I view my pieces as art that happens to be in the form of jewelry. My approach to creating jewelry is somewhat similar to my approach to painting- I want to create a mood and tell a story with each piece. I am inspired by nature and cultures of the African Diaspora.
I was born into a family of artists in New York City. My father was known for his folk art depictions of Harlem life as well as Fine Art and photography, while my Mother was a quilter, seamstress and lover of nature. They encouraged me as a young artist and provided the tools and environment to express myself. The creative energy from the eras they lived in is a constant inspiration to me and informs my work to this day. They also provided the inspiration to make a living from my work.
From a fairly young age I sold my artwork and jewelry. While studying Fine Art and Painting at Pratt in 2005, I began experimenting with bronze metal tooling foil left over from an assignment. The concept for Blakbird Jewelry came in 2010, when I decided I wanted to create a brand for my design work which included jewelry, clothing and home decor. The name Blakbird is inspired by the Corvid family which includes ravens, crows, and jays. I’m inspired by their mystery, ingenuity, and the way they adapt to the environment and interact with humans.