I’ve admired Macey Dickerson and her art for years.
I absolutely loved her paintings depicting beautiful little girls in afros and I vividly remember the hopeful and joyful emotions that the artwork made me feel – even through a phone screen.
Not to mention the art that would depict the beauty of body positivity, illustrating women and men of all different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. All happy and all beautiful in themselves.
Now you can imagine how excited I am to share Macey’s story with so many others – so that you all can love her and her artwork just as much as I do!
Here we go…
The Easy Stuff
Hometown& Current Residence
Five Favorite Things
2. Beautifully Authentic People
Favorite Artist That’s Active on Social Media
@Alphachanneling is a beautiful page which features art that celebrates the sacredness of sexuality.
Favorite Piece of Artwork That You’ve Created
My favorite recent piece is called “Sacred Burden”.
I painted it after hearing a story on NPR about women across the world who are ostracized and shamed while on their periods. It angered, saddened and frustrated me. I channeled those emotions into a painting which I hope challenges the perception that menstruation is something shameful.
I channeled those emotions into a painting which I hope challenges the perception that menstruation is something shameful.
SCB: How long have you been creating art? Is this something you always knew you wanted to do, or did it take some prodding to find this passion? What inspired you to start? Were you always creative/good at creating (through painting/jewelry design)?
MD: I never made a conscious decision to start creating art, I consider it an unavoidable part of my personality. I am a very visually oriented person, and for me, creating art is a natural extension of my thought process.
creating art is a natural extension of my thought process
Although I have always had a natural affinity for creating art, I have worked extremely hard to develop my skill. I majored in Oil Painting in college – my professor, David Cunningham, is a realist painter so that’s the style that I was taught in.The process of creating a realist painting entails taking a photograph and painstakingly duplicating every detail onto canvas with brush and paint. I would paint for hours in the studio, so focused that I would often times forget to eat or go the bathroom. When an assignment was due, we would do a class critique in which every student’s art would be hung in the front of the room, then ranked from best to worst. It seems harsh, but those critiques (along with my competitive nature) forced me to elevate my skill.
There is this misconception that the creative process is fun and effortless for artists, and at least in my experience this is not always true. When people see a finished piece, all they see is the beauty, they don’t know about the cursing, tears, frustration and uncertainty that has to be endured before a really good piece or idea is born.
When people see a finished piece, all they see is the beauty, they don’t know about the cursing, tears, frustration and uncertainty that has to be endured before a really good piece or idea is born.
SCB: How did you choose which topics you wanted to paint/create about? You seem to focus on body positivity and the beauty of all women (of all shapes, sizes, colors, etc.) – that’s great! What made you want to focus on that, and not any other topics?
MD: Honestly, my work about body positivity spurs from my own insecurities. Starting in adolescence, like most girls, I began to develop the idea that there was something wrong with my body. I remember a time when I would look in the mirror and not like a single thing that I saw.
As I grew up and matured, something shifted in me, I started evaluating the negative beliefs I held about my appearance. The more I educated myself, I realized that as women, we are taught that we are not acceptable how we naturally are. There are whole industries that thrive off of women believing this! We are taught to pluck, straighten, diet and contour ourselves until we are “beautiful” enough to be worthy of happiness. How powerful would we be if we channeled all that time, money, and energy to pursue our dreams and passions instead? In a world where women’s bodies are continually criticized,censored and controlled, radical self love is a form of revolution.
How powerful would we be if we channeled all that time, money, and energy to pursue our dreams and passions instead?
SCB: What’s a day in the life of Macey? Are you creating jewelry/painting all day or do you do other things to encourage the creative process?
MD: I am currently employed full time. I go to work for eight hours, and when I come home, I start creating. My ultimate goal is to focus on my art full time, but that I not my reality yet, so there are a lot of late nights for me. Whether it be filling orders, or experimenting with new designs, I consider every moment precious so I make sure I am using the time I do have to build something worthwhile.
SCB: I seemed to notice a quick shift in your artwork, from just painting to more jewelry making. Are you still painting, or are you only making the yoni necklaces? What caused you to make this shift?
MD: I really had no experience with making jewelry until I started experimenting with polymer clay, and sculpted the first Yoni. I posted a picture of what I created, and the positive response I received showed me that this was an idea that really resonated with a lot of people. Yoni line has taken off ever since! Although I devote most of my time to Yoni-que Creations, painting will always be my first love, and I create little paintings and drawings here and there.
SCB: For someone who’s never heard of “yoni” or have no idea what those necklaces mean: what is the meaning of the yoni necklace? How’d you first hear about the yoni design?
MD: I first heard the term “Yoni” in an Art History class when discussing Hinduism. It is a Sanskrit word for vagina which translates to “sacred space.” This idea of the woman’s body as divine really struck a chord with me, since it contrasts so much with how the female form is viewed in our society.
SCB: How does it feel to have so many people sharing your art via social media? How many have shared it (if you can count)?
MD: Thanks to social media, I can connect with people all around the world who each resonate with the idea of Yoni for different reasons. It is like we are a tribe or sisterhood that just keeps growing and growing; it is truly beautiful to be a part of it all. I think we are going to change the world.
SCB: What’s next for you? Expanding Yoni design? Will we see more painting down the line?
MD: I want to continue expanding the Yoni-que Creations line, and find a few more retail stores to carry it. My dad once said to me “the best way to help someone, is to hire them.” I really believe this sentiment, and it is my ultimate goal to be able to hire, and empower others. Until then, I will continue to keep grinding, learning and painting along the way.
We love the positive messages that Macey is sharing through her artwork! This type of empowerment is especially important in our communities – keep up the great work, Macey!
To view more of Macey’s work and to support her craft,visit her Etsy site and shop up!