Artists Make Art: Personal Stories - January 2016

Artists Make Art: Personal Stories - January 2016

I have to be honest though; I always experience apprehension when sharing my art. Not because people may hate it. That is fine. Not because if it is for sale people may not buy it. It is their choice. Instead, it is mainly because of the trolling and abuse that I face for the sheer act of creating art as a Black woman that is hypervisible online. But one thing that I do know is that I love my art and as I wrote before, art saves me.

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I Do Not Care About Your "Learning" On Twitter

I Do Not Care About Your "Learning" On Twitter

There are so many ways to engage with people and so many ways to learn online. Can these ways include actual respect for my interests, time and some sense of recognition for the things that I have already made available, or nah? Nowhere in any bio that I have anywhere have I ever described myself as a teacher or educator in an institutional or organic context, though I respect equitable educators who challenge the status quo. Do people learn from me? Yes. But do I exist, breathe, experience joy, suffer, and try to survive solely to be some sort of object that they can "learn" from and hoard facts from that they will never use to change and evolve? No.

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35 Of My Favorite Essays That I Wrote In 2015

35 Of My Favorite Essays That I Wrote In 2015

Whether it was on a difficult but very much needed personal and/or sociopolitical topic, or one of sheer pleasure to write, I enjoyed the experience of writing in 2015. Whether I write about my personal life or art that I am passionate about, writing continues to feel like an exercise in freedom for me. I look forward to a good and interesting year of writing in 2016!

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My Top 9 Favorite Albums Of 2015 and Other Music Love...

My Top 9 Favorite Albums Of 2015 and Other Music Love...

There is always good music. And the truth is, every decade, era and genre of music always includes sublimegreatgoodaveragemediocrebad and "never listen to this, ever" levels of music. Not all music that is "old" is good; not all music that is "new" is bad. Music tastes are subjective.

Janet Jackson, Jasiri X, Lianne La Havas, Jazmine Sullivan, Willow Smith, Erykah Badu, Ruby Amanfu, Jay Z and Lalah Hathway created some of my favorite music in 2015.

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Dealing With Disrespect For My Time and Creative Process As An Artist

Dealing With Disrespect For My Time and Creative Process As An Artist

There is more to this than "do not 'let' anyone stop you from creating!" What about the journey itself though? Why is what is experienced during the journey of creating art and creating a life not as important as whether or not those experiences "stop" a final product or a life decision? What the artist faces has to matter as much as the art. Otherwise, people are asserting that all that matters is what is made for them to consume and that the art has no connection to the artist's creative process or worse, to the artist's humanity itself.

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I Do Not Like The Ways That Most People Use Twitter

I Do Not Like The Ways That Most People Use Twitter

I do not like when people use “reply all” in response to my retweets of news, of a celebrity, or of a viral tweet. I do not like when people try to play “hero” and force me to remain in a conversation with someone who is trolling me. I do not like when people force highly trolled hashtags onto my tweets once they retweet me. I do not like being included in “cattle call” tweets. I do not like when people use intellectual dishonesty as a trolling tactic. I do not like when people engage me as a “concept” and not a person. I genuinely tire of the fact that so many people are so heartily committed to making Twitter as unpleasant as possible. I spend so much time maneuvering through the cesspool replies just to get to the people that I really care about.  

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Artists Make Art

Artists Make Art

I am not "the media." I am not a journalist. I am not an "academic." I am not an activist. I am an artist. Artists make art. I love being an artist. In those moments—of creating some art—I am reminded that my mind does not only exist to process pain nor my heart only exist to be broken. 

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