This is “Spero” (which is Latin for hope). It is a pastel, watercolor, and tempera figure ground piece I completed around this time last year and by far, one of my most meaningful pieces.
For starters, it was one of my first pieces that influenced my realization of my passion for art; I’d never created anything this advanced. But most importantly, it was the beginning of my passion for social justice. The image is based upon photo of Nneka Egbuna, a Nigerian singer whose songs raise awareness to the suffering endured by Africans and impoverished people around the world, and encourage justice through action.
In this piece, I used darker, cooler colors in the bottom left corner to represent society’s past, which is filled with oppression, hate, and evil. As the eye moves from the left to the right side of the piece, the colors get lighter and warmer, representing a future filled with love, unity, peace, and hope. Nneka is looking towards this hope, as depicted through her music.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to solve major world issues with merely a painting or a song. But just as I have been inspired by Nneka, I hope to inspire other artists and all other humans with various talents to utilize their gifts, integrate them with intelligence and creativity and work for the prosperity of mankind. One will never know when or how a simple act could modify the life of another individual until they’ve tried.
How will you inspire?