We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyshmah “Keke” McNeill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyshmah “Keke”, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I was told this quote when I was 15 years old. It is “Good things come those who wait, as long as they work while they wait.” This quote means a lot to me because I have always seen myself as the underdog with everything I have done. Whether if it came down to sports, or my artwork, I truly never complained about anything and I do not complain now. This quote taught me to always work while waiting, just because things do not come right when you want it, does not mean it’s not coming at all. What I like about the quote is that it taught me to most definitely be patient because patience is a virtue. Not to rush anything because rushing could deter you from staying focus. It has always kept me grounded to know that what I am doing is not in vain, and that if I keep working hard and waiting, good things will come to me. Must stay humble and know that everything will ultimately be fine.
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 would say my art sets me apart from others would be the way I envision my pieces and bring them to life. When I speak about my pieces or what I would like to create, it sounds like a bunch of craziness, impossible, and all over the place. But, when I put it on the canvases or design it on my computer it becomes a beautiful masterpiece. I even surprise myself a lot when I finally create because it is a feeling of like “wow, girl I did not know you could do that.” And that makes me happy to push myself beyond my limits. I am most proud of the fact that I started my own business. FOR YEARS, and I mean for years I was always saying that I wanted to start my own business that will showcase my artwork and I finally did it. At the moment, I was not as confident in myself to do it and one day I just gained the courage to do it. It is most definitely my biggest accomplishment and proudest moment to create Lowkey Dope LLC. I got here professionally today by just literally stepping out on faith. I was constantly and I am still constantly in art shows, trying to promote my work everywhere, and I always thought the worst that can happen is I fail. If I fail, I just keep trying again and again until I get it right. Most of my success came from my failures professionally and I had to learn from it in order to keep pushing professionally. IT WAS NOT EASY AT ALL!! My path has truly been difficult with everything. I overcame the challenges by praying around the clock but also by learning how to not let things truly affect me. I also. had to learn to navigate around the art world and business world to make sure I do not loose my true self within everything. The lessons I learned along the way is that not everyone will like what you produce. Not everyone will understand, agree, or want to support your work but that is okay. As long as you like your work, support what you’re doing, and truly understand what you are trying to create, that’s what matters the most. People’s opinions are cool, but don’t let the negativity tear you down when it is not what you want to hear. What I want the world to know about me is that I have literally been through the struggle, everything has came out of the mud for me. I am like anyone else who had to start from the bottom and I am STILL trying to make it. So I truly get it and I understand when you are trying to start up your dreams and it feels like you want to quit. DON’T!! I am relatable, easy to talk to, and I am truly the sweetest person. My brand is me, and I am my brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite places I would take my friend to is Skyline Park on top of the Ponce City Market. I am still a kid at heart, so I call Skyline Park “The carnival for adults”. Just to be at the top and see the skyline of Atlanta is one of the most beautiful things I have ever encountered so I would want my best friend to experience that too. Next on my itinerary, I would take my best friend to the High Museum show them some art, Krogg Street so that they can see all of the graffiti and artwork on the walls. I am a huge foodie so we are literally stopping at every random place that sounds good. I love seafood so I am taking my best friend to either Juicy Crab or King Crab Atl. I would take them around to where I do community service work at and show them what I do to try to help the city. I picked. up a new hobby which is skating, so we would go to the different rinks that I attend and have some good fun laughing, learning, and falling. We would visit Atlantic Station, possibly do the bar crawl, and I would end it off with the Bonfire Atl to catch the dope vibes and fun. The most interesting and exciting people for me that I have met has literally been the homeless. They are the most magnificent people I have met because they have so many stories on life, the intelligence and all never cease to amaze me. I speak to them every chance I get because everyone needs someone to talk to and to just listen to them. They are beautiful and to hear their stories impels you to not only want to help them but to listen and soak in everything they say. They are truly just amazing.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Most definitely my tribe!! My tribe is everything to me, that consists of my Mother (Charlene Meekins), Grandmother (Earline Meekins), Sister (Hydeia Thomas), Father (Russell Thomas), Uncle (Kevin Davis) and my mentor (Andrew Snorton). LITERALLY, I would not be where I am without them. These individuals have been in my life forever and has always been a support system and there for me. Of course I would be nothing without my friends it is too many to name so I don’t want to miss out any names but they know who they are. They all deserve recognition and credit because without them I would not be here at all. They have seen me through the ups, downs, trials, and tribulations. I am forever thankful for everyone. Also without God I would not be here. He is first and foremost in my life and without him none of this would be possible. He most definitely receives all the praise.
Instagram: @lowkeydope_1 @melaninhippie_
Facebook: Keke McNeill
Photo credit of myself goes to: Tarisha Wynn Instagram: @simplyp0etic