Dreams of Mastery
Story and artwork from Zuri Dreamer
Hi, I’m Zuri. And I am a Dreamer.
I am the granddaughter of women whose grandparents were slaves. Both of my grandmothers toiled under abusive husbands in the rough conditions of what we Americans call “the Dirty South”; each feeding a quiver-full of children on withered breasts, educating them despite troubled minds and spirits. I come from a lineage of survivors, practical people who did what they had to. Stern faces and glinting eyes all swearing by the Bible and western principles as the women surreptitiously “laid hands” (as healers) on their community, doling out remedies that transformed every life they touched. My single mother, like many of her generation, lost the magic of non conformist spiritual dialogue and bought completely into the promise of respectability politics, the American Dream and the western standard of worth.
I call myself Dreamer because I have spent the better part of thirty years rejecting western standards to find my own in the reliving and breaking of generational curses. I dare to dream a dream of a paradigm disconnected from money and things and control of people as a measure of worth. I have become a staunch pursuer of High Play or Adult Girl Joy ie. Following my Heart. I have lived a complex life. In a conversation with me you will find I confidently mention things such as “Survivor of Domestic Violence” and “Single Mother, Homeschooler of Three” as meaningful accolades. I appreciate that my real life experience of decoding my African American reality is useful in the cause of decolonizing and freeing the Soul of the African diaspora. Every difficult experience has led me to a discovery, both tangible and intangible, that brought me joy.
Art found me during one of these difficult times. An online Drawing 101 course was a breath of fresh air found during one of my attempts to flee abuse. I was dared to try it out by my roommate, another domestic abuse survivor, as we helped each other care for our collective children and rebuild our lives. While taking beginner courses, I discovered ability and love of sculpting and drawing. Because of this, Art has become synonymous with Wings. Outside of school I began the task of learning color theory and Acrylic painting. It has been challenging, but when i’m in the deepest point of realizing a form everything but my eyes and my hands disappear. I am truly unbound. The sensation of gravity comes when I’m forced to stop or when I doubt my skills or even Right to call myself an Artist. A Creative.
The reason I am reaching for this Win(!) is because I have gotten as far as I can having taking some foundational study in Charcoal drawing and sculpture. I have so many ideas I’d like to birth onto canvas but find myself burdened by lack of professional systemic knowledge on concepts such as color theory, composition, perspective as well as and limited muscle memory. I would love to take what I’ve learned in those beginner courses and on my own and add the scientific principles of Art Mastery so I feel more free in my creative expression. I’m most excited to learn how to use oils since because of a fairly transient lifestyle, I’ve only used Acrylic paints as a highly portable medium. I’m now ready to tackle easy blend-ability with glee!
I’m choosing this opportunity because my playful lifestyle has led me to a new environment (West Africa) that is full of beautiful images, stories and faces begging to be expressed on canvas. The fees to maintain my stay here, haven’t been cheap, and neither has rebuilding my art materials from scratch. To take advantage of Drawing Academy on Scholarship while knee deep in inspiration and drive to improve my talents. Well, that would be a dream come true.
If you’ve made it to the end of this, I thank you so much for your time and interest! I hope I win! Haha.
If you’d like to connect with me on social media to talk about art journeys, materials, boys, existentialism – anything really – you can find me on Instagram @thinkuthink (my submitted artwork says different).
Peace and Blissful Creation to You!