Whether attending a festival to enjoy good music, to serve the community, or to work as a face painter or vendor, festival life has become THE LIFE from Spring to late Fall. With Durham Art Guild's Swing Into Spring arts fundraiser to kick off this year's festival season in the Triangle, I've had quite a few that I enjoy participating in each year. Those include the Eno Festival, the African American Cultural Festival, and the Art of Cool Festival; however, there are so many more that take place. The Dreamville Festival was scheduled to kick off this year in Raleigh, and I was reeeeeally looking forward to being a part of its Art Market. It was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, but will be happening next year on April 6th instead, so I will still be looking forward to that. Mark your calendars now!
Each event has its own type of crowd as well. Being a vendor at events for the past year now, I've learned to better prepare and cater to my audience. I'm still learning and growing, but here are some photos from past occasions where I've vended. The evolution is real. Thanks for reading!
In the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "There's NO place like home!" I'm officially ten full weeks in at my new place, and this is the very first time I have felt "at home" since moving to North Carolina. The word [home] alone is one that has given me mixed feelings my whole life. Growing up in two separate households from the ages of 12 through 18 as well as living as a first-generation [naturalized] American, "home" always felt bittersweet and family gatherings grew strange. I dreamed of one day starting over and being able to create a home and family of my own. Fast forward 11 years, and I'm almost halfway there!
Earlier this year, the phrase "Home is where the heart is" had me pondering the idea of 'home' all over again. I was participating in an art auction and fundraiser hosted by the Carrack Modern Art and Smashing Boxes for Habitat for Humanity of Durham, where they used the phrase as the event theme. "Where was my heart,' I wondered.
The answer is that my heart is in good ol' North Carolina... for now. NC is where I found what I love to do and where I learned to heal and love myself fully. NC is where I finally came out of my comfort zone, and grew up. I am grateful for this place. I settled into my first apartment here. I lived by myself for the first time here, and I feel like I can call my residence "home" without lingering feelings of sadness.
In the ten weeks it took me to settle into my apartment, the wall art I imagined hanging up slowly came to life. I wanted some pieces to match the love counter top decor and beach-theme shower curtain and colors of my bathroom. I learned a lace and spray paint technique I tried out on the background and used other inspirations from there. See below for that transformation and read on for the revamped classroom caddie, refurbished bookshelf, and reused window decor projects I did for my living room as well!
How Two Days Taught Me Two Valuable Business Lessons
I recently had the honor of lettering a huge, overhead chalkboard menu for Zweli's, a Zimbabwean restaurant that opened up its doors to customers in Durham, North Carolina in late June 2018. It was a great opportunity, especially with it being the first time I had ever done such a large-scale project. Although I had the pleasure of getting this job under my belt and having much of the process video documented, two major and hard lessons were learned as well through unexpected challenges I had to face first-hand. Check out the video below and continue reading for two things all creative business owners and/or DIY-ers should know when tackling similar projects!
Art for Cause..
Going down Memory Lane today to share photos I took at an artist's exhibition at the Scrap Exchange three years ago. Beauty From Toxicity, by Denise Hughes, was a show created entirely by upcycled plastic and displayed in Durham from Friday, June 19th to Saturday, July 11th, 2015. Hughes creates and shares her work to educate the public about our overproduction and overconsumption of plastic. She invites people to send their used plastic items to her studio instead of disposing them. That way she can use them in her mural projects and artwork while also diverting them from our landfills and waterways.
This show was a huge inspiration because I was only a few years into my Artist journey at the time and was still exploring the possible ways to create art for a specific purpose, outside of making money. Years later, I now realize that art has been a healing exercise for me and sharing it with others helps to show how they, too can feel relief, hope, freedom, and all types of other good feelings that are often felt through painting.
In fact, that's what I've enjoyed the most about sharing my love of art with others. IT FEELS GOOD. It also helps to open conversations about deeper topics. I had the pleasure of assisting at a teen's paint session a few weeks ago at StepUp Ministry Raleigh led by my good friend and fellow creative, Nate Key. They discussed identity and reflected on who they are and what makes them them. Art helped me to re-learn that for myself after college and relocating to Durham, NC. I really appreciated their dialogue and the opportunity to engage with such a dynamic bunch of young people. As the months go on and summer approaches, lots more activities and events are planned to happen. It's bound to be a busy, but [God-willing] fruitful summer and I'm very excited for all the good things ahead. I am grateful to God for it all. Stayed tuned!
As Autumn's onset brings in lovely outdoor changes, I wanted to reflect on the fun art classes and a summer camp I was involved in over the summer. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the art spaces of UNC-CH with middle school-students participating in Seeking The Self 2017, a summer camp hosted annually by nonprofit organizations, Hidden Voices and Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate (BRMA). The photos below are some highlights of my time there and the video following shows more about the camp. I'm thrilled to have participated and look forward to doing more work with Hidden Voices in the near future.
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The days were filled with plenty of presentations, tours, and group activities.
While scattering through piles of leaf litter and rolling over fallen logs, my hiking partner, Melody, and I found a variety of fungi, adding to the huge selection the group collectively gathered. Our collection included puff balls, Amanitas, Turkey tails (false or smooth, gilled, and porous) and other bracket shaped fungi. Someone even found an animal skull.
We learned how to ID mushrooms by looking at their caps, stems, what they are growing on and whether they had pores, gills, or spines (also called teeth). Also, we were informed about the different types of fruiting bodies, and the mechanisms they use to spread their spores. I was excited to find out that some of the mushrooms I found were edible (pictured above, Hedgehog or Sweet Tooth Mushroom; Hydnum repandum). I happily let Melody have them so she could cook them for dinner.
Overall, this hike was a very educational experience and I used it again as inspiration to create new art with a street graffiti, cartoon-like style (see gallery of inspiration and the design's progress slideshow below).
- Why not?
- I like to learn and share art techniques
- Blogging is a cool way of sharing/storytelling.
- I can share my art work, designs, and anything related.
- Art Walks...
- Museum visits...
- Conferences... etc.
About the Author
I go by C y... and I'm an artist and art lover making a major transformation from hobbyist to professional.
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