EBONY Power Talks: Artists in Residence
EBONY Power Talks: Artists in Residence features EBONY Photo Director Keith Major, in conversation with Interior Designer Adair Curtis, Photographer Juan Veloz, and Broadway Producer Brian Anthony Moreland.
One of the core elements that defines an artist is their style. Many are influenced by personal heroes and mentors while others draw from their family life and lived experiences. Across this creatively diverse panel, themes of honesty, embracing imperfections, and inclusive connection stand out as anchors within their individual creative processes.
Forging a career as an artist has its twists and turns, but the group overwhelmingly agrees that having a solid foundation is paramount. Curtis outlines how he made the transition from music executive to designer, “ I [had] to listen to myself and trust my instincts to be able to find my way to interior design. I had a solid career first and built myself up to a certain place, then I was able to pivot.” When challenges present themselves, leaning a strong network is what pulled many of them through. “I had that community of people that I could speak to, who would say, ‘hey don’t go right,’ Moreland says. “When I went down the wrong down that path I learned ‘that’s not gonna work out for you.’”
In addition to embracing the uncertainty that often comes with a career in the arts, there is an additional challenge of navigating technology and its impact on the creative process. As a photographer, Major recalls the huge shift from analog to digital, “In real-time, you had to figure out how to keep up. I found a company that was able to put a digital back on my analog camera and I worked through it.” Nowadays, technological innovations can be an artist’s best friend. Smartphones in particular, like Google Pixel 7, have provided a one-stop shop for conceptualization, logistics, creative capture, editing, and more. Major expounds upon that notion by recounting his experience shooting EBONY’s epic November/December 2022 digital cover featuring the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with Google Pixel 7 Pro. But even without the newest toys, Veloz reminds us that the passion to create comes from within. “You don’t need the most expensive thing to create art—bjust create.”
Major, Curtis, Veloz, and Moreland reveal more of the nuances of their approach to their craft, embracing the ebbs of flows of balancing life and career, and expressing themselves through their art.
EBONY Power Talks: Artists in Residence is presented by Google Pixel 7.