My career as a visual artist began in 1984. It was then, while only at the tender age of 12, I exhibited my artwork in a small art gallery in Warren, Ohio along side my father, Joe Willie Smith, a seasoned artist, who encouraged me to create an art piece for the show. I sold my first original work of art entitled, Morning Mist, Acrylic on canvas for a modest $35, to a local news anchorwoman. It was after this first experience that I realized that I would follow in my father’s footsteps and become an artist as well.
In my mid- teens I developed a flair for fashion while in my Junior and Senior years in High School. I took up a two-year Fabric & Clothing Constructing, spending hours sewing, constructing clothing using basic to advanced patterns like Simplicity, Butterick and Vogue. My goal was to become a Fashion Designer. I was trained and skilled on commercial grade sewing machines, and sergers. I developed a strong appreciation for colors, and I learned hundreds of textures of fabrics. I would illustrate and even sell detailed art renderings of fashions. Before entering my Senior year my excitement for fashion began to soar. I took a trip to Chicago, Illinois where my cousin, Jacqueline Smith, a seasoned clothing designer worked and lived. She introduced me to the world of High Fashion, coaching me on the do’s and don’ts of the fashion industry, taking me to the hot spots for fabric and notions as well as escorting me to a High End Chicago Fashion Show where I had the opportunity to meet a close designer friend of my cousins. Although my desire to become a clothing designer changed, my passion for art remained the same.
Later in my adult life, at around the age of 30, I sought out a close artist friend of my father to critique my artwork; she reviewed my art portfolio and encouraged me to develop a more concrete style. By the age of 34, I had developed a very unique and more concrete style that would set my artwork apart as well as create a signature for my style of art. I began to use bold hues of oranges, reds, blues and yellow throughout all of my artwork followed by contrasting thick bold black lines. In 2006 my second opportunity opened up to display my artwork through and art organization I joined called A.B.E.A. an African American Art Advocacy organization. I was apart of a 17 artist show entitled, The Art of Africa-N-American Artist at the Inova/ Zelazo, Mary L. Nohl Galleries, Peck School of The Arts in Milwaukee, WI, which ran from Feb -to- March, 2006. Later in the Summer, July 29, 2006, was my second opportunity to exhibit and sell my work at The 2006 2ndAnnual Milwaukee Artist Marketplace held at the Milwaukee Art Museum. My artwork was selected and featured on the front advertisement postcard flyer to represent the art organization I was affiliated with, A.B.E.A.
My work tends to focus on bold colors, that create and invokes exciting and vibrant feelings that illuminates from each piece. Although I have made many attempts to use colors that are less vibrant, however I always tend to resort back to more bolder and vibrant colors. My current artwork combines advanced sewing techniques where I incorporate decorative edges to create unique and elaborate effect.
My influences are first and foremost Creation itself; because within creation are beautiful breathtaking and most intricate patterns, shapes, colors and textures can be found. I love and appreciate the colors, patterns and textures of deep ocean sea creatures, coral reef and sea anemone. I love architecture particularly Art Deco. The artists I most admire are Synthia Saint James, fine artist and art licensor. Kaffe Fassett a Californian artist and textile designer.