Name: Arista Matthews, artistically known as “Kosmokreationz”
Location: Glen Burnie Maryland
Bio: Arista Matthews is a 31 year old self taught creative from Maryland who specializes in acrylic fluid painting. She’s always loved art of all kind and had a passion for creativity and individuality. Painting is not only her hobby, but her escape and happy place, as well. Arista aspires to bring uniqueness and beauty into the lives of others through her work.
Social Media Handle: @kosmokreationz
Describe your experience as a current artist
I am a part- time artist. Ive been painting faithfully for about 3 years now. I always loved to create and be crafty in my spare time. I attended a craft fair last year and realized the things I create for fun, people actually made a business out of it. I knew then that my work was just as good and deserved to be seen as well. My purposes as an artist is to inspire beauty in the eye of the beholder and to add uniqueness to the space in which my work occupies.
What was your occupation/education prior to becoming an artist?
I’m currently in the medical field and have been for over 10 years now. After about 8 years in and having done just about all jobs my Medical Assistant certificate would allow. I was feeling unfulfilled with the mundane Monday-Friday life. I knew that wasn’t just it for me soI decided to take an online class to pursue a career in real-estate. After staring at the computer screen for hours and intense studying I felt the need to release creative energy and to paint. Before I knew it I was surrounded with canvases I had painted on. My passion for painting took over my desire to finish the class. My family did not understand why I would let a career in real-estate fall by waist to become a painter but for me it was the freedom, joy and expression that I get from being an artist. I know that I am meant to create!
What was your biggest challenge in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me was believing in myself and that my work is as worthy to be seen as anyone else. I used to be shy and introverted, I let that stop me from stepping into my truth in the past. I overcome that by doing spiritual work, getting clear about the future I want to create and stepping out on faith with a strong sense of who I am. Right now I have a full time job which I use as a stepping stone to help me began my entrepreneur career as an artist.
Describe your biggest milestone achieved since pursuing your art
My biggest mile stone would be finding a way to get my work seen and finding peers. Because of Social media I was able to find BGWP and have a group of women like me that I can share my story, struggle and success with. I am very grateful to be apart of this community as this community is very necessary within our culture. I am still new to this and trying to gain as much knowledge as I can.
How does your personal style and identity translate into your artwork?
My style is chic and it translates in my work with the colors I chose and the flow of the paint. I don’t just paint on canvases. I do resin art, clocks, coasters, vases, and nightlights. I also have modeled as a muse/ subject for photographers. Beauty that’s beyond the surface, with a little bit mystery appeals to me. Art and spirituality goes hand and hand to me.
What is your favorite art technique and why?
My favorite technique would be acrylic pour painting. I never exactly know what I am going to create or how it will turn out. I mix 3 to 4 paints, seeing the colors run down the canvas gives me so much excitement and satisfaction. I get great results using Liquitex pouring medium.
How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration?
I maintain my mental health by taking a walk or meditating. I sage before each painting and I do not let anyone into my space when I am creating. What keeps me motivated is that fact that I’m doing something I truly love. If I have a mental block I don’t force myself to create, I listen to my body and take the proper action needed which could be rest, quiet time, walking or running etc. Keeping my mental, spiritual and physical in alignment is what helps me get through blocks.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals and/or owning her own business?
My advise to fellow BGWP would be to never give up and to trust in yourself. Believe in your ideas! Never get discouraged if your the only one in the function that’s a black girl. OWN IT!!! If you work for somebody else and know that in the future you want to start Your own business, set goals for yourself and work on them everyday. If you don’t know how to start, start somewhere, before you know it you will look back at how far you’ve come. Consistency is key!
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
Being a BGWP means power and freedom to me. I get to use my creative imagination to bring beauty into the world. I have two young daughters who see me taking chances to better my future and live the life I was meant to live, doing what I love.