My name is Ubani Hilary Chiamaka, I have been rapping/writing songs since I was 8 years old, rappers like Tupac, Lupe Fiasco, Kirk Franklin, Nas, Eminem and Kanye west inspired me to become a rapper. I rap because I want to get messages across, I know there are a lot of people that have been in my circumstance, that are in my circumstance and that will be in my circumstance, so I try to send words of encouragement in some of my lyrics. Also I rap in order to bring positivity into a world in which the negatives outweighs the positive.
My name is Ashante Blackwood, I’m 20 years old and I’m a fine artist based in Toronto . I’m currently enrolled at humber for the visual and digital arts program. My specialty is in portrait and 3D art making ,I love making the images I create come to life through the canvas. I recently just had an art show/party for my birthday which turned out really well and I will be currently showcasing my new art pieces at my school’s graduation show. Im also launching a new street wear clothing line called CHOSEN with my girl Mickella and it’s basically where fashion and art meet so some of my art work will be on the clothing. In the future i want to be the art director of my own company where all art forms join together as one such as music, art, fashion, and etc…So watch out, this is just the beginning.
My art teacher didn’t believe in erasers. Mistakes were meant to happen. An extra line or misplaced eyelash was the destiny of the paper. It is the artist’s duty to transform the error into a masterpiece. My art teacher also didn’t believe in painting until you’ve fully understood the techniques of drawing. The relationship between pencil and paper must be nourished through practice and patience before one can confidently initiate the relationship between brush, paint and canvas. I started art classes at the age of 6 and I filled up almost 4 sketch books before moving on to the world of brush strokes and colour experimenting at the age of 8. My art teacher passed on his wisdom down to every student. It is his philosophies that account for my current love for art. For me, it is more than just a method of illustrating my talent, it is an outlet of self expression. I have learnt over the years how to incorporate my personality into my paintings, through vibrant colours, gracious female figures and abstract components. The juxtaposition of these visual aspects is what creates consistency among my most recent artworks. As an amateur artist, I continue to aspire to make a name for myself. It would be a dream come true to have an audience who could recognize the unique style and common theme in my pieces. After my very first vernissage (art exhibition) in December 2015 at Cafe Nostalgica on the University of Ottawa campus, I feel as if I am one step closer to realizing that dream. I certainly cannot fail to mention the impact my parents have unceasingly had since day one of my art career. It is their encouragement and appreciation for my hard work that has kept me wanting to pursue my passions rather than privately painting for family members and displaying my drawings in my dad’s home office. They never fail to inspire and strengthen my so called “gift”. From framing my first painted landscape at the age of 8, to driving 6 hours on icy highways from Toronto just to surprise me at my first vernissage in Ottawa, I am forever grateful for their unfathomable support and acts of love. For now, art remains a hobby. However, I do commissions on the side and am always open to paint & draw for anyone anytime. Feel free to contact me through email with artwork requests. Lastly, look out for my website launch this summer, which I will announce on my instagram.
My name is Tara Jam and music has had the greatest impact on my life. As a toddler, my father used to pay Beatles’ songs around the house and my sisters and I would dance on tables while singing along. Ever since those days, my father has always pushed me further into the music field because he saw potential. I self taught myself to play several instruments such as the guitar, the ukulele, the harp, and the piano. I play the flute and the picolo as well, but voice has always been my favourite. When I was six years old, I wrote my first song with the help of my father, and I decided to start fundraising concerts to raise money for different things such as orphans in Sierra Leone, malaria nets, school supplies in India, and to buy goats there too. I have been working with the Red Cross for many years now, and still volunteer at the “Get Out of the Cold” Program to help give the homeless a meal. I have almost completed my Conservatory Of Music for Opera, and I hope to pursue a career in the music production industry in the future or in concurrent education. It’s crazy to think that I went from dancing on the table singing “TWIST AND SHOUT, TWIST AND SHOUT” to writing two songs and having them published on iTunes. I wrote and composed two songs “Dependent” and “Safe To Stay” and I thankfully received so much support from family and friends. Song writing is a way for me to escape anything on my mind, and it’s mostly my excuse for not doing my homework. I don’t know where I would be today without music, because it gives me a purpose and allows me to express myself easily. I am a regular 18 year old, and I swear I would be nowhere without my family’s support. I hope one day I can spoil my parents the way they spoil me. Never take your family for granted, because at the end of the day they will be there for you more than anyone that comes into your life.
