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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for zone.  It is time to celebrate!  The Afro Jazz from A to Z Challenge is finished!  I learned a lot.  I hope you did too.  It is amazing the type of creative ideas one comes up with when in the zone for a month.  I definitely have a clearer picture of what direction I would like to see my Afro Jazz take.


I learned how challenging it is to create art while writing about it too.  There were definitely some either or days.  Either I was going to write a blog post or I was going to create some art.  The way my schedule was set up it seemed impossible at times to do both.

Being in the zone made inspiration easy.  It was everywhere.  I truly appreciated the encouragement I received along the way.  You all are so very sweet.  Thank you for riding this journey out with me! 

What's next you ask?  Well, for one I am going to take a break and return to more creating.  This means blog posts will be about once per week until I build it back up to about three times per week.  I will continue to have regular updates about my latest Afro Jazz creations.

Again, thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my creative world!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for young at heart.  You ask, what does this even mean?  Well, it means to look at art with fresh eyes and child-like imagination.  What does this have to do with Afro Jazz?  Excellent question...

Even though I have a method and technique for Afro Jazz.  It is nice to start from scratch and perhaps learn something new.  Incorporating this concept of being young at art, I started using simple line drawings and crayons to sketch out new ideas. 

What came from this is a new idea for series of just chubby cheeked babies done in an Afro Jazz style.  I am still developing what this entails but it started out with the idea of capturing how babies look at new things introduced into their environment.  Everything is awesome to them no matter how simple or mundane.  

What if we chose to look at every task in this way?  What would be the result?  Would fear suddenly disappear?  Doubt would surely cease to exist.  Take today and just say yes to whatever opportunity that allows you to be young at heart.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for xenophile.  

a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.
One must be interested in the culture of others to truly and fully appreciate Afro Jazz.  This of course, also applies to one who makes Afro Jazz, which would be me.  

Magazine and Newsstand in Paris, France circa 2014.  Images of afros were everywhere!

I love learning about the way people live and create art from all over the world.  When I travel, I make it a point to check out the art scene.  Art is very telling when it comes to a society's values.  Something as simple as visiting a newsstand and seeing what images are considered mainstream can shed some insight as well.  Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to encounter the word Afro and see images of afros all over Paris!  It was as if I was manifesting the word afro with every outing.

In my upcoming series of work, I will explore the influences that Jamaica, Panama, and France have had on my Afro Jazz that perhaps, I did not realize previously.  

W is for Wikipedia.  Have you ever wondered what Wikipedia would write about you, your art, etc., when you are not famous but awesome all the same?  For years, my art ace has wanted to write wiki pages for one another.  I figure with all of the entries I have written about Afro Jazz, there should be enough for a pretty decent entry.  Any takers?  

Above is my fake wiki page from  It is a site that will take info from your Facebook Profile and create a fake wiki page.  I guess I am a multi-millionaire snake milker!  I am afraid of snakes so this is beyond unlikely but still quite entertaining.  Tell me what yours says!

V is for virtual exhibition.  Last year was GALLERY 31's first ever virtual exhibition featuring amazing art from amazing artists.

Virtual exhibition

I am considering producing an Afro Jazz themed virtual exhibition with an artist talk.  Check out the video below...

Once I complete my goal of about 31 new Afro Jazz pieces that is...  I would love to have a live solo exhibition in conjunction with a virtual one. 

Finding a solid chunk of time to devote to creating has been the challenge.  Once I am in the zone (ooh, that will be my post for the letter z) it is hard to come up for air to do all of the other things I am responsible for.  If only I could just manage to get away for a bit.  

Virtual vacation

Is there any such thing as a virtual vacation??!  Can I just tell people I am checking out for a creative minute and Afro Jazz to my heart's content?  I don't see why not.  What would a virtual vacation even look like?  I imagine it is something similar to a staycation.  Do I photoshop myself onto beaches?  I could.  I could even pick a place, research it to the point that I feel like I am there and then have a virtual creative residency.

Boom!  I am going to Vienna, Austria for my virtual artist residency.  I wonder what influence a place like Vienna would have on Afro Jazz.  Oh, the possibilities are endless...especially since, Vienna is an art inspiration mecca.  I am over here in Seattle at a Starbucks, sipping on Pike Roast Blend drip coffee, drooling over pins on Pinterest of Vienna.  

From what I have gathered so far, Vienna seems like a cool, trendy, forward thinking/creative place.  I imagine Afro Jazz would fit in easily.     

Saturday, April 25, 2015

T is for two-for-one as in, two letters of the alphabet within one post.  So, today's post is brought to you by the letters T and U.  The letter V will follow shortly.  

The letter T  

T is for tea.  This year I am on the planning committee for my family's foundation.  We are hosting an afternoon tea fundraiser that benefits those affected by cancer.  All of the tables will each have a theme.  I am excited to sponsor an Afro Jazz themed table.  I am not one hundred percent sure what that will look like but you can't go wrong with art as center pieces.

The letter U   

U is for update.  There has been a delay in processing orders for those who ordered prints.  The images used to produce the files were corrupted so new images had to be sent to the printer.  The prints will be shipped this week.  Afro Jazz apologies to all.  Your patience is truly appreciated.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for side selfie.  This is the quintessential look of Afro Jazz art.  Front facing selfies are so 2014.  There is something about the side selfie that speaks to me.  I find it very regal and powerful as evidenced in the side profiles that grace the surfaces of our currency and coins.  Your face might be just what I am looking for...  

Share your best side selfie

Post your best side selfie adding the tags #AfroJazz and #sideselfie on Instagram, Twitter, or Google+, for a chance to have your face Afro Jazzed.  Circle +Jolyn GC on Google+ and follow me on Instagram and Twitter with the handle @jolyngc.

I will choose the best side selfie for my next Afro Jazz portrait.  The winner will receive a postcard featuring the finished piece!  

Tips for the ultimate side selfie

  • Snap your photo in front of a plain white wall/background.
  • Find some natural light to avoid using the flash.
  • Remove any accessories like earrings, hats, glasses etc...
  • Long hair should be pulled back and away from the face in a ponytail.
  • For the best angle, stand looking straight ahead with your camera arm fully extended, keep your back against the wall using only your neck to turn your head fully to the right or left.
  • Don't smile.  
  • Don't use any filters.
  • Take a few shots and post your best angle being sure to tag it with #AfroJazz and #sideselfie.

The winner will be announced here on the blog and on my Facebook Page around 3:31pm on Thursday, April 23rd.  Good luck!  



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