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Black art is powerful.

Black lives matter.

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Aeon, LA based poet dancer loquationist lover trans non-binary galactic being is happy to share with you. They emply/enjoy they/them pronouns and have published some lesser known works in archaic chapbooks of local repute. Hailing from the sign of Pisces, they are a strong dreamer and loves all thing having to do with birds or cats or a combinaiton thereof. Loves: ramen dislikes: phonies & energy vampires is horny is black is queer as fuck and dangerously intelligent


What is it like being a black artist?

Being black: is confusing and challenging, especially as someone who has always felt more 'universal' and has had turbulence over the years identifying with a culture that seemed antithetical to my natural (and secret existence) as a queer person.

Where are you from?

Born and raised on earth this time around in st. Louis, mo. though I consider at the moment LA my home base.

What is your message as an artist?

My message is, think lol. I almost said 'love' but I kinda feel like that's a given at this point. I think it's a good time for many people to start thinking critically about what it means to exist in a fascist state where the status quo is oppression and hate.

What are your inspirations?

Jean-Michel Basquiat Morrissey James Baldwin Greg Araki Maya Angelou Tupac The Buddha Celeste X

Patti Smith 

Robert mapplethorpe



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Dominique Victoria is an East Coast transplant who consistently hates on LA but can't seem to leave the sun and heat behind. They're a Black Queer Fat former sex worker and  multidisciplinary artist who uses their work to discuss issues of race, sex, sex work, gender, class and pretty much all the really fun stuff. When they aren't making art or being called abrasive for believing in basic human rights they can be found surrounded by their menagerie of pets and their two spouses. 

Power fascinates me, captivates me, and has more than likely corrupted me. My work has been an exploration of power and power structures as well as a look at the ways in which bodies can convey these systems while simultaneously being the pieces with which we play the game. I believe I also use bodies because of their importance and significance in our day to day lives, your body takes you everywhere, yet societally there are still so many taboos about bodies outside the Eurocentric ideals that have been upheld. Using a mix of fabric, paint, and occasionally performance, as well as ephemera from my 7 (ish) years in sex work I interpret the power structures and roles I come into contact with as well as exploring the ideas that give me the power to keep confronting those structures.

What is it like being a black artist?

Right now it's a trip. I'm having strange feelings. Simultaneously I'm really angry that I'm seeing (white) people that looked at me like I was insane for the past few years every time I would speak up about racism and now they ate magically “allies”. And on the other hand I've realized there's this really amazing far reaching Black creative network I'm in that the brilliance and talent and heart is just pouring out of right now. 

Where are you from?

I don't think i know how to answer that question anymore. I grew up a constantly moving military brat but have mad love for the cities my parents grew up in, the Bronx and Philadelphia, but me and LA have been together longer than me and any other city. It's a love hate relationship. Symbiotic I think. Hopefully not parasitic. 

What is your message as an artist?

Idk if I have a singular “message”. My work exists in a purposefully in between place so I want there to always be different reads for different people, different audiences. I hope my work brings awareness. But I also hope it brings shine, feeling seen in a place and a way you previously hadn't. I hope it makes you think about your own body. 

What are your inspirations?

Part of me wants to name drop a bunch of artists to show how cultured and educated I am after that art school degree. But honestly it's my peers. My friends. I think this group of emerging artists coming up is gonna do something big or different. The feeling in the air is different. Seeing my friends work and talking with them and showing with them all inspires me. Seeing us all strive to be better artists and people. It's magical. 

Lanise Howard

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Lanise Howard is a visual artist working in paint and mixed media. She was born in Southern California and raised partially in New York State. Her earliest years were spent from El centro, California to Los Angeles California. The unique environments of Southern California and New York have both shaped the way she sees the world. Her work is usually figurative and often narrative. There is a surrealistic quality to her work, as well as a spiritual feeling that is often embodied. Lanise is interested in many various topics such as, the esoteric, sacred geometry, ancient belief systems, the current digital world, as well as her experience as a woman of color in today’s climate. Recently she has been moving towards a fusing of these many inspirations, and hopes to future investigate these phenomena in her works. Her recent body of work is an investigation on censorship and assimilation, lost narratives and hidden histories specifically of Los Angeles. Lanise Howard has shown in multiple exhibitions within the past two years, and has won art prizes, such as the Women’s Painters West Award in 2019.

