ARTISTA SPOTLIGHT: Dawn Okoro

Meet a wonderfully talented artist who presents powerful and thought-provoking messages through her art and has a passion for empowering young women!

Meet Dawn Okoro!
Dawn Okoro, (photo by Michael Shane http://www.michaelshanephotography.com)


What sparked your interest in art?
As a child, I was mesmerized by album art.  I especially enjoyed looking at Earth, Wind, and Fire album covers because they were amazing.  When I was about four years old, I remember listening to Chaka Kahn's song "I Feel for You" and gazing at the artwork for the single.  It was a simple but colorful pencil sketch of a woman.  I think that single cover got me interested in drawing the female form in a very stylized way.


Prop, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches


Did you pursue art in your academic studies or is this a skill you’ve developed outside of the academic setting?
While pursuing my bachelors, I took several fashion design and illustration courses. Those courses, especially fashion illustration went hand in hand with what I do.  Other than that my art is born from natural skill, reading, and observations.

Point and Shoot, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x36 inches

From reading your bio, I could tell that you are also passionate about other areas outside of art itself, and tend to portray that through your art and also through giving presentations. Can you tell us more about some of these interests?
I recently did a presentation at the University of Notre Dame geared towards planting a seed of positive self-image in young women of color.  I gave a lecture in which I told my own story and talked about how my art practice relates to self-image.  I was also part of a workshop at the University in which some of the college students participated along with 8-10th graders from the community.  During the workshop, we discussed some of the obstacles that these young women are facing as well as ways to combat forces that attack our self-esteem.

I am also working on an art project that address the ways that many young people express themselves through new technology.  A lot of teens and young adults are taking sexually provacative pictures of themeselves and texting them to each other or putting them online for the world to see.  This is known as "sexting."  Some teens have been charged as sex offenders for sending these images out to their friends.  Some young celebrities have also had these kinds of images leaked.  Sexting continues regardless of the potential consequences.  I am investigating the reasoning behind this behavior.

Frame, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x36 inches

I commend you on attaining your law degree! Do you practice at all or is all of your time devoted to your art?
At this time, I am not practicing law.  I am using my time to focus on my art practice.

The detail that you put into your oil on acrylic paintings makes them appear as if they are digitally altered photographs! How much time do you typically devote to the creation of one of your pieces?
The amount of time it takes for me to complete a painting depends on the size of the piece and the level of detail involved.  For example, my painting called "Bag Girl" probably took about 40 hours to complete.
Bag Girl, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches

What are your overall goals for your work? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
In addition to growing as a person and an artist, I hope to show more and for my art to be a part of museum collections.  I would also like to branch out into other mediums like film and fashion.

Is your work available for sale? If so, where can we purchase your work?
I have a collection of paintings available at RFA Gallery in New York (http://www.therfagallery.com).  I also have paintings available in my studio, I can be contacted through my website http://www.dawnokoro.com.
Saturday's Best, oil and acrylic on canvas, 16x20 inches


So I’ve noticed you're a natural chica too...what's your natural hair story?
Growing up in my hometown in Texas, wearing natural hair of my texture was unheard of.  As I got older and became wiser, I began to see the beauty in just being myself.  For the past year, I have been wearing my natural hair in a short cut, and the freedom has been amazing. 

How can we keep in touch with you? (Twitter, Blog, etc.)
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Look out for bigger projects coming from me in 2010 and 2011!

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Meet a wonderfully talented artist who presents powerful and thought-provoking messages through her art and has a passion for empowering young women!

Meet Dawn Okoro!
Dawn Okoro, (photo by Michael Shane http://www.michaelshanephotography.com)


What sparked your interest in art?
As a child, I was mesmerized by album art.  I especially enjoyed looking at Earth, Wind, and Fire album covers because they were amazing.  When I was about four years old, I remember listening to Chaka Kahn's song "I Feel for You" and gazing at the artwork for the single.  It was a simple but colorful pencil sketch of a woman.  I think that single cover got me interested in drawing the female form in a very stylized way.


Prop, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches


Did you pursue art in your academic studies or is this a skill you’ve developed outside of the academic setting?
While pursuing my bachelors, I took several fashion design and illustration courses. Those courses, especially fashion illustration went hand in hand with what I do.  Other than that my art is born from natural skill, reading, and observations.

Point and Shoot, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x36 inches

From reading your bio, I could tell that you are also passionate about other areas outside of art itself, and tend to portray that through your art and also through giving presentations. Can you tell us more about some of these interests?
I recently did a presentation at the University of Notre Dame geared towards planting a seed of positive self-image in young women of color.  I gave a lecture in which I told my own story and talked about how my art practice relates to self-image.  I was also part of a workshop at the University in which some of the college students participated along with 8-10th graders from the community.  During the workshop, we discussed some of the obstacles that these young women are facing as well as ways to combat forces that attack our self-esteem.

I am also working on an art project that address the ways that many young people express themselves through new technology.  A lot of teens and young adults are taking sexually provacative pictures of themeselves and texting them to each other or putting them online for the world to see.  This is known as "sexting."  Some teens have been charged as sex offenders for sending these images out to their friends.  Some young celebrities have also had these kinds of images leaked.  Sexting continues regardless of the potential consequences.  I am investigating the reasoning behind this behavior.

Frame, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x36 inches

I commend you on attaining your law degree! Do you practice at all or is all of your time devoted to your art?
At this time, I am not practicing law.  I am using my time to focus on my art practice.

The detail that you put into your oil on acrylic paintings makes them appear as if they are digitally altered photographs! How much time do you typically devote to the creation of one of your pieces?
The amount of time it takes for me to complete a painting depends on the size of the piece and the level of detail involved.  For example, my painting called "Bag Girl" probably took about 40 hours to complete.
Bag Girl, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches

What are your overall goals for your work? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
In addition to growing as a person and an artist, I hope to show more and for my art to be a part of museum collections.  I would also like to branch out into other mediums like film and fashion.

Is your work available for sale? If so, where can we purchase your work?
I have a collection of paintings available at RFA Gallery in New York (http://www.therfagallery.com).  I also have paintings available in my studio, I can be contacted through my website http://www.dawnokoro.com.
Saturday's Best, oil and acrylic on canvas, 16x20 inches


So I’ve noticed you're a natural chica too...what's your natural hair story?
Growing up in my hometown in Texas, wearing natural hair of my texture was unheard of.  As I got older and became wiser, I began to see the beauty in just being myself.  For the past year, I have been wearing my natural hair in a short cut, and the freedom has been amazing. 

How can we keep in touch with you? (Twitter, Blog, etc.)
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Look out for bigger projects coming from me in 2010 and 2011!

Related posts:

Related Posts

by
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