For the month of October, I had the honor of being the Artist-In-Residence at Air Serenbe, the nonprofit artist residency program of the Serenbe Institute in Chattahooche Hills, Georgia.
Weeks of solitude, peace, and quiet, I lived in a fully furnished cabin adjacent to the Serenbe community completing my book projects for Scholastic and Lee & Low Books as well as exploring their progressive little town.
I even had the privilege of being filmed by a very talented and local filmmaker, Mr. Blake Williams of Proper Medium who’s done an awesome job of showcasing my drive and passion for what I do as an illustrator in his short video for Serenbe.
Because, unfortunately, many people just don’t get it.
This may be hard to believe but I am approached by many people who assume that I choose this path as an artist for fame, praise, and recognition. Even though I appreciate their kind words and these small perks, I couldn’t care less about any of that; I am not compelled to do what I do for the validation and approval of others.
I am an artist because I love to create, and I’m fueled by my passion to educate others, advocate for racial equality, and share diverse narratives. And I love knowing that I can make a difference to a child’s wellbeing with the art I create for children’s books.
I don’t think many people understand this, but thank you, Blake, for creating this video that provides people with a facet who I am, how I work, and why I’m driven to make art.
I hope you enjoy it.