Journal of Creative Arts & Minds, Vol.6, No.1 - Summer 2020

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Journal of Creative Arts and Minds Published by

Margie Labadie, President John Antoine Labadie, Senior Editor & Chief Graphic Designer Larry Arnold, Board Member

Electronic Links https://www.facebook.com/JournalofCreativeArtsandMinds http://www.jumboartsinternational.org jcam.jal@gmail.com

Jumbo Arts International Contact Information 217 South Edinborough St. Red Springs, North Carolina USA 28377-1233 +1 910.734.3223 Editorial – John Antoine Labadie & Margie Labadie Design – The JCAM Team of Jumbo Arts International

The Journal of Creative Arts and Minds is a publication of Jumbo Arts International. This electronic publication is free. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.

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Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2020 An Original Publication of Jumbo Arts International Red Springs, North Carolina, USA ISSN: Pending

Jumbo Arts International 2020

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Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS President’s Message – 9 Editor’s Message – 11 Dedication – 13 VISUAL ARTISTS Make’lee Roland – 17 Demetrius Wirt – 28 Iesha Ford – 35 Jessie Evans – 43 Amber Cranford – 51 Arturo Carmona – 61 Autumn Roush – 72 Stoney Faulkner – 83 Joseph Miller – 90 Alei Williams – 100

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Emily Brown – 105 Yessenia Camacho – 116 Nikki Loy – 125 Diego Poole – 133 Nicholas Fowler – 136 Kimberly Creque – 144 Angelique M. Henderson – 152 Catherine Palmer – 159 Diamond Holland – 168 Jared Simmons – 174 Ian Schmude – 182 INFORMATION FOR SUBMITTERS – 190 LAST WORD – 191 Cover Art: Front Cover by Joseph Miller Back Cover by Kimberly Creque

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President’s Message
 Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2020

The Spring of 2020 in North Carolina is not what we expected. Our colorful daylilies come and go with each passing evening. In our vegetable gardens, squash blossoms bloom in brilliant gold. But the beauty of the flowers defy the state of grief and turmoil we are facing. We have all become familiar with new vocabulary: global pandemic, social distancing and COVID-19; a virus that has taken more than 460,000 lives worldwide. This is a special issue of the JCAM. It came about at this time because of the unexpected and rapid shift in the world of academia. Many universities, including ours, sent students home for Spring Break, only to have them remain off campus for the remainder of the semester and continue classes online, to protect us from the deadly coronavirus. As a university professor, all my classes went online. In particular, it was disheartening that the students in my Professional Art Practices course saw their capstone class exhibition opportunity disappear. In fact, any meaningful, in-person experience that I had fashioned for them was thus canceled. But in the midst of lifting up my classes into online meeting spaces, it suddenly occurred to me that we might find an even better way to show student work. After consulting with the editor, it was decided. My students were challenged to talk about themselves and their art, and prepare their images for publication. I believe they have done it beautifully and I am proud of them. Jumbo Arts International is proud to present its first ever Special All Student Edition of the JCAM. Please enjoy the artwork and words of these up and coming artists; soon to be graduates of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Black Lives Matter and Our Continuing Commitment. In the United States and beyond people are reeling from the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died when police officers brutally pinned him to the ground, kneeling on his neck so he could not breathe. In response, peaceful and determined protesters have risen up in solidarity, marching for justice in all 50 states, night and day. Society in the United States is experiencing a fundamental shift, an uprising, that is causing a social awakening in people that is long overdue. And perhaps we are at the crossroads of change with a chance to do better. Through the Journal of Creative Arts and Minds, we are well aware of the power of imagery. We know that visuals can cause pain. But we also know they can speak volumes. Right now the words Black Lives Matter are painted in yellow on the streets of Washington, DC so large they can be seen from satellites in space. But they will not be enough.

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We know as an organization, Jumbo must continue to speak those words, and do good work, to bring people together through words, and song and art. At Jumbo Arts International we will continue to give voice to artists of all kinds to speak their truth, no matter the color of their skin, their religion, sexual orientation or nationality, because it is our mission to do so. We lift our voices and say, BLACK LIVES MATTER! Margie Labadie JCAM Publisher & President, Jumbo Arts International
 Red Springs, North Carolina, USA
 jumboartsinternational@gmail.com

Margie Labadie Coronavirus Map Project / Digital Artwork / June 2020

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Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2020 A Message from the Senior Editor

Every issue of the JCAM is different. Even so, the publication that is Volume 6, Number 1 is truly unique. Why would this be? First, this “Special All Student Edition” has been built for a different purpose: To best serve the educational goals set by Professor Margie Labadie for her Art 4031 students who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were required to complete the second half of their Spring 2020 semester remotely; working online using the resources that could best (and quickly) be put to that purpose. Publishing their artwork and articles virtually was a replacement for the dedicated gallery exhibition that had been planned. We think it works. Second, this issue has been assembled, edited, and published during a time of great social unrest in the United States following the murder, by police, of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many other unarmed African American citizens have been shot to death by police before and after that woeful incident. For students, this semester was concluded during a time of protests and marches in many locations across the USA. The White House in Washington, D.C. has been surrounded by a security fence. Similar protests have spread internationally. This is the difficult and turbulent world into which students are graduating. The JCAM was founded to be a platform for the arts – all the arts – and to allow creatives to share their vision(s) and the ideas that have inspired their creative work. And so it is with this issue. My suggestion: Read the articles written by these undergraduate students and it will be clear that many of them are responding to the times they live in. Their thoughts are clear and their art is focused on telling their truths and saying what they think needs to be said. Listen to them. They are our future. Written and shared with utmost sincerity and solidarity with those who are trying to make this a better world, John Antoine Labadie Senior Editor & Chief Graphic Designer jcam.jal@gmail.com

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John Antoine Labadie #656 - Two Forms Evolving in a Shallow Space Tradigital Image 2020

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Dedication

I’m tired! Are you? As I pen this letter, an abundance of thoughts flood my mind, heart and soul. These thoughts run the gamut of anger, to disbelief, and to what more can I do. And as I try my hardest to keep my feelings in check, not to over react, and not to come across as an angry Black man, I have grown tired. During times like we’re living in now, I hear my beloved greatgrandmother, Big Mama when she used to say, “In a million years, I never thought that I live to see…” Well Big Mama, I hear your voice. Because in my 54 years of living in what some call the greatest country in the world, I never thought that such horrific inequities, hate, and disdain against Black and Brown, marginalized and underrepresented Americans would happen in my lifetime. I never thought that I would see these blatant and senseless murders of unarmed Black and Brown Americans. And whereas I shouldn’t be surprised, because I am all too familiar with the ugly truths of American history against the very same Americans who built this country, nevertheless I am hurting! Speaking my truth and standing on the shoulders of African-American political leader, Fannie Lou Hamer I shout, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” We should be tired of seeing families devastated, because their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, nephews, cousins or aunts have been killed by a “scared” police officer. We should be tired of a judicial system that allows these very “protectors” to walk away without facing consequences. And to my Black and Brown sisters and brothers, are you tired of worrying about being stopped by law enforcement or even worse, the possibility of not making it back home. I know that I’m so tired! Even so, we must stop systemic racism, racial injustice, discrimination and all other systems of oppression from making us sick and tired. We must change the narrative on how policies negatively impact Black and Brown lives. We must stand and be counted, but equally important, we must VOTE! Over the past several weeks, I have had White colleagues ask, what can I do? Well, if you are truly an Ally, realize that you have a huge responsibility in helping Black and Brown Americans to be seen, to be heard, and to be protected from a system that so easily discounts us. Based on your privilege and yes, White people regardless of their socio-economic status have privilege, you must stand up and speak out. Dr. Martin

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Luther King, Jr. said it best, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." We are definitely living in some challenging and controversial times. Therefore if you see yourself as an Ally, it is time to feel discomfort and be inconvenienced. As you should know, countless African-Americans (more than I hate to think of) have been made uncomfortable, have been inconvenienced and have been denied breath. Allies, you should be sick and tired of Black Lives being systematically erased, because Black Lives are sick and tired! Please do your part to eradicate injustices! Not doing so, will eventually threaten the very things that you value and hold dear. And although I’m tired, as you should be, we must continue the fight. African-American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, lesbian and civil rights activist Audre Lorde said, “You don’t have to be me, in order for us to fight alongside each other.”

Standing in solidarity and speaking one’s truth

Robert L. Canida, II, Ph.D. Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the University of Lynchburg Jumbo Arts International Advisory Council Founder, CANOX Inc. LLC

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Make’lee Roland
 What is your professional name? My name is Make’lee, and the brand name I operate under is BADMAN. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Wilmington, NC. This place will always influence me, it’s where my family is. It’s where I first planted my feet and found my target audience. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I live in Pembroke, NC, now because I go to school here. At first I couldn’t imagine being in the country would ever be better than being in the inner city but that’s exactly how Pembroke has influenced me. Seeing all the space and the trees, I got to see a brand new environment. I needed that, this change in scenery helped push the wanderlust in me forward. As an artist, I think it’s very important to travel and see new things. Pembroke was the first to do that for me. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Yes, everybody. All of them. Well, actually, of course, your mom is going to love everything you do and want to keep it. It was just my dad, I don’t think my dad took me serious as an artist until my first show when he saw how fast I could make money. My mom used to get paid a thousand dollars every Friday (that may seem like a lot but it’s not when you have four mouths to feed, rent, utilities, car payment, and insurance, AND gas). 
 My first show, I made five hundred dollars in two hours. I made half of my moms weekly check, in a shorter amount of time than she makes it, simply off the strength of my family and friends. They were the main body of people at my first show. They bought everything, which is fine, because when I make it in the art world that wealth goes right back into the family. Having your family support you makes a huge difference in your

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life, because sometimes, that’s rare. I know in high school, my dad was looking at me kind of like “What are you going to do in life??! You’re not playing sports, you aren’t in any clubs! So, what?” Mainly I think it was the sports thing, he played basketball and football in high school, he’d been working since he was fifteen etc. The whole “when I was your age, I was doing this and that.” His comparisons and tangents he would go on affected me greatly. I felt unsupported, and that what I was doing was being lazy and art was unimportant or what I was trying to achieve wasn’t likely to happen. It often hurt my feelings but it didn’t discourage me. Little did he know, I was literally running the art room at school. When and how did you start making art? So I remember, sitting down with my mom and she would teach me how to draw this really simple dog. During these times she would also talk about how when she was younger they would make paper dolls, and I was into BRATZ at the time. I was really into clothes in elementary school, your image was everything back in the day. I made my own paper dolls. Elementary, I was into writing stories, I could see the story play out in my head, so I just wrote it down. Then I started thinking of ways that I could get that image in my head, onto the paper along with the story. The most notable projects I can remember from fourth and fifth grade were a Picasso project and Tessellation boxes when learning about M.C. Esher. Middle school is when I seriously started retaining artist information and drawing. That’s when we learned about the elements and principles of design, how to do a still life, the sides of your brain, drawing portraits, clay busts, and art history. Whenever we were good, we would play art history bingo. I believe this is when I actually starting making art. I was always silly in school too, all kids are in middle school. But by now, I was really drawing. So in our spare time in homeroom, me and my friend Shamine would make comics. And it was really awful stick figures with accentuated features so you would know who was who. I made another comic in seventh grade called Popsicle Guy and I put in a lot of work. Even colored it. Eighth grade was all about designing my friends binder covers. If you needed a cute or cool cover, I was your guy. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Ninth grade I started listening to Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator, and Tyler’s art was what really inspired me. Odd Future, inspired me. The way he could make something so simple like his Bastard, Earl, and Killcat logo, and people want to wear it. His colors were very pop, out of the tube and bright. It could be made into stickers, patches, tshirts, canvases, phone wall papers. It functioned as more than art. And that was what I wanted. In high school I developed the urge to create; if I’m not painting, I start to feel incomplete. Like I’m missing something.

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Why do you make art now? Because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I do other jobs and I don’t like them, they aren’t as fun as expressing yourself for a living. How has your work changed or developed over time? It has gotten so much better from those block figures in elementary and middle school. I’ve even gotten better than I was freshman year of college. That’s what I want, I think that it’s a good think to look back and see how much your art has changed. To see yourself progressing. It’s encouraging. What are you trying to communicate with your art? What I’m learning about around that time. As an example, I’m studying how to shade the body so I have a lot of paintings of figures. Over the summer I learned about tarot, so I have some tarot paintings in the works. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I guess cleaning my room would be a ritual, my room is my studio so, yeah. I like painting the most. It’s challenging in different ways, printmaking is challenging physically and there a serious process to things, ceramics is hard at first learning the wheel and it’s a physical strain on your back. Painting is relaxing yet challenging. You can get lost in your painting. I find myself all the time realizing my brain and hand being in conversation with each other and not even need me. Like I’m on autopilot, painting is something I do involuntarily. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? My projector definitely! I am lazy and I do not Iike drawing things twice. My projector helps me blow my drawings up to the sizes I want my paintings to be. It makes things way easier. The long script brushes and thin small brushes for details and long lines too! How do you know when a work is finished? When I think every region of my painting looks how I imagined it, if not better, in my head. What are the art making tools you use now? Paintbrushes, plastic plates as a palette substitute, old McDonalds cups for water cups, a water bottle full of paint thinner, staple gun and hammer for canvases, and paint. I need to invest in varnishes.

