By Mia Conte
She may seem shy at first but Neema has been able to use her artistic ability to let her wings fly
Oh, and she’s a BADASS woman who supports other like-minded women
- What are your favorite artists?
- Claude Monet
- Frida Kahlo
- Kehinde Wiley
- What is your art style?
- What are your three favorite pieces that you’ve drawn or painted and why?
Resting Buddha-—This was one of the first advanced pieces that I have ever worked on. Before Resting Buddha, I was still exploring the boundaries of color theory and design and it was not until I started working on this project that I began to realize how much power I had as a painter.
Dreamer— Coming to the United States of America proved to be one of the greatest challenges my family has ever had to face. Being far away from our family members, learning English, and navigating a new city was hard for a family that has had its roots firmly planted in Tanzania for centuries. The process of assimilation, although slow, proved to be the only solution to the many issues we faced — it allowed us to absorb the dominant culture, to identify ourselves as an ‘American,’ and to blend into our newfound community. We stopped eating with our hands, wearing traditional garments outside of the house, and speaking our mother tongue. Looking back, I regret renouncing my Tanzanian heritage in the hopes of being accepted by the people around me. Nowadays, I am working hard to reclaim my roots and this piece is a reflection of that.
Underground Mural— Recently, my friend Tiana and I painted a mural for the Underground Coffeehouse, a student-run coffee shop at Trinity College. Out of all my projects, this one took the longest amount of time and dedication as we worked on this from March to the end of May. From my experience being a customer (now employee) at the Underground Cafe, I have noticed that it has never wavered from its mission of giving students a comfortable, inclusive, and peaceful space on campus where anyone can get a drink, hang out with friends, or even do homework and we wanted to take the time to create a piece that everyone would enjoy as they walked in.
- I noticed you like the color green a lot in your artwork. Why is that?
Green is an organic color that helps emulate the theme of nature, thus making my pieces look more authentic in my eyes. In times I don’t use green I try to incorporate other elements such as butterflies, bright consummate flowers, fish, and/or grass.
- I noticed you only paint females why is it?
From the technical side of things, drawing women comes easy to me because I can look at myself and get the correct proportions needed to help make my paintings look more realistic.
On top of this, there are a ton of inspirational women in my life and my paintings tend to be a reflection of that. In my current project, I am painting an image of my mother from when we were back in Iringa, Tanzania.
- What is your major?
- Favorite quote
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
Henry Ward Beecher
This quote shows the reality of what painting is to me. For many artists, we tend to reflect on our lives and the various occurrences that have happened in order to reflect that reality for others to understand and/or relate to.
As Neema is growing and learning as a college student she has been able to paint a mural for her college’s community; and is creating her own story through her artwork, voice, and beyond. If she was to design a round21 collection she would utilize inspiration from the color green and nature. You can follow her art account here https://www.instagram.com/earthiygrace/ and her Instagram handle here as well https://www.instagram.com/neem.a/ .