Loving Me Naturally represents the journey of women with natural hair. Ms. Reesa Renee is a DC Native artist with original sounds and breath taking vocals who proudly embraces her beautiful tresses! Check out her latest video, “Got Me Loose” followed by our brief interview.
Q:In just a few words, tell us about your brand, your vision and mission.
A: Firm Believer is a movement in which a positive lifestyle is translated through clothing. My mission and vision is to motivate people to stand firm and believe in everything they do to become better.
Q:Describe the niche in the designs of your clothing line, Firm Believer.
A: My distinct distressed bear logo is one that is universal. It speaks to men..some..children..elderly while it has a dope flare for everyone from your skateboarders to your business owner.
Q:What’s the story behind the brand, Firm Believer, and the challenges that you’ve had to face to follow through
A: FIRM BELIEVER’s name and logo mean THROUGH ALL ADVERSITY WE MUST STAND FIRM IN OUR BELIEFS OR BE LEFT TO QUESTION OUR PURPOSE. Its sentimental value stems from me starting the line a couple years ago when I lost my job for something I was clueless about. I turned to this one particular sketch in hopes of creating an avenue to stay afloat. Tshirts came as a no brainer simply because people need them. Well it turned out that not only did my first dozen shirts sale out in 2 hours before I got to take them home, but the demand for more was shocking! It motivated me enough to turn it into a business and with Gods blessings I got my job back and the shirts have been moving well ever since.. Hence the meaning behind the name smile emoticon I have yet to see another brand quite like mine within the DMV area. I’m also able to share my artistic abilities with the hand painted tees. Each one is its own masterpiece as they are all different in some way as is original art!
Q:What are the materials that you use?
A: In the beginning I used silk screen. Now I have grown accustomed to the hand painted tees in which the same acrylic I use on canvas to paint artwork is used on the T-shirts. The challenge of not becoming just another DC urban wear line was met with me not being able to afford multicolor shirts with the screen print process so I took it to the next level and cut the middle man by creating and painted different designs by hand which now allows me to do custom tees. I have the artistic freedom to add as much color as I want for free.
Q:How have you grown as a creative entrepreneur?
A: I have grown as a person once I realized I could be my own boss. Being an entrepreneur takes drive..effort.. It takes time and understanding that you are selling yourself to the world. My spiritual growth allowed me to overcome such things as worrying if people will like the brand..or better yet if people will purchase an article of clothing from me.
I honestly feel that in what you put in to your craft that shines beyond the craft itself. I have the understanding that becoming a business owner takes patience and a lot of attention. I also understand that my business may take years or even months to thrive so in the meantime I don’t worry about profit..I focus on the bigger picture. Its not about making money, it’s about making a statement and that statement will never lose value. It’ll take you much farther than money ever could.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects/shows?
A: I planned to drop the latest project entitled” The Highs And The Lows” No later than June/July 2015
Q: Describe the importance of originality in a commercial driven industry, and what empowers yours?
A: Originality is super important, yea we all get inspired by artists but to make something your own is what keeps the art going.
I believe what empowers me is the ability to create good original music. I like to say ” make something out of nothing ” I like to treat the record as a canvas as I paint away.
Q: How would you describe the style of your music?
A: The style of my music is no style. Creativity is key, as long as I am able to dream there is no genre or category I can place my music.
Q: What stories do you convey in your lyrics? –
A: I convey a lot of struggles. But I also like to speak on current feelings and emotions that are unscripted. I like for my lyrics to give visuals , miniature films.
Q: Elaborate on the importance of the lyrics and messages of a song?
A: A lot of mainstream music has those catchy hooks that bring the audience in. Lyrics wise artist don’t put too much into it. I like to analyze each bar before its recorded. For me it’s important the bars connect and not just fillers for a verse. A lot of artist tend to say things that don’t necessarily match with the song. When you listen to my music you can visualize what’s happening word for word.
Q: What were the most influential verses that you had to listen to repetitively and why?
I would have to say Kendrick Lamars Intro Verse to his mixtape “Overly Dedicated”. I was inspired to write immediately. His verse changed my outlook on a lot of things. My perspective on the rap game had changed full 180•. the way he said certain words and the energy influence me the most.
