On February 2nd, 2012, I had the pleasure of being a part of a dear friend's life experience...
Fellow creative ingénue, Ms. Kia Chenelle, debuted her first art installation, at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum (in Baltimore, Maryland), for the national exhibit, 'Dandy Lion: Articulating a Re(de)fined Black Masculine Identity.'
The real joy of this evening, was the fact that Kia and I collaborated 5 years ago (along with several other friends who attended the reception), at the same museum... on a landmark event that excavated the annals of Hip-Hop via a fashion show; except this time, we were all taking a survey of Ms. Chenelle and her personal exploration of art and life!
Here's our EXCLUSIVE interview with Kia, discussing her thoughts:
1) So, Kia… or Ms. Chenelle, if you’re feeling nasty (LOL)... Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your current area of profession is?
Hi! My name is Kia, and some know me as KC. I am a photographer and blogger.
2) Where are you from?
I am from Baltimore, MD.
I am from Baltimore, MD.
3) Do you consider your ethnicity/heritage to be a roadblock or a building block to your success?
I've always believed that my ethnicity (Black American), is a building block for everything that I do. From the stories passed down from my older family members, to my personal testimony, it all helps me and my work.
4) Have you experienced any difficulty moving forward in your career, because of your ethnicity/heritage and/or your gender?
Sometimes, when people see a little, female photographer walk on set -or in a meeting- they don't think I can do what male photographers can; I like to prove them wrong, by showing them instead of telling them.
5) Who do you look to for inspiration?
I tend to get most of my inspiration from everyday people. Street style and culture are what really shapes this industry, so why not go to the source?!
6) In regards to Pretty In Penury, what is your work about?
Pretty In Penury, is a new, style blog, created by myself and my partner -and friend- Christiana Greene. We focus on our personal style, fashion wants and finds (on a not-so-fancy budget). It's pretty, funny and informative... if I must say (LOL)!!!
7) When did you make the decision to pursue fashion as a career?
I decided to take my fashion career seriously after leaving a four-year stint with the Federal Government; sitting at a desk, daily, was killing my creative soul. I decided it wasn't time to die and stepped out on faith.
8) What do you see yourself doing in the next five to 10 years?
Blogging and traveling the world, shooting beautiful people in their environment. I just want to live a free and fancy life!
9) How did your participation in the Dandy project come into existence?
Well, I received an email from the curator, asking if I was interested in participating. I saw the first show in Harlem and loved it. I believed in the concept, was surrounded by dandyism daily and felt this would be a great project to participate in. I am so happy to see the expansion of this project!
10) Why do you feel that your voice makes a difference in the world?
Because, I am a human being with an opinion; an opinion that so many others may have. By just speaking up, you can speak things into existence. You can create a movement and make major changes.
Check out Kia's EXCLUSIVE video, below: