I’ve been big on trying to constantly tell stories when it comes to the designs that I create. I love being able to make something so simple and unexpected become a great visual. A few days ago, I decided to revisit a previous subject, Draya Michele, from one of my favorite shows to watch, Basketball Wives: LA. The decision to use Draya as my subject was last minute, but something just told me that she would be a great one to use. My inspiration came from some watercolor designs as well as culture. My reference was a photo of Draya with a braided hairstyle. (Credit: Mane Addicts). It was pretty easy from there to figure out the direction I wanted to head in. I thought about the watercolor designs from last year, “Oriental Opus” and “Audrey”. I knew I wanted to make this a design with significance. As I started creating it and watching it all come together, it was just magic. I can’t really explain it any better than that because that’s exactly what it felt like. I loved how well the colors were meshing with one another and how well they brought out the composition. I believe in this design so much and I’m really glad that I decided to pursue it. Something very unexpected happened to me after choosing to post it on my instagram. Draya didn’t only like the design, but reposted it on her account. The gesture came with a lot of love and appreciation for the design as well as some friction. A lot of people have great feedback on how beautiful and modest the design was, however a lot were saying how she didn’t deserve to be portrayed this way because of her past and being risque and that honestly bothered me. It’s hard to see that some people will hold things against you even when they don’t matter. That right there made me realize even more why I fight so hard to remain myself and remember what I do this for. I just want to show people how strong art is and how much beauty it possesses for a person. Nothing else really matters and I think this was a great process as well as lesson to keep trying. This is probably one of the most life-changing designs for me because I’ve learned so much. I’m so glad for impulse decisions and I hope more amazing artwork comes from them for the future.