goes to show how art really is about expression and perception. Take a look below and you'll see the work of these artists, their thoughts on the Toronto art scene, and the creative process that many can relate to.

Kofi Frempong is the founder of freedom Fridayz. What I really like about Kofi is that he is all about community. He's also a mentor to many young artists in Toronto.

"I started "Freedom Fridayz" about 6 years ago and the vision around that was to create a platform for local artists to showcase their talent. We went from performing arts to visual arts, we gave a platform for photographers, and we pretty much opened it up for artists that wanted to be featured."  - Kofi Frempong

Instagram: @kofis_art

My favorite piece of Nachauntae's is the one that she included some of our favorite black cartoon characters. It's things like that that make you nostalgic.

"I like being in my zone, being able to create, and be in complete control of what the outcome is going to be. I like being able to take my ideas and make them into something relatable and something that just looks good and that people are drawn to and make them happy."  - Nachauntae Fearon

Instagram: @artxnachauntae

 

Orangeinal's passion for anime and video games is definitely shown through her work. She also tries to put a message in the pieces that she creates.

"I'm more inclined to know what the viewer thinks and how they interpreted it than me telling them. I always try to make it a point to ask people what do you think about this piece, what are your feelings and thoughts when you look at it. Then when they answer I tell them where I was coming from."  - Orangeinal

Instagram: @orangeinal

 

Generous Art has that "trippy art" style that just grabed my attention.

"The artists from Toronto are really talented. They have ideas and are actually putting messages in their art. Toronto's art scene is growing, its really growing. The thing I love the most is when people explain what they see in my art. That's the best feeling ever, even when it's my friends. The fact that I'm making their minds move a little bit and think about stuff, that's my favorite part."  - Generous Art

Instagram: @Generousart

I really enjoyed speaking to each one of these artists. The passion they all have is trully inspiring and I was very appreciative that they were willing to share their thoughts with me. I believe that art is very important and I'm glad that I can shine some light on the talent coming out of the city of Toronto.

De La True

IG: @_delatrue | Twitter: @delatrue | FB: De La True

Maximum Security | Tselote Holley

Instagram: @tseloteholley_

 This piece is called "Maximum Security".

This piece is called "Maximum Security".

"It's kind of incorporating the two sides of me as an artist and combining them together. So when it comes to the title Maximum Security I was most interested in figuring out these boxes that society puts you in, your family puts you in, and your friends put you in. That's how it all developed. So where I stand personally, I'm reaching outside of this box and I'm really breaking down those barriers and getting rid of those elements that just don't work for me anymore." - Tselote Holley

On the left there are purple boxes with abstract figures in them, on the right you see a woman with her hands on her kneck. This was all done to express the different sides of Tselote.

White Hands...

"I didn't plan on keeping them white, compositionally it really worked for me. It really intrigued me. I feel like it definitely ties in the negative spaces at the top. The relationship between the hands and these boxes. That's the way I was looking at it"

Maximum Security...

"Maximum Security is reflecting me and any other person that can relate to it. Them being so secure with themselves, their passion, their drive, whatever that they believe in. Just being completley in love with yourself, owning it, and raining down on every parade that tries to hold you back." - Tselote Holley

The Passion....

"I love the feeling of freedom. I love being in my zone, that's where I feel the most free because I'm in an element that is untouchable." - Tselote Holley

 

Some of Tselote's past work.

 

De La True

“I can’t fathom the words to describe some of the things that I think but I can definitely paint." Justin Reed

“I can’t fathom the words to describe some of the things that I think but I can definitely paint. It makes me feel like I’m not crazy for having these thoughts. I might want to draw a mutant alien taking over some foreign planet, that just might be something that goes through my mind creatively. Being able to get that onto paper is dope to me.” - Justin Reed

Justin Reed is on his grind. An artist and the curator of Artpocalypse, I've been following him for a while now and I've seen how much work he puts in. He's currently trying to expand "Artpocalypse" and I had to know what inspired this movement.

“Last year when I was traveling and going to different shows I felt like there was a lot of dope artists in Atlanta that weren’t getting the opportunities that they needed. I felt like not only did they need a platform but they needed a consistent platform. That inspired me to make Artpocalypse." - Justin Reed

With guys like DJ Waters and Malcolm Bassett on his team helping him, visual artists from all over the country began hearing about Artpocalypse. They wanted in. 

"As it grew I saw artists travel from other parts of the U.S to come down to Atlanta for Artpocalypse so it made me realize that its not just the Atlanta artists that need this type of exposure, the dream grew a little bit." - Justin Reed

Going into 2018, Reed and his team have some big plans for Artpocalypse and I'm looking forward to watching the growth. I believe artists need opportunities like this so I'm rooting for Artpocalypes to be successful. Artpocalypes is ALWAYS accepting emails from interested artists so if you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area then you should definitely send an email to artpocalypseatlanta@gmail.com. In 2018 Artpocalypse will begin touring in different cities. Follow them on instagram, (@artpocalypseatlanta), who knows they might be in yours.

"They actually shrunk the size of Africa on the map to make it fit the rest of the world." Monique Cleveland

Raleigh based artist, Monique Cleveland

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"You're trying to hold up the world. You're trying hold up yourself with all of these things you've been taught to do and you're still fighting against all of these injustices, and you're still seen differently." - Monique Cleveland

I love this painting because it says so much. I feel like conversations could lasts for hours because of this painting. It's dope and I think the concepts and thoughts which created it are amazing. 

"Many don't realize how big Africa is. That also was an injustice done in our society. They actually shrunk the size of Africa on the map to make it fit the rest of the world. They shrunk Africa. They shrunk Africa and they shrunk the relevance of it. So by me putting Africa in the center of that globe, I'm putting it back where it belongs, I'm putting it back as the focus, and recognizing how large and how powerful it is." - Monique Cleveland

www.sugah.org