October is Black History Month in the UK. Throughout the month, we'll be spotlighting the voices of four Black artists from around the world, showcasing their work, discussing their inspiration, experiences as an artist and the hurdles they may have faced during their career.
Today, we speak to Anji Lesourne, a painter based in France whose work shows every wrinkle, every dark circle, every moment of doubt - because that is what makes us human.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how long you have been on Artfinder?
As an artist, I have always been been drawn to the human face and its subtle but enormous range of emotions - whether it is photographing or painting them. These days I have been drawn to people who have accomplished amazing things through the horror of the recent worldwide pandemic.
What inspires you as an artist?
Music is a big inspiration for me - when I hear certain songs I can picture my next painting. Extraordinarily amazing women I know or have read about also inspire my work a lot. Difficult situations often push me to create and my art shares the thoughts in my head that I cannot put into words.
Have you faced any challenges through the course of your career?
I studied art at university in the US (20 ahem years ago). I was always artistic, but I have only started painting full-time since the world shut down in the dumpster fire that was 2020. It was clear throughout all that stress that my thoughts were literally,"pick up your paintbrushes or you are not going to make it through this". So far my biggest challenge is connecting with relevant collectors.
Do you some words of advice for our readers?
I am paraphrasing a quote from Courtney Martin: "Give yourself permission to feel all the hard things: the rejection, the doubt, the sadness, the things that make you disavow humanity... then focus! Grab your paintbrush, pick up your camera, take your pen, go to your turntables, pick up your chin and create!
Cover image via Anji Lesourne
Discover more Black artists and their work: