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Life & Work with Isis Benjamin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Isis Benjamin.

Hi Isis, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am twenty-one years old. I have been slowly entering the world of fashion and graphic design. I enjoy making album art for my music and others. I mainly draw figures and portraits; I am really into making my cartoons and a world for them to exist. I have been drawing ever since I was a child. It was something I unintentionally got better at over time. I started taking it more seriously in middle school. At the time, art was my escape from reality. Other than my uncle, my cousin inspired me to draw anime characters. She introduced me to deviantart.com, a social media website for artists. Deviant Art played a crucial part in my artistic development because it exposed me to thousands of artists and art styles. It was a great art community because there were so many niche art categories you could find.

In high school, I stepped back from art. I got accepted into a magnet program for the performing arts. I learned AP music theory and commercial music production. When I was younger, I did not have the confidence I currently have now about my artistic abilities. So I decided to major in mathematics for a career with a high salary once I got to Florida State University.

As I began my first year at university, I became depressed and antisocial. The major was not at all what I thought it would be. Eventually, after some soul searching, healthy eating, and trips to the gym, I changed my major to environmental science because I had just gone vegan. Although I enjoyed learning about the environment, I knew it was not my true calling. So, after that semester, I did the scariest thing and changed my major to studio art.

I recently started my YouTube channel with videos about my vegan lifestyle, art, fashion, and whatever else I like. I am building a social media platform to display myself and my artwork. I experiment with my wardrobe and thrifted pieces of clothing. I haven’t officially released anything yet. I am still looking for quality manufacturers and saving money to invest in the business.

My art derives from my current state of mind, fashion, and film. I am currently exploring American pop culture, the 1950s to the 200s, and how it has shaped our world today. I love pulling inspiration from world history. I think my art exposes how much I still feel like a kid. My art is youthful with references to my childhood.

I am also very inspired by punk rock, alternative, grunge culture. I want people to see my work and have the urge to wear it. My audience enjoys street art and creative graphics as much as I do.

I have dropped a few singles on all platforms, including SoundCloud, Apple Music, Youtube, and Spotify. But lately, I have been meticulously focused on improving my art skills. I have been featured in the local galleries in Tallahassee, like the Phyllis Strauss Gallery and The plant. Now that I am a senior, I am considering graduate school at FIT in New York City for fashion design.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I do not regret anything because it has made me the person I am today, but I have struggled like anyone in this world. For instance, I chose a major based on financial gain instead of my true passion when I first arrived at my University. I was depressed and hopeless during Freshman year. I had to pull myself out by finding my new spark. I forced myself to go to therapy, and I started working on health to achieve a better mindset. I am also working on defying self-doubt. When I was in middle school and high school, I struggled with self-worth and wondered whether I would achieve my dreams. At that time, I did not think an artistic career was possible. Thanks to the internet, my supportive loved ones, and my new mindset, I am accomplishing things that make my inner twelve-year-old proud!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I make music, create traditional and digital artworks, and rework thrifted or personal pieces from my wardrobe. I also make YouTube videos to give supporters a glimpse of my creative and vegan lifestyle. I specialize in anime and cartoony art. I am known for my music and colorful, trippy, nostalgic art style. I am most proud of my current artworks, along with my music that has thousands of plays. What sets me apart from others is that I am not afraid to do it all! Some people limit themselves to only one creative avenue, but I do whatever my heart desires, unapologetically!

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson I have learned along my journey is to never give up on myself, be confident, and network network network! It is not always about what you know but who you know! You can never be afraid to speak up!

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