Back again with another short post to share what's new. About a week ago, I had the pleasure to be a guest alongside Artist Nate Key on Episode Nine (~54 minutes long) of Open Convo, a podcast hosted by a mutual friend, Elviria Valdaz and edited and produced by her partner, Sidney. Nate and I have been working on a number of art projects with more on the way, so it was a great time to reconnect with Sidney and Elviria and be on the show to talk about our work and upcoming events. Check it out on her site (notes below provide a quick timeline of our conversation) or SoundCloud page!
00:00 - Podcast Welcome & Gratitude from Host, Elviria, "EV" Valdaz
00:50 - Intro of Nate "The Flow" Key & Cynelsa "C y" Broderick
01:47 - EV kicks off open convo with prompt and C y starts off in response
07:11 - Flow joins the convo and tells us more about himself and his artistry
10:31 - Were either of us involved in the recent post-Charlottesville rallies/riots (with a tangent on astrological characteristics)?
19:45 - How does the current state of society inspire us as black artists?
23:04 - What are we trying to communicate with our art? With the state of our country, what do you feel as an individual with your talent that you have to do [or contribute] to create the change [we need]?
29:28 - What does "being creative" mean to you?
30:34 - EV explains that she asked the question about being creative because she feels that sometimes "people create solely to gain instant validation" and shares her experience related to starting a podcast. As an artist/musician, how to you keep the faith or keep it moving and pushing if/when nobody is nobody is watching?
39:24 - Flow responds to the "throwaway culture" our generation currently faces and sees in our youth; and talks about how the speed in which music gets made nowadays changes its quality.
41:17 - EV asks Flow as a musical artist, what his artistry looks like? What does he convey (visual art versus music)? HE BLESSES THE MIC WITH AN A CAPELLA SNIPPET OF HIS MUSIC IN RESPONSE!
42:45 - 'God is so real...'
47:15 - Closing remarks; social media plugging and sharing of upcoming events
53:47 - Thanks for listening; farewell from Sidney
The upcoming events mentioned in this podcast are listed below, as well as the ["Pineapple Express"] t-shirts we launched in connection to the continuation of an expanded Letters, Locks & Lyrics show. To find more information about getting your very own shirt in support of our art, visit: https://teespring.com/thepineappleexpress and click the "I still want one" button. Thanks for checking out this post and stay tuned for more to come!
THIRD FRIDAY POP-UP ART SHOW
--Golden Belt Studios, Building 3, Suite 123
807 East Main Street Durham, NC 27701
6-9PM Sept. 15, 2017 | FREE
OFF THE WALL
300 South McDowell Street Raleigh, NC 27601
7-10PM (Doors will open at 6:30 PM) Sept. 23, 2017| | $10; tickets on Eventbrite
The last few months has jam-packed my days with new and old activities involving Durham Art Guild duties, paint party facilitation, and even a Third Friday pop-up art exhibition opportunity at Golden Belt Arts. There's even more that I'll post about at another time. Typically, I have to completely settle and reflect on my calendar or look through my phone's photo album to realize all of the recent, small victories. That's exactly what happened before I decided to write this post. Since my last one, I've participated in my first Swing Into Spring DAG fundraiser, celebrated the completion of one whole fiscal year with the organization, and attended and/or helped to plan and lead several meetings and programs.
One of those programs, one that I am very happy about, was "Painting Our Privilege." Some photos from the event follow. Participants came and engaged in an exercise and post-discussion led by Alexa Sykes of The Equity Paradigm that explored ways we all personally and collectively enjoy privileges based on our membership in social groups in the United States. There was a good response to and turn out for the event, so I'm really looking forward to repeating and/or expanding this opportunity.
Only days later, I had the chance to transform the same space used to host that event into a pop-up art exhibition I teamed up with Artist Nate Key to show called "Letters, Locks, and Lyrics." Held during Durham's Third Friday festivities, there was a fantastic crowd and very great energy. I am thankful to have been able to experience the process of putting the show together from conception and curation, all the way to community interaction during the show and even uninstalling everything afterwards. I am also thankful for my family, friends and everyone that stopped in to see the show (and special shout out to my Dad who was not there, but is blessed to see another birthday TODAY)! Special thanks to the art community's support and gracious allies at Golden Belt for testing the idea of pop-ups out. Some photos from the exhibit follow.
Last but certainly, not least... there have been a number of painting classes I've had the pleasure of instructing. One of the first places to feature me as an artist was J. Cardinal Events for their 1K Words programming. They reconnected and allowed me to facilitate another one of their painting sessions- this time in connection to an Adolescent Parenting Program graduation celebration. It was an honor to be involved with such an important event and I was so grateful to be able to connect with everyone through art. What a treat it is to have this gift and put it to use!
