Skip to content

Celebrating Black Music Part 4

Sadly, this is the last post of my Black Music Month series

This week, I dedicated a post to the music superstars and game-changers from the 1980s through the 2000s. I wanted to highlight the men and women who took Black music to new heights while setting the blueprint for today’s music. In the process, I decided to highlight some groups from the time period. I drew inspiration from constellations, heaven, and the sky to tribute these true icons and legends. I also felt the need to highlight some legends we’ve lost in recent years.

Just like last week’s post, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:aaliyah

Aaliyah

al_b_sure

Al B. Sure

alicia_keys

Alicia Keys

anita baker

Anita Baker

ashanti

Ashanti

athony_hamilton

Anthony Hamilton

beyonce

Beyonce

Billy Ocean

bobby_brown

Bobby Brown

brandy

Brandy

Brian McKnight

Case

chris_brown

Chris Brown

ciara

Ciara

d_angelo

D’Angelo

deborah_cox

Deborah Cox

Donell Jones

erkyah_badu

Erykah Badu

faith_evans

Faith Evans

fantasia

Fantasia

freddie_jackson

Freddie Jackson

gerald_levert

Gerald Levert

ginuwine

Ginuwine

jaheim

Jaheim

janet_jackson

Janet Jackson

jill_scott

Jill Scott

Jody Watley

Joe

Keith Sweat

kelly_price

Kelly Price

keyshia_cole

Keyshia Cole

lenny_kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

luther_vandross

Luther Vandross

mariah_carey

Mariah Carey

mary_j_blige

Mary J. Blige

maxwell

Maxwell

Michael Jackson - 1983

Michael Jackson

monica

Monica

mya

Mya

patti_labelle

Patti Labelle

peabo_bryson

Peabo Bryson

Purple Rain (1984)
Directed by Albert Magnoli
Shown: Prince (as The Kid)

Prince

r_kelly

R. Kelly

rihanna

Rihanna

stephanie_mills

Stephanie Mills

tamia

Tamia

01/01/1985. Close Up Tina Turner

Tina Turner

toni_braxton

Toni Braxton

usher

Usher

whitney_houston

Whitney Houston

 phase_0_BL_50_70phase_1_BL_80_00phase_2_BL_80_00phase_3_BL_80_00phase_4_BL_80_00phase_5_BL_80_00phase_6_BL_80_00

phase_7_BL_80_00phase_8_BL_80_00phase_9_BL_80_00phase_10_BL_80_00phase_11_BL_80_00phase_12_BL_80_00phase_13_BL_80_00phase_14_BL_80_00phase_15_BL_80_00

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Celebrating Black Music Part 3

Back with another Black Music Month post!

This week, I decided to dedicate a post to the musical pioneers and innovators from the 1950s through the 1970s. I choose to go with the men and women who blazed a trail for Black entertainers of today while laying the foundation for today’s music. In the process, I decided to highlight some groups from the time period. I drew inspiration from constellations, heaven and the sky to tribute these true icons and legends. I also used the post to highlight some legends we’ve lost in recent years.

Just like my previous posts on Hip-Hop, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:al_green

Al Green

aretha_franklin

Aretha Franklin

barry_white

Barry White

betty_wright

Betty Wright

Bob Marley

chaka khan

Chaka Khan

chuck_berry

Chuck Berrycurtis_mayfieldCurtis Mayfielddiana_rossDiana Rossdionne_warwickDionne Warwickdonna_summerDonna Summerjackie_wilsonJackie Wilsonjames_brownJames Brown

jimi_hendrix

Jimi Hendrixlittle_richardLittle Richardmarvin_gayeMarvin Gayemary_wellsMary Wells

miles_davis

Miles Davisnat_king_coleNat King Colenatalie_coleNatalie Cole

nina-simone983j27.7765.23

Nina Simoneray_charlesRay Charlesrick_jamesRick Jamesruth_brownRuth Brownsam_cookeSam Cooke

sammy_davis_jr

Sammy Davis, Jr.stevie_wonderStevie Wonderteddy_pendergrassTeddy Pendergrass

 phase_0_BL_50_70phase_1_BL_50_70phase_2_BL_50_70phase_3_BL_50_70phase_4_BL_50_70phase_5_BL_50_70

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Celebrating Black Music Part 2

Another week, another Black Music Month post!