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What new creative medium would you love to pursue? Jewelry and more into clothing. I tried to learn how to screen print this semester but #corona. What's the first artwork you ever sold? Eleventh grade, we had an art sale at school, I was at Northwest Cabarrus High School. Mandy Browning, one of the assistant principals bought my self portrait made from text and painted with tempura. She wanted something to remember me by. Do you make a living from your art? Yes, I’m trying to. I made over a eleven hundred dollars with my second show last summer and that paid for everything I needed to start my last semester in school. I still have another job as a back up, or just more money in my pocket. The only problem is, other jobs take away from studio time. That was a serious problem during the summer, it threatened my second show. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? 1. Get a mentor, it doesn’t matter what field. My mentor saves and helped me out A LOT!! The greatest thing my mentor ever taught me was…
 2. NETWORKING! Build up a web of people who love your work, support your work, and want to invest in you and your work. People who can help you progress in other ventures. If you aren’t super tech-savy, but you have a friend who is and can help you set up your website-boom! There you go. 3.Take yourself serious, no freebies! “People who want to buy art, have art money”Professor Michael Sanderson. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I definitely want to be a successful artist. I want to show art all across the world. I also want my own galleries, but I want them to also operate as community centers as well. And I want to be the first to start generational wealth in my family. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? So I have this triangle piece and it’s based on the tarot card The High Priestess. The High Priestess is number 2 in the deck, so she’s very important and to all water signs, she is the most related. When the High Priestess is drawn, real things are going on. She’s not about to play with you, she sits between the known and unknown. The conscious and unconscious mind. Including that the shape of the triangle is considered

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a female shape, it gives off my aesthetic energy. That reminds me, I need to get my tarot read. What or who inspires you? My desires to be successful and live comfortably definitely drive and inspire me. That dream of being famous. Not really being famous but being wealthy and able to take care of your family. Other than that, Jean-Michel Basquiat. I adore the guy, I adore the freedom in his process and honesty of his work. I know my art history teachers are so tired of me mentioning him and doing papers on him but I don’t care. The fact that I didn’t learn about him in regular education like they constantly did projects on Dali, Warhol, and Picasso—Chh! I’m going to shove Basquiat down your throat twenty-four SEVEN. He is THEE most successful contemporary BLACK artist EVER, do you understand?!

In 2017 Sotheby’s named him the highest selling American artist! Selling higher than the ones that made fun of him secretly and pretended to be his friends, the nay sayers and people who didn’t believe! He has one of the greatest comebacks stories ever, to still be achieving things posthumously. Representation MATTERS, and no black artist that is around now, would be, if not for Jean-Michel. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Sugarbones, all of her art is feminine, cute, playful and strong, I love it. Bryan Lee O’Malley, the creator of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. His cartoon is hilarious and the characters are relatable and I want to live in that universe. Everyone in his comic can kick ass, and I too, kick ass. Reginald Pean, or Frenchinald, all his art is mischievous and erotic. Markus Prime, his art encompasses the black woman in all universes. Black women as Goku from Dragonball, Black women as Sailor Moon, superheroes, princesses, samurais, supreme beings of the universe. His art shows you that you literally can be anything. Michela Martello, her art is international. When I say that I mean you can tell when she makes art, she studies different cultures and visits different places. Her art feels and looks like the art you learn about in school. There’s a very familiar feeling to them. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? I have a couple. They are my favorite Basquiat pieces. The collaboration piece with him and Warhol titled “Felix the Cat” because it’s huge and blue, blue is my favorite color. Hollywood Africans, Tuxedo, Untitled (Skull), Untitled(Head), and King Pleasure. Where do you find ideas for your creative work?

Instagram and Pinterest.

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What does being creative mean to you? Take something and make it way better than it is. When someone says they want you to be creative or they need creative energy they are expecting some extraordinary, amazing, colorful work. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? In writing, add more adjectives. In painting, paint how you feel, add more color and never be afraid to do different things. Put colors where they don’t belong. Contact information: Instagram is @_bvdmvn_ Website: https://mroland5184.wixsite.com/badman Email: badmanartservice@gmail.com

High Priestess Mixed Media on Canvas

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Virgo Acrylic on canvas

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Aries Acrylic on canvas

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Daniel’s Hand I Charcoal, chalk, and colored pencil on tan drawing paper

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Daniel’s Hand II Charcoal, chalk, and colored pencil on tan drawing paper

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Leanna Charcoal, chalk, and colored pencil on tan drawing paper

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Demetrius Wirt I am Demetrius Wirt and I was born in Heidelberg, Germany but raised halfway in Augusta, Georgia from about 5 years old until 12 years old and from 12 years old to this day in Raeford, North Carolina. Being born in Heidelberg, Germany is a constant reminder that there is so much more to my life than what I am exposed to. Being raised in Augusta, Georgia where I all I knew was hardship and survival taught me to always endure obstacles head on and to be the best version of myself with God by my side every step of the way so that one day I would have the best version of my life possible. I currently reside in Raeford, North Carolina where I am pushed and encouraged to stay on top of my responsibilities. In Raeford, my dad is my mentor and the most perfect father any man could ever ask for. My father is the reason why I am the good man that I am today who knows how to be a man and how to treat women. My mom and my best friend Earnest support me in my work, life and art making. These two are the reasons why my mind is able to go great lengths mentally, physically, and emotionally. I started making art around 13 years old or the beginning of middle school. I make art now because it is sometimes an outlet for me to just get away from the world without sticking my eyes into brainwashing tv and away from social media and texting or calling and just displaying my thoughts on paper through art-all with relaxing jazz music. My work and ability to create art has evolved dramatically throughout my years of creating art. I went from cartoon drawing due to my desire but lack of skills to create realistic drawings, to actually creating realistic drawing. Art is what a person wants it to be. Art is a way of developing beautiful skills all while enjoying every moment of the process through your own unique ability artistically-this is

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how life should be. I usually go for creating portraits with some sort of abstract touch. I enjoy shading and the use of value throughout my artwork. It is amazing how just simple dark spots with gradient scales can develop an entire subject without the focus of the contour lines. I know when any of my artworks are finished by how I feel with the current state of the artwork. If I am 100% satisfied, then I am finished. However, if I am 95% satisfied, I may add a little more just to reach that 100%. When creating art, I mostly use graphite. I have interests in other areas such as printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. Ceramics is my next favorite medium, but I don’t usually have the time to work in that area. I have only sold one piece of artwork in my possession. This was a cartoon drawing with landscape that I created in my early teen years. Now that I am older, the artwork would have been worth more than what it was sold for. To be successful professionally, one must always consider what a client would instantly go for when searching for artwork, always think like the client and get on the same page as the client before even speaking to them. I hope to one day become a film director and maybe even own a business of my own in the filming industry. I feel that creating art has a way of making me thinking outside of my own box and that would be very beneficial to my pursuit in directing film. I am currently working on an Independent Development Series in which I have learned a great deal about myself artistically. Though I create artwork now, I have a ways to go to reach my full potential. My mom, dad, and my past inspire me to pursue things that I would want for myself and to be the best me in everything possible. I am inspired by and really enjoy looking at historic artworks from around the 14-17th century. My favorite old artist is Caravaggio. I really enjoy how dramatic his paintings are and how each image emphasizes the event taking place on the canvas. I tend to find my ideas from creative conversations with my best friend Earnest. We are always talking about intellectual things and expressing our mind creatively. These talks sometimes just spark ideas into my mind as if my mind is catching a fish in a sea. Being creative is being yourself and creating things that would originally come from you being yourself. That’s how you make creative work. Contact information: dwirt45@gmail.com

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The Past Graphite, charcoal, and marker on Bristol paper

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The Present Graphite, charcoal, and marker on Bristol paper

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The Future Graphite, charcoal, and marker on Bristol paper

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Summertime at the Grand Canyon Inktense pencils and acrylic paint

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Winter In The Country Inktense pencils and acrylic paint

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Iesha Ford What is your professional name? My name is Iesha but all my art is signed I.F. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Massachusetts, but North Carolina has always been my home. I have lived there for more than half my life and it influences my art style greatly and in different ways. From the people I meet to the landscapes and skies, It has all found a way into some of my favorite pieces. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My family supports me in all my art endeavors, and I find that I am often inspired to create because of them. My husband has helped with so many of my projects and without him I would not be where I am today. I tend to be very critical of my artwork and when I get overwhelmed or discouraged by a projects, he tells me that I need to step back and look again because I do not see what everyone else sees. I think this is true for many artists. We become so engaged in our art that we see every flaw at two inches away and forget that in order to appreciate what we have accomplished sometimes we have to step back and look again. When and how did you start making art? I started drawing as a small child and never really stopped. Crayons, colored pencils, markers or a stick in the dirt, anything I could get my hands on served as a way to

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create art. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? I believe it was during a drawing contest in second grade that I knew art was the one thing I really loved to do. I did not win the contest [laughs], in fact I did not even place, but that was not important to me. I just wanted everyone else to see what I had created. Why do you make art now? Making art now is a necessity. It is almost all I ever think about. When I make art, I feel overjoyed and it helps me deal with everything around me - especially nowadays. When I heard about the fires in Australia killing so much wildlife, I had to make art about it. The piece, Bushfires, was created to bring attention to the fires that have ravaged Australia for more than half a year. All of Australia’s wildlife are greatly affected by this disaster and more help is needed to not only save these animals but to prevent this from happening again. How has your work changed or developed over time? My art shows how I have improved over the years, not just in technique but concept and craftsmanship as well. I used to create art that was pretty, but it did not mean anything to me. Now I try to create art that speaks to others or that actually means something, even if I am the only one who cares about it. What are you trying to communicate with your art? My art communicates many different things depending on the piece. Often I create social and environmental pieces that deal with problems we face today. My artwork called Maria’s Path, is my reaction to the absolute horror and destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Maria on the Island of Puerto Rican and the rest of the Caribbean islands. That storm has left scars on those places that will never heal. We need to be reminded that nothing is more powerful than nature. Similarly, the work Florence Floods is my reaction to Hurricane Florence which caused more devastation with the rain than the wind. In and around North Carolina, floods swept away homes and vehicles and created sink holes across the state. People were left without a place to live and FEMA was very little help during this crisis. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I do not have a favorite part of making art because I enjoy the whole process: from concept, to creation, to the final details. I would say that I cherish the moment right before a piece is finished when I know my idea has come together in to something

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beautiful. The feeling of pride that I get makes it very hard to part with my pieces. How do you know when a work is finished? Sometimes you look at a piece and just know that it is completed. Other times you keep going back and working at it, trying to make it better. Sometimes, you feel as if a piece is never complete. That is what it is like to be an artist. What are the art making tools you use now? I work in a variety of different media and materials. Recently I started working with resin. I add it to my woodcuts and sculptures. It is an amazing medium once you get the hang of it. The piece Let Us Bee, is dear to my heart because for the last three years I have focused a lot of my art on bees. I was horrified when I first learned that bees were being added to the endangered species list. Something must change, because of we lose the bees, the human species will not survive. This piece was created with the help of the Cumberland County Beekeepers Association who donated the bees I used in the resin pieces. These insects are dying and they are a major part of our food chain. This does affect us and we need to take action before its too late. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I would love to develop my digital art and expand my skill set as an artist. I feel that it is important as an artist to have more than one skill set. It will allow me to work with more materials and find interesting ways to combine techniques. What’s the first artwork you ever sold? This first piece I ever sold was a colored pencil drawing of a parrot. It sold for $15 to a classmate in sixth grade. It was a neat drawing, but I definitely needed to work on my marketing. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? Make art and keep creating. Never stop, because it does mean something. And a good mentor can help advise you and is an invaluable resource to have. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I recently finished a piece called "Serving Our Community". It is a large woodcut that is painted and covered with resin. The piece is a commentary on the world's current crisisthe Coronavirus. I want my piece to acknowledge the sacrifices healthcare workers and first responders are making across the globe. And I also want to acknowledge the sad

