We had the good fortune of connecting with Nae”Keisha Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nae”Keisha, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
The end? I’m just getting started. (inserts laughs). But really, I hope to keep pursuing new and fresh opportunities that result in projects that will matter long after I have left this world. Of course I would like to look back in years to come and remember having my work featured on the set of a movie or TV series like Blackish or Lincoln Heights , commissioned for public and private murals , work curated in several museums, and have a series of books illustrated and written by me. Just look out! I would love to own a community studio space that brings together the community in a powerful way in service and creativity while making art more accessible outside of the museums. At the end of the day I hope my career brings about hope and inspires the next person in their own creative journey.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

My art is about inspiring others, capturing moments that are often overlooked . It allows me to use my voice to inspire, celebrate life and a variety of emotions in addition to inviting others to impact their community in servitude. I am very proud and excited how far my web series Canvas Chats has come and the projects I have been able to share, one being a part of a mural project and completing my piece “Hello Neighbor”. It received so much attention that the author of the Magic Tree House book series, Mary Pope Osbourne heard about it and tweeted about my work!  In addition to that my work was featured on the front page of the newspaper on a very historical day! I was so excited and told anyone who would listen. (insert laughs) I’m excited to see where God has me in the next 2-3 years. I’m by no means done yet. Right now, I am currently working on a new body of work for two showcases coming up in June, curating my first group show for next year, and have a few commission projects lined up.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I haven’t been going much of anywhere since the pandemic but my favorite spots before were :

  • Fire Street Food
  • Sly’s Sliders and Fries
  • Bull Street Tacos
  • The Food truck scene in the Starland Yard district is a pretty cool artsy place to hangout with friends.
  • Fox & Fig Cafe, they make the best vegan cheesecake I’ve ever had along with a lavender oat milk latte
  • The Vault is nice, most people like The Pink House for fancy dates ( I’d say be prepared to spend money though at either one of those places, it’s a high dollar place. Don’t leave anything on your plate.(insert laughs))
  • The beach, I like going at night to see the stars and pray, beware of jellyfish though.
  • Mcdonough’s Pub for karaoking
  • The farmer’s market on the weekends
  • Forsyth Park – there is always a game of frisbee, kickball, tennis, or basketball happening. And there’s plenty of space for people to spread out and have a picnic or play catch with their pup. ( meeting people’s dogs is my favorite part, insert laughs)
  • I miss hangouts with my friends houses playing Phase 10, they will tell you I’m the champion lol, someone would always cook and there was lots of laughter and memories.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is tough, there are so many people who inspire or encourage me on the daily. However I want to dedicate my shout out to three amazingly talented , young and vibrant black men who have been just living out excellence on several levels . My brother T.J Jones, photographer and founder of HustleandNap. He is beyond talented and I love the depth and variety in his work . Secondly Jordan Campbell and Jon Veal, founders of ATL_Chicago have been doing so much for their community. Definitely check these men out on social media, their mission stories are inspiring! I am inspired to break the mold of art , making art more accessible to the community and help meet basic needs of my community. http://hustleandnap.com http://altspacechicago.com/

Website: https://naekeishajones.wixsite.com/artofnaekeishajones

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naekeisha.jones/

Other: My Shops: Print Shop : https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/naekeisha/ Canvas Chats (Esty Shop): https://www.etsy.com/shop/CanvasChats

Image Credits
Images of me: Photographer – Andre L. Johnson / Andre Johnson Photography Makeup Artist – Crystal Orr/ Crystal Nicole Artistry All other images were photographed by Nae’ Keisha Jones

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.