It was time to celebrate my 1 year blog anniversary in NYC. I was visiting a dear friend, a fellow Goddess I interviewed earlier that year. I was looking forward to meeting more amazing women while there. But, life had already surprised me with a special person back in Atlanta's Airport. The conversation was so diverse - filled with family, travel, creativity, and a passion for life. It just wasn't a fellow Goddess, but a Brazilian King. I was already getting a taste of what was to come. Deep inside myself I yelled ..."bring it on life, I will own it, no matter. It is what it is. I want it all!"
I touched down in the concrete jungle of New York City. Beaming with the possibilities my trip would bring. Snow still covered the ground as I headed to uptown Manhattan. It's been a while since I've been here - a little over 14 years. After settling into my friend's place, I got word that we were attending a holiday party for the evening. I grabbed the wine bottle she had and headed out to meet her down the block. The vibe was cool and relaxed. Savory food, boozes and spirits flowed, while the Sunday game played on the TV.
However, there was a lady there that caught my eye. She was so pretty, with a strong allure and so relaxed. I noticed we were both sporting all black for our attire. Before, I knew it, we were chatting it up - along with her husband (anyone could tell he was proud to have her in his life). They were both so real and candid, I loved it. My friend (I was visiting) mentioned to them what I do, well, more of the blogging part of my life. I was then asked if I had joined "Bloglovin" and we then exchange information; after which she mentioned she showcased her art work on there. I immediately lit up. I thought to myself how perfect. Realizing, we had been talking without knowing each other's names, I introduced myself and inquired about a possible interview with Stacey. This mom and New York native, Stacey Billups has something special and she's just starting to tap into her talent's abyss.
Want to know more about this beauty - checkout my interview below!
1. Were you named after someone?
No.. I think my mother just heard the name Stacey and really liked it.
2. How did you get involved with art?
I have basically been creating art my whole life. As a child I used to draw a lot and knew pretty early on that I had some kind of artistic ability.
3. What or Who inspired you?
After taking a really long break from making any artwork (over twenty years) I began to get inspired again because after making some rough sketches, I remembered how good art made me feel. I was going through a difficult time in my marriage and drawing seemed to be the only thing that made me feel really centered. I showed my work to an old college friend who is an artist and was encouraged to go further with my drawings. Suddenly I was creating work that I had never known was possible for me.
4. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an illustrator for children’s books or a fashion designer.
5. What were you doing before you started officially pursuing your passion with art?
I have been a School Social Worker for twenty plus years.
6. What has been the hardest part and best part in developing your art and brand?
Finding the time to create the work and learning how to use Social media and technology to communicate my vision has been a challenge. The best part is when I am creating a piece and I am fully engaged in the work. It is like being on a natural high.
7. What would you tell your younger self when it comes to where you are now in life?
I would definitely tell my younger self to trust your god-given talent and vision. I would also say that it is perfectly fine to begin your journey at a different time than everyone is.. The important thing is to begin.
8. What do you want to be known for?
I would like to be known for creating work that represents women of color (particularly Black women) in a very beautiful and sensual way.
9. How would you describe your style as an artist?
I would describe my style as a figurative portrait artist.
10. Do you have a goal for 2018 with your art?
Yes.. I am always looking for opportunities to show my artwork. So, the goal is to participate in at least one group show this year.
11. What advice would you give aspiring artist?
Be consistent...work as much as possible do not wait to be inspired. I try to draw or paint daily. Do not be afraid to make mistakes they are usually gifts in disguise. Communicate with others that inspire you to create.
Now for some fun questions.
12. Who are some of your favorite artist?
Elizabeth Catlett, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Derrick Adams
13. What is your must have item when you are in the mood to create?
I love to listen to SZA, Ibeyi, Hiatus Kaiyote, Lion Babe just to name a few.
14. What medium(s) do you use?
I work in pencil, ink for drawings.
I also work in watercolors and in oil paints.
15. What place would you like to travel to paint/create and why?
Domestically, I would love to go to the Gullah Islands because they are so rich in African American culture.
Internationally, I would like to travel to Brazil because of the rich rainbow of black people there is so inspiring to me.
Checkout some of her work below Artist Stacey Billups (left) and I, (Tifarah Naava) in Manhattan, NY 12/17
Stacey Billups Art