My name is Lanise Howard. I am interested in the analogous world, hidden histories, and digital space. My work ranges from portraiture, to large allegorical figurative paintings. The work often lies in- between different states of being. I aim to create new spaces through paint, where the viewer can become transported. I often think about the analogous world; one which is related to our own, but can be a space of new possibilities. In my experience as an African American woman, I find myself thinking of an alternative to that experience, one rooted in the necessity to rewrite history. The idea of change then becomes an element of the work, enacted through the dreamed space. My work often presents hypotheses and tries to offer possible answers, through engagement and inquiry. I am primarily interested in the figure and landscape. Elements of realism and abstraction juxtapose against each other, in order to offer a peek into the in-between, beyond what we can usually see. I am ebbing towards this space of the in-between and the analogous, finding ways to help construct it materially.

With the recent body of work, my intention was to expound on several narratives that I have been exploring, while also experimenting with new ways to express them. Assimilation has become the overarching narrative which ties all of the expressions together. I have been investigating the time that we live in and many of its unique phenomena. Age of assimilation is a possible name for this body of work.

In this idea, I am hypothesizing that this period that we are living in, is a time where we are assimilating with technology; becoming ubiquitous, and assimilating with each other’s cultures, ethnicities, religions, and in the way each other’s bodies. In the case with pixilated portraits, I was originally examining censorship

in its historical context; as in the experience of African American hair. Eventually, this examination yielded a further expression; that it is in fact the product of assimilation where one feels the need to become part of the larger body. African Americans being a minority, have felt this pressure throughout the history of America. African American hair being so different, has solicited this type of pressure on a much wider scope than for other types of minorities, and shows; that the furthest one is to the societal ideal, the more need is for them to assimilate.

What is it like being a black artist?

I’m not exactly sure how to answer this question, the answer is a bit complex. Being a black artist in some ways is just like being any other artist I guess. I’m investing time and energy into my work and creating work that is interesting to me. Within in that though, you often find that the work that you create cannot live singularly, that you as a black artist are tied to the chronology of the past, one that has a very dark history in the United States, which then makes me question that, and figure out a response. Lastly I feel as though being a black artist in this climate can be seen as an advantage and disadvantage. There’s currently a large lense placed onto black artists right now, which can help one gain exposure, but on the other hand there is also a lot of people with intentions of capitalizing off of this, that you may have be weary of.

Where are you from?

I was born in California and raised partially in New York State. More recently I’ve been based in Los Angeles.

What is your message as an artist?

My message with my work Is always changing, ever evolving, more so recently; the messages in my work have centered around assimilation, the current digital world, and the creation of an analogous world through paint, which I propose as a safe space for manifestion of change.

What are your inspirations?

My work is inspired by so many elements, it’s endless. My biggest inspirations, would be classical Figurative painting, ancient kemet, indigenous spirituality, sacred geometry, and the digital space.

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Dimitri Milbrun is a black artist based in Paris, France.

Dimtri creates reiterations of political paraphernalia into enigmatic, racial statements that often reflect his memories and emotions.  He is also a mixed-media artist and runs a music label Doggo Agostino. 

I like to my work to talk about the memory of violence or the violent’s memories. About all the stuff I saw, I feel or about what peoples told me. I mixed it with my own experiences, religious, fantastic, etc... I like to use repetitions through the screen printing to make an illusion like you seeing a movie or something. I like to see my drawings like beats or music paper. I’m working on everything I find, everything’s good to draw on, DIY

What is it like being a black artist?

Tough question. To be a black artist in my opinion is a political statement. The point of view, inspiration and artistry that a black artist can display will always be political, for the black body is political. It took me a long time to embrace this because I've been drawing since I was a toddler and I've never felt that different from others who were drawing. The heroes of the cartoons I would watch, and the famous artists are all white. I only started to notice this as a teenager. In France there is only one really popular black artist: Basquiat. Although his influence is undeniable, the general population has a tendency to narrow the definition of a “black artist” simply to Basquitat and that's a shame. Same thing for fictional heroes, there are still very few who are black, even today I could only possibly name one cartoon hero as a protagonist and not a token figure and that would be Static Choc.

