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Daily Inspiration: Meet Deanna McLeod

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna McLeod.

Hi Deanna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
When I was about five or six years old, my mother would spend hours threading jewelry and working on many other crafts throughout the fall. She used to go to all of the holiday markets in the winter and sell her many items to make extra money to get through the season. I sat with her for many years, weaving my own set of jewelry and accessories in order to help add variety to her items. Over time, I began my own beading journey and continued to create well into adulthood. At first, it was just to have on-hand gifts ready for my friends, and it slowly grew into a side hustle. I would put it down and pick it up casually as I needed money; inconsistently deciding when to indulge into my passion. Eventually, I stopped running from what I love to do and turned it into a business.

While organizing how and what I wanted for this endeavor, I met my business partner Jamar Dancy who specializes in visual art. Growing up, Dancy watched his father and other members of his family sketch and draw. He idolized their skills and began practicing on his own; mimicking and combining their techniques until he created his own style over time.

I felt that his work was similar to my designs in that we both find inspiration in the chaos of this world. From there, we decided to combine our talents and create ‘The Art of CHAOS’.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
We both struggled with self-doubt. I think that’s the biggest hurdle that any person who wants to pursue anything they want out of life must overcome. I didn’t believe that my designs could have the impact on the people like I wanted. Because he didn’t have professional training, Dancy felt that his works didn’t measure up in the art world. We let our own minds and the criticism of others keep us from a lot of the things that we wanted to do.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I consider my jewelry-making an art form in that I put a piece of myself into it. Chaos is my motivation, so I like for my pieces to be just that: organized chaos. I never stick with just one style, so my creations may seem all over the place. There’s a method to my madness, though, and that method is what makes my work stand out the most.

One thing about Dancy’s visual art is that it speaks to a person in many voices. Every glance tells a different story or sends a different message to the viewer. A person may catch themselves staring, letting their eyes travel each brush stroke to see if they can find anything else that speaks to them. People love his animation style and how he uses it to recreate an image or idea. Being a self-taught artist, he takes a lot of pride in this.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
You have to get out there! Find events in your area that will be full of successful or up-and-coming people in your area of expertise. Talk to them; try to learn as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and exchange contact information.

It’s also best to get organized. You can accomplish your goals better when you have a roadmap to your destination. While we are inspired by chaos, working in it can be hell.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to succeed or fail. Some ppl are afraid that they can’t do it while others are afraid of what will happen if they make it. Fear is good in that it will keep you grounded, but don’t let it keep you from flying.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Deanna Mcleod, Jamar Dancy

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