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Art & Life with Anitra Frazier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anitra Frazier.

Anitra, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far. After years of depression, I finally found my way back to the world through art.- the very activity that I’ve always loved. I majored in General Art in college, along with many other majors like acting, psychology, and photography. College life was very tough for me and the pressures caused me shut down. I eventually did graduate after nine years and delved into photography. I earned extra income shooting birthday parties and social events. Even while doing that, I still felt the magnetic pull back towards drawing. After my photography mentor died, I decided to draw a picture of him. This kind of kick started me back into art again. I found that Instagram had a pretty active art scene, and it was easy to upload my art and get instant feedback. I really enjoyed sharing my work and learning new techniques from other internet artists. Eventually, I set up a website of my own and started selling my original art and reproduction prints online. Then, eased into local art fairs, and vending sites. I’m now being invited to participate in art week at elementary and high schools. I’m doing things now that I would have never considered a few years ago. Art has brought me out of my shell, and now I’m always looking to push the envelope with my art and different venues.

Can you give our readers some background on your art? I paint portraits. I love faces. There are so many expressions and emotions that come from just a glance, a shift in the eyes, a curl in the lips. I enjoy creating emotions. Many times, I find some emotions are too difficult to feel, so I feel safer being able to paint them. I use my own face for many of the paintings that I create. Whatever I happen to be feeling at the time, I incorporate into the piece. Therefore, most of my paintings are autobiographical. I guess you could say, it’s a cheaper form of therapy. I work in oil and acrylic paint, the former being my preference. I enjoy the smooth creamy texture of oil- I even like the smell of it. I’m very tactile. My subject matter ranges from self-portraits to wordplay and double meaning. I always hope that someone viewing my work can relate in some way. Emotions are universal, I also hope that the viewer can see my honesty and willingness to share my experiences. Find common ground.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful? I used to think success was becoming a famous artist. A bunch of fans, followers, and selling all of my artwork. – And of course, moving to New York. Well, I’ve grown up a little since then. Success is now being asked to exhibit or teach a class, someone recognizing my work, someone telling me that my work touched them in some way, someone recommending me for a commissioned portrait, and of course- someone buying my work. All of that takes patience, perseverance and consistency. It doesn’t happen overnight or even a couple of years. Building an art career is a marathon, not a sprint.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support? I exhibit locally and nationally. I am a guild member at Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights. One piece is in a documentary entitled, The Amazing Nina Simone, by director Jeff L. Lieberman. Chicago galleries that I’ve exhibited in include Zhou B Art Center, The Elephant Room Gallery, Arc Gallery, South Side Community Art Center, and Jackson Junge Gallery. Anytime I’m in a new show, I post it on my Facebook business page, which is where I have received the most first-time buyers and collectors. You can also see my work on my website, where I also sell and ship nationally. I usually attend the shows that I’m exhibiting in and have met quite a few social media followers at openings. It’s very humbling to know that someone wants to meet you in person.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Deborah Filbin
Anitra Frazier

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