We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Yes, I have so many! I love quotes, poems, verses, and affirmations. I hang them around my house, and one of my favorites that I repeat to my kids in her exact words is from The Help. Aibileen Clark, an oppressed “maid” and caregiver in 1960s Jackson Mississippi tells the little girl, Mae, who she cares for: “You is kind, You is smart, and You is important.” I appreciate this for so many reasons. Obviously, it is a fabulous affirmation and an encouraging word to carry throughout the day for anyone of any age; but when taking into account the setting of when and by whom and to whom it was spoken, it becomes so much more than mere words. It exposes the intimate connection that occurred behind closed doors between a black maid and the white toddler she raises, blurring all racial boundaries of the time. It creates aspiration for the the emotional integrity that Aibileen possesses as she continues to use her influence, even when abused by her employers (the toddler’s parents), to positively affect the next generation (who ironically are being raised to continue to mistreat her). And it ultimately, reminds me that some of the most powerful forms of love are from the quiet small voices rather than the loud and expected.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Wow, that’s a lot to think about… My art is ultimately a conversation between thoughts, ideas, confusions, and truth. It wrestles and struggles, yet breathes insight and revelation. My professional background is in art therapy. After majoring in studio art, I received my masters in clinical counseling and art therapy. I worked primarily with children struggling from abuse, neglect and trauma. When working professionally as an art therapist, I developed a strong appreciation for how making art can serve as a vehicle to emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. That deep sense is actually what fueled my start to full time painting. It began as a healing practice, which slowly become my career. There were many challenges along the way, two of the biggest: stepping away from a guaranteed salary and overcoming the fear of critiques. These two challenges quickly become the activators of my faith. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is to be true to who you are, let go of others’ opinions of you, and don’t fall into the comparison trap. Everything will unfold and evolve in ways you’d never imagine, in the perfect timing if you keep your eyes on your own path. In the word of John Eldredge: “The most essential gift you have to give is yourself” (Beautiful Outlaw)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
God and His grace; the only reason it’s all coming together. And to all of those: my family, friends, and galleries who have taken a chance on me and supported me though it all! Art is currently represented by: Huff Harrington Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; Well and Wonder, online community and gallery; Signet Contemporary Art, London, UK
Other: Work featured in Architectural Digest: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/nicholas-obeid-kelsey-brown-brooklyn-home
Architectural Digest Heidi Harris