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and grim fact of the lack of healthcare materials and equipment. My next project I am hoping to get back to is my “Let Us Bee” series. What or who inspires you? I am inspired by my family, other artists in my classes, and by things I see online. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? My favorite artist currently is Chiara Bautista. Her style is captivating and her ability to narrate such compelling stories through art is amazing. What does being creative mean to you? Being creative means always trying new things, different ways of creating and solving problems. It does not matter the medium. It does not matter the subject. What matters is that you came up with the idea and made it. Contact information: Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrometheanArtisan?ref=ss_profile Email: imford0502@gmail.com

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Bushfires Acrylic on woodcut

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Let Us Bee Acrylic and resin, bees, on woodcut

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Florence Floods Acrylic on woodcut

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Maria’s Path Acrylic on woodcut

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Jessie Evans What is your professional name? Jessie Evans. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I now live in Raeford, North Carolina. My university, University of North Carolina at Pembroke opened my eyes to a new world in art. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My teachers and friends at UNCP. They encourage me to keep working and help me understand what I can do to improve myself. When and how did you start making art? I started in 2000 after I got my first taste of art at the University of Maryland. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? It started for me in the eighth grade in wood shop at in high school. Why do you make art now? After my military experience, art is the only thing that keeps me calm. How has your work changed or developed over time? Now I know how to use line and shading to create depth in my work - to make it jump out at you. And for example, in the piece Survival, I use straight and curved lines to

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imply depth. I use earth tone colors by mixing the yellows and purples, reds, green, blues and oranges to give that desert feeling. I use wood for the barrel to give it a three dimensional look. What are you trying to communicate with your art? Peace of mind, and that I do belong. Also, my work shows how I and many others are torn between two worlds because of the conflict we went through in the military. As a veteran, I make art to communicate what it was like for me in the military. In the artwork called Warrior, I used Photoshop to create a self portrait. It shows that after you join the Military, you are trained to be a fighting machine. I took the Southwest Asia medals that I received, scanned them and shaped them into a soldier. In the piece The Journey, I used acrylic paint mixed with sand to create texture on the canvas. I mixed earth tone colors with sand and different colors in the uniforms. This piece is meant to show that after your training, it is time to put it all to work. Life as you know it will never be the same. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? Ceramics. It allows me to use my mind and my hands. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? My hands, they control the tools in them. How do you know when a work is finished? It is finished when I am satisfied with it. What are the art making tools you use now? Carving tools for ceramics and paint brushes for painting. I also like working in mixed media. In Warhead I also used acrylic paint mixed with sand to create texture on the canvas. I used earth tones to make you feel like you were there. I took a picture frame and placed canvas on top of it. Then I added wire underneath the canvas to raise it up. I made a glazed ceramic center piece, a face, which was fired use the raku technique. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I would like to make more digital art. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? Don’t give up, keep trying.

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What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I just want to be normal again. What or who inspires you? My Professors at UNCP. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? In my nightmares. Also, in my memories. For instance, in the piece, The Lost, there are three separate hand built ceramic pieces. After glazing and firing in an electric kiln, they were encased in a wood frame. This was done to remember the ones that didn’t make it, the lost. What does being creative mean to you? Setting myself free. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Just to be me. Contact information: jessebevans1@gmail.com

The Lost Mixed Media: Three ceramic tiles encased in wood frame

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Warrior Digital media and scanned objects

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Warhead Ceramic gas kiln and raku, acrylic mixed with sand on canvas

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To Be Or Not To Be Ceramic in gas kiln, Phoenix clay-brownstone

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The Journey Acrylic mixed with sand on canvas

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Survival Acrylic mixed with sand and wood on canvas

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Amber Cranford What is your professional name? My name is Amber Cranford. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Libertyville Illinois and no it does not influence me. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I live in Pembroke North Carolina and it influences me to be a better artist. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Yes I do, and they encourage me to keep trying even if I do not like what I create. Questions about making art. When and how did you start making art? I started making art in high school. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? There is not really a first time, I just found myself making lots of art and I knew that I would never stop. Why do you make art now? I make art as a therapy for myself. I do it because I love the feeling I get from creating. I also do it because I want other people to feel different things when they see my art.

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How has your work changed or developed over time? My art has gotten better over time, I also mostly paint now instead of draw, and I also have begun doing ceramics. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? No, I just go with what I am feeling at the time. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I love the process the most. Even if it can sometimes be frustrating, making art is the best feeling. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? I guess paint would be the most important tool because I mostly paint more often than not and you need paint for a painting. How do you know when a work is finished? I know it is finished when I am content with looking at it or if I do not feel like it needs a change of some sort. What are the art making tools you use now? I use paint, canvas, brushes, and ceramic tools. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I would love to try printmaking. Do you make a living from your art? I do not currently but I would like to. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? I would say just keep trying and do not give up. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I want to move out of North Carolina and eventually have my own coffee shop that I can sell my work out of. I also want to have my own studio someday.

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What or who inspires you? Other artists inspire me, usually artists I see on Instagram. I am also inspired by nature. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? I would love to own Van Gogh’s Starry Night because it is one of my favorite paintings of all time, but I would probably just want a copy because I would not want anything happening to the original. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I find ideas for my work from nature or Instagram, or dreams. What does being creative mean to you? Being creative means making art. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? If I feel stuck, lay upside down and get a new perspective, but make sure I remember to take breaks and not overwork myself. Contact Information: breezy.ann.12@gmail.com

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Mountain Tranquility Acrylic paint on canvas

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Island Getaway Acrylic paint on canvas

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Island Getaway Acrylic paint on canvas

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Quarantine Vibes Acrylic paint on canvas

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The Resting Tree Acrylic paint on canvas

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Nebula Acrylic Paint on Canvas

Purple Strata Acrylic Paint on Canvas

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Jade Fen Acrylic Paint on Canvas

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Arturo Carmona What is your Professional name? Arturo Carmona. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Chapel Hill and yes, I do believe that some weird quality of living in this place has rubbed off on me, in both personality and temperament. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Yes, family and close friends of mine are all full supporters of my art. They push me to strive for more and encourage me to put my work out there, either digitally or publicly. When and how did you start making art? All this began when I was in elementary school. Being introduced to the craft in my first art class and keeping up with it by making comic strips. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? When I shared my comic strips to my fellow classmates during 2nd grade and seeing how much they enjoyed my creation. I think that’s when the first spark started. Why do you make art now? Simply as a way for me to make my mark on this world. If I were to disappear today, I want something to stay here letting all know that I existed. And also because I like to push myself creatively.

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How has your work changed and developed over time? Well nowadays I’m working with more than one medium. Before, I couldn’t bring myself to use anything other than a number two pencil and a piece of notebook paper. Now I’m using mediums like paint, charcoal, ink, wood and clay. What are you trying to communicate with your art? That concept and composition is the perfect canvas on which to express personal notions and theories on what an ideal world can look like. To bring forth the injustices of society into light and to yell at the public through visual interpretation. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? Not really, for the most part I typically go about my artistic process like anybody else. The only difference however is that sometimes I would create an art piece without any prior planning. This would allow me to create freely without being restricted to some structure and form, giving these particular art pieces a better sense of life and flow. What element of art making do you enjoy the most and why? The ability to create art anywhere and anyway that I like. As of recently I’ve been enjoying creating art on a nice and sunny day while drinking a few beers at the same time. What is your most important artist tool and why? My hands are my most important tool because without them I couldn’t make the things I want in life. That and the society I live in to give me ideas as to fuel my ideas for art pieces. How do you know when a work is finished? When adding more will only ruin the entire piece. What are the art making tools you use now? Primarily the paint brush and canvas, wood etching tools onto a wood block and a mechanical pencil on a simple drawing book. I’ve also been trying to use a graphic tablet for future works but that is still a work in progress. What new creative medium would you love to pursue?

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Digital based work. Not Photoshop per se, but more along the lines of drawing software. I’ve also been looking into watercolor. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? To one-day hope that my artistic capabilities will pay off and help me establish a decent income in the future. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I have not started on it but I have been playing with the idea of mask making with epoxy and paper and creating a mini installation in my backyard. What or who inspires you? Usually the nature of the environment that surrounds me or the problems affecting society today. Situations involved with these everyday things of my life tend to bring out the more “woke” side of me. Do you have a favorite or influential living artist? Jean-Michel Basquiat. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? The Lac d’Annecy by Paul Cezanne. I’ve always been fond of paintings depicting scenes of nature in an impressionist sort of atmosphere. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Within this realm of my imagination, I sort of attempt to skew the elements of realism and surrealism and intertwine them in an attempt to create strange exaggerations of figures and forms common to the human eye. What does being creative mean to you? To think outside of the box so to speak. To come up with an idea that is unheard of to most, essentially making the ordinary and turning it into the extraordinary. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? I have been told by an artist I have been lucky to know, that artistic beauty cannot truly exist unless you are willing to step outside of what you consider to be normal. Beauty is instilled within your art not because of the quality of the technique but by the honesty with which you approach your work.

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Amnesty Ink Print - Black Ink on Paper

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Summer Breeze Acrylic paint on canvas

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Cellphones Kill Black ink on paper

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Pink Horizon Acrylic paint on canvas

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Doom Acrylic paint on canvas

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Lost in Space Black ink on paper

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Tropical Euphoria Black ink on paper

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Take Me To Your Leader Black ink on paper

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Autumn Roush Where were you born, and where do you live now? How have these places influenced you? I was born in Texas and currently live in North Carolina, going on nine years. My dad is retired military, so my family and I have lived all over the country and even in Italy once. Before he retired, the longest time I had ever stayed in one place was three years. Because of this frequent moving in my early life, I do not find that my identity is attached to any specific location, and I doubt it ever will be. Saying goodbye to familiar people and places on a regular basis has taught me that those things can not define who I am. It has taught me to have peace about things that I cannot control, (though I often fail at this) and focus instead on cultivating inner strength and security. When and how did you start making art? Why do you make art now? I have been making art for as long as I can remember. At this point it has become an inseparable part of my identity. Even if I am not working on a dedicated art project, I still find ways to incorporate a love of aesthetics in most facets of my life. This can manifest in how I decorate my room, what I wear, how I speak, and how I write. Whatever it is, I try to find my unique voice and express that to the world. Ultimately, I try to create things that make me happy. However, I am definitely not always happy. So, my art doesn’t always reflect myself as I am. Often, it is a reflection of how I want to be, or a way of preserving my best moments. But I also make art that reflects how I feel in the moment. Overall, it is usually some combination of catharsis and expressing love of life.

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How has your work changed or developed over time? In my early years, I mostly focused on realism. I would almost exclusively copy from references or follow instructions from books. I cared very much about depicting the subject exactly the way it was in the picture, and I was most impressed with artists who could achieve photorealistic results. I was also only interested in drawing animals – mostly horses, and big cats like lions, tigers, and leopards (Oh my!). As an older teen, my subject matter expanded to include realistic human portraits. As an adult, however, I have become progressively less interested in doing “copy work” and more motivated to either create something completely original or at least provide my own interpretation. The way I see it, we have cameras for a reason. A drawing will never be identical to a photograph nor should it. We appreciate the beauty of art because of the unique touch an artist adds, not in spite of it. It is worth noting that I have expanded my media repertoire a great deal as well. In the past, I mostly limited myself to pen and ink, graphite, and colored pencil, but I have really enjoyed trying new mediums at school, especially 3d and painting. How do you know when a work is finished? It is hard to give a clear answer to that. In the best cases, I feel satisfied and proud of the work. Sometimes I never get that satisfaction, but grow tired of working on it, so I call it quits. Sometimes I consider a work finished only to revisit it later when I think of something to make it better. But usually there is a clear moment when I decide to stop fussing with it so I can move on to something new. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? One thing I have always wanted to try is wood carving, specifically in the round, though I would love to try relief as well. I doubt I would do anything professional with it, though. I am not particularly motivated to invest the necessary time to do it professionally. That may sound harsh or lazy, but hear me out. I think it is really important for people to constantly try new things that will not make them money. Hobbies give you permission to simply have fun in a low pressure environment. That freedom can be really healthy for creativity, and even spark inspiration in other, more professional projects. Also, there are only so many areas an artist can specialize in, so one must choose wisely and be realistic. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? Last semester I did research on a type of Norwegian art called Rosemaling. The style emerged around the mid 1700’s and uses swirling scrollwork, floral motifs, and bright colors as decorative accents. Artists skilled in this craft traveled from city to city painting homes, churches, furniture, kitchen utensils, storage trunks, and more. So, I am painting a small wooden shelf in the Rosemaling style. This type of art interests me because it is a way of decorating something that is already useful, and making it a piece of art as well. Art is certainly valuable in its own right, but I find a piece much more beautiful if it has a function as well as being aesthetically pleasing.

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Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? I love the art of Silvia Pelissero, known by her artist name, Agnes Cecile. She creates highly expressive, dynamic watercolor portraits. I admire the energy and freedom of her style and her incredible ability to capture strong emotions. I am also a fan of Brittney Lee. She is a Disney artist who has worked on films such as Frozen, Zootopia, and Moana, to name a few. I like the vibrant, whimsical style of her art. She is also very skilled in the medium of cut paper, which involves cutting pieces of a design from different colored paper before stacking and gluing them together to form the image. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? I would love to own a Van Gogh. My style is heavily influenced by his work, particularly the painting Starry Night. The energy and texture of the brush strokes is amazing, as well as the way he captures light. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I do not find that I am ever at a loss for ideas. I have too many to ever complete, though I try to write down the good ones so I remember. Sometimes the work of other visual artists triggers an idea. I sometimes get inspiration from other forms of art, like music or literature. Sometimes it is an animal, word, or feeling that I want to capture. I can usually trace the spark back to an original source, though I add enough of my own ideas to make it unique. What does being creative mean to you? If you read the dictionary definition for “create” it means to “bring (something) into existence.” I think the difference between a creative life and a non-creative life is the same difference as being yourself vs. not being yourself. Creative people cultivate their own unique ideas and bring things into existence that were not there before. Non-creative people are limited to following and consuming the work of others. I think it is very important to learn from other people, but too much of a good thing can be bad. At the end of the day no one else will live your life for you. You might as well take the opportunity to be a real person, rather than acting out a part. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Be honest with people and most importantly, yourself. I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to say something but held back because I was afraid it would sound ridiculous – only for someone else to express exactly what I was thinking later on. Respect your intuition. Even if it really does end up being ridiculous, at least you had the courage to speak up and grow from the experience. Good people will value you for it and you will build a reputation as someone they can trust to tell the truth. Just make sure you are truthful without being insensitive. This is really just advice for life in general, but it can affect your creativity as well. Do not be afraid to make bold choices,

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even if the subject, style, or medium is intimidating. Sometimes it pays off, but even when it does not, learn from the experience and keep creating. Life is too short to spend doing what you think you are “supposed� to do. Sometimes honesty means admitting you need a break when you are tired. I frequently forget that it is okay to rest. Too often, I continue to stubbornly push myself despite being frustrated and uninspired. You would be surprised how quickly you think of solutions after stepping away from the problem for a while. It gives your brain time to regroup and consider things from different perspectives. Taking care of yourself does not make you a quitter or a wimp. Contact information: autumn.roush7@gmail.com

Bobby Oil on canvas

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Pistachio Marionette, flat toothpicks and glue

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Family Ties Cut paper and watercolor

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Deconstruction Cut paper

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Light House Ceramic

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Flying Things Ceramics and pyrography, hoop

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Migration Oil on canvas

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Mother and Child Charcoal

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Stoney Faulkner What is your professional name? My name is Stoney Faulkner. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born and raised in Henderson NC. It does not really influence. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Most if not all of my friends and family support me and my art making. Having them helps me keep going and love making art. When and how did you start making art? I started making art in elementary school. I was just copying cartoon characters that I would watch but then I started drawing my own. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Around middle school I found myself drawing way more than I used to. I would just sit in class and just start drawing designs on my hands all the time. I did it so much that my teacher got mad and took my markers away from me. Why do you make art now? I make art now because it is something that I spent most of my life developing. I want to see how much more I can improve and how far I can take my art career.

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How has your work changed or developed over time? My work has changed drastically. My old work was a much darker, bloodier and simple. I think I was going for more shock value than actually trying to convey a message. What are you trying to communicate with your art? Recently have been on the subjects of toxic love and toxic beauty. I want people see some of themselves in the toxicity and maybe even discover something about themselves that they did not know. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? If I am making art, I have to have music on. Music influences my art all the time. It changes my mood, and I even base some of my paintings on certain songs. How do you know when a work is finished? I know a work is done when I just want to paint over it and start over. At that point I know I need to move on and do something else. What are the art making tools you use now? I work with acrylic on canvas. I have tried other media but I found that I work best in acrylic. What’s the first artwork you ever sold? When I was in high school one of my friends wanted a painting. He gave me a lot of ideas about what he wanted and I sold it to him for $75. Do you make a living from your art? Sadly, I do not. But I plan on doing that in the future. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I want to have my own art studio and sell my art. I want to be able to live off of my art. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I am working on a few portraits right now. I am working on one larger painting to continue my toxic love and toxic beauty series.

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What or who inspires you? My mother inspires me the most. She has worked so hard all her life and one day I want to pay her back for all she has done for me. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Kehinde Wiley has been my favorite for a while. I have known about him since high school and I have looked up to him ever since. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I find many ideas from Instagram. I follow a lot of interesting and creative people. I also get ideas from music videos. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Never color inside the lines. Outside is where all the fun is.

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My Beloved Toxin Acrylic on canvas

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Weeping Mother Earth Acrylic on canvas

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The End Of Humanity Acrylic on canvas

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Ruling Through Chaos Acrylic on Canvas

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Jospeh Miller
 What is your professional name? My professional name is Joseph Miller. I am named after Joseph who, in the biblical story, was given the coat of many colors. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Augusta, Georgia, but I grew up in Aiken, South Carolina for sixteen years. My family lived in a rural area, with not a lot to do. I do not think growing up there has influenced my art much, if at all.

Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I live in Clarkton, North Carolina going on 10 years now. Clarkton seems to be even more rural than Aiken. So no, neither of my upbringing locations influence my art. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Yes, I am lucky enough to have a strong family that supports my career decision and has encouraged me while growing up. Even though we are a family who lives far apart, it is always great to get opinions from them. I think that the word “friend” means encouragement, loving and there for you, so anyone I consider a friend has those qualities and boosts me every day in all things that I do. I would not have anything if I did not have my family. When and how did you start making art? I think when I first started thinking about becoming an artist was in elementary school. I had a fantastic art teacher from 1st through 5th grade who opened up different techniques to me.

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Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Well being an only child definitely encouraged my creative side. I had a lot of free time as a child and I would entertain myself by creating different things when mom and dad were working. So, creativity is not anything new to me. Why do you make art now? I think I make art now because I know there is a career in it. I know I can make a living out of it. It is also the career path I have chosen, so I want to be good at it. How has your work changed or developed over time? I do not know if my work has changed much over time because I only really started taking it seriously when I started college. That being said, now I am trying to dig deeper into myself to find more personal aspects to improve the depth of my work. What are you trying to communicate with your art? With many of my works, I think they have been much inspired from previous old masters such as Monet, Turner, and Constable. Apart from being a pretty scene, I think my work is still in the works in terms of communicating a message. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? I think to a certain degree I do. When starting a painting I will usually gesso the canvas or use acrylic as a base. Once that dries then I will break out the charcoal or marker and sketch out a rough outline of my subject. I then start adding paint until I am partially satisfied. I have never been fully satisfied. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? I would have to say my brushes. Without them I would have a hard time applying paint in the manner I like. How do you know when a work is finished? Usually whenever I get tired of working on a piece and it has all the components I had originally intended to put there. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? 3D printing or 3D designing would be an interesting new medium for me. I have taken many sculpture classes and enjoy them very much, but they have mainly used steel, so coming up with a 3D concept on the computer would be challenge.

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What’s the first artwork you ever sold? The first pieces of art I ever sold were a series of handmade comic books. I sold them to a friend for .50 cents a piece in elementary school. Do you make a living from your art? Not yet, but I hope to in the near future. Category #5: Questions about the future. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? After I graduate this spring semester, I plan to either get a job in an art museum, or continue schooling and earn my Master of Fine Arts degree. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I am currently working on multiple projects at the moment. One is a painting that has undergone many coverups and restarts. The other is a cardboard project for my sculpture class. It will be a quarantine hazmat helmet. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Neo Rauch is a living German artist that I have become intrigued with in the past few years. He creates large paintings of bizarre dream-like scenes. He usually uses figures from 16th through 19th century settings. I think his work is great because he has found a unique style and made more than enough money off of it. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? I would love to own any work by J.W.M Turner. His watercolor landscapes are otherworldly. He can express so much feeling through his color and brush work. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I usually get my ideas from other artists works; I just change them up. Recently I have gotten ideas from movies and tv shows to add in my work. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? I once got advice about being more creative, which was to visit museums and look at as much art as possible. It sounded like great advice at the time, but after years of pondering on it I have to strongly disagree with it. Of course, visiting museums and galleries are great to see actual works from famous artists, but I do not believe one should get their inspiration from them. I have been a victim of doing this with most of my work. If you see a painting, you like and say I like

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that, then make a work that resembles theirs, then you are not being original. I struggle to find originality within my own work. It is something I strive to accomplish as I continue as an artist. Contact information: email: 13miller05@gmail.com
 website: h7ps://13miller05.wixsite.com/millersart

Rainy Downtown Nicholasville Oil on canvas


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After The Rain Evening Oil on canvas

Castle of Flatlands Oil on canvas

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Clash of Godly Forces Oil on canvas

Deep Forest Oil on canvas

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Fisherman’s Storm Oil on canvas

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Raining Evening II Oil on canvas

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Downtown Charlotte Oil on canvas

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Misty Evening III Oil on canvas

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Alei Williams What is your professional name? Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? 
 Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My professional name is Alei Williams. I was born on Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. It does not influence my work or myself. I was born there and then continued to travel a lot due to my father being a service member in the Army. 
 I currently live in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This place influences me because I am surrounded by a variety of different cultures due to Ft. Bragg Army Base. Also, I like to create work that is influenced by some of the events and issues in my surroundings. My family and friends do support my work. At first, I liked to keep my collective work to myself and I did not show or discuss my work with anyone except my mother and brother. Art has made such an overall impact on my life. I would not be who I am without art. I look at everything from color, shape, space, texture, and concept as art. Life has influenced my work by incorporating things others or I have experienced. Showing these experiences in my work has helped me express my emotions more elaborately. When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art?

I started creating and experimenting with art at the age of three. Growing up as a kid I faced the challenge of dealing with a condition called Erbs Palsy that affected the general movement of my arm. My Papa helped me with maintaining my physical therapy and gaining my full range of motion in my arm by placing crayons, pens, and pencils in my hand for me to draw. By him doing this, I gained back my full range of motion and overcame the challenge of being disabled and not being able to use my arm. And with his help, I discovered my love for art. By grade school, I realized that art was a part of me. I got in trouble with my elementary school teachers for looking out the window and drawing what I saw rather than being attentive in class. My mother then

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noticed my gift and placed me in studio art classes. There I learned different techniques to express myself through art.
 I make art now, for both the love of it, and to create conceptual pieces that reflect society and the issues facing minorities, and more specifically, minority women. My work has progressively changed as I deal with more mature concepts. I now use more vibrant colors, and the work is more complex. My artwork has increased in physical size along with the concepts. For instance, the artwork Cotton Blossom is 30” x 80”. Before, I would only work in one medium at a time. But now, I thrive using mixed media within one piece. I love to use a lot of texture and it is prevalent in my work. With my art I am initiating a conversation on various social issues that affect the African American community and more specifically, how these issues affect African American women. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? How do you know when a work is finished? What are the art making tools you use now? What new creative medium would you love to pursue? Within my work I love to create texture and manipulate images by placing them one on top of the other to create collage forms. I also love the overall layering process. Whether that is drawing, painting, or mixed media. While I create, I listen to music that reflects my emotions or is based on the social issues I want to address. It makes me think more deeply about my concept so I can better reflect what I want to communicate to the viewer. I enjoy texture, color, and movement when creating or looking at art. Texture adds depth, dimension, and perspective to art. Whereas color can express emotion and can be combined to create harmony in art. I also like movement in art because it creates direction for a viewer’s eyes to move. My most important artist tools are pencil and Sharpie. I love to sketch and create an overall skeleton of my work with them. I typically know when my artwork is done after I have shared my concept and reworked any issues with my piece by asking for critiques from my fellow classmates. But I also know that it is finished when I feel I have communicated my concept and I feel immensely proud of my work. I use acrylic and oil paint on canvas, sharpies, paint brushes, etc. However, I am always looking at new art and new techniques and ways to create works of art. A medium I would love to pursue would be digital. I have not experienced or explored making work with digital art.
 What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? 
 What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? The first artwork I ever sold was a drawing for a tattoo for one of my fellow classmates while in high school. And I would love to professionally make a living from my art. I want to exhibit nationally. I am continuously learning about what makes an artist become successful professionally. The best advice I can give to someone is to never give up on

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your craft, and always go to museums and exhibits to see what is relevant. But more than ever, take one step forward and do not stop taking more steps.
 What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? What interesting project are you working on at the moment? My goals for the future are to become a major contemporary artist and to have my work featured in New York and California. One day I want to be a part of historical African American Art museums such as the one in Washington DC. I would love to teach children art, and show them how to express themselves through art. Right now, I am sketching a piece that is related to the death rates of African American women in hospital delivery rooms while giving birth. I think it is important to expand the conversation on this topic and about our health care system in general. Is this death rate due to negligence or underlying health issues?


Cotton Blossom (Detail, left side)

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What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? What work of art do you wish you owned and why? My environment and being an African American woman inspire me. Women are constantly evolving and progressing in society, especially, when it comes to our voices being heard. However, within our society, the voices of African American women are not often reflected or heard. Two artists who have influenced me and whose work I love would have to be Nelson Makomo and Kara Walker. I love how they express raw emotions through their work. They both elaborate on the intricate issues of the African and African American communities using various media in large scale.

Cotton Blossom (Detail, right side)

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A work of art that I wish I owned would be one of Claude Monet’s Waterlily Pond paintings. I enjoy how he uses light, texture, color, and movement all within his work. And I also like how he creates emotion within each piece that reflects a simple lily pond. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What does being creative mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Often I find my ideas looking at issues or aspects from nature that correlate to events that I or others have experienced. Being creative means creating something that reflects not only yourself but the inner being of yourself through any medium. Creativity means taking images that you would normally not use or see and remaking them in a way that matches your concepts or emotions. The best advice I have to give about being more creative, is to let loose and be free when creating. Everything is art or a form of design. It is also interesting to draw various sketches or rework things to make a piece more visually intriguing.

Cotton Blossom
 Collaged images, acrylic paint, oil paint, physical cotton on canvas

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Emily Brown What is your professional name? My name is Emily Brown. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Washington State, but I was only there for about a year and a half before I was whisked away by the army life. As a military brat, I never really settled anywhere. I never lived in the same house, let alone the same state, for more than a couple of years at a time, until I moved to North Carolina for the second time. When people ask me where I am from, I have to do the stereotypical army-brat thing and ask, like, where I was born or where I lived the longest? and then promptly recite: I was born in Washington, then I moved to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, Arizona, Tennessee, California, and back to North Carolina. The place I was born has little to no influence on me, because it was never home and I never learned anything from the people there. In my experience, it is the people that influence you, not the place. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I have been living in North Carolina for about seven years now. As I said before, I believe that it is the people that influence me, and I have not been influenced very positively by these people. I find myself surrounded by people with no morals. No sense of right and wrong. People who refuse to do what is right when no one is watching. This has left me, an already cynical and critical individual, with a sour taste in my mouth. Perhaps it is a bit harsh of me to say that. I have heard that areas outside of where I live are far more morally and ethically conscious. However, my experience here, with these people, has certainly painted a corrupt, lazy, and incompetent picture of the society I live in. And this picture is what is driving me to leave where I am living as quickly as I can in search of more like-minded people.

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Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My biggest supporters have always been my family, friends, and a selection of my professors in college. I think it was hard for my immediate family to be supportive at first. I did not exactly start going to college with any talent or skill in art, and my first few art classes were basically a crash course in skills that would have put me at an advantage, had I learned them before class. My first drawings were horrid. But my family held back their doubt as much as they could. My skill improved over time and my family began to see the potential that I have and are much more supportive now that I am nearing the end of my B.A. degree program. My friends are always supportive, as friends usually are. I try to surround myself with like-minded individuals who can critique me to the best of their ability. Many of my friends are theatre majors, film majors, and fellow artists. As we are all creatives, this helps us build each other up throughout our college years. My best friend, who is my cousin, was probably by far my greatest supporter. I have had a select few university professors who have truly supported me. And they supported me by pushing me to be the best that I could be, without pushing me to do things as they would do it. I think that is a very important distinction to me to determine who was supportive and who was just doing their job. When and how did you start making art? I think I started like most people do. I drew a lot as a kid, and developed an interest as a teenager, but I never really pursued it until college. I started college with a desire to study art, but I was under the delusion that I wanted to get my degree in Psychology. Math and English came easy to me, as did social sciences and other things. Nothing was particularly challenging to me. That is, nothing was challenging to me until I took my first art class. The truth is, I started art classes and pursuing art because (out of all of the subjects I was studying) art was the most challenging to me. I was intellectually stimulated by it, which was something that no other class was doing. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? I have always had a desire to act, sing, draw, and write. I was probably in my teen years when I realized that I needed to create. I had started writing books and poetry as a pre-teen, and I honestly could not think of anything that I wanted to do more. Why do you make art now? I make art now because I need to graduate. But outside of school, I make art because I

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feel compelled to share my thoughts visually, so that I do not need to use words. When I need to use words I write poetry, songs, or fiction. But if I want to express something more subtly, I turn to art. How has your work changed or developed over time? I would say that my art has not had time to change. In the past five years that I have been in college all I have had the time to do is develop it. I have been honing the necessary skills to produce art, and I have been slowly developing a style and my artistic voice. What are you trying to communicate with your art? In my work, I often address the elements of the human condition. Mortality. Sickness. Mental illness. Physical illness. Emotions. Growth. Personification. Life and Death. Religion. I work from the inside outward. I think about things that affect me as an individual, and how they relate to the outside. What can the world relate to? What does the world not understand? What do I want the world to understand? What could I understand better? Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? I like to sketch out my entire idea multiple times on the same paper with a ballpoint pen. I will change the composition entirely, multiple times, and still be able to see what decisions prompt me to change things. And if I want to go back to an earlier composition, I can still work over what I have done. It ends up being a mess of black scribbles that no one can understand but me. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I enjoy the sketching process. Nothing is permanent in this stage and it can be worked over and over and over again. I would say I enjoy the sketching process more than I enjoy a final piece. It is less stressful to say you are sketching than to say you are drawing. To me, drawing implies a final piece; an end. Sketching is just a process that revolves around creating without the pressure of having to look complete. It is simply unbridled imagination and observation at work. How do you know when a work is finished? I know my work is finished when I look at it and say, if I touch it one more time I will hate it forever. Then I walk away from it for a week, come back to it to see if I am still satisfied and that there is nothing more for me to do. If I come back to a piece and see that there is more that I want to do, the piece is not finished. I am almost never satisfied until I almost hate it. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I have recently purchased the tools required to start graphic painting. It is my goal to be a concept artist/storyboard artist for movies, TV, and video games. Most of the jobs out there require graphic art

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skills. In my five years at college this is the one skill that I was never taught. I look forward to learning the medium thoroughly and getting just one step closer to my dream career. What's the first artwork you ever sold? The first piece of art I ever sold was an eight inch cylinder I made in my first pottery class. I sold it for five dollars at an art club sale at Fayetteville Technical Community College. I credit this piece as my first sale, simply because I was surprised someone bought it. I can throw a decent cylinder, but who would want it? I put it out with my things on the table just because I had so many of them, but out of everything that I had created, people wanted the cylinders. They were so simple. I am left to wonder what people saw in them that made them want to take one home. Do you make a living from your art? No. Currently, I work as a pool operator and lead lifeguard. It is not glorious work, but it pays well enough. I am very realistic that way. I love to create, and I want art to be my future, but I have to make money to survive right now. And that is okay. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? Professionally, I am at a bit of a crossroads. In the interest of art, I would like to pursue becoming a concept/storyboard artist. In addition to that, I want to finish the books I have been writing and get them published. I would also like to continue pursuing a career in acting. I have been in several theater productions. However, I feel that it is time to move on to bigger things. There are many things I am trying to pursue at the moment. And for the moment, I am going to just keep pursuing things until something sticks. Personally, I want to travel. I have been dying to travel for years, but have been held back by school, medical complications, and funds. I want to see the Cliffs of Moher, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Swiss Alps, and Castles in Germany. I want to learn to surf waves, to spar with swords, dance, and sing. I want to experience life to its fullest while I am still young and it is physically easier to do so. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? As I stated before, I recently acquired all the devices I need to start learning graphic painting. I am taking the summer of 2020 to learn the media and start working on my own concept art for a book that I am writing. Character design, setting, architecture; I am going to design and paint it all! What or who inspires you? Nature is always inspiring. When I think about concept art, I think about nature and let my mind wander there. Music is an easy way to manipulate my mind into creating

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things. It is amazing what the manipulation of emotions through the use of music can do for the imagination. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I work a lot with introspection. Many ideas come from self-searching and the critiquing of my own flaws and beliefs. I use that introspection to see what I know, what I do not know, and what I want to know more about. I use that as a starting point to look outward and interpret it into drawings or words on paper. What does being creative mean to you? Being Creative to me is a fancy way of saying that you can create something from seemingly nothing. What is the best creative advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I was ever given in relation to my art came from one of my professors. I was in my Painting 1 class, probably the third or fourth class I had taken with her, and I was struggling with blending paint. I was getting frustrated at my lack of skill; frustrated with the medium; and I was ready to give up on art. She said, Emily, you do this every time you learn a new medium. You stress and freak out when you don’t understand it, or can’t control it when you first use it, and then eventually you figure it out. She made me realize that when it comes to my creative process, I am hindered by my need for control and perfection. Later she told me, when I went to her for advice while attending a new school, if you don’t feel challenged, make it challenging. If they tell you to do one piece, do three. If that’s still not enough, do five. If they aren’t going to challenge you to help you grow, you need to challenge yourself. I credit her support as the reason I never gave up on pursuing art. If something is challenging me, I now push through until I understand it. If something is not behaving the way I think it should be, I experiment until I figure out why. And if I am not being properly challenged by the schoolwork being assigned to me, I go above and beyond the expectations of my teachers. Do you have anything to say to artists who are just starting? Don’t give up. And don’t limit yourself. If something is challenging, it is something worth learning. And with that being said, if one form of art is not your thing, try something else. There is more to being an artist than just strictly being a painter or a poet. There are many different kinds of art that people can be genuinely good at. I have met so many painters who cannot sculpt. I have met ceramicists who cannot draw. I have met stage performers who get shy in front of a camera. You do not have to be good at everything! Just don’t stop before you find out what you are good at. Contact Information: Email: emilybrown1701@yahoo.com

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Anemia Ink on watercolor paper

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Anger Ink on watercolor paper

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Anxiety Ink on watercolor paper

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Depression Ink on watercolor paper

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Mortality Ink on watercolor paper

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Paranoia Ink on watercolor paper

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Yessenia Camacho What is your professional name? My professional name is Yessenia Camacho. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and I think it influences me every day. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I still live in Fayetteville, I never left. Fayetteville influences me by how kind people can be. When I go out to different places, I always meet the nicest people. It makes me feel relaxed and calm knowing I do not have to have my guard up most of the time. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? Actually, my mom, her boyfriend and my brother are the biggest influencers in my art. They always have these amazing ideas for projects or concepts for me to try out. Most of my friends are artists. Whenever I am with them I always feel this need to draw or paint. We will most likely be talking about something ridiculous and I will just want draw it. We have meetings in different buildings to hang out, but most of the time we are drawing something. When and how did you start making art? I started making art when I was very small but I never made it for myself. I made drawings for others because it made them happy. I sadly was a copy artist who used someone else’s art because I did not like whatever I made, since I thought I had no talent. When I got in high school, my art teacher gave me a book about ZentnaglesŽ and told me that he thought I would enjoy trying them. That is when art started becoming more potent in my life. People really liked my art pieces and that gave me more courage to pursue art, and to keep practicing. The rest is history. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

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I came to college to major in something, but I did not know what. I decided to take one art class. My professor gave us projects where we had to use pre-made stuff. I did not enjoy it that much. But then she gave us projects where we could use anything to create an image with paint, crayons, etc. I realized at that moment I wanted to always make my art, I felt more in my element. Why do you make art now? I make art now because I enjoy doing it. It is as simple as that. It helps me focus on something other than whatever I dealing with. It is an escape for me to fuel out my aggression and sadness when needs be. How has your work changed or developed over time? Back in high school, I did Zentnagles速 with charcoal pencils and paper. Every now and then I would do sketches of anime. Then I had a thing for sculpture where I just made anime weapons or space-oriented items. Then I tried printmaking because I thought it would be cool to make anime shirts with my own art. But later on the pain in my hands caused by that was no longer worth it. So then I got into painting. I was painting anime portraits at first, but then it went to scenery because making those beautiful images was fun. Then my teacher told us to do project that would be an AlterEgo or something along those lines. We had to promote ourselves as though we were already a working artist. I decided to do Zentnagles速 because it was something I had not done in a long time. And it stuck with me after that. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? There is one thing I like to do before making my art. I like to do concept art before I actually paint. That way I know where everything goes before I put it down. Sometimes, very rarely, I will look up new Zentnagles速 to use along with new shapes to try in my paintings. How do you know when a work is finished? When the shape is full of paint and Zentnagles速 or the canvas is full. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I am actually trying my hand at cardboard items currently. I have seen a lot of people making recreations of various objects from bicycles to temples and I thought it would be fun to try. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? Honestly, when I get out of college I plan to get a full-time job, so I can pay for my art supplies and keep painting. Hopefully one day I will be able to sell my artwork either on shirts or on canvas. What interesting project are you working on at the moment?

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At the moment I am working on a giant canvas with a turtle on it. I am making it completely out of Zentnagles®. It is the biggest painting I have ever done. It is still not done, but it is a work in progress. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Most of my ideas come from my Zentnagles® book my mom bought for me. It constantly inspires me to do Zentnagles®. That or I just ask my mom and brother for ideas. Contact Information: YesseniaCamacho297@gmail.com

Cancer Acrylic paint on canvas

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ChocoZen Acrylic paint on canvas

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Leo Acrylic paint on canvas

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LoliZen Acrylic paint on canvas

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LoliZen 2 Acrylic paint on canvas

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Virgo Acrylic paint on canvas

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LoliZen 3 Acrylic paint on canvas

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Nikki Loy
 What is your professional name? My name is Nikki Loy. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Most of my work is influenced by living in North Carolina.
 Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I live in Hope Mills, North Carolina. My community influences me greatly. 
 Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My husband, family, and community do support me. Most of my work is about natural disasters or events that affect relationships within a community, like tourism destinations. Their stories and experiences influence the atmosphere of my work. When and how did you start making art? I was very inquisitive of my sibling’s homework as a child. I would mimic my sister’s cursive handwriting. My love for drawing started there.
 Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? The school system used to have art competitions every year and the work would be displayed inside of the mall. I was probably in the 3rd grade when I realized it was important for me to make work to share with an audience.

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Why do you make art now? I make art now to process and share moments from events that have been life altering to either myself or a specific community.
 How has your work changed or developed over time? Photography has been a huge help in my professional development as an artist. What are you trying to communicate with your art? I think people need to see tourism destinations as more than places to vacation. Many of those landscapes are threatened by natural disasters and climate change. It is important that people see how their involvement with these places affects the community. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? I research images of landscapes on social media and the Internet to best explore composition. I like to learn about the people who live in a place and their local culture in order to develop a story. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I like the planning process in my sketchbook. I will make several sketches of an image to build out my painting and then start working through color theory by making swatches.
 What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? My computer and my camera are my most important tools at the moment. I use Photoshop to make collages and mood boards to make visuals.
 How do you know when a work is finished? I take many breaks while I work on a project. It is important for me to look at different pieces of art when I am working so I remain critical of my own work to avoid overworking the project. I think it is easy to get sidetracked during the art making process by reworking a problem because I want to achieve a particular aesthetic. I will overshoot my goal and it becomes frustrating because I will start to change the entire piece. It helps to take a break to critique someone else’s work and then use that mindset to look at my own, and it keeps the process balanced. I can always go back and rework something, but it is not always necessary.

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What are the art making tools you use now? I use a camera to capture images for my work and then paint them in acrylic on canvas.
 What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I would like to learn more about film photography. Do you make a living from your art? I am not actively selling my work, but I am making a living teaching art lessons virtually online to children and adults. The lessons are live using online platforms such as Zoom and they are usually one-to-one. I focus on using the elements and principles of art and design as a way of self-expression. Adults tend to have this idea of what kind of art they can and cannot make. My goal is to get them outside of their comfort zone to see what they are actually capable of creating. When I work with kids, it is like teaching them another language to express themselves, but with art instead of words. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? I love to make small talk with people about the art they enjoy looking at and making. It has been a great way to see if people are interested in improving their artistic skills. When they are looking for lessons, it is best to be friendly and carry a business card to make a lasting impression. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I am currently researching graduate programs for clinical counseling. I would love to own a wellness center and art gallery that uses expressive arts to help people.
 What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I am working on a series of acrylic paintings of floods from hurricanes that have made landfall in North Carolina over the last five years. What or who inspires you? People inspire me. I am interested in the way they live their lives and pick themselves back up after something big and disastrous happens to them. Their stories are always inspiring.
 Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? I like the work of Michael Reedy. His background in medical illustration keeps me

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interested in figure drawing.
 What work of art do you wish you owned and why? I have always enjoyed looking at historical maps. I would like to collect old maps from around the world. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I find different ideas from researching travel destinations and reading about world events.
 What does being creative mean to you? Being creative means looking at making art as a constant opportunity rather than something I have to do.
 What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? It does not matter if you don’t love your work. It is not always going to be a masterpiece. What matters is that you keep making art. NikkiLoyArt@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/NikkiLoyFineArt/

Jeanette’s Pier Oil pastel on watercolor paper

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Hope Mills Dam Acrylic paint on canvas

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Highway 12 Acrylic paint on canvas

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Coquina Beach Acrylic paint on canvas

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Gray’s Creek Acrylic paint on canvas

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Diego Poole My name is Diego Poole and I was born and raised in Charlotte NC, when my mother was still alive. To me personally Charlotte will always be a place dear to me due to the fact that it is the only place in life that I can truly say I was home and happy. It all changed when my mother died when I was only 3 or 4years old and was forced to move down Highway 74 to Union County, where I lived at Monroe and Marshville, NC most of my life. These places influence my work very much. None of my peers support me financially, but they encourage me to use my talents and be creative. I started to realize I was made for the art world when I was very young. I would usually draw anything, but students in my elementary classes were always choosing me to draw when it came to teaming up in a group drawing project. I also knew I was destined to create when I was given documents stating that I was known to have been drawing human features when I was only three years old. At the time I was just making art to just create it, so to me it was nothing special. But many people said I had a gift for it. Later as I grew up and went to college I started to actually make art out of my life experiences. This included things like dealing with my aunts who were alcoholic and money hungry. And I lived in a poor community filled with poverty. Gang violence was always around. I am just happy I did not turn out to be another statistic in my community. I lived in a house of thirteen people, so times were really tough when your growing up with brothers and cousins and uncles and others. We did not have much and could not afford the nice things, but we were still able to manage. I create art to express what I have been

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through. Hopefully others can relate. It is because of these experiences that I create so much work. The number of hardships and battles I have had to live through gives me no limit to what I can create. I work in various media including drawing, painting, sculpting and printmaking. The first work I believe I ever sold was a painting I did of rap artist Drake. It was a simple black and green painting that people really loved. So I starting making more and before I knew it, I had also sold a Nicki Minaj and a Beyonce painting. I have also sold wood carvings and prints. I can see me selling art in the near future, which is what I plan to do. I want to own an art studio. I love creating artwork that tells a story that many can relate to. I am currently finishing up the second half of my Jungle series. It is the follow up of my 2016 Jungle 1 series that told the story of a little boy becoming a man. Jungle Series 2 will depict the next chapters of hardships after becoming that man. One of the works in Jungle Series 2 is the piece called What Drives Me Crazy,. It shows a scene of a young man suffering from depression from difficult things going on in his life. It shows him seeing himself in the mirror. He sees himself smoking and drinking, exposing his flaws and his bad habits that are just coping mechanisms. It is that moment, that reality check, that maybe he needs to stop what he is doing. The many different shades of blue help bring out this deep depressive state. The focal point of the artwork is definitely the neon orange dot that represents smoking. I hope that this series will have four other works. If I had to choose an artist who inspires me it would be my Louisburg College art professor, Will Hinton. He always taught me to draw what I see, not what I know. Other artists that inspire me are Michaelangelo, Picasso, and Takashi Murakami. I wished I owned the Takashi Murakami cover art of Kanye West’s Graduation album. His work is very expressive and colorful. The elements that I like to use most as an artist are storytelling and the depiction of life changing experiences. I find all different types of creative ideas from my own past. I also tell stories I hear that others have gone through. I feel my art work is a way share these experiences with the world. Contact information: Email: dapoole2014@louisburg.edu

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What Drives Me Crazy Acrylic on canvas

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Nicholas Fowler What is your professional name? Where do you live and how does that place influence you? My name is Nicholas Fowler and I am from Laurinburg, North Carolina. Despite most of what I make being about emotions and mental issues, I am enormously inspired by the plants and animals of North Carolina. Their aesthetics and behaviors are really interesting and fun to replicate, and frankly they just feel like home. Those pieces feel more like me than the pieces directly about me. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My family and friends are my biggest supporters in my art. It helps that I come from a family of artists. I have seen metalwork and photography my entire life, so in addition to being surrounded by it, being an artist was fully supported. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? I originally went to school for engineering, and took some art classes on the side because I needed something I enjoyed to even out everything else. I met some of the grad students in the art department there and after getting to know them, I realized that I wanted to make art more than anything else. I switched majors by the end of the year. How has your work changed or developed over time? At first my work was extremely precise and I could not do a thing without something to copy. It has slowly evolved into using my references as symbols. Now I am at the point

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where I abstract everything I can to try to twist and morph my references into something new and exciting. What are you trying to communicate with your art? I mostly try to communicate abstract concepts like mental illness, emotions and interpersonal conflicts. The artwork shown here, however, are more direct. They are about the creatures, their lives, how they make nests, and cannibalize each other just to get the materials they need. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? Nearly constant research for at least a day before I start a new project. I spent a week researching facial muscles before I made a skinless self portrait. For my frogs I spent about three weeks researching which species would be best for what I wanted and learned about both their anatomy and behavior. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? I enjoy the meditative feeling of making multiples and castings. It is just super relaxing. Wedging clay is still what I go to when I am really stressed. I also enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finally finish a figure and everything looks how I hoped it would. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? My hands. I do everything I can with my hands because they let me feel any bubbles. I pay more attention if I can feel something is wrong, instead of seeing it. I only use a tool if it is not sensible to work without one. For example, I only use a needle tool and a hand-made tool to form teeth and separate the lips from the body. How do you know when a work is finished? I know my work is finished when it looks how I wanted it to. If it doesn’t it is not finished. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? 3d modeling. I have always wanted to try and make more large scale stuff but this is a much cheaper, space-efficient method than buying ten tons of clay. Do you have a favorite piece? Yes! It’s Pug. It accomplished everything I wanted it to. It got the simple message across and most people assumed the broken creature on the floor was an accident, and focused on that instead of the one on top actively being eaten. I actually made the

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pedestals for them all so I could drill into it and put supports in to make some figures stand in strange positions. This is seen in Reclaim. But they looked balanced and the broken creature was more pressing to viewers so not many people actually realized it was a trick pedestal. What's the first artwork you ever sold? The first ones I sold instead of giving away are the ones I am showing here. I sold Bloat, Salvage, and Pug the night of the exhibition reception. I am still really appreciative to the person who bought them. Do you make a living from your art? No, I make art because I love it. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I want to have a stable job and income, while still having time to create art and be part of exhibitions. My biggest goals are to be happy, have work I am proud of, and make enough to live comfortably. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I am taking what I learned from making and mounting these pieces to make a few companion pieces that focus on the impermanence of the self, and how our view of our past can help or hinder us. What or who inspires you? I am hugely inspired by animals and insects. The sheer range of behaviors has been a goldmine for ideas. I am also inspired by artists around me. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Ronit Baranga is one of my biggest influences. Her most popular work fuses human fingers and mouths onto dinnerware to turn them into their own living things. I did not find her work until I had already finished my work, but I absolutely love it What work of art do you wish you owned and why? None. If art is not available to the public, what’s the point? Where do you find ideas for your creative work? I watch a nature documentary a week and if I am lucky, I get into the subject, go down a rabbit hole, and end up with a piece.

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What does being creative mean to you? Forcing your thoughts out however you can. Lucky for me I can only get them out through a pile of mud shaped like a guy. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? No one is totally unique. So if you make what you like, someone else probably likes it too.

Salvage Ceramic, acrylic, spray paint

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Pug Ceramic, acrylic, spray paint

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Reclaim Ceramic, acrylic, spray paint

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Reclaim Ceramic, acrylic, spray paint

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Bloat

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Pug Ceramic, acrylic, spray paint

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Kimberly Creque When and how did you start making art? I know I have been making art ever since I used to scribble on the walls as a toddler. So I take that to mean I was always going to pursue art in some way! Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? This might sound a bit strange, but as far as I can remember, I was, and still am, into video games. One of the earliest games I got exposed to actually featured a 2-D animated opening sequence, and seeing that made me want to start drawing more seriously. For whatever reason seeing something like that blew my tiny mind. I thought, oooh, I wanna make stuff like that too! I have a vague memory of being told by somebody that pursuing drawing or animation would be too hard or something like that. For whatever reason, that only made me want to try doing it more. Which, considering I was about eight years old at the time, I am surprised I had that much stubbornness to stick with my gut. It is kind of funny in retrospect. Why do you make art now? Because nothing else is stopping me at this rate. I just tend to dabble in whatever and just go along with it. Well, maybe that is a lie. I try not to dabble in anything realistic looking these days. In my high school I used to focus heavily on landscapes. Probably because that felt more appropriate. Although I still do like that sort of thing. Nowadays it is mostly about making whatever is fun. Come to think of it, I think I just make art now in response to what is around me, in a purposeful attempt to seem different. I do not really like making stuff that looks exactly like what everyone else around me is doing. So if everybody wants to make sad-themed work with some strong message behind it, I just do the opposite. I say, let’s have this happy themed nonsense with no real message behind it except, oh that looks fun! I like fun. I also like things to just stay pretty simple. I would not really call myself that deep.

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How do you know when a work is finished? When it has the right vibes. That is sort of hard to define. I do not really think too deeply when in the moment. I just stop when it feels like the work is sufficiently doing its job. Whatever job that may be at the time. What’s the first artwork you ever sold? This is a long and strange story. In one of my high school art classes, there was a period where we were focused on painting. I should probably mention, I actually did not like painting all that much, but it was always something I was pressed into doing or always ended up falling back to. I did not really make work like a painter so much as just draw and color as I normally do, but with a brush. I was the fastest drawer in my class, and that extended to painting as well. I finished my first painting probably a few weeks before the rest of my class. So, in order for me to have some kind of work to do, my art teacher asked me if I wanted to create a 30” x 30” painting, since he thought I could do it. I don’t entirely remember what compelled me, I think the theme was animals, but I painted this scene of a glowy jellyfish. I remember days where I worked on it and my teacher and some of his colleagues would watch me work on it. It was kind of intimidating, I am not gonna lie. I completed it within five days. So, to actually get to the selling part, my teacher informed me that somebody he knew who was some kind of jellyfish enthusiast wanted to buy that very jellyfish painting, for quite a sum of money. I won’t say how much, but it was a lot for my teenage mind, and certainly a lot more than the $10 cash prizes in the usual art festivals, which, I’m still not over actually. And I was 100% happy to sell it, despite not even having a bank account at the time. I did get my payment, and eventually some time later I got my bank account as well. And that is the first artwork I ever sold. Somewhere my mysterious glowy Jellyfish painting is out there and I have no idea where. I am glad I at least documented my process when creating that jellyfish painting, but in retrospect I also wish I would not have sold it. I did not know the buyer and I did not have direct contact with them. But, oh well. Hopefully that jellyfish enthusiast lady is still happy with it. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Whenever I am stumped, I turn to the various artists of the Harlem Renaissance. I do not remember where or how this became a ready thing to turn to, but it has become a really good starting point. I do not think it is an era artists regularly refer to and it feels like a rich place to find ideas. Most of the actual scenery I make tends to be imagined. I tend to try invoke just the feel or vibe of the era, rather than duplicate it or directly refer to any other artist in particular. Nobody else in my immediate circle of artist friends is doing this. So I will do it. I think it is cool, so that helps. Contact Information: kimberlymcbusiness@gmail.com

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Excellence Acrylic on canvas

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Untitled 2 Mixed Media Collage: Torn paper, ink, charcoal, pencil

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Untitled Plexiglass print, ink on paper

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Garden Watercolor on paper

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Forest Acrylic on canvas

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Jazz Performance Acrylic on canvas

Making Music Acrylic on canvas

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Angelique M. Henderson
 What is your professional name? Angelique M. Henderson.
 Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born in Austin; Texas and it has not influenced me.
 Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I currently live in a rural town called Pembroke in North Carolina.
 Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? I have my immediate family and some friends that support me mainly with reassurance of knowing what I want to do in my life. When and how did you start making art? I learned to draw my own style in high school. When I got into college I was able to learn different types of printmaking.
 Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? I first realized that I wanted to create art was when I was in high school. A woman I did not know came up to me while I was sketching random stuff in my art book. She wanted me to sketch a tattoo for her. I did it for free because it was a simple rose. Later my school wanted me to create a design for a t-shirt for a community basketball team. Looking back, I totally should have charged the basketball team.

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Why do you make art now? I am held captive by the art of printmaking. I make art because it is fun, and I enjoy learning new methods of how to print. When I was introduced to screen printing, I knew I that making art was no longer a hobby. How has your work changed or developed over time?
 At first, I followed the trends, drawing inspiration from other artists and using similar elements that I saw were cool. But then I got bored. I realized that doing that would have limitations to the possibilities of what I can do. So I decided to create stuff that appeals to me. Now I create a lot of symbolic work. Over time my work has become unique because it does not have a specific drawing style. What are you trying to communicate with your art?
 I am trying to communicate a story within each piece. The theme of each story varies based on what inspires me at the time. Most of my work so far is about mental health awareness. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? I listen to tons of music. Whatever song that I am listening to indirectly helps to stylize the piece. Usually in between huge projects I play video games to relax. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why?
 My sketchbook and pen.They are my most valuable tools I can use them to create concepts and designs for my art. You cannot erase your mistakes in printmaking, and you must start all over instead. If I were to design what I was to print, it would make things a lot easier. How do you know when a work is finished?
 I do not usually know when an artwork is finished. Sometimes I go back and change some stuff or add it. It happens when I feel that I have too much negative space. The only time that I see that a work is finished is if I sell it or I get sick of staying on the piece. What are the art making tools you use now? I use a lot of print screen tools. I use a computer to edit my concept art so that when I print the image on transparency paper, I know exactly what my print will look like. I have a nice range of inks to use but I still like to use black ink for my prints.

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What new creative medium would you love to pursue?

I would love to pursue book binding. I have a lot of loose prints that are the same size, so I want to bind them together as a type of portfolio. What's the first artwork you ever sold? 
 I sold some of my bowls that I made my freshman year of college. I took it to the church that my mom goes to and tried to sell them there. I priced them super cheap because at that time I did not know how to price my work. Despite the cost being super cheap, no one gave me any money and my mom ended up paying for them. I ended up learning to not sell artwork at churches since they can not spare $5 for a bowl. Do not misunderstand the previously said statement, the church that I go to are good people and some did pay. Before the graduation some sent me letters and gifts that evened out the price that was missing for the bowls. Looking back at the situation, I can see this as a lesson to learn about presenting the work and how to properly sell it. I also now have a receipt book and I do not let people pay later. Perhaps one day I will go back and try to sell it but this time with the actual value and a proud look on my face.

Do you make a living from your art?
 No, but right now I am switching to a different art medium, so I am collecting supplies with the money from my day job. I tend to not stick to one art form so right now I have a day job outside the art world.
 What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? I want to continue gaining experience as a screen printer and have a stable job through that. When I am finally stable, I plan to earn an MFA so that I can be an art professor. For my life, I want to settle down with my lover and foster pit bulls. They are sweethearts despite the bad reputation that they have.

What interesting project are you working on now? I am currently working on creating prints that are 3 by 3 inches. They are pop culture based so I am not planning to sell them but use them as references or put them in a more corporate portfolio. Since the concept art is small, I have to create small silk screens. After I finish, I am planning to bind them together into a book. What or who inspires you?
 Music and pop culture inspire me. Pop Culture is one the most seen things that can leave a lasting impression, other than advertisement. When I play a cool video game or watch a movie I usually want to draw. I do not get inspired to draw the stuff that I see

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but my creative side gets ignited to just creating things. What really inspires me the most is the story a song portrays. That is when I try to draw the mood of the song. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist?
 Hirohiko Araki is a manga artist who uses a lot of western rock music, fashion, and Italian references to create JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Though he has a cartoony art style, he references old masters when he does character development and scenery. What work of art do you wish you owned and why?
 Anything created by Banksy. His art is always engaging and critical. A lot of artists around me do not necessarily like him, but you must admit he is bold. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Music or stuff that I read and see. I am also fascinated with psychology and sociology. So sometimes my art will incorporate that. What does be creative mean to you? Being creative means to just make work. I make work for references or for fun at times. Whenever I want to be creative, I usually create pop culture stuff so that when I work seriously on a piece, my skills will not get dull over time. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
 Just make stuff. You can get ideas from the random stuff that you have drawn or created before. Even if you are stuck in a rut, if you continue using the techniques you know, when you finally are inspired, creating your art will come easily. Contact information: email: angelique.henderson13@gmail.com Instagram: insanity_angel_creations

Happy Ending Silk Screen

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Alluring Mistress of the Void Silk Screen

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The Birth Requiem Silk Screen

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I Trust You Silkscreen

Staring into the Void Silkscreen

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Catherine Palmer What is your professional name? Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art-making and how do they make a difference in your life? My professional name is Catherine Palmer. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida and it does not influence me all the time. I do like to make beach and animal life art. I mainly grew up in Waxhaw, North Carolina, and that area is what a lot of my work is based off of. All my friends and fellow artist are very supportive. They always give me the confidence to be as creative as I wish to be. My friends also love to help give me ideas if I am stuck on something, and I am very appreciative of that. My family is supportive but I can tell that certain things that I do they don’t really understand. They have a hard time understanding art, but they are learning. When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? To me when I was first making art it was in high school. I took an art class because it was mandatory and I actually found it a lot of fun. I always like photography since middle school but never tried drawing or painting. In high school I took every possible art class there was and I grew to love it, but my favorite was my digital classes. I took two photography classes and I learned Adobe programs and then I took a media class and learned even more about digital art and design. My work has definitely changed over the years and had a very cartoon feel to it. Over the years I worked at it and now I do not really know what it is because I do a little bit of everything and I do not have a set style anymore. I just make what I want, how I want.

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Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your artmaking? What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? How do you know when a work is finished? What new creative medium would you love to pursue? Normally I don’t have a constant routine that I follow when making art. I like to dip my toes into a little bit of everything and experiment with many forms of media so I know what they are and I can hopefully use them in the future. My most important artist tool is my iPad. I use it to brainstorm and it carries all my ideas and sketches as well as my favorite programs to use while making digital works. I will never know when my work is finished, I have a thing that I like to call ‘a too much genie’. I will add and add and then sometimes it’s too late to go back and I have to deal with what I have and learn. Recently with creative media, I have been into making watercolor and/or marker drawings and scanning them into Photoshop and working on them. So I have really gotten into mixed media with physical and digital media. What's the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? The first type of artwork that I sold was in high school. I would make wearable art that goes on your head. I stopped making them after I came to college due to lack of time and storage space. Do I make a living off my art? As of right now no, I do not. It is more of, if someone wants to buy I might sell it to them, but that does depend on the work as well. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? What interesting project are you working on at the moment? In the future, my long term goal is to have a stable job. But my dream would be to have a traveling job. Of course for the future I would love to have a family and when I have one I would lower my traveling intentions. Projects that I am working on right now are making designs for merchandise for a blog down in Florida. What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? What work of art do you wish you owned and why? Pop culture inspires me a lot. Seeing different topics and ideas floating around the Internet really gets me thinking. My favorite living artist is Halsey. She is actually a musician who makes art on the side, and she is a painter. I wish that I could own one of Andy Warhol’s prints, more specifically the piece called, “Reigning Queens”. I feel that would be so cool and Warhol is the reason why I fell in love with the whole Pop art era.

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Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Normally for ideas, I get them from life events or seeing something on the Internet that I really like. Lately, I have been doing a lot of portraits. They are all of my friends using pictures that I have taken on them. What does being creative mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Being creative to me means freedom and self-expression. Sometimes if I don’t make something for long time I feel almost lost and empty. Most of the time if I think of something I really want to see, I make it to see what that idea would look like. The most important advice I have ever gotten was, “Look at what is going on in front of you and make something out of it.” Everyone has a different story and your art can showcase what you see and how you interpret your life events.

The Churro Blog Digital Media

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Alenna Digital Painting

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Jaunty Mixed Media

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Band Poster Digital Media

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Draco Digital Painting

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Flowers Digital Photograph

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Trippen Duck Digital Media

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Diamond Holland What is your professional name? My name is Diamond Holland. Where were you born and does that place still influence you? I was born and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. If anything, it influenced me to leave as soon as I could for bigger and better. Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I now live in Castalia, North Carolina, which is practically in the middle of nowhere but it is quaint and acceptable. It definitely influences me by giving me a space to think clearly. Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? I have family and friends who are artists and they support me and my endeavors. They just encourage me and sometimes give me great ideas to go on. When and how did you start making art? When I was in the second grade. That is when I had my artistic awakening. I drew a picture and it ended up in the newspaper. From then on art was something I was both passionate about and good at doing.

