We had the good fortune of connecting with DebraGaye Body and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi DebraGaye, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have other talents. I’m smart. Any job I’ve ever had I did well at. But I always ended up hating every job after while. The only thing I loved doing was being creative. I realized that I had no choice but to be a creative. God saw fit to share his creativity with me and I realized that I HAD to try. I couldn’t keep the gift to myself.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am one of those artists who paints what they know. I paint black people. My photography is of black people. My digital art and graphic design always has the culture in mind. I had dreams of being known for my art and, to be honest, a part of me would still like to be. But when my idea of success changed that dream also changed. My hope is only that people recognize themselves in everything I do. I have had many challenges but they were mostly self imposed. I did not have confidence in myself. Because of that, I stood in my own way. Honestly, the only reason I did not give up is simply because I hated doing anything else. I couldn’t not create. I’ve learned that what is for me, is for me. Nothing or no one can stop what is meant for me, not even myself. I’ve also learned that there is no shortcut for hard work. Anything that I’ve ever desired in life took hard work and dedication in my part. The only thing I would want the world to know about my art is that it is inspired by the people. I see our smiles, our joy, our anger, our tiredness, our resilience, our forgiveness, our rage and I put it in the art.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well my family supports everything I do. They encourage every idea and stand behind every project. Without them, I wouldn’t have the confidence to do anything. So they deserve more than a little credit. There are also people who I’ve met throughout my journey who simply believe in my gift and want to support. And God gets all the credit. An gift that I have is because God saw fit to bless me with it. So while I am proud of myself for my accomplishments, I can’t really take any of the credit.

Instagram: @deb.gaye

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