Updated: Jul 26, 2019
New Orleans, LA
Art by Ivey LLC
The beauty of art can be uncovered in each sequential layer of paint on canvas. However, what speaks to the body of work is the true essence and passion of its master. Art in its natural form provides an inspiring message that merges the human triad (i.e. mental, physical and spiritual) as one. Universally, we all know creating any masterpiece demands not only artistic skill but the willingness to dive deep into your inner soul and immensely articulate it (most times without words) to the world. That is the true gift and mystery of the artist and if none possess this distinct ability, it’s truly clear Ivey does!
Ivey, remarkably aligned with her creative self as a child, stood out artistically amongst her peers in elementary school, “I recall discovering my talent in art in the 1st grade when one of my teachers suggested I get tested for the gifted arts program...”
This motivation coupled with her love for art profoundly influenced a childhood pursuit in basic art education in which she began to create and refine techniques in drawings and later on painting. In fact, Ivey recalls her first love in art as sketching and sculpting:
“As a kid, I actually loved to sketch and sculpt. Painting wasn't even on my radar. I painted a self portrait in 3rd grade and hated it. I swore off painting after that. I started teaching myself to paint as an adult. I taught myself how to paint by imagining that my paintbrush was a pencil. Then it became easier to paint naturally over time. What used to take me 20 hours on canvas now takes me 10.”
The self-taught skills accompanied by her core training in grade school provided Ivey the opportunity to explore and expand on her true creativity as she matured.
Ivey spent several years balancing her full-time career and art passions. She mentioned that at times life’s trials and experiences partially impacted her drive to go full force with her art as a business. However, after being faced with the sudden passing of her mother she stated, “I think [my mother] whispered in my ear one day at the age of 28 years old...that’s when I started to paint again.”
She was fiercely empowered by this experience and debuted the art game in November 2017 with her memorable showcase at Axiom Art Gallery in New Orleans, LA. A congregation of local and traveling artists, musicians and art lovers attended and were graced with Ivey’s Black Excellence Exhibition- a collection of acrylic paintings profoundly inspired by historically rich black culture which featured some of its influential figures and leaders. As she amazed the many guests in attendance through her artistry and empowering message, Ivey affirmed her rightful position in New Orleans’ male-predominant art industry as a sophisticated-bold black female artist with a unique entrepreneurial and philanthropic edge. Of note, a substantial portion of Ivey’s Black Excellence Exhibition provided financial aid toward a local non-profit (i.e. Artists in Action) to bring art education and resources to inner-city youth.
Two years into her career, Ivey has set the bar high with her diverse yet sophisticated style of art. Profoundly “motivated by life”, Ivey has created pieces capturing ancient black history to urban social norms and even live improv:
“Most of my inspirations to create are centered around things that have inspired me, hurt me or interest me” -Ivey
The Winged Sun- a Three-Dimensional (3-D) acrylic painting capturing the essence of ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti
Thorn Rose -a painting created during Ivey’s healing process after a routine traffic stop encounter that nearly resulted in an unwarranted act of police brutality experienced by herself and significant other
Fertile Ground- a Three-Dimensional (3-D) acrylic painting displaying the native roots and animals of African culture all embodied within the crown of a woman depicting the continent of Africa
Since the incorporation of Art by Ivey LLC, Ivey has impressed her paintbrush on canvases, furniture, and a variety of apparel. Above all styles of art, she is extremely intentional about why painting provides her the most exhilaration, “It makes me feel as though I’m apart of my work when I touch it tangibly. It also provides a personal therapy to physically create a piece from a blank canvas. I release something from within with every painting I create.” Outside of working in her home studio, Ivey has recently graced the community through the launch of her first art instruction class earlier this year in April entitled, Poetry and Paint where she assisted locals in recreating one of her notable pieces “ As Above”.
In June 2018, Ivey was honored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc as a featured artist for Renaissance on the Bayou- an annual event sponsored by the fraternity in which scholarship funds are raised for college students. She created a live acrylic painting that was auctioned at the event. Ivey was also selected as an honoree for Funk Diva 2020 Vision Calendar-a twelve month compilation of progressive women from New Orleans and southeast Louisiana affirming their unique style and message of inspiration to the masses.
BS: What challenges have you faced while developing as a visual artist in a highly competitive field? How do you set yourself apart from other artists?
I: Challenges in art are typically selling art and marketing to larger artists. I find that as a black female artist it can be more difficult. I set myself apart by not competing. I find that individuality is the most important asset in creating distinction in a competitive field. A piece of advice I gave to an aspiring artist is to use what you already have. Don't follow art trends. Create from your heart, even if it isn't popular. The goal is to capture YOUR audience. If you spend your time curating your craft to match trends in the market, you will become a slave to whatever is next. Be authentic above all and allow your audience to find you.
BS: What famous artists or leaders have been of great influence and inspiration to you and your artistry?
I: I actually prefer not to focus my attention to other artists. Creativity is extremely sensitive to outside influence. Although I can appreciate another artist's work, I have to be careful not to get too attached. I like to be inspired by others but not influenced. If I had to pick one artist who inspires me locally, it would be Terrance Osborne. I love the color and detail in his work but what inspires me most is his success in the industry. Ceaux Young-a local black artist from New Orleans is really inspirational to me as well. He helped me get started prior to me going public by showing me better techniques in my craft. I will forever be grateful to him and all the other artists who gave me advice in the very early stages of my career.
BS: What does the future hold for Art By Ivey?
I: I honestly don't know and I‘m learning to be comfortable with that. I like control so art has taught me that the craft requires a level of adaptability. Creativity is always changing and because my business is creativity I have to allow it to grow and adapt organically. My ideas are always changing so I have to find balance with creating a solid foundation and not stifling growth. What I hope for is to get to a place where I can be sustained by the craft without being jaded by the work.
Indeed, Ivey’s artistry conveys the essence of a natural-born creative, influential woman, entrepreneur and birthing philanthropist-A True Funk Diva! The great strides she‘s made as a progressive woman and female artist speaks to her personal maturation and success. Ivey stands by an intriguing quote that she believes has carried her from childhood to this point:
For more info on Art By Ivey, visit her on Instagram: @art_by_ivey
Facebook: Art By Ivey
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