Our latest collaboration Addie, got to make her debut this past weekend at the 2018 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Which for those of you who don't know is a huge deal since the festival brings in an average of 450,000 people from all over each year.
We had the chance to talk to Addie before her big weekend in The Big Easy where she gushed about this amazing opportunity and what drives her as an artist.
CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING APART OF THE ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL. HOW DO YOU FEEL?
First off I'm really, really excited to be going. I've been wanting to apply for the past three years but kept feeling not really confident enough to apply but this year I went ahead and did it. I ended up turning in my application on the very day applications were due and got accepted. They only accept 100 artist vendors to be part of the festival. I found out the new in March and everyday since then I've just been preparing for it, getting artwork done, getting my booth set up, planning my trip down to New Orleans.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE YOUR ARTWORK?
I love it. I think it's going to be great because I'll be able to put my artwork in front of so many people. There are so many people that go to Essence Festival that travel from all over, so I feel very honored not even just to sell, but to be able to just show my artwork at such a big event it's super exciting.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
I'm actually inspired by the everyday person. I'm kind of like a people watcher. When I go out to events I really look at people, at what they are wearing, their hair, and things like that. Then I take that stuff back and I create art from that.
WHEN PEOPLE BUY OR TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR ARTWORK WHAT DO YOU HOPE THEY GET FROM IT?
The first thing I want people to think is, "I can see myself" in the artwork. Whether it's from a hairstyle or an outfit, or anything I want them to feel good about themselves when they look at my artwork. That's why there are no faces on some of my pieces so people don't get distracted by facial features. I love when I'm at an event and someone sees my work and they're like, "oh my god, that looks just like me." I'm like "yes" that's exactly what I want, I want people to feel that way when they look at my art.
YOU CALL YOURSELF AN "ARTREPRENUR," WHAT IS THAT?
An "artreprenur" is what artist refer to themselves as if they are more than just artists. When you think of someone who is an artist you think, "oh you just paint, or draw, or sculpt" and that's all you do as an artist. But I'm kinda like a step further than that. As a artreprenur I paint, I do fashion illustrations, and I do a lot of branding material for small businesses. So that includes a lot of t-shirt designs and logos. Then I also have a product line that has notebooks, passport covers, books, tote bags, and a lot of other products for your everyday woman. I also have my studio that I'm going to be opening soon which is Art and Ambition Studio that focuses on bringing a studio space for artists to be able to print their work, to showcase their work, and then I'll also be hosting workshops there.
WHAT HAS YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY TAUGHT SO FAR?
It's definitely taught me that staying consistent and staying true to myself in what I love to create and not changing up my style that I can get to where I want to be in a successful way. I was actually a project artist for ReFinery29 in 2017 and I worked with them on a project with Adidas. That was one of the biggest gigs and I got selected for that, I didn't apply. They found me and reached out to me. When they did that I was kind of like, "oh my goodness, this is definitely something I can do." If I just keep my mind focused on it and I keep putting my work out there, connecting with other people and being open to different projects I can really make this my career.
MAKING ART YOUR CAREER IS A LITTLE RISKY. WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS LOOKING TO DO THE SAME?
The biggest thing would be to not give up. We are taught not to take the creative route because it's risky and not financially secure. But even if it's a hobby and you're doing it on top of your full time job just keep at it. I know a lot of people get discouraged when they are doing something creative and they start feeling like it's not paying off or they stop wanting to do it because it's not working or they think they're not getting anything from it. But you have to keep at it and not give up. Stay consistent and keep trying because eventually it's going to start being noticed.
DESCRIBE YOUR SLAY.
What drives me to SLAY everyday is to help inspire other people. I wake up wanting to help someone every single day. So whether that be as an artist, as a friend, or as a mentor, I just really want to help someone every single day follow their passion, be happy, and confident with themselves.
If you are in love with Addie's pieces as much as we are check out her Esty shop where you can purchase some one of a kind artwork for yourself. Be sure to also follow her via Instagram for the latest on her other creative endeavors.