We had the good fortune of connecting with Tsega Beloved and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tsega Beloved, how do you think about risk?
Being open about having bipolar disorder and being open about my sexuality are enormous risks, especially as an east African woman. I understand that I place myself in a vulnerable position, and that it likely will come with negative perceptions that I have to let roll off my back. Ultimately it’s not praise that I’m creating for, it’s representation. Many women have privately come to me and told me how they feel seen through my art and message. If I can make a single person feel like they aren’t the only one that feels what they feel, then it was all worth it to 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.
I left a pre-law track halfway through college and dived into the creative arts. I knew I wanted to express myself and finding the best way to do that was my mission. Through studying creative writing, art, and design, I carved out my voice through music and design work. The more intangible, mysterious, and sometimes darker aspects of our existence as human beings are a huge source of inspiration and direction for my work; sexuality, mental instability, spirituality, and femininity all play a role. This was not an easy journey, as I have been through a lot of death and rebirth in this process, having literally been institutionalized halfway through school. I’ve learned that every pain has something to teach me, and every assumption is worth questioning. I want others to see me overcome my mental challenges and know that anything is possible for them.
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.
I always take friends to the Flying Biscuit in Atlanta when they’re in town for a short time. They have the best breakfast in the city, in my humble opinion. The Georgia Aquarium is one of my favorite tourist spots as well, so I’d probably plan a day there for sure. Hookah is likely on the agenda when night hits, but for my non-smokers perhaps a late night food exhibition, the classic Waffle House, or my new recent favorite food truck Man v. Fries
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My big sister Hannah (@hannahjoytv) was one of my first mentors, practically a second mom to me growing up, and her encouragement and belief in me are a big reason that I am confident in my ability to succeed. She’s always called me her “sunshine”, even when I haven’t felt so bright on the inside, and has always reminded me of the light within me that I have to share with the world.
Other: I recently reached 2 M plays on my first TikTok discussing women’s sexuality, and use the platform to create more open dialogue on related topics. https://www.tiktok.com/@tsegabeloved
@dumoarles (polaroids) @TengoFilms (horizontal photos)