Tag Archives art

Aisha Mohamed Adds Black Girl Magic To Classic Van Gogh Paintings

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London artist Aisha Mohamed takes classic art and envisions them with black women instead of the European silhouettes originally painted. The 22 year old digital artist tweeted images of her interpretations and they were a hit to people across the world.


During an interview with Buzzfeed, Mohamed explains the concept and the importance of the artwork.

“I couldn’t help but notice that I never saw myself reflected in any of my favourite pieces. It was an isolating feeling. In a way, this piece was about reclaiming this very white space and saying, ‘We’re here and we’re beautiful.” she says.


Her first piece was an image of Aya Jones and after it was finished, Mohamed was still unsure about the entire project.

“It was the first one I did, and at the time I was still very unsure about the concept and where I was going with it…After making it, I knew I had to make a collection. There was something so striking about it and I wanted to recapture it as many times as I could.”


Mohamed who now sells her artwork continues to create art where black women are featured as beautiful.  Keep up with with the artist on Twitter . 

Google Pays Homage To Iconic Artist Edmonia Lewis In Honor Of Black History Month

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Today is the 1st day of 2017’s Black History Month!

Although we spend EVERY month celebrating black culture and the amazing people in it, we have a lot of content to share with you for this year’s BHM and we’re excited about it.

Kicking the month off in a major way, Google has gotten involved in the BHM spirit by paying homage to one of the most iconic artists in not only black history, but the history of art. Cue in, Edmonia Lewis.

To show their respect, Google has posted a Doodle on their front page (as they usually do) of Edmonia working on a sculpture. When you click the Doodle, Google takes you to a laundry list of links so you can learn more about Edmonia and the work she did over the years.

Ms. Lewis is the first woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve global recognition as a sculptor. Though she has tons of legendary pieces of work, one of her most famous pieces was “The Death of Cleopatra,” which is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

The sculpture was first revealed at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Lewis’s realistic portrayal of the Cleopatra’s death shocked viewers and received acclaim from critics, who called it “the most remarkable piece of sculpture in the American section” of the show.

This was the aforementioned sculpture Google decided to depict on their homepage.

If you don’t know much about Edmonia Lewis and her artistry, visit Google to learn more about her and to see the Doodle.

google edmonia lewis doodle

#NationalStressAwarenessDay: 5 Unconventional Ways To De-Stress On A Daily Basis

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Have you ever found yourself in a position where nothing seems to be going the way you planned? Your to-do list is unbearable and seems as though it is as long as both testaments in the bible? Deadlines are approaching swiftly and all you want to do is scream or take a couple shots of Hennessy to the head?

I’m sure you get the picture because we have all been there, and even though most of us stress or think about stress every day, today (11/2) is #NationalStressAwarenessDay.

First things first, stress is not necessarily a bad thing. If human beings didn’t have the ability to feel stress we would not have been able to survive in the cave man days. Shockingly there is beauty and light in everything, even something as negative as stress.

Life can get ill and insane but we have the power to control the way that we feel and live a full non-stressful happy life. If you find yourself getting stressed throughout the day or from an unfortunate situation you have the power to change those feelings, here are 5 unconventional ways to de-stress on a daily basis:

1.FREESTYLE: Write a rhyme and bust an intense freestyle about everything that is stressing you out like Issa Rae from the hit HBO series “Insecure”. Writing and poetry is a great form of expression and a great healer.


2. ADULT COLORING BOOKS: Who said coloring books were just for kids? You don’t have to be Andy Warhol to use art as an outlet, and adult coloring books help to zone in and focus on a beautiful task. While you’re coloring your masterpiece everything that you are stressing about flys out of the window and once you’re done you will feel amazing about what you have created! #artheals

3. DEACTIVATE & DISCONNECT: All of your stress factors can probably be found somewhere on your cell phone because we essentially live through our phone in the modern day. Work problems, family problems, friend problems, and even financial problems have the ability to taunt and haunt us via a mobile device 24/7. We are constantly connected to others and always available, sometimes we should disconnect to refresh and restart. Try leaving your phone at home for the day or step away from it for a couple of hours once a week. Being still and having a clear mind with no distractions will help you figure out your problems and truly think from within without any additives.


4) GUM: Chew gum, and lots of it all day. Chewing gum increases alertness and blood flow in the brain. You’ll be winning all day with fresh breath and a fresh mind.


5. AROMATHERAPY: Have you ever smelt flowers or another lovely scent and instantly felt joyous? That is aromatherapy, and FYI the smell of yummy food doesn’t necessarily go into this category, although food brings comfort which can also temporarily relieve stress or anxiety but not in a positive way. Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.


An easy and fun way to use aromatherapy is to purchase a small bottle of your favorite scent lavender and peppermint are our favorites and are known for promoting relaxation and healing. Remember to keep the bottle somewhere accessible so that you can quickly grab it before a stressful moment or wear it every day and be a couple of steps ahead! Dab the oil on your wrist and rub it in, occasionally sniff your wrist and inhale the aroma throughout the day. You might look a little sketch to your co-workers because sniffing your wrist in public is kind of odd but it is all worth it. The aroma stimulates brain function and can also be absorbed through the skin and promote whole-body healing.