My name is Roxana Jam and I’m a fifteen year old girl from Toronto. Every since I was little, my sisters and I were very adventurous and outgoing. The three of us started with gymnastics for a couple of years then moved on to a dance company for another three years. When I was seven years old, my dad decided for us to join the circus. No, not literally but go to a circus arts studio called Wonderful World of Circus. At first, I thought it was going to be a bunch of scary clowns with elephants tigers and seals juggling. But boy was I wrong! The first time I stepped foot into the gym, I was in awe. I was so in love with the place I invited all my cousins and family to come join me at the studio. This place had trampolines, trapeze, aerial silks, acrobatics, tightrope, you name it! I felt like I was in a indoor playground built just for me. I’ve now been training in circus arts for the past nine years, and to this day love learning new and never ending moves on aerial silks. I guess you can say aerial silks are my strength but I’m pretty comfortable with the other equipment such as aerial hoop, contortion, swinging trapeze, trampoline, rings, and aerial strap. I preform and teach for birthdays, shows and other events, and am now a staff. In other words, I get paid for something I love doing; teaching kids to have fun. The reason why I still do Circus arts is because it’s such a unique sport. Rather than competing, I’m performing. I’m flying through the air while striking poses and spiralling my body into and out of various positions. In gymnastics, I feel like there is more stress on you in competing. But it’s different when I preform… I feel free. I look at circus arts as I look at life. Go with the flow, be flexible, have fun and be prepared to fall.
My name is Shaqkeara K.C Clarke, and I’m an artist. Before I never really considered myself an artist until I realized that everyone introduced me as one. I just saw what I did as a way of life. I live it everyday, I incorporate it in everything I do, how I dress, when I cook, when I clean, every and anything. I first realized for myself that I was an artist when I was in the second grade. I was a quiet little black girl in a school with predominantly Asian students so already I stood out. I even felt as if I was singled out. But one particular incident I knew I was out right being picked on. I remember my teacher Mrs. Guyatt had given us a social studies assignment where we were given a country and we were to ask our family and friends about their people, traditions and land. I was given Kenya. Along with a few sentences we were to draw a picture. I remember it as if I drew it yesterday. I drew a black man with his wife and child harvesting vegetables. I know, fancy for a 7 year old. But I took my time with this. I even recall my mothers criticism, she knew of my artistic capabilities so she pushed me hard from a very young age and even supported my decisions in pursuing all things art. When the assignment was due I handed it in with pride, something I never did through out elementary school. When my teacher saw my work in the pile of homework she called me to the front of the class and accused me of handing in work that didn’t belong to me, she even called my mother. I remember this all so well because I never showed my pictures to anyone after that, not even my mother.
I grew up trying to figure out what I’d become because of my embarrassment, when in reality I wanted to pursuit art. I knew I couldn’t do anything else even if I wanted to. Not that I wasn’t smart enough, but because I knew I wouldn’t be happy. It was the reason I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I spent two years after high school trying to make up my mind. I wanted to do it all. I felt magical. As if anything I touched could somehow be turned into gold. From a t-shirt to the dresser it goes in. I was making something better than it already was or creating it myself and I found joy in that. I wouldn’t give that up for the world. To be honest, I don’t even want to be wealthy, as long as I can live comfortably, I am happy with what I do.
When I finally decided to go back to college for Interior Decorating, I was overwhelmed. I doubted myself. Not because I didn’t think I could do it, but because I didn’t want to make the wrong decision in choosing my career. Fast forward a few months later and I couldn’t be happier. Yes college is expensive but I definitely see where my money is going. I’ve improved as an artist and just a creator in general. I love doing what I do and what it does for others. I realized that my art isn’t just for me. It is for everyone. My art has affected others in ways I couldn’t imagine and for that I am grateful. When I do, I am leaving this earth with a piece of me left behind. Not only on paper but in the memories of anyone that has ever seen my art, and that is why I am and always will be an artist.
Kori Liversage, who goes by the alias of Kori Lives, is a free-verse writer and self-proclaimed philosopher that consistently shares her passion and inspiration to the world around her. Kori has been a strong writer since a young age and the class-clown since even earlier. She began fusing her hobbies of being on stage as the MC of events and writing together when she came to Ottawa for school in 2014. She began performing her own poetry at Urban Legends poetry slams and other open mic’s at Café Nostalgica, Live on Elgin and other local establishments. Kori’s style of writing is thought-provoking and blunt, while maintaining an eloquent undertone. Her main muses are mother earth, human interactions and time travel. Kori hopes to link people together with her words, by voicing some controversial thoughts and being the odd-one out at times. She believes that sharing her outlooks can perhaps allow to expand their views, and gain the courage to speak openly as well. You can check out her poetry page, which features her own poems, local events that her or her friends will be performing at, and her taste in other art genres.
Do not fall in love with a writer.
We will capture your flaws and turn them into metaphors.
We will recount on simple pleasantries and morph them into hyperboles.
We will sort through our memories and manifest them into stanzas.
We will take everything you are and spin it into rhymes.
Do not fall in love with a writer.
We do not forget anything because our minds are like sponges.
We mix our canvases of nostalgia with mediums of wishful thinking, and you are our muse.
We stay up late at night perfecting the art of loving you through our words.
We give you old crumpled napkins and receipts from our dates covered in smeared adorations for you to keep.
Do not fall in love with a writer.
We will be able to turn you into something you are not.
We will create a lover from the depths of our mind.
We will fall in love with our own creations, rather than what you really are.
Do not fall in love with a writer.
We will continue loving you long after you have receded back into the universe.
We will speak highly of you, after we spew out our abandonment, for years to come.
We will keep our love alive indefinitely, and if that frightens you
Then you’re not worthy of falling in love with a writer.