There were countless classes done at Wine and Design Durham per usual. I taught my first Picasso-styled date night at the studio as well as a "Durham Starry Night" themed On Wheels event at a local brewery; both were awesome! The company is doing so much in all of their studios, and was even a featured business on ABC's show, Shark Tank. You can read more about this and other mentioned topics in the list of related articles at the end of this blog post. On the flip side, it seems I have to be careful with whom I work with from now on due to the Wine and Design franchises having strict expectations of their contracted artists and not wanting their model repeated (even though there are several existing and similar paint and sip businesses). Unfortunately, I'm not sure how that will impact and look for me moving forward with facilitating more classes, i.e. Exotique's Easel Expressions. Exotique did, however, have their first private group in May and they really had a good time. Some photos from their class are below, as well as the many from Wine and Design. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
That's right! Returning to Durham for another workshop held at Walltown Children's Theater, the WonderTwins presented Sauce Kings Takeover on Saturday, March 18th. I received an Eventbrite notification for the session and immediately considered going. I'm so glad I was able to attend because once again, the energy was through the roof and I left feeling inspired and extremely thankful for the Triangle's arts community. I LOVE music and dance, and look forward to more classes and these workshop opportunities in the future. I told myself I would have to make more time for doing things I LOVE this year, especially for dance so I'm happy to be getting more of it in, regardless of how rusty I am. Snippets from this workshop and more are below (SN: I appear in several of clips compiled to makes these videos, but am only actually dancing in one).
These last several weeks have allowed me the opportunity to work in new spaces, with new clients, and to continue to engage in normally occurring activities.
On Valentine's Day, I was the artist for a studio class at Wine and Design Durham, my FIRST date night class as the instructor so far! It was lovely to see everybody coming to enjoy their night together by painting and in celebration of love. I also got the chance to teach a few classes at Wine and Design Chapel Hill, which I afterwards realized was the studio I first interviewed to teach at way back in January 2012 (interesting how that circled around). For your viewing pleasures, photos of the paintings and groups from the classes are in the gallery below; and if interested in signing up for a Wine and Design Durham session, you can now use my code "broderick5" to receive $5 off!
Outside of my recent Wine and Design classes, there was also another Canvas Creations this month. Some event photos can be seen in the slideshow below, and even more captures on Facebook. It was a great event!
Before wrapping this post up, I must share about working on my first (of many to come, I'm sure) baby's first birthday chalkboard and party goodies over the last few weeks. Those items have been added to the "...Letter Decor" custom products that can be purchased. I really enjoyed the transformation of this board, and the some photos taken throughout the process of starting to finishing touches are below as well.
I am throwing it back on this Thursday to discuss the Annual Heritage Film Festival that occurred at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC over a three-day span in February. This year's festival was the center's 23rd annual and showed films relating to the themes: Blaxploitation; Social Justice and Our Legacy; Afrofuturism and Science Fiction; and Community.
I learned about the festival through Sherri Holmes of Triangle Friends of African American Arts (TFAAA) while mixing and mingling at the Triangle Art Works' 3rd Annual SMASH event. The main reason she specifically shared information about the festival with me was because it 1) wasn't very highly publicized, and 2) would be showing the premiere screening of Living Colors- the Durham Civil Rights History Mural Project Documentary. Last week, the filmmaker, Rodrigo Dorfman, announced that the documentary can now also be streamed online; so if interested, please watch it here on Vimeo!
Almost 20 long and short films were shown and I watched every last one of them (some from home and some [bolded on list] at Hayti)! These films included:
Hello, hello... hey hello, hello! Today, I am writing to share steps for creating your own chalkboard sign(s). Last July, I had the pleasure of lettering wedding signage (shown in photo) for the first time for a friend. Prior to this experience, the only time I had ever made signs on chalkboard was while working as a part-time barista years ago in a local Starbucks. Oh, the things you discover while you're trying to figure life out! Coffee culture, hand-lettering and custom chalk menus seem to all naturally group together as a 'thing', and thankfully I left with a small appreciation for them all by the time my barista days were over.
This past week, I got the opportunity to be a part of a project that brought together the works of a group of phenomenal businesswomen. A local baker, the one who actually did my aforementioned friend's wedding cake, saw the ceremony and reception signage, and then connected and hired me to do signs for her daughter's 7th birthday soon after. I also hand-lettered gift bag name tags and painted a few custom frames for her party. I'm so filled with joy to know the words I took the time to write last summer left such a grand impression that it led me to do more. If you're ready to make your own inspiring chalk signage, keep on reading (and/or feel free to contact me for your chalkboard signage needs)!
