My Story behind designing nuturing spaces for a Black Overachiever
My hair has always been an “ordeal” for me. Conditioning, detangling, pressing, straightening, curling; all quite the journey for Black hair like mine.
I used hair silhouettes in the Obsidian Virtual Concept House – Artist Studios and Gardens spaces, because I personally struggled with my own hair growing up, and would spend long hours tirelessly trying to straighten my coils “perfect” for the moment (whatever and however that meant).
In my virtual Artist Studios, I create a design haven with therapeutic elements to soothe the emotional toll on a Black overachiever who reaches “higher than, to be good enough”. Its really about how “perfect” is “good enough” to be recognized in career advancement where systemic racism exists. Now, let’s talk about Hair.
Anita Hill, by Karen Revis
Enter artist, Karen Revis. I saw Karen’s hair art and thought it was perfect for my Virtual Artist studios. I used Karen’s “Hair Art” as Form and authentic expression. It’s the human condition of non-perfect hair that is really perfect on all levels.
This why I like Karen’s art; If someone wants straighten their hair, that’s ok …or, if someone wants to leave their hair natural, that’s ok, too. Karen’s “Hair Silhouettes” beautifully reflect that there’s no right or wrong with whatever choice we make to style our hair. Especially with Black hair; It can be a beautiful art form that pays homage into our past as well as who we are, today.
So, here’s the a deeper meaning of Black hair. Hands down, Hairstyles have always been a huge, personal identity; especially for Black overachievers. In early African societies, hairstyles would distinguish tribes and social status. Then after slavery, In the 20th century, hair became a curse and a blessing for Black businessmen and women who have felt they had to fit in. Many would straighten their hair; and would even go through the process of burning their scalps with chemicals and straightening irons. Now, there’s more acceptance with hairstyles to reflect our individual choices.
Hair Art by Karen Revis
Karen’s “Hair Silhouettes” are a perfect compliment for my Artist Spaces in the Obsidian Virtual Concept House. It shows that Black hair is a beautiful art form that reflects who we are – through our hair.
But, “hair as art” also reflects individual choices. Karen’s hair Silhouettes helps support my design narrative of authenticity and releases pressure on what a perfect hairstyle is. Because, it’s really about how you feel; which helps you understand who you are…
And when your natural hair is considered beautiful, it releases a lot of pressure on deciding what is a perfect hairstyle. For me, I’m now playing with different styles and seeing different perspectives of myself. And guess what? It’s fun! check out Karen Revis and her REVISionary Prints.
Thanks for reading! Check out and Like my instagram feed for more visuals. @Lindaallendesigns
This is my blog on design philosophy. I find many of us are moving so fast, we don’t really know why we truly make decisions – and some of those decisions we have to live with for a long time.
Design affects how we feel about ourselves. And how we feel about ourselves affects how we choose. So, I found myself diving into the deeper meaning of design. Because it’s not just about what we like, but why we like it.
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