This woman lost her job. So, she turned her apartment into an art studio #ForTheCulture


WASHINGTON — Streaks of white and gray paint splattered onto a blacked-out canvas blend into a white canvas showcasing a plethora of bright colors.

“I called this ‘Positive and Negatives. Ups-and-Downs.’ As you can see the motion going through,” Stasya Lael described artwork inside of her Southeast, D.C. apartment. “I’ve been through this. This is a bit of a story.”

Lael, a visual and performing artist, explained the up-and-down strokes of paint and the pattern of transitions from dark to light represent some of the valleys and peaks of her life journey.

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The DMV-native said one of those low moments happened in spring of 2019 when she lost her job.

“I’ve been in a situation that caused me to be laid off of my job in good standing.” Lael said.

She did not know where she would go or what to do after losing her job.

Lael said she was challenged to do something that made her uncomfortable.

“You can’t necessarily snap your fingers and get back to work,” Lael said. “In the interim, what can you do to produce the possibility of profit, of wealth, of business in another fashion you didn’t even think was going to come right now?”

Lael, who is not a formally trained artist, taught herself how to create artwork with spray paint.

Her first series was titled: Moonlight.

“Within literally four days, I had my first client,” Lael recalled.

RELATED: DC artist uses paintbrushes to fight for social justice | #ForTheCulture

The self-taught artist said landing her first client within days of her choosing to paint, let her know that she was “not in control.”

Lael explained that she made a decision and things began falling into place.

“This is literally an act of meditation that you’re looking at,” Lael showed on of her paintings.

She explained that she draws her creativity from meditation and through her ancestors.

“You are seeing that in motion with every stroke of the brush, with every move of the pencil” Lael said.

Lael believes black Americans have a responsibility to continue creating are to honor the creativity and culture of those who came before.

“For the culture, I’m representing creativity,” she said. “I’m reminding us that in every way we must continue to propeller future, continue to meet our goal as people. Let’s create. Be creative.”

If you are interested in purchasing Lael’s art or learning more, contact her via Instagram.

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