Imanigold

Arts
Ruckus_NicoBehnzukeh5

 

April Kae is an activist and musician, and the creator of Imanigold. Her work centers on empowering the community around her, with a particular focus on young people of color and queer black femme identity. She uses social media to build spaces for frank discussions about civil rights and to tell stories of solidarity and strength, as April believes such spaces are essential to bringing about the non-violent change she works to create. She also partners with community stakeholders to bring these digital spaces to life. We caught up with her a few weeks back to chat about self-care, and discuss how she balances protest and personal growth.

Livien Yin for Nightingale

Arts

5-gila_callback

 

Recently, I’ve been focusing on health and the capacity to give. I applied to graduate programs this past fall and glued myself to the computer during those months. Bodily neglect and anxiety led to distraction while spending time with friends. In moments when mental, physical needs are met, I’m released to engage the needs of others. During the national election, we witnessed waves of fear replace compassion for our neighboring communities. I believe internal balance can make way for generosity in interacting with strangers, or allocate one’s attention toward supporting the natural environment, the effects of which ripple back to individual wellbeing.

 

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The process of painting, when I enter those elusive periods of fluid image-making, is an activity that takes my mind away from concerns of the self. A fleeting sense of lightness that I equate with optimal health. Many of my illustrations depict destinations based on conceptions of personal peace. These spaces tend to be vacant of others, animated by collections of physical artifacts and surface textures. I often push flamboyant pigments in high contrast combinations to celebrate unity among different rather than similar traits. Viewing other artists’ works, I linger on pieces that build intimacy with subjects initially presented as foreign to our individual experiences. By practicing art, I strive to foster empathy between disparate parties, and similarly approach health as a means to strengthen connections between people.

 

 



3459947Livien Yin
is an artist and illustrator living in Oakland, CA, and this issue of Nightingale’s featured artist. She is the Co-founder and illustrator of Civic Quarterly.