In the eyes of the media we’re only considered talented when it comes to music and sports whereas there are plenty of very incredibly talented black artists who only seem to gain any visibility through exhibitions dedicated to ‘african art’, or to representing them as ‘poor black artists who don't get enough exposure’ once every 5 years.

Where are you from?

I was born in France in Saint-Denis in the 93 department. I then grew up in the 18th arrondissement of Paris where I grew up in a working class neighborhood that I still draw inspiration from to this day. My parents are from Haiti and have infused my upbringing with carribean culture, creole language as well as religion customs the carnavals etc..

What is your message as an artist?

Stop treating us like children. Whether in France or elsewhere, black people are considered as adolescents going through a phase. There is a common consensus that they should give us a voice, because politicians have a duty to give a voice to everyone on the grounds of freedom of expression, but the demands are never considered or heard. Why would they change the system to help those who are oppressed if there is no profit ?
So they let us tire out from screaming and crying over the deaths of our brothers and sisters, making us believe that change will come through protest, but they couldn't give a rats ass about us.
We remain teenagers in their eyes, children who when they are not shooting each other over sex, drugs and money, are simply shot down because they happen to exist and be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
To be black is great when the names of historical figures who fought for our rights are brought up, but it all comes crashing down when we hear that a cousin has been shot down. You can be having a great day and in an instant it changes when you hear that another black man has been shot dead and you begin to lose sleep because of all the thoughts around it.
We are not children and we don't need white bureaucrats to teach us how to behave, to get rid of our accent, or how to express ourselves. We don’t need to be ‘taught a lesson’ through authoritarianism and being constantly watched in stores because we look strange and suspicious. We don't need billy clubs or bullets to tell us we broke the law.

We want to teach these people how to listen to us. It's as much in their interest as it is in ours, because an angry population can quickly become dangerous.

What are your inspirations?

My work depicts violence, not so much as a glorification but to accurately display what I feel and see. I freely use images from Black Panther coloring books, as one would use samples in a piece of music. I show through my work colonial violence, police violence, but also violence within the black community, gang violence or the violence of cliches as well as bodily violence which forces black women to change their appearance by conforming to european beauty norms like lightening their skin or straightening their hair. This all stems from colonial times, which has brainwashed the black man to the point of making him believe god made him in his image, whereas all depictions of religious icons in the west are made out to be white.

I depict all of this through my world which produces the meeting between The Pigs and the demons in their image.
I am inspired by artists such as Romare Bearden, Hector Hyppolite, Henry Darger, Kerry James Marshall, Henry Taylor, Ellen Gallagher, as well as punk artists like Raymond Pettibon, Gary Panter

I’m very much inspired by music and i mainly listen to punk and hip-hop, because of the common energy of both genres which spills into my work.
Both are the poor man’s music, which results in a lack of means of expression and financial resources, doing the most with the least, being DIY.

The protest aspect of both genres inspire me in the visual sense as well, especially as one of my favorite groups is Public Enemy.

Samuel Udo-Udoma


My name is Samuel Udo-udoma, I am 26 years old and a lover of stories and creative writing. My goal is to one day write and create my own video game and share my vision with the world.  Currently, I am working on a book that is challenging me and helping grow as a writer as it unfolds. The following story is heavily influenced by Dungeons and Dragons, which is one of my passions and creative outlets. I hope you enjoy it.

The Legacy of The Brotherhood by, Samuel Udo-Udoma

    I stood in the Hall of Mourning as a veil of twilight peaked over the high mountains. Mother stood before me in her petrified form. Her skin was marble, it was an eggshell white color that glinted excitedly under torchlight. Her eyes, however, held a deadly glare and a hint of fear in equal measure.  The plaque below read:

“May our queen guide you on your journey through the sea of souls”, Iliana of Clan Nioh.

