I am finally at the end of my 365 Afros journey. What an adventure it has been. I thought it would be fitting to end it on a self portrait.
In this photo, I painted my face with mostly eye makeup for an Indian and Cowboys themed party while on vacation. I didn’t like the theme because during those times there was a lot of killing, especially of Native Americans. It would be like having a party around a theme of white people lynching black people. So I decided to paint an eagle because I read that it’s talons symbolized despair at the cost of evildoers.
I took a cloud picture on the plane coming home from St. Maarten, and cut it up in Photoshop to arrange around my head. My head was literally still in the clouds for a week after my vacation. I just couldn’t get myself back in work mode (although I didn’t have a choice because it was a pretty busy week). It has taken this long to get my posts up. One evening, I asked to be picked up late because I haven’t had my 15 minute breaks in more than a week. Just a 30-minute lunch and right back to work.
The eagle also symbolizes power, ingenuity, freedom, distinction, and spiritual connection. During this year-long journey I discovered all of these qualities. I’ve created beautiful pieces out of materials that I would have never thought of using while at the same time making each Afro unique from each other. I realized that I have full control of my life and the direction it takes. If I put my mind to it, I can get it done. Nothing is stopping me but me. In the beginning, a year seemed like a really like time and there were many times I thought of given this up because I was too tired, or stressed. But then those were the times I came up with the better ideas and creations. Having the daily deadlines definitely helped me think more creatively. And now I know what sets my artwork apart from others. I know what I like and don’t like and I know the types of things I’ve fallen in love with. Before this project, I had some idea but getting the constant feedback emphasized my strong areas, even areas that I didn’t particularly think were strong. Spiritually, I connected with inner most self. It has been an unexpected soul-searching journey. My daily practice has revealed things about myself that I didn’t know were there. For example, I didn’t know that I had the willpower and motivation to complete this challenge. Also, I didn’t know that I could be this creative. And if I could complete 365 small quick projects in an year, imagine what I could do on more intense art projects in that same time. In fact, I’ve already started. The same time I devoted to my daily practice is now being spent on bigger -more time consuming – projects. And I’m excited about them. I never really saw myself as an exhibiting artist. Now I do. And most importantly, I discovered how much I love doing art. I can’t imagine going a day without creating. And I don’t.
I thank you, my audience, for being there for me and continuing to support me. I will take a short break but will return for a new 365-days-project, so stay tuned. In meantime, I plan to compile this project into a photo book just for me as a reminder. I am also seeking to publish an adult coloring book of Afros and I have applied at a local gallery to exhibit a new series of echo-line drawings. I will keep you posted on those projects at My Art.