This week, I’m dedicating a post to the women of Hip Hop. For my process this time around, I choose to go with women who not only had the skills (sometimes, better than the men) but the impact on the culture as a whole. While there have been many female rappers have made a mark, these women’s impact is still be felt today. I drew inspiration from Greco-Roman goddesses to pay homage to these amazing women. I also used the post to shout-out some female rappers who paved the way for today’s women in Hip-Hop.

Just like the post on the men of Hip-Hop, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:

Greco-Roman Goddesses

queen_latifah_newQueen Latifah

mc_lyteMC Lyte

da_bratDa Brat

lauryn_hillLauryn Hill

lil_kimLil’ Kim

missy_elliottMissy Elliott

eveEve

trinaTrina

nicki_minajNicki Minaj

phase_1_goddesses

phase_2_goddesses

phase_3_goddesses

phase_4_goddesses

phase_5_goddesses

phase_6_goddesses

phase_7_goddesses

phase_8_goddesses

phase_9_goddesses

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Celebrating Black Music Part 1

With time being on my side, I have decided to re-dedicate myself to my Black Music Month project.

This week, I’ll focus on revisiting my post from last year dealing with the men of Hip Hop. Last year, I was able to narrow my choices down to some of the best male lyricists of all time. I’ll admit my work from last year was just okay, but I knew I could do better. I wanted to dive deeper into my vision as an artist with better technique and understanding of the subject and the message.

Again, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:

Mt Rushmore

phase_10_rushmore

phase_11_rushmore

phase_12_rushmore

 

phase_12_rushmore

phase_13_rushmore

phase_14_rushmore

phase_16_rushmore

phase_17_rushmore

 

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

The End?

Today was a mixed bag of emotions as the end of my graduate journey begins. All the preparation, writing and time had led to this moment. This was the moment of truth for me and my future as a screenwriter.

depositphotos_53832633-stock-photo-business-vision-inspiration-motivation-progress

Today was a bittersweet moment as I defended my thesis this morning.  I was a bundle of nerves as I approached Ivy Hall. The faculty decided to try a different format by having all the thesis candidates speak. All I had to say was “Thank You” because the pressure was of me completely. It was nice to see some familiar faces in the room in the same spot in our thesis journey.  I was in a unique situation as I was defending my thesis screenplay with a pitch for broadcasting. My nervousness gave way as I went into full brand mode trying to sell my pilot to “television executives.” I gave my thesis the full pitch treatment as I spoke on the setting, the story, and characters. I felt like I sold the pilot to my intended audience. Soon, I was done to great relief. I was able to relax and hear what my fellow grad students had been working on. I was excited to hear the processes each student had gone through to craft their thesis. After a while, the Q-and-A session began as we answered a variety of questions from the committee. There was one question that threw me for a loop as I was asked to do an elevator pitch for my thesis. I believe in the old adage “If you’re always ready, you ain’t got to get ready.” I surprised myself by being able to spit off my logline in a record forty-two seconds. In the end, everyone gave a sigh of relief as the spotlight was off us. It was bittersweet as I took some pictures in front of Ivy Hall for the last time.

 

After my thesis defense was done, I found time to get started on some other things. I began working on my short film for film class. Along with this project, I started putting myself out there by emailing some production companies for shadowing purposes. I’ve kept in contact with some companies I met from Career Fair and had some great interactions. I had a great conversation with TV writer Cindy Bertram (courtesy of my professor). It led to what might be a great mentorship post-grad. Working on other writing projects has crossed my mind over the past few days as I decide my next move. I’ve begun planning the next few months before graduation as my future draws closer. Being active on social media has extended my reach through my blog and visual posts. I’ve definitely been gaining in interest and feedback.  On the job front, prospects seem fruitful as I continue to network moving forward to Out to Launch in May.

man arranging his black necktie

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

As post-grad life stares back at me, I feel a sense of relief and nervousness with my future so close. For the first time in a while, I’m both excited and afraid of what’s around the corner.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Halfway to the Finish Line

I was finally able to part my lips and say – I’M DONE WITH MY THESIS!  This quarter has been a race towards the finish line as I pulled off the hat trick of work-life balance for the past few months. All that work has led to this pivotal life-changing point.