I stepped gingerly as I turned moving swiftly past the other herald warriors long forgotten in the clan. A small gust of warm wind came from behind me as I left. It had been happening more and more on my visits alone to the Hall and for the life of me, I hadn’t been able to find where the source of it was. As sunlight began to light my path with each step I took, a thunderous blare of the morning horns came from the center of the monastery. I raced down the corridors left, right, straight, and left again. I approached the darkened oak wood of my bedroom door, as a figure cloaked in shadow dropped down from above; pinning me to ground. “Where have you been, I wonder”? asked the voice in an all to familiar condescending tone. “Would you even care if I told you, Tai”? I snapped back, my face still pressed against the cold wood floor. I felt my arm tighten and sting, “it’s not nice to disrespect your elders' little brother”, he threatened calmly. With my free hand, I managed to reach for the small kunai knife tucked into my belt and stabbed toward his body.

The impact would have been precise and left my brother with a punctured lung. However, I knew he would anticipate a move as novice as this one. In an instant, his weight vanished from my person. I rapidly spun onto my back and hopped to my feet. It was the tactical choice; I needed to gain some sort of momentum. At the edge of the corridor, he stood there staring back at me with an expressionless face. His silvery hair was tied in the usual topknot ponytail; with two long strands on either side of the face. He drew a kunai as well flicking it in the air and catching it again and again. His eyes were focused; trained on me, yet searching for the answer to what my next course of action was. Tai had always been the determined sort, and ever since mother’s passing he had been pushing himself, pushing his training- pushing me.

There was a slight shift in his feet and in the blink of an eye his body flew towards me. He had already sensed my hesitation. I only had seconds to react or I’d suffer one of ten possible fatal injuries. My legs had already started moving, lunging me forward; my heart pounded quickly in my chest, raising my knife I prepared to defend myself in favor of striking a fatal blow. I couldn’t have predicted what happened next. Our blades met clashing twice in a flash of speed. I feinted to the right where I knew his guard would be weakest, but I hadn’t noticed him drop his knife catching it deftly with the other hand. He jammed it upward as I swiped back in his direction. The smell of lavender caught my nose and movement caught my eye. Brother obviously sensed this as well; pivoting back as I did. We threw our weapons at the same time hitting our marks.

They clattered to the ground embedded an inch deep into two pink puffballs. A small laugh echoed from the hallway now in front of us. Our little sister walked forward her pointed half-elven ears poking through a bush of curly black hair. A single braid bounced on her shoulder as she skipped over to us; her freckled face smirking, pleased she had disrupted our sparring. Tai walked up to give her a hard smack on the top of her head. “Just what do you think you’re doing”? Tai said ready to smack her again.

“Well Ban was about to get hurt- I had to step in ‘cause you’re just a big bully”, she said rubbing her head. I felt a bit of my pride take over in that moment, “why don’t you just mind your own business Tsu’ I didn’t ask for your help”, I barked at her. She did not know it then but her words stung like a dagger in my chest. Father had always taught us if you can’t hold your own against a member of the Clan you didn’t deserve the honor of being a part of it.

Her eyes glared at me with the same fury our mother’s eyes once held. “Maybe I should come over there and finish what he started”, she said gritting her teeth, eyes targeting me as if I were the enemy. Another smack slammed down onto her head “that’s still no excuse for you interrupting our sparring”, Tai said now raking his fist back and forth across her head. “Owwwww it’s not my fault; you were taking forever, so father sent me to come and find you”. He stopped his relentless assault on her forehead and turned to me. “I’d forgotten- we better not keep him waiting,” he said attempting to take the lead as always. We walked through the monastery passing into the outer courtyard where the newly recruited monks trained valiantly. With enough time they would eventually become seasoned members of the brotherhood. Eventually.

Father’s chamber always had two guards posted outside with full leather armor and swords at the ready. The doors of the chamber were massive slabs of obsidian and adorned with the chiseled head of the Dire Wolf Fenrir; holding a door knocker in his mouth attached to a skull, the symbol of our clan. The Wolf: Fenrir was a servant of the Raven Queen our sacred diety. The knocker represented judgment and journey; for those of the brotherhood and our enemies. The skull, a warning to our enemies, and a memorial for the fallen. The door drifted open inviting us into the dimly lit quarters that lay beyond.

