By: K. Joie Santos
I want to spark “joie” in my clients through an experience... my artwork is an opportunity for people to forever feel connected to someone or something outside of themselves by being part of the process it took to create a piece, which consequently helps people from all walks of life realize their multidimensionality. We all have multiple skills, desires, and goals but you do what you love to leave a legacy...
My journey started in a beginners drawing class freshman year of high school that I HAD to take to fulfill a requirement. Mind you, I always had a creative spirit but shyed away from drawing anything myself ‘cause I thought I wasn’t good enough compared to the artists I learned about in school. So I struggled with confidence really bad until my amazing teacher assigned us to draw an elephant. Now I’m thinking, “I know damn well mine ain’t gon look like that example”... but then it did! And it was actually one of the best in the class! So that night, I googled a few basic images to copy.. and they all turned out great. (Which inspired me to take every art class the school offered except for painting... Paint intimidated me.)
**A few years prior, I went to visit family in Boston and one of my cousins had extra paint and a canvas. I was bored and she offered so I painted it (and it wasn’t great) but I took a lot of pride in it since it was my first painting EVER. But that’s when I knew I HAD to do something with art even if I wasn’t good enough to be a Romare Bearden or Faith Ringold. **
Now I’m back at school and I started hanging around the art dept. more often and that same teacher happened to be the head. She saw my drive and understood my concerns so she showed me the possibilities of so many art related careers where I didn’t have to be like Picasso or something.
So let’s fast forward to freshman year of college, I settled on art therapy. And It was mandatory to take a beginners painting class so I’m like oh shit here we go again.. I was getting all the feels from 4 years ago first day of beginners drawing. But I was blessed once again with an amazing teacher who saw the passion in me. He showed me techniques that helped me develop a personal style... so I left that school and decided to come back home to pursue art as a freelance entrepreneur. And the first painting I did was a revamped version of my very first painting to show the 10 year progression... I fell in love with the process all over again: getting lost in time, mixing and creating colors, adding shine and texture.. but I had a lot going on emotionally at that time in my life.. and I wasn’t sure which direction to go because I was just starting to recognize the multidimensionality within myself, but I can honestly say that art saved me. Being able to create allowed me to regain self confidence, self worth, independence, and a purpose.
As time has passed, I realized that I need to be a lifelong learner to leave my multidimensional legacy. It’s not about the money or the fame for me, it’s about expanding the mind, ESPECIALLY in the black community.