Photo by Soumen Maity on Pexels.com

I was finally able to let out a ‘woash’ after finish the first pass of my thesis. The entire process has been a learning experience in what hard work and determination can do for your future. From my review last May to Independent Study to emailing my thesis committee, I have grown not only as a writer but as a person. I was able to challenge naysayers who tried talking me out of pursuing my passion. Those people motivated me to break the mold and challenge the status quo. I had to follow my love for screenwriting while working within the academic system. I thanked God for the people – professionally, academically and personally – who pushed me to keep going when I doubted myself. I thought about changing course a few times before I decided to stick to my guns. I stumbled and bumbled a few times, but that needed to happen so I could grow as a screenwriter. Shaping, shifting, refining, revising, editing, crafting… these words were not only words but mantras for my thesis as the seasons and I changed. My perfectionism and stubbornness wouldn’t let me fail not without a fight, at least.

Turning in my thesis – formatted-perfectly and lengthy – allowed my mental pressures to subside, for a while anyway. I still have some feedback to hear from my committee before my thesis defense in March. Between my actual thesis and supplemental material, that might be awhile. But while I wait on them, my thesis will remain locked away for now. I’m looking forward to all the creative things I can do now that this part of the journey is done.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

While thesis and graduation have been my main focus, other creative outlets have fought for my time. I ‘ve begun celebrating Black History Month by participating in #BAMuary on Instagram. I’ve done some pieces here and there, but nothing like this current project. Like my writing, doing this challenge has been a way to celebrate my culture. I’ve even though about redoing one or two similar pieces now that I have a better grip on my technique. Job hunting and freelance work have gone through the usual ebbs and flows as I work my regular 9-to-5 job. But there are some things brewing for the future. Balancing between writing and visual art has been a little easier this time around compared to last year. On the social media front, I’ve begun seeing some traction as I employed a better marketing strategy for my pages.

I look forward to continuing my thesis journey and finishing my final quarter as a graduate student.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Working Towards the Finish Line

The finish line for my completed work came with a mixed bag of emotions. With all the pieces falling into place, my mind has been filled with endless possibilities for my future. The creative light has begun to shine brightly in the tunnel of self-doubt.

hands coffee cup apple

Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

Having not stared at my screenplay for a month has been a gift and a curse. I’ve relaxed on having to smooth out and revise my work, but revisiting it so close to my thesis deadline has made me a little anxious. Hearing feedback from my professor has allowed me to move forward in my process. At this point, most of my writing has begun to focus line editing with some action streamlining and dialogue tweaking at the same time.  In the notes I received, some character interaction needed to expand upon in terms of dialogue. Some of the dialogue seemed out of character so some more context is needed. The dialogue has come off a little date in places so I’ve begun to tackle that. The action has improved as I made it easier to read and understand even though some still needs to synthesized just a little more. Besides the feedback, I’ve begun creating music for my screenplay with some outside help from more musically inclined writers. Hopefully, within the next week, I’ll have a finished screenplay. I did receive some positive notes about the unique perspective and great character development I displayed.  Sending it to a thesis committee member or two for some more feedback. In the future, an actual table reading would be the best way to hear my words as a screenwriter.

self head

As my thesis has begun to come together, I found time to get started on some other things. I continued working on my visual project for Black History Month, which kicks off Feb. 1. Along with that project, I plan on doing some more character designs for my potential shows. Working on other writing projects has crossed my mind over the past few days as I complete my thesis. On the branding side, advertising on social media has begun helping my awareness grow. On the job front, prospects seem fruitful as I continue to job search while prepping to the Career Fair next month and Out to Launch in May.

As my time at SCAD winds down, I feel a sense of anxiety and excitement as my thesis defense draws closer. My post-graduate life is staring me right in the face. For the first time in a while, I’m a little afraid of what’s around the corner.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Patience (or Lack Thereof) in Thesisland

Creativity requires the virtue of patience when it comes to the full picture. As I inch towards the completion of my thesis, my anxiety and moody temperament has begun to take over my mind and spirit. I’ve felt like my process has come to a standstill. The waiting and wondering have begun to weight on me as a writer.

man arranging his black necktie

 

Living in line editing limbo pushed me to a place I hate going to – self-aware anxiety. This mindset has infiltrated every aspect of my life including my writing. I’ve found myself wanting to start revising and editing my screenplay again, but without some direction, I’m stuck at a standstill. My mental time clock has already begun to countdown as midterms approach. Besides the necessary editing, I’ve begun to worry about finishing my thesis as I asked for help on the music composition. Waiting to the last minute usually isn’t my thing, but after some false starts, I’ve begun formulating some lyric (with some outside help coming soon). Being finished yet feeling unfinished has me feeling like I’m in writing purgatory. Being stuck has sent my mind into a downward spiral of insecurity and self-doubt. But, in the next few weeks, my thesis will be finalized, and all my feelings will subside.

