Portraits in progress

A friend asked me how I’ve been coping & recharging lately. I told her I’ve been making time to giggle, and drawing pictures of people I love making funny faces. These portraits are just one of the mini projects I’ve been filling my free time with; though definitely one of the more playful ones. As an artist and entrepreneur, its an endless game of figuring out what in tf I want to spend my creative energy on, whether it be a gig or a creative “passion project”. While collaboration is beautiful and priceless process, it can at times feel as though my own creative intuition is taking a backseat to the collective perspective. And I’ve started to notice the danger in that, is that I’ve stopped trusting my own ideas, my own voice, my own vision. It’s time I change that.

In an effort to reconnect with my own creative energy; I’ve begun the process of re-membering and really honing in on my own direction, voice, and style. After realizing I’ve spent years of my life working to tell other people’s stories through documentary film & art-space making, I feel like I’m now ready to start figuring out what exactly MY style looks like now. 

First thing I re-membered is that I’ve always been into painting faces; so I know that’s definitely a part of the picture that is Openi Art. This first one is a self-portrait actually painted outside in the backyard on a sunday; it definitely felt hella nice. to paint with the sun on my face, but as someone who only paints every once in a blue moon, it was harder for me to mimic the shadows as it was fluid as the day. 

I started with yellow and red because to be honest I didn’t want to mix any colors, but I also have been drawn to figuring out how I want to use color in my work AT ALL, and so where better to start than with the primaries? I really liked how this one came out, so I decided to keep going with the whole color-portrait thing. These next few were drawn in procreate, A) so I could save myself the mess of mixing, B) so I could continue drawing in the dark, by moonlight (: and C) so I could get used to using brushes in ProCreate, which while super intuitive and robust, the are actually nothing like using any of the paintbrushes I use IRL so it been taking a bit of practice to find my style, let alone ‘make perfect’.  This second portrait is of my partner, MOMB, receiving gifts on their birthday. I call it “Oouuuu”.

“Oouuuu”, featuring MOMB. June 25, 2020

This next one is of my friend Sasha’s child, Ameenah, showing me their food, that one time they both came to visit me in Hawai‘i last winter.

“SEEFOOD”, featuring AMEENAH. JuLY 12, 2020