We had the good fortune of connecting with Robyn K Mizelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robyn K, what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by the dynamism of life… The colors, the hues, the twists the turns, the art that one doesn’t usually see. I search for the art of life, this inspires me.
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.
My Art is unique to my Eye and how Eye see the Art of the world in life. My Art speaks my truth in what I see, feel, hear, smell, or even taste in any given moment. My Art moves me to create beyond the limitations of self and bring a fluid, amazing feeling of calm, satisfaction, beauty and breath for self and my clients. When in the moment of a shoot or a sketch or a beat my Art replaces my breath to create new pieces of me. And in those moments when the new artistry has been sown, the fantastic differences which set me apart from others take root and begin to bloom. Today, I’m in a place of great triumph. I arrived here after realizing just how much I had allowed myself to be continually beaten down. Professionally, I’m grateful for the arduous journey.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked for TV & Radio Stations, Newspapers, and Schools in Florida, GA & Japan. I became a full time entrepreneur in April of 2020. The story I’m about to tell, explains how I was thrust into the work I do now running my Visual Media Company…
In April 2017 I was hired to be the Photographer for one of the municipalities around the metro ATL area. The man who initially hired me in 2017, decided to retire early in 2018 after I had filed harassment and hostile work environment charges against him with Human Resources. In January 2020 he changed his mind about being retired, then interviewed for the same position I also interviewed for… he was re-hired to be my supervisor again in February of 2020. Starting February 5th, he began saying things to me and trying to argue with me about things that had happened two years prior. I documented his comments. In March after covid became known worldwide, we were told to telework from home. During our teleworking time, when I received multiple requests to complete media, he ignored all of my emails and disregarded all of my approval requests. Because he didn’t respond to any of my messages or phone calls, I filed 4 requests with Human Resources to have mediation with him. He denied all 4 requests and HR did nothing else to help me.
On April 10th, he called us back to the office for a “Team Meeting.” While we were walking to the office, he says, “I’m going to speak to you all separately, and I’m going to start with Robyn.” As we walked into the conference room, the HR director was sitting there. My supervisor then said, “I think it’s about time we did your 2 month assessment.”
I looked and said, “Ok.”
He then said, “After the past 2 months, I’ve determined you’re not a good fit.”
Then he got up and walked out of the room.
In that moment, shock & an unknown feeling of relief washed over me. It took me a while to understand what that unusual feeling was… the feeling of my heart sighing and beginning to breathe again.
I’m an introvert by nature and winning the battle of successfully and confidently standing up for myself is a continuing journey for me, even at this stage in my life. Not standing up for myself led to my continuing to allow myself to work in such a toxic environment. And one thing that working for this organization has taught me is that though the lack of security is terrifying, peace of mind and having a lack of toxicity in one’s life is ever more worth the risk of being who I have been called to be. And I am called to do Art. Now I understand how much better I am without that hostile workplace in my life that I believed and held on to as my comfort zone. Yet, I’ve since learned that I am not a glutton for pain. And that my skills and talent and constant compliments from clients or people who see my work is my strength. And that allowing myself to be treated so badly and constantly disrespected was damaging my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well being all alike… and that damaged my ability to fully create. Without it, I’ve been able to fully establish my LLC in Georgia and Florida. I’m so grateful.
Shortly after this experience, protests began erupting worldwide, so I used my last paychecks from there to purchase two new cameras on my own. I wanted to be a part of this worldwide Black Lives Matter Movement, so I began going to different cities around Atlanta and took Black & White Photos of marches, marchers and police officials. I put some of those photos on canvas and some of those photos are my new RkM Art Voices Clothing Line, I have t-shirts, hoodies, leggings, socks, onesies, coffee mugs and more. Fortunately, thankfully, my work has since been featured in a few Art Shows. I’m also scheduled to be a featured Artist at an upcoming Art Show in May.
My work, my career and experiences has shown me that I am powerful enough when faced with constant adversity, to be the power that I also am. My Power is Art. From these trials, great works of Art were born. And for this, I am grateful. I take it all one step at a time. RkM Art is a light of fluid, unique, awe inspiring, real and amazing artistry whose aim is to Art the World, One Beat at a time. I say, “One Beat,” because I’m also a drummer and pianist. Music is life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In the city, I’d definitely take my friend to Cascade Nature Preserve for solitude, hiking, peace, water, life and nature and to eat we’d hit up my favorite spots; Wadada, UniTea Cafè, Faux Real Burger, Life Bistro, Cultivate, Jinya Ramen or Tassili’s. We’d visit and walk around the West End, Atlanta Skyline, parts of the Belt Line, go skating in the 4th ward, swimming and to one of my favorite hookah spots, Anatoli’s. I love being close to the West End, Little Five Points, East Atlanta Village, and Peters St. Those areas rich in Art are the parts of the city I know more and love.
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?
My Mother, My Auntie, My Mentor; Dr. Valencia Matthews, My Sensei Sachiko Kobayshi, all my repeat clients and customers, and a few hard truth speaking friends who beat me over the head when I need their words and LifeofChelz owner, Chelsea Long, who’s shown me how to create Art in so many more enriching, alluring, and captivating ways. Thank you. I love you all so, so much. I’m just Grateful.
The photos of me are credited to: (nature & family) Sharis McCrary, (inside boxing gym) Leonardo Willis, & (drums) Lauren Gray. The product images, the protest images, and all other images by RkM Art LLC.