Woman expresses identity through art

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Written By: Sarah Chase

All Art By: Karen-Symone Lee

Art is a skill that is not obtained by many. The ability to have the precision and creativity to create something on paper, canvas or computer is not given to everyone, but when Karen-Symone Lee was given the “How to draw a princess” book by her grandmother she knew that she would fall in love.

Lee describes herself as an illustrator, but also a coily headed African American woman who uses art to reflect on that beauty and identity. She has learned to love herself and art has given her the platform to share that love for herself and the activity.

“The most I love about art and drawing is that you are a creator and designer. Designers create something from nothing,” Lee said. “Just using certain colors or correctly placed shapes, you can make a work that speaks to someone or changes the world.”

Lee does work in the art field, but she also wants to teach others the creative occupation. When it comes to art, Lee has tunnel vision. It is the only thing she wants to pursue as long as she can, but she is using patience to accomplish her goals and taking everything a day at a time.

“I am an illustrator and am actively working. However, I am working to have my teaching creational by the end of this year so I can be an art teacher. So I believe in dreaming big and I will take both. Just remember to take a small bite at a time and not just try to consume everything at once,” Lee said.

The talent of art does not come fast. Lee stresses the importance of polishing art through practice. It takes time to build the ability and it is important not to expect perfection right when beginning.

“Practice! It does not happen overnight and one day it will click,” Lee said. You do not have to draw what the camera sees. We are not machines. Find your voice and do what is right for you in your work.”

Practice is what made Lee the artist she is today. Without exuding patience and practice she would have not been able to create the masterpieces she has made. It took a long time to build her talent, but she is proud of the artist she has grown into now.

“Took four years in the making baby,” Lee said. “I went to an art college and that helped. You should see how my stuff looked before I got to this point. Growth takes time and it is real.”

Many artists have been able to tell stories, protest and even share their feelings through their creations, but Lee wants to express joy through what she creates while trying new things.

“My goal is to create a design that makes people happy or just have fun with, but I also like to make sure to try something new in media or mediums,” Lee said.

Advice from Lee if thinking about dabbling in art is to practice, of course, but try different concepts and ideas. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and do things the way seen best. Do not stress trying to get everything perfect.

I could tell you to draw every day but I do not do that sometimes,” Lee said. “But you have to practice. There are a lot of free drawing classes to help. Experiment with different mediums. Just remember: it does not have to look like the photo to be right if you capture the feel.”

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