A few months ago I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Artillery Apparel Gallery in the Mission district of San Francisco. I was immediately captivated by the T-shirts and sweatshirts decorated with hand-painted, colorful depictions of animals. Even more lucky for me the maker of these shirts happened to be painting another one of his creations in the front of the shop. I’m thrilled to introduce artist Ivan Lopez as this month’s Featured Soul. Check out his views below on Mother Earth, artists’ education, his influences, aesthetic, and more. If you are in the Bay area be sure to stop by his shop, Artillery AG, on December 13, 2014 7-10 pm for a special event, M.E.WE, marking five years of production painting supported by the San Fran and Mission communities.
I’m excited to share that I finally have a system in place to sell personalized copies of Harvest!! In the months since its publication a lot of folks have been asking for signed copies, so I’ve set up an Etsy shop where you can order copies of Harvest directly from me and I’ll add a personalized note and signature before sending it your way (or a friend’s way if you’re buying for others as gifts). Since I have people all over the globe, I’m shipping worldwide as well. Happy reading!
Check out my guest post on author Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s blog. I’m talking about the fluidity of time, the research necessary to complete Harvest, and the war on black bodies.
For the uninitiated—StyleLikeU is a website run by a mother-daughter duo, Lily Mandelbaum and Elisa Goodkind. Their channel brings you in depth, sartorial-based interviews with some truly fascinating and stunning people. I first stumbled upon the site over three years ago and was actually, forreal left speechless by the “Closet Interviews” I saw. The website featured people with offbeat, seldom (or never) seen trinkets and accessories at a time when my relationship with fashion was growing deeper and more authentic. Rather than being absorbed into the Fashion world full of homogenous designs, models, patrons, and culture, StyleLikeU changed my course by confirming what I was already beginning to sense—that clothing and style can be as powerful as you allow them to be. I use my clothing to stay connected to my cultures, as an outward reflection of my true self, reminders of my travels, and so much more.
I hesitate to share these thoughts because they are still developing and I am still sorting through many emotions. But ultimately, the timeliness of the message is more important than my discomfort. As the world is aware, a grand jury in St. Louis County decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown on Monday. In the hours after the spectacle of the announcement protests popped up in cities across the country. Frustrated, hurt, and resolute, I joined protestors in Seattle, WA as we marched through the streets peacefully demonstrating against the decision by interrupting traffic and chanting. I am not a political organizer or expert. However, I am black. I am young. I am targeted. And I am mad.
In the inaugural Featured Soul column, I’m chatting with the emerging musical force, Brielle. This Philly-based artist is a perfect example of what your mama has been telling you since you were small—beauty comes from within. From her haunting vocals, to fabulous personal style, and love affair with science and the multiverse—this chick is truly a leader to watch. Read more below for Brielle’s thoughts on her newly released EP, The Rough Break-Up, along with views on spirituality, community activism, life-changing books, and more.
Peppermint oil on wet skin
Chalice smoke caught in nappy hair
Your voice echoing against linoleum tiles with a waterfall on your back
Holidays are generally not my steez. I’ve never been into getting all worked up over days that mean nothing to me other than a day off or a day of good eating. Halloween is a horrible time of the year when many closet racists show their true colors through their ignorant costumes. It also is the day with the highest number of pet disappearances, tons of drunk people, and sugar in the form of candy.
The following is a vignette from Harvest by Amanya Maloba. Harvest was selected as the 2014 grand finalist of the Vine Leaves Vignette Collection Award. Visit here for purchasing information and more detail about Harvest.