The chamber itself was just as immense as the doors which held them. It was an open room housing a single long black carpet with gold trim. 

Father sat on a throne which was set directly in the middle of the room; his sheathed katana on a table in front of him, a symbol of his status. His appearance was always regal; his long black half-eleven hair slicked back away from his face. He wore silver and black banded leather armor with the symbol of the wolf emblazoned over the heart. Grandfather sat twenty feet to the right; he had a calm and warm expression as he drank his tea. His black cloak barely revealing the golden choker which caused his small halfling appearance. We stepped into the space stopping and kneeling ten feet in front of fathers throne.

“We have come my lord”, we said in unison. He spoke, “I have summoned you all here for a vital and most imperative mission”. He waved his hand, and with a shimmer three scrolls magically appeared. “You must move in silence, and strike as true assassins. Your mission is to use any means necessary to find any information on the murder of Ilianna Nioh.” We each took a scroll and a moment to reflect on the task. He entrusted us to dig up the scoundrel that killed our mother. We all simply smiled and bowed our heads in acknowledgment. “Each of you will be tested, and failure is unacceptable”, he continued. “Tai’el Nioh you shall lead this group”, father quickly declared. It made sense seeing as he had the most experience; he had been on twice as many missions as I had and was a high ranking member in the clan.

“I accept this honor my lord”, Tai said bowing his head low. Father continued, “Tsubaki’noa Nioh this will be your next test…see that you learn some self-control”. “I will”, she said with a beaming smile. Tsubaki had just turned sixteen and was finally able to go on full missions with a squad. The last mission she went on, her famous temper seemed to have gotten the better of her, and the client she was protecting got caught in the crossfire. “You may both leave to make whatever preparations you deem necessary, dismissed”, he said with a wave. Tsu’ and Tai stood and exited the room as fast as we had all entered, and I was suddenly alone with him.

I kept my head bowed in silence for what felt like an eternity. When he finally addressed me his voice boomed out once more, “Ban’RyuKami Nioh on your last mission you hesitated to strike down your enemy. Why?” I felt my body tense and sweat began to bead on my brow. “I didn’t h-have a clear line of sight on my target, my lord”. “But you reported you saw your target, correct”, he asked. Head still low I swallowed to steel myself and speak again. “Yes, but my vision was also unclear my lord, the target used what is commonly known as magic to obscure himself”. He paused a moment, then stood and came toward me. He reached out his hand and lifted my head till our eyes were locked. “You, my son, hold in your hands your first S-rank mission. As the only living being who saw the target who struck down Iliana Nioh; and know his tactics, it falls to you to find and eliminate him”. My hand shakily clutched the scroll as my chest grew tight. “Can you do it? Can you kill the man that murdered your mother”?

My mouth opened, but no words were spoken. I could only recall one small moment with mother. In the gardens of the monastery, she explained to me the value of life and the cycle of death in which we lived. It was a delicate balance and the scales could tip at any moment. She said being an assassin meant accepting the responsibility of changing the fate of countless lives by ending one. “It is my duty”, I said eyes still engaged with his. Grandfather began stroking his beard, “Haise leave the boy, he’s a fine warrior and we’ve trained him well. If he says he can do the job we should let him prove himself”, he said tossing me a quick wink. “Very well”, he said sitting back on his throne.

Father went on to elaborate that my target was either in service of, or in fact a Baron of the kingdoms in the north; according to his intel. I was also told part of my prime objective was also to keep my identity and that of the clan hidden as well. When I was dismissed grandfather walked me to my room to gather my things.  He gave me some last-minute advice; mainly about focusing my chi and using my wits to stay out of trouble. As we approached my door he grew quiet. When I asked what was wrong, he explained to me that taking this mission meant my chi would darken over time. I didn’t fully understand his meaning at the time, but it seemed to cause him a great deal of sadness. I hugged him tightly and bowed before entering my room. I noticed as he walked away he removed the golden choker from his neck; his previously small form growing (about two feet or so), and a small glinting stream running down his cheek.

