Chicago, IL. USA
Mediums: graphite, sepia and sanguine pencils, Prismacolor colored pencils, white pastel on black paper, charcoal, and digital and film photography
Style: I try to portray emotions and a specific moment in time in my images. Evocative situations that sometimes can't be expressed with words. Also social commentary.
Favorite Quote: "He who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints."- Joan L. Brannon
Favorite Book: Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews
Favorite Movies: The Color Purple, GoodFellas, The Shawshank Redemption, and A Streetcar Named Desire
Wallflower by Anitra Frazier - This is a self portrait that I took and drew with Prismacolors. It depicts my social anxiety and insecurities.
My whole life I've tried to deny my true calling and feebly attempted to look and act like everyone else just to fit in to the "norm". Every since I was a kid, I paid close attention to small details. It used to work against me, but now it is vital to my art. When drawing a subject, paying attention to the tiny curl in someone's lips or the reflection of light in their eyes really brings out their character. I try to capture the essence of my subject. That's most important to me.
First experience with creating:
My first experience creating was with popsicle sticks when I was very young. My grandfather always gave us projects to work on. I remember trying to build a house with the sticks and Elmer's glue. I remember taking so much pride in my creation. I felt an excitement that I rarely felt in my everyday life. My attempt at a house didn't turn out the way I wanted, but the whole process was liberating and fun!
PRETTY BROWN EYES - Seeing life and beauty in a child's eyes. Drawn with Prismacolors
Music and Art
I love to have Stevie Wonder, Chicago, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Minnie Riperton, Outkast, The Eagles, and Elton John on my playlist while I'm creating. I sometimes get a little too wrapped up in the music and start dancing in my chair.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
I want to convey emotions through an isolated moment in time. My hope is that when you view my art, it will evoke some sort of emotion in you. Good or bad. We all experience a myriad of emotions as human beings, so if I can hit on one of those, I've accomplished something.
Tell us about your creative, process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its competition:
First, I think of an emotion. Next, I look for images on Google or some of my own photography, that portray what I want to express. I then grid or free hand draw it on Bristol board, black paper, or toned tan, depending on the image. I try to capture the essence of the image more so than copying it exactly the way it appears in the photo. I take progress shots of it with my camera phone, then scan the finished piece on the computer.
First Dance by Anitra Frazier - Depicts the first dance a daughter has with her father. He's teaching her to dance while she's standing on his feet.
I like to expose emotions that we usually try to hide or avoid. That concept inspires me to create.
My photography has been displayed in the juried art exhibition Black Creativity at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL several times. I was honored to win Honorable Mention in 2004. My photography has also been a finalist in Photographer's Forum Magazine several times.
Have you sold your art?
I have done a few commissioned pieces for people in Chicago who have seen my drawings. I have also had some luck with finding commissions through my Facebook page. It's a slow process and patience is a virtue. In the meantime, I work at developing my skills so that I can become a better artist.
DADDY'S LITTLE MAN - A father and son special moment drawn with Prismacolors
How do you promote art online?
I use my social mediasocial media pages to display and promote my artwork. Its difficult at times with so many other artists doing the same thing. But I have to try to get my name out there.
Please recommend another artist.
One artist that I admire and respect is Peter Terrin. His painting captured my attention the first second I saw them. The faces that he paints tell a story by use of color, angle of the face, the eyes, and facial expression. His passion for his craft is palpable and a true inspiration.
Happy Feet by Anitra Frazier - Shows how people can have fun and dance at any age. Music is infectious when it hits you.
Tell us something interesting in your life.
One story that always comes to mind is when I brought my baby brother to school for 'Show and Tell' in the Kindergarten. 'Show and Tell' was once a week, where the students usually brought in their favorite toys to share with the rest of the class. I was getting bored of bringing my Barbie dolls, and I was equally tired of seeing the other kids toys. I wanted to bring something new, something that no one else would have. I knew that people always commented on how cute my baby brother was, so I asked the teacher if I could bring him in to show the class. She agreed, and my mom brought him in the next week. The class fell silent when they saw that I brought a real human, not a toy, for 'Show and Tell'. I introduced him. I remember one classmate raised her hand and asked me, as innocently as can be, "What does he eat?" LOL! After that, I had started a new trend of kids bringing their baby siblings and cousins in for 'Show and Tell'.
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
If I could live my life over again, I would try not to be as judgmental and complain less. We are all fighting a difficult battle in this life.
My plans for the future are to keep developing my skills, someday have a show, and support myself with art, but also stay true to myself.
Advice for Other Artists
My only advice is to practice EVERYDAY, even when you don't feel like it. Success is a slow process, but worth it in the end.
Chicago, IL. USA