What is your name?
Nadia but I go by labelletogolaise via social media
Tell us a bit about yourself/background
I’m from Togo but I mostly grew up in Connecticut. Growing up in West Hartford (one of the “top” suburbia in the country) in a Togolese household was what really gave birth to the artist within me. That’s when I started to realize the importance of reflection and questioning. I have Diasporan, Middle Eastern, Francophone, and American influences that shape my perspective on the world. I was always into art forms from a young age, starting with reading then later went into acting, dancing, and writing.
When did you start doing this (art/music/production/design etc.)?
I started the first time I realized how much I enjoyed reading in the first grade. Realizing this showed me the system of taking information, processing it, and using it to create something of my own. In this particular case that meant creating my own bits of literature for others to read years later. I then continued to use that system with my other interests. I essentially immersed myself in exploration and became infatuated with my self-evolution.
How was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?
My loved ones encouraged me, challenged me, and offered good amounts of constructive critiques to help me fine tune my vision and accomplish more as an artist. There were a few of them that had their concerns or opinions about my nude work but quite frankly I knew that had much more to do with them than it did with me.
What inspires your art?
Thought inspires my art. I do not care for labels but one thing I don’t mind being labeled as is a thinker. I enjoy exercising my mind and there’s infinite ways in which I can do that. So generally I apply thought to visuals and let the workflow out of me however it will and then let it speak for itself.
What is your favorite piece and why?
I don’t really do favorites but my images from the For Colored Girls Series shot by Ed Maximus are ones that resonate with me deeply. This is because they represent me co creating the kind of media/art that I would want to consume. Not only is it fine art but it’s showing black women in a light that I wish to see them portrayed in more often. I also love them because of the abstract nature of them considering I am quite a fan of abstract art.
Who would you like to work with /who inspires you/ which artist do you admire?
I want to work with folks who do a great job at showing the connection between their reflections and creativity through their skills. That covers various fields and offers immense amounts of insight and inspiration. I admire every and any artist who does this.
I think the best answer to that question is stay tuned; my art speaks for itself.
What advice do you have for anybody out there who wants to be an artist like you?
Just start and tune into yourself to the best of your ability.