Google Contributes To The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture With A New Way Of Telling Stories

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The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NIMAAHC) is set to open next week!

The museum will be a voyage into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. This museum is opening at such a monumental time in history and culture; while we are starting to realize our value and worth, the NIMAAHC is a great reminder of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. It is an arrangement of our stories and contributions that are a major piece of who we are as a nation.

Dr. Lonnie Bunch had the vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world, and Google will be bringing his vision to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million dollar grant from Google.org, which is part of their work on racial and social injustice issues.

“Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.” – Google Team

In addition to the 3D interactive exhibit, students will be able to take a digital journey through African American History with Google Expeditions. Earlier this year, Google formed the African American Expedition Council – a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation. The AAEC helped develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. The Expeditions captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Historic Site.

Screenshot from the new Google Maps Expedition

Screenshot from the new Google Maps Expedition

Google will be celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C, the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). The NMAAHC will be one of the most innovative museums in history not just because of the cool interactive exhibit but because of it is a major contribution to the knowledge and education of African American’s, our contributions, and our history. Many times African Americans are not credited for the impact that they have on this nation is helping change that.

“Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else – the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I’m proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.” – Travis McPhail of Google Maps

Travis Mcphail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Travis Mcphail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


Brazilian Artist Uses Graffiti to Send Words of Encouragement to Local Women

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Empowerment comes in all forms but the idea of using street art to empower women is simply amazing. Brazilian street artist Panmela Castro has taken time, creative energy and love to create murals to symbolize the violence that women face in Brazil.


You can find her work on the sides of buildings in Rio de Janeiro. Castro spoke with the Huffington Post via email and stated that, “We face different situations that we are conditioned to obey and that most of the time are oppressive and/or prejudiced. This is why we have to change what it means to be a woman in the world.”

Check out some of Castro’s art below, she has really captured the lives that women are dealing with in Brazil in her artwork.


Rihanna Adds Value To Coming Album With Cover Art

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Rihanna is known for her innovative style and yearly albums. The #RIHANNANAVY has been waiting feverishly for her latest album to be announced and yesterday Rihanna did just that.

Rihanna’s 8th album entitled “Anti” was announced and the cover art was revealed. The cover art is a photo of Rihanna as a child with a crown covering her eyes. Not only does the actual artwork done by artist, Roy Nachum, look amazing but it also includes a poem written in braille by Chole Mitchell.

“The whole idea behind the Braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest,”Rihanna stated. Rihanna has done it again by including something out of the box in her latest album Anti which does not have a set release date as of yet.


-Ka’Lyn T. Banks

Civil Interview: Sue Tsai Shares Her Beginnings In Art, Favorite Pieces, Self-Discovery, & More

The world of art can be a very sensitive place for some, as so much of its most brilliant work is driven off of artist’s raw emotions. For Sue Tsai, it’s her place of comfort, venting, and self-realization. The 27-year-old painter has opened up a pop-up gallery in downtown Manhattan, where she puts some of her most beautifully honest emotions on the forefront through her detailed paintings.

Battling with heavy anxiety throughout her life, Tsai depicts some of her biggest internal struggles onto canvases, which has driven a huge following from those who appreciate, or can relate, on social media. Most remarkable, she has turned her college marketing degree into a lucrative platform for her outstanding artwork. So far, Sue has received tons of visitors to the intimate gallery, including the likes of Swizz Beatz and Joe Budden, which will be open to the public until September 6th.

From her dealings with heartbreak and love, to becoming a prisoner of her own mind, Tsai takes supporters into her everyday emotions with her large, detailed pieces. Read our conversation with the brilliant young artist below, and learn more about her here.

How did you get started in painting?

Sue Tsai: I’ve been doing art my whole life. I’ve always been drawing or sketching something since I was really young, but the painting was a hobby I really started focusing on in the past 4 years when I noticed that paintings I was doing on the side were getting a lot of feedback on social media and through friends and family. 4 years ago was when I was like, “I can really make a career from this,” and that’s when I really focused on it at that time.

What is your background with art like?

ST: I actually went to school for marketing, and I got a business degree. At that time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet, but I felt like creativity is something that really can’t be taught, and I didn’t’ feel the need to go to school for it. I thought that I could kind of just do this myself, but I wanted to go to school for something I could apply to the art. Whatever it was I decided to do, I could use that degree to apply towards my career. Most artists are not very good business people. It’s two opposite spectrums, so it was super beneficial for me to kind of be an artist and also have a business degree.

What are some of the biggest inspirations behind these outstanding pieces?

ST: All of these inspirations come from kind of what I go through in life. Every piece marks what I’m going through at that point. Whether it be love, heartbreak, internal growth, it’s just everything I’m going through that I take from my mind and try to put it into a visual form that other people can relate to and see what goes on in my head.


