Oh my sweet muse!

Art Question: What inspires you? 

So many things…

I find inspiration in everything around me. From lyrics, to poems, to scriptures, to movies and everything in between. I think the easiest way for me to explain it, is to show it.

This song and this artist:



Inspired this artwork:

Strange Fruit | 24×36 | Pen and Ink | 2017

I am a big fan of Nina Simone. Love love love her! I first came across her when I was googling “Feeling Good” by Muse. Of course, so many musicians have covered this song. I mean everyone. I get it, it’s a good song! But Nina Simone’s version…wow! She has such an earthy real voice that I feel like I can FEEL what she feels.

To say the least “Strange Fruit” haunted me after I first heard it. The power of this song…to me it screams out the pain of those times. The imagery is excruciating. You can almost not listen to it, but it’s so delicate and heartbreaking as well.

I immediately knew from my almost physical reaction to this song that I had to draw something based off of it.

The final artwork, after about 6 years of marinating, finally came into being when Trump came into office. It was if the idea was waiting to appear at that exact time.

I have a lot of ideas like this. They just sit and marinate…

This poem:

Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou More Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/still-i-rise-by-maya-angelou

Inspired this artwork:

Still I Rise | 6×6 | Pen and Ink | 2017

It’s about complete and total hope and I love it. The artwork is messy and wild but hopeful and colorful. It’s sassy! She laughs! I love Maya Angelou and I have only scraped the surface of her work and her story. She is amazing.

I try to live my life and clue into the things that matter to me. Sometimes just the idea can come to me in a moment. Sometimes it develops through sketches and time.

These two ladies will always be inspiration to my soul. They speak and sing such truth that you experience the realness of life through their tone and words.

If you’re an artist, just focus on life and the rest will come to you.





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