This world is big and bold. It faces you dead on, with eyes of your ancestors resting their gaze on the dangerous person you’ve become. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Dangerous. One decision can change everything-it has changed everything and you know that. You’re here at this exact moment reading this and contemplating what the miscalculated risks could be. Am I capable of being the person I’ve dreamed about? Is it possible to be free to pursue who I am? I could continue playing it safe with where I am now, in the most toxic relationship I’ve ever been in. A place full of resentment that uses and abuses the best part of me. I could do what I’ve always done and seek out the infamous and ill-defined “work-life balance”. Night after night attempting to drown out my thoughts of disappointment every night in my living room with music, drawing, coloring or reading. Finding something, anything to take my mind away from the judgments I’ve put upon myself for staying too long, for allowing myself to become comfortable here, for knowing that I am not living with the passion I once had and remaining complacent all these years. What happens now, you ask? Well, for me, it’s time to take that risk; to define my greatness on my own terms.
My love and appreciation for art has always been a driving factor in keeping the healthy “work-life balance” that I’ve been striving for these last 15 years. Over the past 5 months, however, I have been manifesting this newfound expression for who I am and what I want the world to recognize me as. I felt it happening long before I knew what was coming. Although the feeling brought on a small amount of fear, there was an extreme calmness that has guided me with each step towards the creation of The Black Sunflower. This site is not about me, but for me. It is for anyone who explores and relishes Black artistic talent; allowing yourself to be engulfed by the beautiful power that is has. The Black Sunflower is a place for adoration of Black art and the empowerment of Black artists of all ages, styles and genres. This space is created to push the limits of Black art and to showcase the strength, fluidity and evolution of our culture through a unique lens. The impact that art has had on my life is insurmountable as it has always given me a reason to stick around just a little longer, to push a little harder, inspired me to keep looking for those brighter days and kept me in anticipation for what was next. To all Black artists, those that have unintentionally carried me to this day and those that will motivate me going forward: Allow me to give you your flowers now.
For the first series of this blog, you will get an in depth look at the creative process for The Black Sunflower. Through this process, I will be reviewing recent projects by well-known artists that have contributed to this movement for me. To keep the site’s content full of variety and fresh faces, all series moving forward will focus on up-and-coming artists and that is where the fun part comes in for you as a reader. You can head over to our contact page and recommend a local artists and/events in your area that you think we should highlight for future series. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to live in different areas of the country and personally explore Black culture/art in a multitude of ways, but I understand that this is not the case for everyone. The Black Sunflower wants to change that. My hope is that this project sheds light on local upcoming artists for all to enjoy but will hopefully be a place that even other artist can find as an outlet as well.
The sunflower is one of the fastest growing plants and I know that what I am doing will yield the same results as there are thousands of artists to be recognized and appreciated. I am truly excited to share this project with you. This is something that has filled me with immense joy to create these past months. The first series is titled Flowers in the Wind and it begins with a review of the phenomenal Solange Knowles and her recent project, “When I Get Home“. The release date for her album collided with my 30th birthday weekend; almost as if creating its own big bang for something far greater.
As you all begin to take this journey with me, please understand that this process is in all ways demonstrating growth. As a person who would consider themselves to be a perfectionist in a lot of aspects of my life, I’ve realized the beauty in the process finally. I can’t promise that you won’t see an imperfection here or there between the site and each article, however, the mindset to grow with each new experience is guaranteed. I hope I have piqued your interest enough to return next week for the first of many Black artist appreciation articles. Subscribe, like, comment, share and watch us BLOOM!
Article written by Michelle Hill