I gathered what I needed into a small pack, and met Tsubaki and Tai at the twenty-foot tall iron gates that lead out of the monastery itself. A cart had been prepared for us; loaded with tents and travel gear, and once the gates opened, we made our way down from our mountain home and into the valley below. With Tsu’ steering the horses; since she was better with the animals, we traveled a total of three days.

On the first day, we stopped in the town at the base of the mountain to buy rations. We tasked Tsu’ with getting food rations for our journey. She wasn’t too happy about it, but she perked up when we explained she was also to attempt gathering information. Asking around, we heard rumors of a small group that had left one of the local inns just a few days ago. Our first lead. It wasn’t long before we boarded up the cart and made our way toward Cloverrun, a smaller settlement where halflings and humans coexisted.

On day two of our journey, we rode till it began to rain heavily. By chance or by luck we managed to find a small cave in which to wait out the storm. We used this time to peak at our scrolls. Aside from our mission objectives, a spell was placed on each of them to host a magical item. My brother was gifted a navy blue cloak with silver trim. My sister on the other hand received a pair of black and gold bracers. When I opened mine a small black money mask popped out. From what was noted it was used to change the wearer's appearance.

The third day came and we continued our way northward. As we crossed a small plateau we saw smoke rising. Tsu’ seized the reigns and we were barreling down the dirt path into the town. The fire was spreading rapidly and people were screaming and shouting for they’re loved ones. We leapt from the cart; Tai tried to coordinate us, but Tsubaki and myself ran off in different directions. I ran towards the screams of what sounded like a small child.

A large medical building was partially engulfed in flames. I saw three skulking figures sprint out through the front doors. They shuffled out of the building in hoods waving torches. I readied myself to throw a knife at one of them, but I heard the screams once again. A small brown haired halfling girl called out from the second-floor window. I knew she wouldn’t have much time if I didn’t act quickly. I shifted around the side of the building, avoiding the hooded figures as they slipped by. I jumped through an open window and dashed for a staircase. As I reached the second-floor breathing became difficult, my lungs felt like they were on fire. “Hello, can you hear me?” I yelled out. A large crash came from one of the rooms. Moving slowly I heard the sound of a struggle. Running up to the doorway I saw that I was too late. Another figure stood with a face mask, a knife dripping blood in one hand and a bundle of papers in the other, and a man bleeding out on the floor.

Thinking quickly I tossed on my mask. I figured the party from before was working with him, so I changed into their image. I walked forward uncertain how to proceed so I let him talk first. “What are you doing I told you all to ready the wagon,” he said with a gruff voice. “It’s prepared where are we heading”, I asked hoping to gain answers. “Ugh how many times do I have to tell you we’re headed for Stormwind I-, he paused, eyes darting to something on me. Somehow he saw through the illusion; something out of place maybe. I grabbed two knives as fast as I could and threw; the first sunk deep into his rib cage, the second he saw coming and dodged out of the way, causing it to impact the wall. As I reached for another he reacted quickly jumping from the window.

With the shattering of the glass, he was gone and a huge ball of fire sprang up knocking me to the ground. I was prone for a few moments until I saw the halfling girl crying huddled in a corner behind a desk. Rising to my feet, and removing the mask I made my way to her. She pulled away in fear, “I won’t hurt you, it’s going to be alright, promise” I coughed through the smoke-filled room. The child took my hand and I quickly carried her to safety. Once outside we made our way to where the townspeople gathered and her mother came rushing to us. We spoke for some time and by the end, she gave me some medicine for my burns. The little girl gave me a flower and thanked me for helping her and her father; even though I knew I had gotten there too late. It was then that I realized that I had chosen to save the lives of these two strangers, rather than kill the criminal who stood in my way. I took the girl's flower as a form of contract and made a silent vow to find her father’s killer. I met with my siblings and it seemed they found some other leads pulling us all in different directions. We parted ways leaving the cart with Tsu’, and I made my way to Stormwind. It may have only been the first leg of my journey, but it was where it all began. Where I became a symbol of vengeance and from where I would eventually become a hero.


Jordan Collins