Southern Journeys, along with fellow creative black women entrepreneurs who support our mission, will be paying tribute to our mothers all May in gratitude for the impact they have made in our lives. Do you enjoy these stories? Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and help us spread the word!
Southern Journeys believes in using our craft to celebrate our heritage and traditions. As we discussed in our Black HerStory Month post on sculptor Mary Edmonia Lewis, we are thrilled to see other artists who proudly infuse their cultural pride in their works. We continue our Mother's Day tribute series with our interview with a lovely, young and truly talented artist, Keturah Ariel:
Which values have been key to your success in life and business and how does your mother embody or instill these values in you?
My mother has always taught me to focus on what's important to me. Family is very important to her and it's important to me because of her. When the opportunity arose that I would be able to start my own business, I needed help. Without even having to ask, my business automatically became a family business and for that I'm very grateful. Everyone needs a strong support system who truly has their best interest at heart. I'm very blessed to have this kind of support system, and I try my best to not take it for granted.
I have a body of work I am in the process of completing called "Matriarchs" and it was initially inspired by the strong, powerful women in my family. They have always shown me that family is everything. People often overcompensate in attempting to "change the world," when in actuality if everyone took care of their home/their famillies, first...the world would indirectly improve because of it. That's what was evident in my Granny's life, my Grandma's life, and it's evident in my Mom's as well.
What role did your mother play in your journey as an entrepreneur? How has your mother influenced your growth as an artist?
My mom is also an artist, so the artistically inclined gene passed from her, to me. She went to art school, and then later decided to change her major to business. When I was a freshman in high school trying to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I honestly didn't see being an artist as a viable career. I thought, "I'll just be a regular person, work in an office, and art will be my hobby." My mother objected, she felt it was important for me to go to art school and make a career out of what I loved to do. I was given the opportunity to live out my mother's dream, and without me not noticing, it became my dream. I was born with an innate ability that was nurtured and has been fully supported by my mom since day one. She has always shown me that true growth is forcing yourself out of your comfort zones and seizing the opportunities that have come your way.
She has taught me strength, and that no matter how troubling a situation is you can still find the sunshine through the rain. This time last year, I witnessed my mom and my auntie care for their mother (my Granny) who was battling stage four cancer. Granny was the kind of person who stole the hearts of everyone she knew. She was the heartbeat of my family, so when she was in pain, everyone "felt" it. The experience changed me because from watching them and how they cared for her I realized that what you go through isn't always about you. Sometimes, it's about the person who needs you the most. Well my Granny needed her girls and they were there with her, caring for her, loving her up until the very end. The strongest humans are selfless humans, when you are able to put your feelings aside to truly love and show compassion for someone else...nothing embodies strength more than that. Strong enough to conquer fear and embrace love. My mom is one of the strongest people I know and I love her dearly.
Keturah, thank you for sharing your moving story about your mother and grandmother with Southern Journeys. You have been blessed with a gift and it is beautiful to see how your art emanates the pride and joy of your matriarchs.
How does your family motivate you to live out your dream?
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