Creatives I Follow
Who: Alisha Sommer
Her Work: "In my work, I have the unique ability and privilege to choose people and projects that truly inspire and excite me. As a storyteller, my goal is to capture what it is to be human through words and images.
Currently you will find me photographing every day moments, working on my literary journal, BLACKBERRY: a magazine, writing for Annnapurna Living by Carrie-Anne Moss, and co-facilitating small writing workshops. I also work with indie brands and businesses to craft creative, engaging visual and written content that connects with and grows their communities."
Why I Love Her: Whether in person, with words, or with her captures on Instagram, Alisha captivates my attention. Her artistry both ignites and enraptures my own. I read her words and instantly feel a connection to her or an experience she's describing, as though I'm right there fully immersed in the moment with her. Her prose and visuals are poetry and she's the kind of writer I aspire to be. She pushes me to dig deeper and seek out new ways to create, to speak, to write, to connect. Her Liberated Lines poetry course? A must take.
Alisha, thank you for being an inspiration in my life, but for also being a kindred, and my friend. Thank you for pushing me to discover and embrace the parts of my creative voice I've either forgotten or shied away from. And THANK YOU for giving us a space to have our writing seen and heard. Salute.
Her work: "Dear God, this sh*t cray?" Themes of faith, divinity, history, individual and collective responsibility, and kinship loom large in my work. With color, shape and a variety of media, I explore the questions that keep us up at night - "What do I believe?" "Why am I here?" and "What's next?"
Why: I first met Christa and was exposed to her work at a conference in 2014. I literally gasped out loud when she handed me her card and and a few other self-care goodies that were all designed to spark my own creativity. Her visuals are offer that minimalistic look that's all the rage but unlike others who practice this aesthetic in their work, she doesn't sacrifice color. Her work is soft and simple, but she also keeps it vibrant and bold.
Your artistry pushes me to find the beauty in life, Christa. Thank you for being an inspiration-Salute!
Through keynote speeches, books, ebooks, in-person and online courses, workshops and one-on-one coaching, Karen Walrond and Chookooloonks Media are all about leadership, self-determination and the concept of thriving. Ultimately, her work is a testament to beauty, positivity, creativity and kindness. It's a body of irrefutable evidence that there is good in the world. And a collection of tools to help you connect with gratitude, strength and joy in your own work and life.
For nearly 7 years, Karen's corner of the Internet has been my favorite place to go to-especially when I'm overwhelmed by the ugliness, devastation, and injustice happening in the world. Her words and images remind me to always "look for the light" within and around me, and her book The Beauty of Different helped me heal from the impact childhood trauma had on my self-esteem and image. Her superpowers are many, but one of my favorites is her ability to empower others to recognize theirs. Her photography is lush and vibrant with colors that contrast with the existing shadows, and I enjoy how she amplifies the light in each of her subjects. As a creative, and as a friend, she pushes me to be a better artist and person. If you aren't following her work, do your soul a favor by starting to today.
Salute, Karen! Thank you for being a light in the lives of so many and for doing dope sh*t. Thank you for using your #BlackGirlMagic and superpowers for good.
*To celebrate Black History Month, I'll be doing short features of the Black women (and maybe a few men) creatives past and present who motivate, inspire, empower me in my life and work, and create incredibly dope sh*t. I hope you'll enjoy reading about them as much as I will be about amplifying their greatness!