In our August-September issue, we spoke with four Black artists based in Montgomery County about their creative endeavors. Each artist draws inspiration from their own personal experiences and childhood upbringing to craft pieces that speak to themselves and others.
During Black History Month we will be revisiting those stories. Here, Silver Spring’s Twanna A. Hines talks about being a sex positive multidisciplinary artist.
I think as a Black creative and a woman, and as someone who’s talking about that taboo and smutty little subject, sex, there are a lot of gatekeepers who don’t necessarily put forward voices like mine.
My art is a way to connect with other people about causes and values and issues that are very important to me personally and to the world. It’s really about wanting everyone to have a sexier and more pleasurable life.
I want anyone who enjoys my art to feel safe. I want them to feel heard, which is funny because I’m the one doing the writing, speaking and talking. But, my hope is to be as vulnerable and open as possible and give voice to others and the things that they may be experiencing.
I also want them to feel that sex is OK. Like we can actually talk about sex like it’s the most normal thing in the world because it is! None of us would be here if it weren’t for sex.
As much as I am an artist, I’m also an entrepreneur. When I started my business, I was very cognizant of the idea that my personal art is almost exclusively about sexual and reproductive health, rights, education and justice. But the things I care about and the causes I support are obviously much broader than that.
So, I started my firm, Funky Brown Chic, to support artists and nonprofits who similarly want to incorporate the arts as another tool in the arsenal of media and digital communications. It’s great to have those two lines of business. One side of the house is the artistic engine. The other side of the house is spreading that out to others.