If You Got a Check I Got a Talent

Talent and success comes in many forms. Lift every voice and secure every bag.

I’m going to start this post by posting a quote from my favorite cancer and H-Town legend:

“I can't be a singular expression of myself
There's too many parts, too many spaces
Too many manifestations, too many lines
Too many curves, too many troubles
Too many journeys, too many mountains
Too many rivers…”

- Solange

If you don’t know who that is or where it’s from well, no shade, but you should probably unsubscribe.

Recently, I’ve been getting bolder and bolder about being unapologetic as a multi-hyphenated artist. I used to get so nervous about telling people that I wanted to pursue different things artistically. I would always find it incredibly draining, explaining why I wanted to venture out and try new things to people who never understood me in the first place. I remember being apprehensive about sharing my words or separate projects because I didn’t want anyone to think I was deviating from or losing focus in my craft. However, as I’ve gotten older and started getting paid, I realized that that is all bullshit. I think there is an idea of scarcity that we all in someways fall into when perusing our dreams as black artists. And this idea of there only being one spot available leads us to create unnecessary boundaries for our creative endeavors and our goals.

I believe that following your curiosity as an artist is a natural part of the creative process. Building a portfolio of work across mediums adds to your value and can inform and add context to your primary focus, whatever that may be. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered white people who have had multiple projects poppin’ off while no one even bats an eyelash. They are applauded no matter how good or (in many cases) how trash that work may be. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to keep all this black excellence contained in one binary category my whole damn life? No ma’am. 


What helps me create multi-disciplinary work is thinking of myself more as a brand with different branches of creative endeavors intertwined. It helps me to envision (and manifest) my brand being as big as Apple and me being my own CEO. I ask myself what would Steve Jobs do if someone told them they should focus on iMac’s and not try to make iPhones? Then I am lead to an understanding that even if I don’t have the capacity to do the things I am dreaming of at the moment I will eventually learn and evolve in the pursuit. Listen, I know it might sound silly of me to daydream of myself as someone with power and wealth, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I continuously ask myself who gets to benefit when I can’t see my worth?

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So if I intend to create good work across platforms and spaces that helps me to heal and free me from boundaries that shouldn’t even be there in the first place, my question is who gone stop me, huh?

And I’m writing this to say I hope you don’t let anyone stop you either.

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Silent Partners is providing a $1000 grant to Brooklyn-based Black artists to fund a project or sustain their general practice. The application for August opens August 1st. You can find out more information here.

Also I've recently started a discord where we can share openly with each other about grants, job opportunities, or just talk shit in general.

African Ameriqueer Discord

Jump on and say hello.

Remember you are more powerful than you know.

Kile Atwater