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Celebrating Black History Month UK: Tasha Jentel

Celebrating Black History Month UK: Tasha Jentel

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 Tasha Jentel, a US-based mixed-media artist. Each of Tasha's artworks presents a new opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries of black-and-white textural minimalism.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how long you have been on Artfinder?

I was born and raised in Maryland, USA. I come from a family of artistic creators - my father was a piano and guitar player, I have an aunt who was a painter, brothers who are music producers and the list goes on! I have always had a natural talent and interest in the arts and that was discovered at a very young age. I actually started playing piano/keyboard and learned to compose and produce my own music for a good portion of my adolescent years and into my early twenties. I picked up modelling following the years of producing music and then photography. Currently, I'm exploring the world of abstract sculptural art. Like many others, the pause in life we experienced with the early phase of COVID led me to quite naturally turn to my creative side. I have dabbled with painting in the past but only in short spurts.

What inspires you as an artist?

A lot comes from within, cumulative life experiences, who I am as a person and my personal taste and style. I get visions that just come to me while dreaming or daydreaming (I’m a dreamer). I also find minimalistic, modern interior design inspiring. I love black-and-white interiors and the bold high contrasting elements. Photography done in black-and-white, the different textures found here on earth and the massive dark and mysterious universe. I like to incorporate the feeling of space juxtaposed with bold textures. The inspiration for texture is found in various forms, both natural and manmade. There is so much inspiration all around, honestly!

Have you faced any challenges through the course of your career?

Many! There are many challenges faced when you are new at entrepreneurship or just traveling down a new road. A lot of times, I wonder if I'm prioritising my life in the right way and if this is a “real job”. I think one of my first challenges was how do I broaden my audience? How do I reach more people? I started with a brand new social media account so we all know how hard it can get to establish the traffic you desire and beat the algorithm. My engagement and sales were peaking and I had to figure out ways to get my work noticed other than the single route I was on. That subsequently led to my next challenge and that was to keep the motivation going and not to feel defeated and stuck. I am very confident in my work and when I do reach people, they love it! Overall, I can produce and I’m always inspired and have many visions to create, so for me it’s the outreach that is my biggest challenge but has improved a lot. Research plays a big role in discovering what opportunities may be right for you. I have learned new ways to channel my pieces through and I just have to remember to have a little faith and patience.

Do you some words of advice for our readers?

“Sit with yourself. Be alone. Discover who you really are. Be still. Be patient. Learn to let your mind wonder. You will grow. You will become more confident and the authentic you will become unlocked. A world of new meaning and new beginnings will put you on your true path in life”.

Cover image via Tasha Jentel

Discover more Black artists and their work:

Stephanie Unaeze, Clement Mohale, Afekwo Nnachi, Habib Hajallie, Tasia Graham, Mikéla Henry-Lowe

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