Interview: How to be a Jane of all Trades with Afua Richardson
Afua Richardson is a comic book artist and singer. A “Jane of all trades.”
Below is a summary of our interview:
“Destiny is a pattern and not a permanent path.”
Afua grew up in Harlem. She was very introspective. As a little girl, she’d coo with birds and talk to squirrels and most of her childhood involved Legos. Her dad would give her the tools and leave her to her own devices. She had an older sister and a younger brother and sister, but she felt like she was the only child. She went into her own world with Thunder Cats. When she was 9 years old, he got her a flute. And when she was 11, she was playing in ensembles at Lincoln Center. Meanwhile, she was always drawing and carrying around a sketchbook. Her parents went their separate ways when Afua was 16, so she was on her own since then. She taught herself how to use Adobe Photoshop and dabbled in Adobe Illustrator. She went to comic conventions and wanted critiques of her work, but also what was good about it. While she was doing that, she did many concerts. Eventually, she became a singer, and because she was always illustrating, she was the only one asked to do the album covers. She kind of went on a roller coaster. At one point, she was homeless in NYC.
A Low Point
Thinking that she could have money and she could not have money and she could be very unhappy. She wants whatever it is she spends her time doing to be filled with something she really enjoys. During the times she was sleeping on the subway, she was listening to cassette tapes by Nirvana or John Coltrane and thought life can’t just be like this if music like that was created. It enabled her to envision her life different. At least she doesn’t have to fight a hobo on the streets.
The moment she thought to herself and realized, [Afua] “you’re not on the streets, you’ve changed your trajectory, you thought you were going to die, you’re making art for a living.”
Afua’s work now
As a musician, Afua collaborates jazz, electronic, a little rock. She’s also currently in a band that does experimental jazz stuff, singing and playing the flute and beat boxing and they make space beats. She’s also going to be creating a web comic with an EP to accompany that. Her style is influenced by Japanese Anime, a little graffiti and some hip-hop style art. Afua talks about the deep meaning behind her latest song with Alexa called “Starchild.”
What’s exciting Afua now
She’s going to be working on the comics involved in Wonder Woman series soon. And a new comic book series from Top Cow’s Minotaur Press called Genius published by Top Cow ImageComics, coming out August 6th. So look out for it.
Book Afua Recommends:[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”158394219X” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Vl%2BJ4vWqL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”107″]
Helpful Habit :
Keeping a time journal.
Reverend Gregory Anton McCants, who was the head of NY housing authority boys choir. He was an uncle to everyone.
What’s Your Purpose:
To teach people they can be greater than they are.
Where to follow Afua and Parting Words
“Question everything, be good to yourselves, be better to yourselves.” And Afua adds, “Every moment that you alive is a possibility for change.”