Our 10 Favorite Moments From Beyonce’s Groundbreaking Release!

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Buzzfeed.com is the King of interactive lists right now, bringing a new perspective to the way we look at everything from pop culture to world news. Naturally, with a monumental release such as Beyonce’s 5th studio album being dropped with absolutely NO NOTICE, the writers at Buzzfeed had a few things to say. They composed a list of the top moments of Bey’s new album that’s pretty exhaustive and we’ve chosen our 10 favorites to share with you. Check them out below!

10.  When Beyoncé’s hair and makeup game are hauntingly perfect


9. When she looks straight into the souls of us lesser beings while she’s dancing on a beach drunkenly with Jay.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

8. Beyonce’s stripper kicks ON that beach

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

7. When she opened the video with this scene and you had no idea what was coming next.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

6. When we saw this and said, “She does goth really well!”

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

5. When she basically did THIS to the music industry.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album
4. This.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

3. When Beyonce put on this mask so you knew it was real.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

2. When you’re watching the album in it’s entirety and Beyonce’s tears become YOUR tears…


1. The moment and song we AREN’T going to show you that leads up to THIS moment.

The 41 Most Unbelievably Flawless And Life-Changing Moments From Beyonc�'s New Album

Check out the full 41 entry list on Buzzfeed.com and continue to enjoy this amazing album for the remainder of your Friday, WE will be!

Fashion Spotlight: Bass – Quiat By Ron Bass



With that new Bass- Quiat on, who but Jay. The world has been buzzing about whom and where did the current emergence of artistic hats seen on Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz come from. Question no more, Ron Bass is the talented designer and creator of Bass- Quiat.

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Bass grew up  the athletic type that only wore sports apparel.  He shared “I was comfortable and content in my sports clothes.” Nonetheless, when Bass entered his freshmen year of college, his mom persuaded him to make over his look.  Bass reflected on how his mother would tell him “Get a pop of color in your look.”  Searching for that pop of color, Bass decided he wanted his “Pop” to be personalized to his interests. Bass explained “I have always loved art and I wanted to be different and  not like everyone else, so I started to create my look.”  Bass’ notion of creating his own look, ultimately lead to the creation of Bass- Quiat.

Bass- Quiat can be best described as art meets fashion.  The artistic detail of the line’s hats and varsity jackets are quite appealing to the eye.  Bass designs and paints each piece that he produces individually with an array of bright colors and free-hand designs. The designer shared that he is connected to each item he produces. He wants his consumers to feel and know that their product was particularly made for them.

When learning that Hip-Hop Icon and entrepreneur Jay-Z wore Bass- Quiat at a major event, Bass shared “There was not a word in the English dictionary to describe the feeling, and it still is not.”  The motivated and upbeat designer explained that it was not the reality of a well-known celebrity wearing his product that gave him a rush, but the artist to artist connection. Bass was ecstatic that Jay-Z valued his hard work and motivation on the same levels that he valued Jay’s lyrics of struggle, hardworking and inspiration.

Ron Bass plans to debut a whole collection in 2013. The young designer plans to bring more art into fashion and “get the juices running for other young designers.” The artistic mastermind Bass- Quiat makes it clear that he does not believe in competition. He radiantly stated, “I am here to inspire, just as I have been inspired, everyone has their own talent that sets them apart from others in this fashion world.”

If  you are is looking to “Upgrade” yourself as King Bey did, Bass- Quiat can be purchased from www.IamRonBass.com. One can follow the journey of Ron Bass on twitter and Instagram @IAM_RONBASS!


Photo Credits:

Ron Bass Instagram: Iam_RonBoss

Swizz Beatz Instagram: THEREALSWIZZZ

Rita Ora Instagram: Ritaora

Beyoncé Knowles Instagram: baddiebey

*Designers wishing to inquire to be a feature on Fashion Spotlight, email Sable Tempest  at FashionablyCivil12@gmail.com *

Shaping Pop Culture: Influencers

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What means the world to you?  When Cam’Ron asked this question in 2000, the answer wasn’t quite the same as most.  But he also wasn’t completely off.  For the world of influencers, what means the most to them is creating what most of us only consume.  Even though Cam’Ron didn’t include “music” in his list of things, it was actually his very own creation of it that has since influenced a stream of hip-hop.

Music, design, and fashion have met in the world of consumerism and entertainment and shaped the world we all know today.  But there’s plenty of ways to influence a nation and a world.  And it begins by knowing yourself.  If you have a creative mind, don’t allow it any limitations.  Allow yourself to be influenced and influence.  Never be afraid that it may be ‘too different’ or unconventional.  The world is steady changing, somebody has to cash in.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if it were you?

Check out this snapshot of the influences in New York in the short film, “Influcencers”, written and directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson.  Where, what, and who inspires you?

from R+I creative on Vimeo.

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