Image result for impatience

 

While I wait on my line edits, I’ve gotten back to classes as usual with a project due next week (yikes!). Working on class assignments has allowed my mind to concentrate on things outside my thesis. My visual output was a little slow as I concentrated on other things (check out my Instagram page). A few things have been brewing on the post-graduate front as I waited for some news on my future (stay tuned to this space). As my thesis deadline approaches, I’ve begun cobbling everything needed for my thesis committee to review. The future as a post-grad has grown closer every day.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Creative Overload

Creativity has been my calling since I used to draw and write on yellow legal pads. Over the break, I channeled my creativity into different avenues. No matter what medium I chose, storytelling has always been at the forefront of my mission and purpose.

close up of human hand

During my time away from this blog, I found myself using my time wisely to grow as a writer. Finishing the first draft of my thesis allowed me to focus on work on a litany of shows ideas. I began to focus on two pet projects – a children’s series and a rewrite of a teen dramedy. Focusing on screenwriting outside of thesis helped me to grow as a screenwriter while putting ideas to paper (or computer screen). I worked on some fiction and nonfiction pieces I had been toying with for some time. They allowed me to tweak and restructure what was and wasn’t working. I needed another writing outlet besides this blog. Writing has become an extension of my overactive imagination as I combine reality and fantasy with my words.

close up of hand over white background

Besides writing, I’ve been working on my visual output as I stepped up my Instagram game. I managed to work on some character designs along with some concept ideas for future potential projects. I went through an awkward time with my social media marketing as I gained followers while feeling anxious about my online presence. All this creativity has helped me to grow my presence on social media along with my website.

I allowed myself to rest a little bit as Christmas and New Year’s rolled around. I needed some creative and personal space as school begins in a week. While my thesis journey nears its end, I find myself feeling both joy and anxiety.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Fighting the Box of Conformity and Doubt

Following the book while forging your own way can become a test of skill and determination. Being an aspiring screenwriter has given me the ability to try my hand at many genres and stories with abandon. Reworking, editing and revising has become second nature at this point in my process. This process has challenged me in ways I never thought I could be as a writer.

Blank notepad and pencil

As I’ve chronicled in previous posts, working on this screenplay has been a journey, to say the least. Creating a screenplay based on a foreign world to me – the music industry – has pushed me out of my comfort zone. My forte has always been animation aimed across different demographics. Writing this live-action film has been a challenge as I constantly remind myself to balance my usage of dialogue and action. The characterization and dialogue in the script have been a gift and a curse as I wanted to allow for creative license. I wanted to show a female-centric screenplay where every character – female and male – was multi-dimensional with their own experiences. Focusing on Black women’s plight in the music industry has made me question my reliability as a storyteller as I spoke of an experience I knew nothing about. But I was compelled by my research for my one-act play to expand this work and create something subtle yet realistic. I wanted to portray four Black women who were going through life with similar yet different circumstances from the average woman. I managed to take what I’ve absorbed from years of being an audiophile with my own twist. I wanted to follow the traits of the greats while trying to avoid the traps of many musical dramas and biopics. Breaking out of the box of film and television cliches has been hard as I delved further into my writing. Having dialogue and actions that speak to both the Black Millennial experience has been a major point for me in writing this screenplay. It has to speak to the present without being dated years from now. Hopefully, getting some more input from various sources will lead to a big breakthrough in my screenwriting process.

purpose

After I worked on my screenplay, Independent Study was fruitful as I received some much-needed feedback from my professor. Helping the students with their portfolios and presentation was fulfilling as I felt a connection as an educator rather than just another student. Feedback has slowly begun to trickle back in from a few readers. My visual work took shape with better results than I had forecast (check out my Instagram for more on that). Freelance work was quite slow this week (just a sign that I need to grind harder). I received some news that might be game changers (stay tuned to this space). I’ve already planned on doing Nanowrimo but writing two screenplays rather than a novel. As independent study winds down, I’ve begun to gather my committee for my thesis next quarter. So far, my thesis journey has begun to fall in place.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: