I was born to shine through an awareness that exists behind the public face of stereotypes and limited imagination. The first things most people point out about me is that I’m black. I’ve been called a nigger by strangers and told that my art and work should focus on what it’s like being an African American. But I’m not interested in focusing on that narrow way of interpreting my experience of the world because I believe that my skin color is an illusion. Additionally, I’m often told that I’m tall; my physical body literally stands out from most. Admittedly, when someone joyfully comments on my height I feel vanity creeping in, however how my genetics developed isn’t something I had much control over, so I try not to let it get to my ego. I also believe that I’m noticed because I am a female and I live in a culture where voyeurism’s main targets are females. There are several levels to reality and being a tall black woman may be a cloak placed on me that only has the meanings that we collectively agree to assign to it.
I don’t think that I am that unique biologically or physiologically, which is why I’m often categorized into identity groups. I believe that it’s my narrative that really causes my interior self to stand out. It’s the autobiographical facts that constellates into who I am. I am nobody that has inherited various degrees of everybody.
I see my creativity as a collection of imitations that has the potential to recreate myself and the world that I live in; I shine because I use the influences and inspirations around me to trace my personal development. I’m always shifting from being derivative into an original being. I’ve been taught to imitate, train, practice, repeat and rehearse as I’ve grown but there comes moments when I’ve mastered that form. Then I can change it, and that’s when I begin to experience a preeminence that differentiates me from those that remain content with the status quo. It takes energy to expand even further once one is settled. By my own standards I was born to shine because of my imagination’s ability to be creative and to take risks. I shine when I’m making art, playing the guitar, eating healthy meals, being in nature, exercising and dialoguing with others.