“I love the idea of black people, women especially, shown as divine beings. We don’t see a lot of both of these concepts in any art form and I mean if I personally want to see it more why not contribute and make my own?” - 3rdeyechakra
3rdeyechakra is a North Carolina based artist with a passion for all forms of art and creative expression. Their art pieces are bold, new and representative of their black queer community. Self taught in digital art programs they have explored different ways of artistic expression to push the boundaries of black and brown women in art. Through fantasy beings and sci-fi settings, their goal is to fully realize what it means to be a young black queer femme today.
Guerrilla Davis, Visual Arts Editor: Happy Monday! How's your day going? Whats up?
3rdeyechakra: I'm doing okay, I’ve been trying to finish all of my commissions and my personal work. im slowly spiraling but in a good way.
Guerrilla: Good Stress can be really motivating sometimes, especially on a monday haha
3rdeyechakra: Yea i just wish i had more relaxation time lol
Guerrilla: Your work is really amazing. Where do you find inspiration? Are there any values or specific experiences that inform your presentation?
3rdeyechakra: I get inspiration from everywhere really, I try not to saturate my art with like overbearing political views and such but the foundation to all of it is representation and inclusivity. Representation for the black community, more specifically dark skinned women.
Guerrilla: Your art name, 3rd_eyechakra, can you tell about that? what does it mean and how did it become ur handle?
3rdeyechakra: im super into spirituality and different religions and Ive heard the crown chakra referred to as your "third eye chakra" which sounded so amazing to me so eventually i started using that term as my handle for all my social medias.
Guerrilla: One thing i really like about your work is the representation you give to so many different shades of black and brown, different body types and sizes. artists like you are pushing the envelope, giving visibility to, and celebrating bodies that are generally ignored or negatively depicted by the media. Mad props to u!
3rdeyechakra: thank you so much! im a fat femme so i have to represent my community right
Guerrilla: You have close to 1K posts on your IG. Thats is a lot of work, I can see you are busy! Every artist works differently. Whats does your artistic process look like?
3rdeyechakra: i have i guess a vague idea for something i want to do and i search through my blog archive to solidify it a bit more and that's when the actual work begins and i go from there
Guerrilla: What is one of your favorite pieces of work?
3rdeyechakra: Oh that list is way too long lol but i think my favorite piece I've done is "the birth and death of an angel" it something i dreamed about doing as a kid
Guerrilla: OMG thats sick!
3rdeyechakra: Thank you! i absolutely love renaissance art and murals i mean who doesn't? but i really love the flow it has and the drama of it all but ive never seen myself in them if that makes sense. so i guess the desire to do it built up over time to actually make my own so tried my hand at what i think a renaissance painting would look like if it had black women in it
Guerrilla: I don't think i've ever seen a black renaissance painting. That's really dope A.F.
3rdeyechakra: thank you so much!
Guerrilla: Of all your work, which one would you say is crowd / fan favorite?
3rdeyechakra: i think it would be my mermaids and to be honest they're some of my favorite too
Guerrilla: I already asked you what type of mediums to you practice, but more specifically, what programs or tools do you use for u work?
3rdeyechakra: the ones i use the most are Cinema 4d, Photoshop cs6, Paint tool Sai and PoserPro
Guerrilla: Oh cool. Did you teach yourself?
3rdeyechakra: yes very very slowly lol but I’m not fluent in all of them i just learn as i go
Guerrilla: That's really cool. I work in digital media too, primarily in photography and graphic design. I mostly use photoshop. I never really had the chance to go to school so I am self taught as well
3rdeyechakra: yea i sort of wished i had more formal training but iive taught myself a lot so i’m happy
Guerrilla: Thats one thing about being a true creative. We'll make use of, or find a way to do what we are driven to do, with whatever resources we have. Skills can always be learned, but real creativity can’t really be "taught," IMO
Guerrilla: You mentioned before that you identify as a fat femme and that you are motivated to represent your community. What does representation mean? And why is that important to you
3rdeyechakra: Representation means showing who you are as a human and also letting anyone who looks like you know they have license to be their true full selves. I think that's extremely import because i didn't really have that growing up and i felt really alone. I worked really hard to build up my self esteem and i want anyone who felt like i did as a teen to know that its required to be happy and content with who you are
Guerrilla: Wow. That's hella real, and empowering to hear
Guerrilla: What are some of your biggest challenges as a visual artist?
