on the stroll

i was initially invited to participate in the Castleberry Hill Art Stroll a year or so ago, but didn't make time and eventually got sick and couldn't go. and i felt like shit about it. but the thing about favor is, it has never been nor will ever be fair, so when i was invited again in june, i made it my business to go. it was amazing.
this post, however, is about the july art stroll. it was a magical night and it reinforced and revealed so much for me that i had to wait until i processed it all before i could share anything about it. i'm ready. are you?
i had given up on art for a while. i'm a creative, and sometimes i forget that part of the creative process is not creating. sometimes you have to give yourself time to recharge and find new inspiration. because i'm stubborn and hardheaded, i tried to force the art. not my best moment. it led to a nice burnout on top of my physical health issues, and i packed up everything in my studio and refused to doodle. but there's something else to be said about being a creative. you cannot ignore that itch for too long. you have to scratch it.
in order to scratch the itch, i decided to try acrylic pouring. i'd wanted to do it for a while, but didn't have the confidence to try. this summer, with little to lose by way of time, i gave it a shot. and i found my creative stride again. i was also able to score a new muse in the guise of an amazing, loving supportive partner, which only boosted my creativity. all of these good vibes and amazing energy were at work during the art stroll.
i got there and set up. my partner, Tiffany, agreed to photograph the event which was cool. being a one woman show ain't no heaux, and sometimes i just want somebody to take some pictures, or let me know if the display looks off, or sit at the table while i go pee, or just be there for support. i have that now and it has made a world of difference. thank you, baby.
the night went well. i made some connections with some people who wanted commissions, or to talk about future projects. i was able to talk to people about my art without overwhelming anxiety, and i sold a few pieces. the event was coming to a close and then it happened... i met thomas evans. THE thomas evans. mister detour himself. he was walking past and i fangirled and probably looked a whole fool but i didn't care because i had to tell him how much of an inspiration he's been to me as an artist and entrepreneur. i had to let him know that his #arttiptuesday videos on instagram had saved my ass time and again. i had to pay respect to this artist whose work i admire and have since the very first time i saw it.
Showing Thomas my other work on IG. He followed me back.
he was gracious and talked to me for a few minutes while i stammered and tried to piece together my gratitude and answer his questions. we talked about my art as a real thing, and not just some hobby i try to play to the left. he walked back to the table. he looked at my pours, and then, in a moment that is making me teary eyed as i type, he bought some of my art. i didn't ask him to. i didn't think it was good enough. i didn't want to seem, ya know, like a dude with a stack of mixtapes outside the mall. i was just happy that he'd even talked to me. i have never in my life been so humbled by an experience.
i almost forgot to sign the pieces he bought i was so excited. can you imagine? i don't have to anymore.
either way, all of this goodness has changed the trajectory of my art forever. i never considered myself a 'real artist'. just somebody with disposable income, free time, and a penchant for slapping paint. part of my evolution, however, is the awakening of my higher self. the confident risk taker. the woman who owns all facets of her identity, qualms be damned. i've been waiting for her.
hello, my name is nikki, ktheotherway is my brand. i am an artist and creator.

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