NAME: Abiola Abrams
LOCATION: Harlem, NY
ORIGIN: New York, NY
ART: Storytelling: My mediums are words and pictures. I am a writer, filmmaker and TV personality.
MAIN GENRE: Storytelling. My objective always remains the same. It’s only my methods that change.
TRAINING: BA, Sarah Lawrence College; MFA, Vermont School of Fine Arts
BIO: Abiola Abrams is an American TV host, filmmaker, internet personality, personal coach, motivational speaker and author. Her advice columns on topics such as relationships and self-worth include Intimacy Intervention on Essence.com and Abiola’s Love Class on MommyNoire.com. She is the author of Dare, a love story retelling of Faust set in the hip hop world. Abrams is also the creator of a lifestyle blog and web video series at AbiolaTV.com.
LATEST WORKS: My debut novel DARE is my favorite child right now. Dare is the sizzling story of a sociologist who goes undercover and winds up in too deep as a racy rapper searching for love in the glam world of entertainment. I am launching a movement with it called Dareitude or Dareology, and calling it the Dare to Be A Bad Girl Revolution. Sounds fun, right? Fun and empowering.
Please describe your artistic themes
My work is about using pop culture to empower people to live bigger, brighter, and more fulfilling lives! My films and books use humor as well as drama to investigate the themes of race, gender and empowerment and overall, my mission is to empower (women primarily) culturally, emotionally, politically and sexually. I like to think of myself as a wonderfully flawed superhero!! (laughs)
Please describe your creative process
It varies depending on what I am working on. My workspace is like a collage laboratory of images, magazine clippings, music, and movement. When I am writing a book or creating a film, I experience every character viscerally. Everything for me comes back to a narrative and telling a story. Even when I am hosting television. My work is in many ways about communicating. The other day someone called me the black Miranda July, which was a huge compliment because I am a fan of her work. So maybe I am a combo of Miranda July, Andy Warhol, Candace Bushnell and Wonder Woman!!! I listen to music a lot when I work. Depending on the project, it may be R&B, Soul, Jazz, Rock or Hip-hop.
What are your artistic goals?
My artistic goal is – like Tyler Perry, Tyra Banks, Oprah or Jay-Z — to find my audience and serve them as an artist—films, books, movies, the works.
What are your views on the industry?
It is a very interesting thing being a commercial artist. However, my trust fund from the Bank of Georgetown, Guyana has run dry and been eaten by birds, so I must be a commercial artist to for my landlord’s sake! I am an eternal optimist, so I feel that the emerging technology is making it possible to cut out a lot of middle men like record labels. I think that we are moving back to a more democratic process where artists and their audiences can communicate directly. I love it! I enjoy communicating with my myspace community. People say, you’re on TV, you don’t have to do that. But I am only as good as my supporters, and I appreciate them giving me their time, so I am honor bound to reciprocate.
What advice could you give to emerging artists?
1- Believe in Yourself.
2- Do your research.
3- Be prepared to do the work yourself. Whether you have an agent or gallery rep, record label or book deal. Ultimately, the only person who is going to sell you is you. Your agent may have 20 people like you but you only have yourself. If you have a breakdown or go out of business, they may be sad, but they will keep going. So remember that as an artist you must also be an entrepreneur and don’t be afraid of that.