3rdeyechakra: my sister has always told me you have to be your own cheerleader because people can be really flakey and its important for your mental health to be happy with who you are. so my biggest challenge is myself. I have really bad anxiety so i can be really hard on myself about what i do. i want to be the best i can be but it's sort of impossible sometimes and that's okay. we can't expect ourselves to be perfect all the time so finding that balance is key.
Guerrilla: That’s real. a lot of artist i know struggle with balancing work / life / mental health stuff too. For me, creating and producing with others is one of the healthiest practices I have. What are some things you do to push through when things gets challenging?
3rdeyechakra: i have an amazing friend who grounds me when they see me struggling with everything which is awesome and i also take time to talk with myself and do metal health checks to make sure I’m not going overboard and slip back into depression. but at the end of the day art really is my saving grace it's such a positive way to express how im feeling and what im going through.
Guerrilla: Thats dope. Art has saved my life, more than once... I can relate haha
3rdeyechakra: tea, it's really a lifeline
Guerrilla: What are one of your major accomplishments or most memorable moments as a visual artist?
3rdeyechakra: I’ve connected with so many people just through my art. I’ve got recognition from Fka Twigs, Sevdaliza, and Beverly Peele which is crazy and I’ve gotten to work with Dazed magazine which i still shook about
Guerrilla: Your work is getting recognition from some really big ppl in the game
3rdeyechakra: It’s so surreal. i feel like I’m in a different realm. i used to think i wouldn't do or be anything special so im so grateful
Guerrilla: "A different realm" haha, just like your work
3rdeyechakra: lol pretty much
Guerrilla: So i know you do a lot of commissions. what does that process usually look like?
3rdeyechakra: I just discuss with the client what they want in the photo they want edited and we go from there. i keep them in the loop along the way to get any notes or suggestions they have. i try and make everyone feel like they're apart of the process
Guerrilla: that sounds really cool, and intimate. i like that you create connection with the people you work with as part of your practice.
3rdeyechakra: i try and treat everyone like how i would treat Beyonce if i were working with her
Guerrilla: im sure you are so used to people asking you to turn them into mermaids and angels... but of all of your commissioned works, which one stands out the most, or is the most memorable to you?
3rdeyechakra: Dazed Fashion commissioned me to edit some photos from fashion week after i did an interview with them because they loved my work so much, i was floored.
View this post on Instagram
👼 Backstage at fashion week, @3rd_eyechakra style 👹⠀ ⠀ 1-2. @garethpughstudio SS19, photography @cleoglover ⠀ 3. @moschino SS19, photography @giacomocabrini 4. @simonerocha_ SS19, photography @charlotteosheaphotography ⠀ 5. @prada SS19, photography @giacomocabrini ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #fashionweek #pfw #mfw
Guerrilla: Is there any advice you have for younger, up & coming artists?
3rdeyechakra: Be nothing but yourself and don't make art that you think will make money because that will be a regret later in life, trust me.
Guerrilla: ooo *warning*
3rdeyechakra: when i was in school i asked my art teacher how do you make money with your art and he told me i was in the wrong occupation if i think i can get rich from making art. ill be honest that was...blunt but he told me his friend was an artist and he had a popular style and subject matter that he found made him a lot more money than the things he really loved painting. long story short he got stuck painting seashells for a the majority of his career and he hated it and himself for a long time after that. that story stuck with me for all these years because that's the last thing i want to do to myself is just become a machine reproducing meaningless pieces for the sake of getting a dollar.
Guerrilla: Hella real
3rdeyechakra: thats a recipe for depression and i don't want anyone going through that
Guerrilla: Do you have any upcoming projects, shows or features that we should be on the look out for?
3rdeyechakra: I’ve edited a photo shoot for KingKong magazine recently that should be coming out soon and im doing an interview for Verluxe magazine too
Guerrilla: Sickkk. Please be sure to send those to me when they're out! We’ll update the feature with the links
3rdeyechakra: sure thing!
Guerrilla: Where do you see yourself and your work going in the future? In 5, 10 years from now?
3rdeyechakra: hopefully I’ll have my own studio so i can work with models and direct my own photo shoots and i also want to do a cover for a magazine too but I’m gonna let life take where its gonna take me, don’t wanna rush anything
Guerrilla: Yesss. I can see this is and looks amazing on you.
Guerrilla: Before we conclude is there anything you want the world and our readers to know ?
3rdeyechakra: I will always be creating whether or not its digital or traditional but best believe i will always snatch wigs including my own lol
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