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Why do you make art now? I am in love with it even more now. It is my comforter and I want to make a career out it. I want to do this forever. How has your work changed or developed over time? I have learned so many new techniques and my style has definitely shifted for the better. I was never drew stick figures. I for sure have bettered my designs. What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? I have to have a reliable graphite pencil nearby in order to do anything. I work mostly with graphite so that is the main reason, but other than that, it helps plan things out such as a specific painting or anything structured. How do you know when a work is finished? If I am not showing it off to my viewers or completely satisfied with it, then it needs more work. What are the art making tools you use now? I usually stick to the classic graphite and paper. What new creative medium would you love to pursue? I have always wanted to try spray paint and graffiti art. It just seems so unique and creative, so I have to learn how to create with that. Do you make a living from your art? As of right now, no but I hope to do so in the future. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? All I can really say on the subject is be about your work and never settle for less. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? The ultimate goal is to be happy and successful, simple. I really just want to make art in my reasonably sized studio apartment in a city. I want my career to take off to where I can travel of course but I really do not want much after that.

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What or who inspires you? Honestly? Seeing other young artists trying to create and be seen inspires me. Seeing them put their all into their work and sometimes not even looking for approval or fame but just wanting the world to see who they are and their potential. Passion inspires me. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Most ideas come from feelings or random thoughts that cross my mind that could become art. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Feel everything, dream big, and most importantly let your imagination take the wheel. Contact information: diamondholland81@gmail.com

Depression Marker on Paper

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Purge Acrylic pour on canvas

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Calm Acrylic pour on canvas

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Spring Acrylic paint on canvas

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Jared Simmons What is your professional name? Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? My name is Jared Simmons, though I have used several names when desiring anonymity. I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. Living in a growing city has vastly influenced my digital interests and provided access to resources. My father and mother support my art, and they have supplied several resources for me to use to advance my developing career. I first began making art in elementary school for mandatory projects and I doodled in class to pass the time. At that time, I discovered that creating was something I absolutely had to do, and I made up my mind to have a career in art. Over time, my work has become more refined and stylized. In my work, I typically try to communicate emotion and conflict. When and how did you start making art? Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Why do you make art now? How has your work changed or developed over time? What are you trying to communicate with your art? When it comes to making art, I almost always start with a well formed idea. I then sketch out the basic form and fill it with detail from there. Of all the elements I enjoy using, I

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prefer the form, shape and color of my work. These three elements are what I use for my personal aesthetic, so I focus on them the most. There are many different tools that I use, but my most important art tool is my mind, as all of my ideas stem from it directly and indirectly. I always know when my work is finished when I try to put myself in the shoes of a viewer who has never seen it. If I can identify my point of focus and the overall message in four seconds and the piece has all elements and principles of design, I know it’s done. Earlier in life, I used graphite and oil pastels, but I have transitioned to using digital software as of late. Adobe After Effects for film, OpenToonz for long animations, and Sketchpad 4.1 for poster sized digital artworks. I generally prefer media that allow me to undo my mistakes.I am interested in learning ToonBoom animation software. What is the first artwork you ever sold? Do you make a living from your art? The first artwork I ever sold was an online commission on an art sight named Fur Affinity, where anthropomorphism is commonplace. However, I do not make a living from my art. I intend to once I get more established in the career. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? The greatest strategy that I personally would give to other artists is to not give up, and to never stop improving. Several artist advise against comparing one’s own work to others, but I would suggest doing this occasionally. It helps one to see what elements and principles they could use in their own art. I would also suggest not taking any criticism too personally, as it will directly affect one's productivity. It is vital for an artist to believe they can make it, and vital for an artist to not think that they are “special”, as there are more artists in the world than anyone can count. This is important because thinking in such a way can stifle one’s own growth and development. An artist must always be the most critical of their own work, because they spend the most time working on it. The most important thing to do is always focus on pleasing your target audience, and know how to price your art. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? What interesting project are you working on at the moment? My future goals are to get a secure income with a career that I enjoy, and art is that career. What interesting project am I working on at the moment? I am currently working on an animatic; a moving storyboard consisting of a boy going on a treasure hunt and encountering a fierce dragon that stands in his way.

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What or who inspires you? Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Several Japanese artists have inspired me throughout my life. They include the manga artist Masashi Kisimoto whose best known work is Naruto; Akira Toriyama who is the creator of Dragon Ball and its sequels; and Hayao Miyazaki who is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and the creator of My Neighbor Totoro. These three artists had a big influence on my art style and direction. My favorite, and the art that influenced me the most, is the original concept and character designs from the virtual pet franchise Digimon. These get credited to the anime creators’ pseudonym: Akiyoshi Hongo. The work is very detailed and resonates with me. Where do you find ideas for your creative work? What does being creative mean to you? What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? I find most of my ideas from childhood inspirations, objects and animals that have a strong emotional appeal to me, including characters. However, I always prefer being more creative than following the exact footsteps of others' work. There is no specific way to make art, and that helps me express my creativity. To me, being creative does not just mean making something that hasn’t been seen before, but means making something work in a different way than it originally could. The greatest advice I have for someone desiring to be more creative is to step beyond everyone’s boundaries. Start changing your work gradually, and figure out your personal aesthetic for the new subject matter.

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Eternal Enemies Digital Media

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Heavenly Myths Digital Media

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Hit and Run V.6 Digital Media

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Sea Personified Versus Land Personified Digital Media

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Merging With Nature Digital Media

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Ian Schmude Questions about you. What is your professional name? My name is Ian Schmude.
 Where were you born and does that place still influence you? Where do you live now and how does that place influence you? I was born in Illinois, USA, but being a military family meant that I moved all over. I currently live in North Carolina and have lived here the longest, but I wouldn’t say anything about it has influenced me.
 Do you have family, friends, or fellow artists who support you in your work, life and art making and how do they make a difference in your life? The experiences with my friends are what provide a lot of ideas for my artwork. Many of them are artists themselves. When and how did you start making art? 
 Art has always been fun since childhood, but it did not become something I considered as more than a hobby until I began taking art lessons at a private studio. There I realized I had a knack for it. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? Not really. As I learned more about art it slowly became a larger part of my identity and I began thinking about careers where art and creativity were necessities. I only realized

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creating just for myself was important a couple months ago.
 Why do you make art now? Making art feels fulfilling. It is practice for my professional life and it is also just fun.
 How has your work changed or developed over time? It has become looser and more expressive in its aesthetic and more introspective in subject. What are you trying to communicate with your art? At the moment, self-expression. I struggle with words in the best of times. Art can communicate emotions or ideas where language falls short. Do you have any creative patterns, routines or rituals associated with your art making? Procrastinating and listening to loud music. What element(s) of art making do you enjoy the most and why? Getting paint on the canvas – building up an impasto is lots of fun. I like variety as well as interesting shapes and colors, so the beginning stages of a painting where things are somewhat formless are quick, easy, and fun.
 What is your most important artist tool(s) and why? My understanding of the fundamentals of art and how to use a variety of tools are most important. I am in the a bad artist blames their tools camp – you should be able to create something technically sound with a broken crayon (almost) just as well as with expensive tools. The fundamentals translate into every area of visual art, so you are well prepared to tackle a lot of challenges if you master the basic rules. Then you can have fun breaking all those rules! How do you know when a work is finished? When the changes I am making do not influence the image as a whole anymore; or when I am just sick of working on it.
 What are the art making tools you use now? I am trying to focus on my digital skills. So I use my Wacom Intuos Pro drawing pad.

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What new creative medium would you love to pursue? Knitting! What’s the first artwork you ever sold? I think one of my aunts commissioned a small oil painting from me.
 Do you make a living from your art? Nope. I rarely sell artwork. And I have only sold oil paintings so far, which I do not make all that often. What strategies could you share with other artists on how to become successful professionally? Make friends! Word of mouth is a great way to get job opportunities and find buyers. Of course, you should always have a portfolio on hand. What are your goals for the future, for both work and life? In the near future, I would like to be a character artist for a game development studio. In the far future, I would like to own my own game studio. What interesting project are you working on at the moment? I am working on music! Hopefully I will have something worthy to publish within the next year or so. What or who inspires you? Anyone, really. Watching artists create is simply fun. I love concept art for video games and watching painting process videos online because I get to see all the steps of creation – lots of amazing ideas are considered before the final product comes to life. Do you have a favorite – or influential – living artist? Kristoffer Zetterstrand. He is an oil painter that uses 3D software and video games to model references for his paintings. Also James Gurney who is a more traditional oil painter, but no less ingenious. What work of art do you wish you owned and why? Probably one of Albert Beirstadt’s paintings.

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Where do you find ideas for your creative work? Observing people, thinking about my past experiences, critiquing my own art, learning from other artists. What does being creative mean to you? That is kind of hard to answer. I am not sure. Maybe making art for the sake of art, to learn, have fun, or express yourself. Some measure of that is found in even the most commercial of art. What is the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Just work. Sitting around waiting for some brilliant idea to pop into your head wastes a lot of time. You could be practicing or learning new things in the meantime. Contact information: Instagram @Hemloke

Invaders Digital Media

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Unprepared Digital Media

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Drone Digital Media

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Crow Digital Media

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Information for Submitters – 2021 Issue

The Journal of Creative Arts & Minds (JCAM) is a unique project of Jumbo Arts International which holds all rights exclusively. JCAM publications focus is on artistic creativity. We publish original visual artworks, articles on the visual arts, crafts, creative writing, poetry, performing arts, interviews, reviews, and columns on subjects appropriate to the focus of the journal. JCAM submissions: Upon request, interested parties will be sent the information and documents required for the formal submission of work to JCAM editors. JCAM is a juried publication. All submissions are reviewed by a panel of subject specific experts assembled by the JCAM editors. JCAM publishes in English. Are non-English submissions possible? Yes, in certain cases JCAM editors will work with artists to translate into English text documents that are directly related to visuals that have already been accepted for publication. JCAM publication schedule: In 2021 JCAM plans to publish one issue. The publication schedule is for Summer (June-July). Submitters should contact the JCAM editorial team well in advance of this publication date for information and guidance. Current JCAM information is available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JournalofCreativeArtsandMinds Previously published issues of the JCAM are available online: https://issuu.com/jumboartsinternational Information about the JCAM publisher Jumbo Arts International is available online: http://jumboartsinternational.org/ All questions regarding the JCAM should be sent to: jcam.jal@gmail.com

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Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2020 The Last Word This Special All Student Edition of the journal marks our 6th year of publication. We are proud of this milestone and humbled by the trust put in us by the more than 120 visual artists, creative writers, and project creators who have previously allowed us to tell their stories in the JCAM. And, as with all JCAM publications, this issue has been a significant learning experience for our staff. As our essays in the front of this issue have suggested, we could never have foreseen the variety and breadth of our interactions with those with whom we discussed the JCAM, nor could we have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, nor the powerful social unrest we are experiencing at this time. This publishing effort has all come to pass in ways that we never would have believed when our developmental efforts first began in 2014. We began this online publication with the idea that we could, without significant funding or a large staff, reach out online, through mostly no-cost tools, to connect with creative writers and visual artists internationally. It has worked in many positive ways well beyond our original plans. We regularly hear from JCAM artists who have begun to collaborate in some creative way. We regularly receive updates from previously published artists and writers whose work has later been presented in another exhibition or a journal some place on planet earth. This is very gratifying indeed. It is wonderful to see an ambitious plan put into action and produce such positive results. The JCAM staff is always interested in how we might betters serve the online art and writing community. What other kinds of features would you like to see in future issues of JCAM? What are the names of the contacts to whom you might direct us? Let us hear from you.

Margie Labadie

John Antoine Labadie

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Ian Schmude

5min
pages 182-189

LAST WORD

1min
pages 191-194

INFORMATION FOR SUBMITTERS

1min
page 190

Jared Simmons

5min
pages 174-181

Diamond Holland

3min
pages 168-173

Catherine Palmer

5min
pages 159-167

Angelique M. Henderson

7min
pages 152-158

Kimberly Creque

5min
pages 144-151

Nicholas Fowler

6min
pages 136-143

Diego Poole

3min
pages 133-135

Yessenia Camacho

5min
pages 116-124

Nikki Loy

5min
pages 125-132

Emily Brown

12min
pages 105-115

Alei Williams

7min
pages 100-104

Joseph Miller

6min
pages 90-99

Stoney Faulkner

3min
pages 83-89
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