How have the arts impacted your life?
Art has impacted my life because it provides calmness in the storm we call life. Art in all forms allows the creator to escape from reality, or even sometime face reality by allowing us to take our frustration out, take a stand, support a cause, or use our voice through our craft. It is therapy not just for the creator but also for the audience. I am a stage 3B breast cancer survivor, so art kept me sane during and after my survival. I am here for a reason, so art allows me to leave a legacy for my friends and family and for those who are inspired or influence through my work.
What is your artistic style?
I consider myself an abstract impressionist, which is defined as: the painting of a subject such as real-life scenes, objects, or people (portraits) in an Impressionist-style. I work is primarily portraiture but not realism. My esthetic is strong female subjects; although I consider myself to be versatile I am a black woman so why not represent who I am.
How has it been to work on murals across DC?
Working on murals across DC has been not just a blessing, but motivational. To get support from the community while at the same time doing what you love, adding beauty to the community, and educating individual has been fulfilling. For example, I did a mural of Toni Morrison with the quote “The function of freedom is to free someone else,” there were some young people in the community who did not even know who Toni Morrison was; so, it gave me the opportunity to share a little history. I also have a quote from Angela Davis on a mural I did for the Black Lives Matter Movement, and I met someone who had no idea who she was; as a matter of fact, they asked me was I Angela Davis.
Working on murals also reminds us that there is still compassion and appreciation for humanity and the arts. People of all colors come up to me with cold bottled water on hot days, they ask me if I had a meal and offer to buy me lunch, and they constantly thank me for beautifying the community, as well as share and tag my work on social media with inspirational, and positive comments.
Tell us about the DMV League of Artists?
DMV League of Artists is an artist collective founded by me. My passion was to align with similar minds and network to build a force in the creative community. My motto is’ “we are stronger together,” like the Justice League. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spider Man are powerful superheroes, but together they conquer the world.
DMVL facilitates opportunities, for creatives. Our mission is to support creatives by giving them a platform to grow their potential, improve branding, and maximize their profitability through inspiration, support, innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities. DMV League of Artists represents artists across the US giving CREATIVE MINDS a platform throughout the Metropolitan area, as well as introducing DC, Maryland, and Virginia artists to platforms and opportunities in other parts of the country.
We are like a family, we encourage each other, we share networks, we support one another. We are a collective of top and emerging artists. We all learn from each other.
DMVL also brings awareness and culture to public facilities as well as the community through curation and community/public art projects. The League was created under the belief that there is strength in numbers. We value the ideas, talents, and individuality of our artists, but we also value what everyone brings to the table, to ensure the League continues to grow stronger. We believe in team support as well as coming together to accomplish goals; making the DMV League of Artists an organizational FORCE; staying true to our motto “CREATIVE POWERS UNITE.”
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to do a public art installation in a major location. I consider myself a creative; I always say if you left me on an island with wood and crews I could build a boat. I would love to do a public installation project from start to finish. Project Management is also a passion of mine, so it would allow me to fulfil both of my passions at once.
The art game is very political, it is all about who you know and who knows you. There are plenty of talented people in the world some even more talented than those most famous or popular. It’s all about how you move and how you represent yourself and your brand. It is all about how loud to speak through your work and your actions to make people listen. I am putting in the work so hopefully and opportunity will come. We don’t see many black women in the mural game, or black females heading large art installation projects. Not saying we do not exist just saying we are unicorns. I am trying to do my part to break the status quo.
8 years ago, my dream project was to paint a mural. Now I have 10 of them throughout the city, so anything can happen……fingers crossed.
Who are your inspirations?
I am inspired by my family who are my biggest cheerleaders, I am inspired by my deceased father Robert Clark who passed on his artistic talent to me.
I am inspired by my deceased Grandmother Elizabeth Clark who fought breast cancer twice but lost the battle the second time.
I am inspired by anyone who has the tenacity to pursue what makes them happy.
I am inspired by those who were chosen to lose their lives as sacrificial lambs so that change can happen. (i.e. Briana Taylor, George Floyd, Freddie Grey)
Lastly I am inspired by my art family, there is nothing like being surround by like minded people.