Materials for this DIY:
*For the chalkboard spray paint, I've tried both of these brands. You can find 1 in home reno' stores, i.e. Home Depot or Lowe's and 2 in local craft stores, i.e. Michaels or A.C. Moore.)
**I used a variety of chalk pens from the Craft Smart, Chalk Ink and Bistro brands. All great!
I used the following items, but they are not required to create your chalkboard sign; completely OPTIONAL.
Thanks so much for checking out this post and I hope it helps with whatever creative projects you might be working on! My step-by-step process is in the slideshow and photos from the party are in the gallery below. Until next time... peace!
This month allowed another opportunity to lead Canvas Creations. Only a day after Inauguration Day, we used this edition to reflect on the Obamas' impact during their time in the White House and to paint Barack Obama. In addition to the photo above, some pictures highlighting our experience are in the slideshow below; even more can be found in TYPE USA's Facebook album.
In the Wine and Design studio, of course, I was also able to work with a number of people stopping in for paint parties and classes. I did my first out-of-studio party (On Wheels), assisted my first Pet Night, and even taught College Night (more like an open studio with various NC college mascot/signature building paintings going on) for the first time. The gallery of photos below include shots from all of those recent events. The month ahead shows no sign of slowing down, so until then... I'm just trying to keep my patience, improve my teaching and not lose the "fun" in it all. Thank you for reading; and enjoy all of the pictures!
What happens when you hear that Beyoncé's choreographer is coming to town and will be teaching at a dance workshop? You get yourself together and get there, praying you will to be able put in the work and keep up, that's what!
Yesterday, as the nation celebrated Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the WonderTwins presented a full-day dance workshop called "Sauce, Slay and Service" that featured classes taught by professional choreographers and dancers. It wasn't just a day off, it was a day ON! Proceeds went to victims of Hurricane Matthew and we also brought nonperishable foods to the event to donate. What a wonderful day of service it was... full of terrific energy and talented movers. I told myself I wanted to make more time for attending dance classes this year and this was a great first class to start 2017 off with. The last time I took a class this challenging was in 2011, only months after I had moved down to Carolina, when Willdabeast was dancing with T-Pain during Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. Tour; and he and Tre Holloway taught at Studio RUSH in Charlotte, NC. It was my first advanced-level class, but I remember leaving feeling inspired by Will's words to me, "...KEEP DANCING!"
First of all... HAPPY NEW YEAR!
In the spirit of new, this post is about trying new things. Take my Sakura Gelly Roll pens-to-planner cover experiment as example number one! I've used their classic white gel pen for years (no, gel pens never went out of style- lol), but recently got pens from the metallic and the souffle lines and was waiting to try them out on something fun. What better place to test them than on a plain and boring 2017 planner cover? Only a few days in and I'm already on the mission of adding color and pazazz to year 2017. As you can see [from the photos in the gallery below], the souffle ink is transparent while it's being applied and has a solid, vibrant 3D pop once dry. I am happy with my doodle results and now love using my cute, new weekly-yearly planner. The only thing I noticed after applying on the plastic surface was scratching of the souffle ink and smearing of the metallic ink. To avoid this, I suggest covering with an archival laminate or adhere some sort of adhesive to protect your newly decorated surface!
On to example number two! I also tried my hand at sewing apparel (by request) to start off the year. The red, brown, and yellow tank top shown in the slideshow of photos belongs to my mother. It is one of her favorite summer tops, so she wanted me to make her another one... using the bottom fabric of a dress she wasn't as crazy about. "OK, sure..." I agreed, but was terrified by the thought of completely messing it up. I did it anyway, and though I made some errors, they were either very minor or easy to undo and fix. The only way to improve your skills and build cofidence with something like this is to practice and you have to try and start somewhere in order to do that! There are several ways to sew apparel: with a pattern/kit, with a completed piece/mock up as a guide, make your own pattern design from scratch with measurements, or just freely make something on the whim/drape and pin. Easy for me, I was able to use the already made tank top as a guide. This is one of the easier methods and I show photos of my step-by-step process below.
December 17, 2016 was a day full of ugly holiday sweaterness. See Why Designs and TYPE USA ran a third Canvas Creations at the 4020 Lounge at the Saucy Crab Restaurant in the afternoon (HUGE THANKS to everybody for coming) and by night, I was ready for my friend JaNell's (of J. Cardinal Events) '80s-themed murder mystery party.
The invitation to the party was the spark of motivation I needed to create the imagined demo painting for our event, which then turned into the inspiration for my ugly sweater design for the party. See the photos in the slideshow below on how I created this look, suggestions on how to make your own, and some party pictures!
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