This week, the Commons Arts Residency I'm doing invited Ekow Nimako to do a virtual artist talk and studio tour. This week's virtual field trip was very different than the last, and I wanted to share some of my reflections from the talk.
While Nimako is a super successful artist, and creative celebrity, he was extremely conversational, and very relaxed in his presentation style-- I think it put all the residents at ease. He talked about appreciating the opportunity to do talks like this or he just ends up hermitting in his studio. While my studio is my dining table, I definitely relate to needing other commitments to pull me out of my own art making rabbit holes.
One of the things I think all the residents appreciated was that despite being an extremely successful installation artist, Nimako was super transparent about his creative process, and was excited to share his trade secrets with us. I think this comes from a place of knowing you’re the cream of the crop in your niche or field, but the fact that he was excited to share this knowledge with us, made me feel like we were all super into it, too.
It was magical to see how someone has taken a household item like Lego bricks, and converted them into a niche so much so that they've become an internationally reknowned fine artist, while also being driven by the importance of Blackness, and it's representation.
I feel fired up to find my niche, but I know it’ll come from doing ‘all the things’, and maybe for me, my niche is just doing all the things, but I have a feeling it’s under all these mediums somewhere.