HIGHLIGHTS

Want to know more about some BLACK GIRLS WHO PAINT? Here are some interviews that highlight collaborations, major achievements, and news about BGWP all around the world.

SABRINA THOMPSON

Name: Sabrina Thompson artistically known as "Nefertiti-Pokahontas"

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Sabrina Thompson, a.k.a. Nefertiti-Pokahontas, is a visual artist by nature and Aerospace Engineer by profession. She spends most of her time thinking about outer space, whether it is using math and science to put things into space or imagining being there.  She is fascinated by our universe, Earth, humans, and how energy is transferred between all of us.  Seeking to understand the interconnections between the three is a mission of hers.  The more she learns, the more she shares in the best way she knows how...through art.

The Name: “Nefertiti-Pokahontas” (a.k.a. Nef-P) is the amalgamation of two very distinct cultures that personifies my totality: I am a Native - African American. The name “Nefertiti” means “the beautiful one has arrived” in Egyptian. “Pocahontas” means “she is playful” in Algonquin. That said, Nefertiti-Pokahontas describes not only my culture, but my personality and attributes as well.  As an artist, my work is a product of many moments of playing...with colors, ideas, words, shapes, etc.  And I believe it is playfulness and the ability to enjoy and appreciate every moment of life that is the most beautiful and authentic thing about me.  This is what I share in my art."

Website: www.nefertiti-pokahontas.com

Social Media: IG @nefertitipokahontas; FB Nefertiti-Pokahontas


Describe you experience as a current artist.

I consider myself a part-time artist. However, I am creating art all the time. I started seriously pursuing my art about 4 years ago. I was always making art pieces and showcasing my work at local galleries and shows throughout elementary school and high school.  I was an artist at an early age. As a kindergartener, I recall thinking it was weird that my classmates drew stick figures while I was able to draw Bart Simpson and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When I started college, I realized I did not have the time to make art, get good grades, and play NCAA Division I basketball. So I told myself, once I get a job and get settled, then I’d pick up my art again. I was a little rusty at first, but as I kept drawing and taking pics, the creative juices started flowing.

What is your occupation/education aside from being an artist? What prompted you to pursue art in addition?

I’m also an Aerospace Engineer. I design orbits and trajectories for NASA space missions. I’ve been working at NASA for about 8 years now. I went to college to study Mechanical (B.E.) and Aerospace Engineering (M.S.). I’m currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics.  So, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is a huge part of my life.  I believe Art and STEM go hand-in-hand. Most of the artwork I create involves some aspect of space, science, math, even astronauts. I’m not the best with words and I can be very calculated.  So my art is my voice, my thoughts, my passions, my creativity, my hopes, and my dreams. I believe my purpose is to pursue my dreams, goals, and passions. And there is something about my inner person that strongly desires the same for everyone else. So, this desire has become my purpose as an artist. Right now, because of my 9-to-5, I am able to financially support my art projects. 

How do you balance being an artist and maintaining your full-time job/career? How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration/motivation to paint in the midst?

Balance. It’s something I am trying to achieve daily. I’m learning to say ‘no’ more often to things that are not going to get me where I’m trying to go in life.  On the flip side, I’m learning to manage the things I say ‘yes’ to by surrounding myself with people who will hold me accountable. The things I struggle with are the things my accountability partners excel at and vice versa. So we encourage one another constantly.  It’s a team effort.  I can’t do it without my support crew holding me down. Organization is also key. I jot down all events, meetings, etc., in my calendar.  I have a schedule for key projects/goals I am working on.  Sometimes it is hard to stay on track, but I’m calibrating as I go.

Describe your biggest milestone achieved/reach since pursuing your art.

I don’t think I have achieved my biggest milestone as an artist yet. Right now, I’m still on the grind. I’m still in “hustle” mode. I’m working hard to perfect my craft: I’m trying new painting techniques, creating mixed media pieces, dabbling into fashion, customizing clothes, creating a book series, etc. I have a lot of stored up creative energy. I’m releasing it little by little.

What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals while maintaining/succeeding in another career?

The only advice I would give is “do you and be you”. If the art feels natural, good, right, or whatever feeling you so desire, let it flow.  It’s in you.  Let it naturally flow through you.  Sometimes, as artists, we let others’ opinions of our craft dictate the type of work we produce or even how we produce it.  More times than not, if you love your work, others will love it too.  Especially, if you share your passion and story behind the artwork.  The human connection fostered by art is a powerful thing.

What is next for you?

The next thing I’m working on is the GIRL IN SPACE {Book}.  As I mentioned, I’m very passionate about striving to be the best you can be and not letting society limit your dreams. The book is meant to inspire the next generation of girls to be confident in their abilities and know they are more than capable of breaking down barriers they will encounter as they pursue their dreams. The book is intended for young readers in middle school. It will be released next year in 2019. For anyone interested in learning more, they can sign up for the newsletter on my website.

What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?

Being a BGWP means being a goddess who uses her paintbrush to create the world she chooses to see.

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