Beauty / Style Finds: Artist + Activist Ebony of Amorous Designs 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I met Ebony a year or so ago through helping to organize a march for womyn and girls of color impacted by police violence. Her fierce energy and creative spirit impresssed me, and when I began this series highlighting eclectic small shops I thought of her.

I’m sure you will admire the wide range of her  work and appreciate Ebony’s unique artistic gifts – music artistry, activism / organizing, speaking and jewelry-making – it seems she does it all!

Ebony of Amorous Designs

Tell us about Amorous Designs. What materials do you work with? 

Amorous Designs offers beautiful handmade jewelry, faux septums, healing crystals, meditation oils, and headwraps. Amorous Designs uses wire, beads, brass, copper, and suede to create handmade earrings, necklaces, rings, faux septums and bracelets. I use herbs and 100% pure oils to create meditation oils.

 What lead you to start your business? 
Art is healing. I created jewelry to combat depression, anxiety, stress, and I [also] did not want to buy anything that everyone else was wearing. I was always interested in my own style and I did not want to support major corporations when I had the gift to create my own unique treasures.

After 2 years of creating my pieces, and numerous compliments about my wears, I decided to start, Amorous Designs. Starting Amorous Designs has been very in tact with my journey. Each design is handcrafted by me and I take special care of each piece during the creative process. I only want my customers to wear something I would wear and to love it just as much as I do.

What inspires you to keep creating?  

Growth. As I continue to grow as an artivist, (activist and artist), so does my business. I am constantly changing my hair, ideas, style and redefining who I am. It’s important for everything that I interact with to reflect this. I am inspired by the beauty of African women.  

The colors, style, original and tradition beauty that African women exude is both inspiring and intriguing. I create jewelry with many colors to compliment the infinite beauty of indigenous women from head wraps to traditional garments.

  

Stay Connected:
Shop at Amorous Designs – Plus, when blog readers enter LIC, you will receive 25% off your purchase.

Follow Amorous Designs on Instagram.

All photos courtesy of Ebony at Amorous Designs.

Mama Blog Chat: Creative Spirit, Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and children  Photo credit:
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and her children, daughters Cherie-Amor, Dela-Eden, and son Malachi. Photo Credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography

I think Moms are the coolest people on the planet! Maybe because I am one now. Ha! Seriously though, we juggle motherhood with work, relationships, and just general life stuff. How many Moms do you know who effortlessly heal their kiddos when sick and then tackle the rest of life’s challenges.

Yet the Moms I am especially inspired by are those who I have something in common with, you know those cool Moms who manage not to abandon their creative passions.

Jacquelyn and her eldest daughter Cherie-Amor Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul

Enter Brooklyn native Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul, a singer / performer, visual artist, jewelry maker, and poet who calls Baltimore home; she is also a birth doula / post partum doula / designer at Buddha Bump. Geez! How does she do it all, I wondered?

Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul performs with son Malachi on her hip  Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul performs with at Culture Coffee in Washington, D.C. with son Malachi on her hip                             Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography

So I thought, why not include a regular series on the blog where we can hear from Moms like her, and be inspired by their tenacity and determination to live fully?

I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did! We discussed everything from scheduling (you know how she manages to raise such beautiful and bright kids – Cherie-Amor, Dela-Eden and Malachi) to faith and the diversity of her children’s personalities and the rich lessons of motherhood.

Something she said particularly resonated with me:

No one can mother your child better than you…  That child has chosen you to come here through.

Check out the full conversation here on Sound Cloud .

Keep up with her amazing work:

Facebook

Instagram 

Hear this awesome song she wrote, “Be Free

Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and son Malachi  Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and son Malachi
Photo credit: Cherie-Amor Clemmons
                               Dela-Eden strikes a pose                                     Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Visual artwork by Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul  Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Visual artwork by Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Malachi  Photo credit:
Malachi
Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography

 

Committed to Change – Bashi Rose, Filmmaker, Playwright & Actor (Blog Chat Series)

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
These days some African-American artists prefer not to carry the weight of race within their work. “Excuse me,” Bashi Rose says, his deep voice unwavering, “that’s bullshit.” Rose, a Baltimore-based filmmaker, actor, playwright and co-founder of Nommo Theatre does not sit on his words. 
In 2011, he won a Baker Artist Award, followed, in 2012, by a fellowship with Open Society Institute (OSI), an organization working for lasting social and political change. Rose developed D.R.A.M.A. (Direct Responses Alleviate Misdirected Aggression) as an OSI fellow, along with inmates at the Maryland Correctional training center. The program reached black men within five Maryland prisons, teaching them about using the art of theater and film as a tool to overcome conflict.

He is an avid student of the Black Arts Movement which began in the 1960s, and includes voices of such literary luminaries as Amiri Baraka (widely credited as “The Father of the Black Arts Movement”), Sonia Sanchez and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others. Rose sees self love and knowledge of history as a critical piece of our own evolution.

The Park Heights native credits Baltimore’s poetry scene with expanding his worldview and in a fundamental sense, saving him. “Even though I never left the city I was still in whole different world.” Fellow poets pushed him to read Richard Wright, author of the classic Native Son, and Algerian thinker Frantz Fannon’s challenge to colonialism and white supremacy, Wretched of the Earth. 

A multifaceted artist, he learned his craft hands on, “similar to the way of my ancestors in West Africa,” he says. “Whether they were sculptors or Griots, they learned it in their community.” Rose has performed or directed in venues throughout the state and in New York City including Theatre Project, Creative Alliance, Howard University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Center Stage, among others. Some of his film projects include Love Deferred and Me Myself and Us (based on the play by actor Robert Lee Hardy). 

I hope you’ll enjoy listening to my interview via Soundcloud below with this prolific artist as he discusses creative influences (African filmmakers, French New Wave cinema, etc.), his mentor and Nommo Theatre co-founder, Mitchell Ferguson, collaborations with other artists such as Vincent Thomas and LOVE the poet, and much more.

https://soundcloud.com/live-in-color-blog/live-in-color-blog-chat-witsah

Stay Connected to the Work:
Check Bashi out on Vevo.  I included a few clips – one from his recent short film, Love Deferred and a poetic ode to family life, A Mother’s Love.

Nommo Theatre

Reach out on Facebook
bashirose@gmail.com