I am a self-taught artist, devoted to exploring the theme of “cultural duality” in my work. My use of black and white honors who I am as multi-racial artist, growing up half black and half Guamanian, while raised in a Pacific Islander culture. In addition to exploring cultural duality, my work also explores themes of universality, peace, love, purity, process, mystery, and beauty. My paintings are largely inspired and influenced by music, which I believe spans our differences and connects us across race, religion, ethnicity, and culture.
- When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I re-discovered my love and talent for art after leaving the corporate world. I didn’t have any specific artistic goals. There wasn’t a specific style that I was trying to develop. In the beginning, it was just a hobby, but the more I created, the more I saw myself as a real artist. Now, art has become something I need to do on a daily basis.
My use of black and white honors who I am as multi-racial artist, growing up half black and half Guamanian, while raised in a Pacific Islander culture. Who I am is a culmination of all the people who have been in my life—all races, religions, and ethnicities. My work reflects this. My use of black and white represents the dual worlds I live in and how they blend together. I identify as the gold between them, awakening to my identity as a woman and an artist.
Yes. For me, abstract art represents freedom—the freedom to be who I am, to create, to let go. I create abstract art, because life is abstract. I would never want someone to see my paintings and see a literal translation. Abstraction leaves more to the imagination. I love art that makes us wonder and want to explore more.
I have always found myself in-between cultures. I am half black, half Guamanian, and was raised in a Pacific Islander culture. Who I am is a culmination of all the people who have been in my life—all races, religions, cultures, and ethnicities. My work reflects this. I’m proud of my culture, and I feel it’s important to represent who I am as a woman of cultural duality, so that I can elevate others around me who come from similar backgrounds.
Music is an important component of my work. My father was a musician and an artist, and I started listening to music at an early age. I learned early on that music, like art, brings people together. It helps us connect across the lines that separate us. There is a purity to music. There is a universality to rhythm that affects all of us the same, regardless of where we come from or what we look like. Music does not discriminate. I listen to music while I create, because I want these feelings of purity, universality, and love to infiltrate my work.
Creativity is a meditative state. I have an intense connection with the energy around me when I create. Throughout the process, the truth is illuminated and I often have emotional “a-ha!” moments when I’m creating. I am fully present. I am at peace. It’s just me and my music and my art. I don’t think of anything else. I am in it with all my heart.
I’m inspired by everything around me. Something as simple as the texture on the wall or the way light hits an object inspires me. People inspire me. Music inspires me. I listen to music to set the mood when I paint, and my paintings reflect how I feel when the music flows through me. If a song brings back a memory that transports me to another time and place, that emotion inevitably appears in my work.
I’ve always been a perfectionist, certainly when it comes to my design work. That takes a toll. I have what you would call “high-functioning” anxiety, but when it comes to creating art, all of that fades away. I am at peace. I’ve learned to let go of thinking, and embrace imperfections. My art provides me with a sense of respite from my anxiety, it allows me restful nights.