Chicago artist Anitra Frazier shares her portfolio and her story about the power of art in our lives.
ABI: Tell us about your body of work and the series that you are creating.
AF: The major element in my body of work is faces. Facial expressions have always fascinated me. Singers, actors, and musicians make up a large part of my portfolio.
Music is a driving force for me because I have vivid memories as a child, of sitting around the record/stereo console on Saturdays while my parents played DJ all day.
In that vein, my current body of work is about childhood memories. It’s called Long Ago & Far Away. As I was flipping through old family photos, I was struck by the unity and personal interaction that was there. In contrast, nowadays, social interaction is being replaced by emails, tweets, texts, and status updates. My father took these pictures throughout my childhood, mostly the 1970s and 1980s era. My hope is that others can relate in some way to the message in the images.
ABI: Your personal story is inspirational. How has art transformed your life?
AF: I majored in General Art in college because I wanted to experiment with every artistic medium. Unfortunately, in my third year, I had to drop out because of depression. Art slowly dissipated from my life.
After nine frustrating years of starts and stops, I did manage to graduate from college with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. One day, as I was scrolling through my lnstagram newsfeed, I noticed that it had a very active art community.
My interest was piqued, and I started to draw again. I began with pencil sketches and moved on to acrylic and oil paint.
ABI: How are you showing and selling your artwork?
AF: From lnstagram and Facebook, my artwork garnered interest from followers who commissioned me directly for portraits. I have also sold several original pieces from my ecommerce website nationwide. Utilizing social media to showcase my art helps me connect with potential clients. I participate in local art fairs, both juried and non-juried.
I am an artist guild member at a local gallery where I have the chance to exhibit and share my work. I was invited to do a painting demonstration at large Chicago art fair. Also, two shows that I have exhibited in were about “art as activism” and mental health awareness. I look for shows that reflect causes that are close to my heart, and give meaning to my life.