So.....I've been working on creating my first book! Read more if you're interested :)
The Vision Project’s contents include photos of my original artworks, hand drawn black and white templates of those original art works, mandalas for added meditation, and art therapy activities. The pages were intentionally designed to aid with healing processes specifically for girls & women of color in various age groups. I deemed it important to incorporate the specific motive of cultivating self-love and further acceptance of our beauty norms as women of color. The goal is for The Vision Project to serve as an interactive workbook which Educators, Social Workers, Art Therapists, Mental Health Professionals and even Care Givers can use as a resource.
Undoubtedly an important aspect with regards to healing women of color, is to provide vivid visuals that stimulate and cultivate a deeper sense of pride by designing iconic images that embrace natural Afrocentric beauty and strategically avoid Eurocentric norms to identify with. Each of the girls & women shown in the original artwork displays their natural beauty with Afrocentric fashion choices such as head wraps, jewelry, and boldly patterned fabrics with the addition of tribal inspired markings on their faces and bodies.
I grew up as one of the darkest skinned children in every school I’ve ever attended with tightly coiled hair that looked nothing like a woman worthy of being on a magazine cover in the 1990‘s. I remember feeling un-beautiful and outcast and ashamed to put that into words as a young person trying to find a visual representation of an identity that could resonate with me. As I taught in the inner city schools of Queens, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale, I witnessed first-hand how the young women who looked like me lacked positive imagery of themselves and decided that I would have to take an active role in uplifting my community. If we don’t help to create the affirmative visuals that serve as evidence of black beauty then who will? I saw the need for The Vision Project to not only showcase our beauty but to become an investigation, a social experiment to mend how we as Black women see ourselves within our own minds.
The Vision Project is a contribution to furthering perceptions of what Black Art and Artists can accomplish and directly aims to change the narrative of the “starving Artist” character. It is optimistically a testament to the important role of Artists within the global community as spiritual mediums for major positive transformation. It includes coloring and art for every age group all with the common aspiration of elevating the participant’s image of themselves and how they relate to the world around them.
The main theme is for the participant to actively figure out their own vision for the betterment of their lives by spending time with their own thoughts, coloring in the figures and mandalas to subconsciously unlock a mindfulness practice. It is distinct in the vein that it hammers away at combining the ancient Buddhist tradition of creating mandalas with empowering women of color through prideful imagery of other women who look just like them.
I'm doing my absolute best to have it completed by next month and I was already asked if people could subscribe to a monthly delivery service, some super special collector's editions. Maybe even have contests to have your own picture made and unlock your customized coloring therapy. Suggestions for resources to help a novice Author with a passion for helping girls women of color are very much appreciated and welcomed :) The Vision Project does not belong to only me, it was given to me by the universal creative forces and I will need your help to experiment with it and make it work. Thanks for reading until the end...FIN.