Growing up I never knew exactly what I was missing. I just tried to assimilate into the imagery that was around me. Never gave it much thought when I went to purchase things there were never faces that looked like mine on packages and signs. It was just the reality and was accepted by myself and all those who were around me.
My mother and majority of my Aunties went to segregated schools so their spin on the world was very different from the 90s world that was emerging before my teenage eyes. I now had the Huxtables and A Different World that was telling me something more and that I could be something really special. People like me can be doctors, lawyers, teachers, and nomads (Thanks Lisa Bonet IG: @officiallisabonet and Cree Summer IG: @Iammcreesummer).
During the lockdown, I stumbled on this very talented Afro-Caribbean Latina Author, Artist, and Photographer Reyna Noriega. My eyes were wide open! I saw me... the very thing that I didn't know I was missing. Seeing her work, bold and so brown!Faces that are still left to allow you to fill in the rest. Bright colors, loud bold, and regal. It was all the things that I say I am but it was captured in bright paints and left on canvas for a grand statement without words.
As I began to design my store the love of the Jungalow vibe danced in my head. I knew that I had to have the right imagery. So if you have been into Liberate and Lather on 205 South Division in Moses Lake Washington let and wondered or asked who this artist is let please me give you some educational facts.
Post and Image from www.reynanoriega.com
Reyna Noriega is a 28-year-old Visual Artist and Author, born, raised, and working in Miami, FL. Having seen the power of introspection, self-reflection and healing, Reyna’s work centers that aspect of our journeys as we seek to rise and be our best, most authentic selves so that people may experience sustainable peace and happiness.
In her creative work, she has centered on women of color. As an Afro-Caribbean Latina, she has seen firsthand how damaging it can be to not see positive representation. She aims to fill the world with vibrant, joyful depictions of marginalized people. Her work has graced covers such as Science Magazine and The New Yorker and thousands of people collect and showcase her art in their homes around the world.
Her writings are muses from her own journey condensed into a poetic form that people can digest and insert their own experiences, similar to her faceless drawings. She aims not to be a voice for the voiceless, but to lead them to their own voice.
If you haven't run to her website already please poke around her blog and come back and let me know what you thought in the comments.