We had the good fortune of connecting with Tarika Holland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tarika, how do you think about risk?
There’s so much risk in simply being an artist. It takes a great amount of strength and courage to open yourself up and create about your life experiences and even more of it to share it with others. While I am pursuing art as a career and I am a prominent face and voice in my community, I’ve come to the realization that I create for my own self. Inevitably, I spend a lot of time in solitude and I find so much thrill in the risk you take sitting alone with solely your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You never know what you will discover or who or what will decide to visit your mind that day. I don’t owe anyone my art, rather I owe myself the healing that comes from diving into a new realm of the creative process and finally releasing what I may have been holding in for so long. I make the choice to take the risk of sharing it with others. You never know how people are going to respond, if they are going to like or appreciate it, you don’t even know if anyone will care. I do keep in mind that someone might just need it. I may be able to express what they have been feeling or has felt whether it’s through words, movement, lyrics, or embodying someone or something other than myself. As I step more into my womanhood, I am learning to embrace my boldness and vulnerability. It is a risk pouring so much of myself into my work, but it is one that I never regret taking. Of course there’s still the talk about how pursuing art as a career is a risk being that we aren’t paid as much as other professions, and what especially opened my eyes to that was this year and its many unforeseen circumstances. The pandemic brutally hit the arts, and although we are all concerned about what this means for our careers, it’s beautiful seeing people get creative and make the best with what we have right now. Personally, this year I made the decision to leave college after dominating artistically and academically my first year to not only heal from things my family and I went through personally and financially but to reevaluate what I want for myself and in search of more. When I return to college, I will have changed my major from Dance to Performing Arts. I am hoping to move to a new city. I am finding myself in the art forms I’ve always been acquainted with but either ran from or didn’t fully embrace. Of course, feelings of doubt and insecurity invade my mind from time to time, I questioned whether or not I did the right thing, but I’ve come to the realization that there’s a bigger blessing in all of this that I can’t fathom yet. I think most artists have this sort of insatiable nature, some more extreme that others. I am always yearning for more. I didn’t want to box myself in and only pursue one art form. I don’t want to occupy a space I can no longer grow in. It’s a risk, disturbing the norms society thinks that I should abide by. I’ve accepted that the choices I make and the risks I take aren’t for anybody to understand. I know that these risks will be worth it. The risks are always worth it. Risks keep me excited and motivated. Risks humble me. An artist’s ability and willingness to take a risk is what makes them great. Every time I am creating, I am always trying new things and pushing those boundaries. It’s the best kind of challenge, in my opinion. It’s always so rewarding when those risks pay off and I take in the lessons of a risk I took that wasn’t as successful. As an independent artist, I make lots of sacrifices. Most of the money I make goes into my art. I don’t sleep much or at all when I’m feeling really creative or working on big projects. I sacrifice having a social life and doing the things people my age do, but I’ve learned the importance of balance. And above all, I take a risk by expressing myself in whatever medium I need to. I’ve grown to be more comfortable in the beauty and the vulnerability of speaking my truth. Being an artist is a risk that I take every single day and will take for the rest of my life without hesitation.
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.
Well, I like to think of my art in the categories of “The Movement, The Words, The Voice, and The Model.” I am a woman of many talents: dance, spoken word/poetry, acting, modeling, and I’m trying to get my toes wet in music! I think what makes me so special as an artist is my unorthodox style and captivating stage presence. I have a strong sense of myself, and I am authentic. My path is unconventional. I don’t create about anything that I haven’t experienced or something that doesn’t come from my heart or feel real. I love taking risks and pushing the boundaries, and I think that is what makes my art so great. I’m not afraid to just go for it and put myself out there. Some of my greatest accomplishments would be graduating high school, establishing myself as a performing artist, attending college, and my proudest moment this year was self-publishing my first book, “Through the Eyes of Is0latedbeauty” It’s been a dream of mine to write a book since I was a little girl, and it’s still so surreal!!! I am most excited about expanding my knowledge about my art forms and becoming more well rounded. I am eager to see where my journey leads me to next. I’m just excited to keep creating and continuing to put myself out there! Of course, my journey as an artist has not been easy. It’s literally been blood, sweat tears, and then some! I’ve learned that nothing in life will be handed to me. Hard work and dedication will take you so far. On this journey, there’s been so many obstacle and distractions trying to pull me in many directions. It’s so important to stay focused on the destination you are trying to reach. Don’t let someone else dictate who you are or will be. Stay true to yourself. The right ones will love, value, and appreciate all that you have to offer. As you elevate, not everyone can come with you. No one can give you what you want but yourself. And recently, I learned that not everything is personal. So many people are projecting. No matter what this journey has thrown at me and no matter what this journey will throw at me, I am ready and I will not go down without a fight. No one is me, and that is my power. I want the world to know that I am here. I have things to say. I have stories to tell. I want the world to experience the power in my artistry in any art form I choose. I want the world to see that I cannot and will not be put into a box. I want everyone to feel the heat of the everlasting burning flame inside of me. I want to make people feel seen, heard, and understood. I want to be the voice for the voiceless or better yet, help others find their voice. I just want the world to see all that I have to offer. I want the world to see, feel, hear, and experience me, is0latedbeauty.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Without a doubt, Augusta is such a beautiful city! It has a liveliness that isn’t obnoxious but one that takes a special kind of mind to appreciate. I’d take my friend on a walk Downtown, and there are soooo many of my favorite spots there. One of the first places I’d take my friend to is Humanitree House. It is filled with such beautiful hand painted artwork by one of my favorite artists, Brotha B, and you can get some of the best vegan food in the city. That place is definitely another home. I’ve done some of my most memorable performances there and I love their smoothie bowls, too! Another place I’d take my friend is to New Moon, another good food spot with healthy options and right next door is The Book Tavern, another very special place to me and filled with a variety of books. There’s also lots of cool historic sites such as monuments, statues, theaters, and incredible murals honoring Augusta’s very own… The Godfather of Soul… James Brown!!! For some beautiful views of nature, I’d take my friend to the Rapids where there are walking trails and waterfalls. I’ve done some of my best photo shoots there and it’s just a great escape to appreciate our home, Earth. Another good spot with good views is the Riverwalk, a must visit when you’re in Augusta! If my friend is a fan of museums, I’d take them to two of my favorites which is the Augusta Museum of History and the Morris Museum of Art. There’s so much that Augusta has to offer, but these are the place that I believe are a must see/visit. I’d be a great tour guide for my friend, and it would be a good time!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Ah, there’s so many! But first, I have to thank my mom. She’s poured so much love, life, strength and power in me every since I was born. Once she saw that I was serious about being an artist, she ensured to instill in me good qualities such as consistency, patience, and authenticity. When I was insecure about how unconventional my journey was, she always saw the beauty in it. She definitely saw a lot of things before I did and though she couldn’t save me from it all, she was there as a healed through the mishaps. My mom is my biggest inspiration, motivation, best friend and supporter. No matter what the endeavor is, she is there for me. I really wouldn’t have made it this far without her. I can’t wait to continue making her proud. She’s the owner of her very own business, Styles From The Roots, that sells a variety of Afrocentric earrings made for a queen. She pours her all into her business. It’s so nice reciprocating that love, support and energy that she’s always given me.
Photo by Marcus Robledo