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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for relax, recharge and renew.  There has been a lot of creative energy being employed this month.  When that happens, it is important to rebuild those reserves with rituals that honor the self.

I like to be around water to recharge the creative battery.   I usually go to my favorite little beach close to my home and bring a journal to write whatever comes to mind.  Taking a sacred soak is also top on the list to rejuvenate the body.  That is my plan for the day.  I have a lot of creative projects that will require a fully charged creative spirit.  What do you do to recharge?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

P is for purchases as in I am thrilled to fulfill these purchases for the Afro Jazz Print Sale!  Today is the last day and orders will be sent down to the post office Monday and Tuesday.  Thank you so much to all of you who purchased a print!  I've been thinking of all kinds of ways to make it extra special for you...

P is also for portraits!  I recently added portraits to my creative offerings.  These aren't just any portraits.  These are Afro Jazz Contemporary Portraits.  You know what that Afro Jazz is all about already.  So imagine your face, your beautiful precious face Afro Jazzed to perfection...can you see it?  I can!

To switch up the pace of things, I decided to read to you an article from Fabulous Noble about the history of portraiture.  Watch this story time video below!

To read the article for yourself, visit Fabulous Noble.

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for overviews and observations.  So far, the Afro Jazz from A to Z Challenge has been a lot of fun.  It has brought out parts of my creativity that don't always have space to breathe.

I have observed that balancing the act of creating art while writing about it is a challenge.  There are times when I am just too tired to blog.  Hence, the back up and delay on my M and L posts.  I am happy to report I am back on track now.  Someone asked,

Why don't you write out your posts ahead of time?

My answer is simply that I love the challenge of writing in real time.  I get some of my best inspiration for creative writing, right in the moment.  

The most I could do is compose an editorial calendar with suggested topics for corresponding letters.  Even that changes the day of, to something more relevant and a little more interesting. 

Since I am back on track, tomorrow can actually be a day where I create new pieces.  Perhaps, I give the male figures of Afro Jazz a try again...or not.  Ha!  

Sometimes it's best to see what kind of invitation the moment provides.  

The overall most read post at this point is: 

Hugs and High Fives for the Harlem Renaissance

This is an example of a post that came about organically.  Initially I was going for the history of one's art and the importance of documentation.  I had a rough outline and everything.  As I sat down to write, I realized I had yet to touch on the inspiration for my art and my personal inspiration as an artist.  It was just a divine blessing that the Harlem Renaissance begins with the letter H.  I am glad I let things develop on their own that day.  

This experience so far, has all been one big lesson in creative obedience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for natural as in natural hairstyles.  The faces of Afro Jazz all rock afros, fro-hawks, flat twists or scarves.  Welcome to our salon!  We are so glad you made an appointment for today.  

You know how the receptionist hands you a hair magazine for inspiration?  Well, here's a helpful guide on choosing the perfect Afro Jazz natural hairstyle!  Let us know if you would like some tea or coffee.  Someone will be with you shortly.


The afro is perhaps the easiest style to achieve.  We simply wash, condition and then using an afro-pick, comb the hair away from the scalp to achieve a halo or round ball shape.  


The fro-hawk gets its name from the more commonly heard of mohawk.  After a shampoo and conditioner, the hair is parted into 3 or more sections and gathered to the middle using an elastic to hold the afro puffs in place.  Unlike the mohawk, no shaving of the sides of the head are necessary.  


Now this style only requires a beautiful head wrap or scarf.  There are several ways to achieve this look.  This particular look is called Wrapped to the Heavens.  First one must bend over allowing the hair to fall to towards the ground.  The hair is then wrapped into a bun sitting on top of the head.  Fold your scarf into a triangle, making sure the point is facing up and aligned with the bun.  Criss-cross the other two points from right to left.  Make a knot in the back and tuck the top point of the triangle into the rest of the scarf.  

That's it!  Hope you were inspired by these quick natural hairstyles.  Which style would you like us to do for you today?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for masculine as in the masculine side of Afro Jazz.  Creating male faces for Afro Jazz is a challenge in my mind.  Really it is just not as fun as the faces for women!  Well, it is time I change this way of thinking.  

Take this morning for example.  I spent tons of mental energy visualizing a new male face for Afro Jazz.  I have a male face model already who just happens to be my brother.  The thought came in my mind to create something majestic like a king in an Afro Jazzed crown.  I could even add gem stones to the crown.  That might be fun.  

These are just my musings.  Most of my creative projects start out this way.  I have done one male Afro Jazz mockup piece before but then quickly returned to the female face.  Once I find the creative motivation to start on the male Afro Jazz pieces again, you'll be the first to know.

The first and only male Afro Jazz piece. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for look book as in launching an Afro Jazz art and fashion book.  Artists practicing the business side of things should be locked and loaded with something that represents their art whether it be a business card, postcard flyer for an upcoming exhibition or matted prints in cellophane ready to go.  The problem with me is, I rarely carry business cards, preferring instead to make a genuine connection with someone and exchanging contacts via the old fashioned way.

Fishing boats in Cape Coast Slave Dungeons
Afro Jazz Look Book Cover Mockup view from Cape Coast, Ghana at the slave dungeons.
Recently, the concept of a look book caught my eye.  They are usually for marketing fashion lines and collections but I could totally see a look book working for art too.  It would work especially well for Afro Jazz seeing as textiles are incorporated into the mixed media collage pieces.

I am definitely adding the concept onto my longterm project list.  Seeing as I will be in Ghana next year, that will be the perfect time to have an Afro Jazz photo shoot.  In the meantime, there's this video short...



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