If you’re an artist like I am, you’ve probably spent countless hours perfecting your craft. And you’ve done so, not just because you wanna be great but because you thoroughly enjoy the work. There have been moments of pure creativity. This kinda indescribable sensation where inspiration meets execution and you can’t sleep until the work is complete!
Or how about when the idea starts off one way and then over time evolves into a greater one. Faced with the challenge of trying not to “over do” the concept. Wanting to make the point strong but not so much that the message is missed.
On this “work in progress” Wednesday, as I prepare for the African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh North Carolina, I am emboldened to go hard or stay home! I find myself having to give myself a pep talk in my Bronx dialect, “You doin this or nah?!”
With purpose I’ve used specific shades of brown, not to exclude but to emphasize. With thought and pride, I’ve chosen specific colors not just to be different but to bring focus on those things that have been missing. Wanting to set the stage for a new wave of creative thought void of the diluted versions of who we are!
I gotta let the work speak, because if I say too much, “they” might not like my tone giving them just enough reason to ignore the point! I have to let the work get the conversation going so “they’ won’t call me good things like out spoken and aggressive while making them bad words. If you never hear the sound of my voice or understand the tone of my writing, the work has some words for you. The work has some ideas you’ll wanna explore. The work has some thoughts you might have been thinking, but thought no one would listen. You can’t miss it and you can’t say I was too loud cuz I ain’t even say nothing! I let the work do what it do, because too many people are able to tell you what they’re gonna do and NEVER FOLLOW THROUGH! So what does your work say about you?
This custom design meant so much to me that it touched something in me. It ignited parts of me. It gave me so much pride of the black kind that when I finished her and took a million photos to log the design into my portfolio, I wrote a 3 page letter to the customer about what happened to me while I was creating her! I even used brown ink to hand write it! There is something so real and magical about creating, and you won’t ever know this unique feeling until you actually take a piece of who you are and put it into something else. Metaphysics is the original WiFi!
My only regret is that I didn’t make a copy of the letter, but I was so in the moment and sooooooo entranced by the overwhelming feeling I had when I completed her, I didn’t think I needed to keep the record of that! You can actually read the whole first page of the letter in one of the photos! That is if my handwriting isn’t too “fancy” for your eyes! Just reading the front page put me back in that space. And I am renewed all over by the way being creative in this particular way, is much deeper than the visual aspect. Symbolism has become so diluted, watered down and lazy! It’s been turned into a way of saying something without really meaning anything or having to do any of the work to support the message. This design reminds me of how effective symbolism can be when it’s genuine. There is a real vibe that became a part of this design and when she was shipped and received that vibe was also shipped and received. I had to do her Justice because I know the world has an aversion to this combination of details. They call us “too everything”! Too black, too loud, too ghetto, too proud, too aggressive, too poor, too angry, too arrogant, too ignorant… And my question for all that is, “to who?” To all of those who agree that we’re all of those ‘too’s” I say, “COVER YASELF UP, YOUR INFERIORITY IS SHOWING!” It is something very magical about this design and what she meant and still means to who I am and who we are as a people! And that Pan Africanism vibe, that real Black African pride lives in every stitch of this design. And that visual African Pride vibe is realer than WiFi✊🏾❤️🖤💚
March 3rd marked the 5th year anniversary of My Kinda Thing and I’ve gotta tell ya…
It has been 5 years of ups and downs, highs and lows and all kinds of things you’ll probably never know. Let me attempt to explain though.
I wanted to be more than a crocheter. I wanted to be more than an artist. I wanted to be more than an educator. I wanted the things I do to be a genuine contribution to growth and development beyond my own. I would have never learned the things I’ve learned had I decided to be just a crocheter, artist or educator. 5 years later I am much much more because with each milestone, big losses and big gains, I’ve maintained my purpose.
When I began “doing my kinda thing” I had no idea how hard it would be. It seemed a really simple thing to do, you know being who you are and what not. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, the way I wanted to do it! Is that crazy? The nerve of me! I didn’t realize how much I’d have to try to explain without words. Two hands, ten fingers, string and a hook became pen and paper, canvas and brush, chalk and blackboard.
I will be attempting to use words to explain doing My Kinda Thing and what I’ve learned doing so. Bare with me as I begin to use the words to further the ideas that have been created through creating crochet dolls and teaching doll making.
“You ought to be excited about your growth and development!
You can’t tell yet but she was smiling because she knew, she knows the intent that went into EVERY DETAIL! From the paint used on her eyes to the placement of her puffs, she was designed WITH LOVE and ON PURPOSE!
Know that the same was done with you, only you had a much more experienced creator!”
What a journey it has been!!! I started out looking for inspiration to create dolls that resemble all of my favorite girls (my mom, my niece’s, my sisters, my aunties, my cousins, my God daughter, my friends, and my students) and found it was slim pickings in the area of crochet.
This became a huge lesson for me. I learned to create what I want to see! I don’t ever want to wait on someone else to make my vision a reality!
This is only the beginning, and these are just some of my girls! They are a little bit of all the Beautifully Brown women/girls I have the honor of being connected to!
I was challenged to create for boys, a hard task for me because I come from a female dominant family. But I think I did alright!
I’ve created these super hero dolls for boys and of course they have that “My Kinda Thing” element!
They are “super cool” if you ask me. I really enjoyed creating them!
All of their capes and masks are removable via buttons because they all have secret identities lol
Absolutely unique and totally “My Kinda Thing”!
I’ve been using lots of neon colors lately. While experimenting with unique color color combinations, I created “Neon Nancy”!
I love the purple touching the neon yellow! I love how bright and exciting the neon yellow is against the calm of the purple, and of course blue always adds an extra dose cool! I think she’s really cute!
Neon Buddies by My Kinda Thing: http://youtu.be/6Zwno8FT9JM
I absolutely love bright colors!!! I love seeing them and I love using them!!!! They are very attractive and you don’t have to look for them because they find you! Here are my latest creations made with a large array of neon colors!!! Tell me what you think!!!!