The world unknown shelters those alone,
Its waters reflect the abstract nature of mankind who strive to live, but oftentimes, walk around blind not fully knowing themselves…
yet expecting others to value what they sadly lack knowledge of-
Self-sufficiency nurtures its residents,
Now filling the void of an inevitable win…
From the result of wasted potential
Faith is now a victim of sin…
Now with eyes of an eagle (-fierce)!
Seeing through the midst of destruction…
Resilient wings of a vibrant phoenix,
Creativity inspires this optimist,
Wasted potential is undecided…
An Artistry Intellect =
The abstract minded,
Who are now sharing their vision & leading the way for those who are still misguided…
Jon Doe from StampDMV
Check out some video footage of DMV natives/emcees, Lyriciss and Logic as they entertain the sold out arena of the Fillmore venue in Silver Spring, MD:
An in depth interview with the upcoming artist is also available in my previous article.
I recently had the pleasure to interview multi-artist, Adebayo Dawodu, who is a multi-faceted entrepreneur providing services in photography, graphic design, brand management, digital cinematography to name a few.
Q. What do you see as the role of the visual arts in our mass-mediated world and particularly in your profession?
catering to the masses. Long gone are the days where people are content with long paragraphs as a way of receiving information. Thanks to technological advancement, visual art has really enhanced communication efforts. Whether you are watching TV, or online reading blogs or even at the bus stop waiting for a ride, you are constantly surrounded by visual art and sometimes it could be overwhelming with the influence of marketers pushing ads to consumers. Overall, communication is becoming more effective with visual art; just log onto pinterest.com or instagram and it will all make sense.
As a brand developer and creative director, I’ve been privileged to partake in the ongoing trendsetting for visual art. Most clients come to me with just a need and my job is to translate their needs into effective solutions. Visual art in various disciplines allows me to accomplish this task of creating effective solution through graphic design, motion/cinematography, web design and/or any of the combinations.
Check out his latest excerpt, ‘Irony of Hate’ from his upcoming poetry book entitled, ‘Pronouns’:
Q. With new communications and media technologies, imagery is almost instantly available. Do you believe that this is having a positive or negative influence on the industry (provide example)?
A. Capitalism is centered on supply and demand and in this era, instant information is at a high demand. This reality is evident in the success of companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others like them. It’s amazing how ten thousand (10,000) likes on a Facebook picture can equate to tangible advertising dollars for both individuals and companies. A YouTube user with over a million views on any of their content can become an instant celebrity overnight and open up a cash flow business. With success come backlashes. Manipulated imagery instantly made available online can have devastating effects on an individual or companies alike. There are always pros and cons when it comes to technology and human interaction, but we should not be too focused on that, rather we should make sure that our objectives are clear and that we are using the available technologies effectively to promote our best interest.
Q. What popular images do you see that are frequently rechanneled throughout the entertainment industry?
A. Sex sells! Although we hate the idea of such reality, it’s hard to deny the truth about it. I can’t say one image is more prominent than the other in the industry but I can affirm that anything that can be wrapped around sex often gets rechanneled throughout the industry and it spreads like wild fire.
Q. Are there particular images that this industry has popularized, and or created?
A. In my field, it’s hard to stick to certain images because the demands change based on the people I am serving. Styles are what get recycled in my industry not specific images.
Q. Who is one of your favorite visual artist/s, and or what is your favorite style of visual art?
A. I was introduced to the visual art world later than most so I wasn’t too familiar with the likes of Picasso or Vincent Van Gogh until my later years. I have since gained an appreciation for works of such talents. My favorite artist thus far is a local painter/artist name Michael Godfrey, I’ve had the pleasure of following his work for a few years now and I love his style of subtle detail and replication of nature’s splendor in his painting. Aside from him, I am always moved when I encounter other artists both locally and internationally. I love art and I live for it so my favorite might just be a quest that might remain undetermined for a while.
Q. How has your knowledge of famous artworks influenced your creative process?
A. When I was studying graphic communication many years ago, I learned about the history of art and the influence of famous and past artists, but I found that I am more in tune with artworks created by people I’ve personally met. It just seems more relevant. Knowledge of other famous artwork only allows me to appreciate new art more, and see how history always repeats itself. My creative process is influenced by many things but it always goes back to Mr. Lipiano, my mentor’s principle that simply encourages simplicity in designs. I learned from him that everything in complex art, or design starts with a simple idea or element. Art is always evolving and I am glad to be a part of the evolution both in appreciation and participation.
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