In celebration of Black History Month, NYLON is running a spotlight series called Black Girl Power... The Future Is Bright. Every day, phenomenal black women from different industries will be featured to tell their stories—revealing how they became who they are, showing what they have accomplished, and pinpointing how they navigated their careers. Black women deserve to be celebrated 365 days of the year, and we hope that this series will inspire everyone to believe in the power of #blackgirlmagic.
Visual artist Rewina G. Beshue found her calling early on: It was when her 8th grade teacher gave presentation on graphic design that she was inspired to channel her frequent drawing, doodling, and painting into more serious efforts. Now, the 22-year-old San Fran native is a pro at graphic arts, painting, animation, illustrations, and even video work, Just watch the Olivia Genovese-directed collab with Me and You
and Lorde Inc.
that she starred in with Shade Mag's Azha Luckman
for proof (check it out below!).
"I’ve always been a 'random creative,'" says Beshue. "I would produce art based on things I’ve experienced in my life, current interests, and aspects of my culture. I’m so scatterbrained when it comes to producing visuals. I pull thoughts from deep within my mind and make them visible." Surprisingly, it wasn't until recently that she began sharing her artwork, due to her shy nature. "It wasn’t until about two years ago that I started to use social media
as a platform to connect with people who I could relate to creatively. That’s when I started to post my art and people began showing interest in my work."
We're definitely interested, and eager to see what Beshue creates next. Get to know her below.
How did you get into art?
I’ve always been into producing different art forms, like drawing, doodling, painting, etc., but in middle school, I wanted to expand my skill in art. I took art as an elective in the eighth grade and my teacher gave a presentation on graphic arts and computer programs. That’s basically where my strong interest in producing art began. From there, I began to teach myself how to use different platforms to produce art (materials, programs, animation, etc). One thing that I’ve learned about my creative process is that I tend to always be creatively evolving. I’ve always been a “random creative”. I would produce art based on things I’ve experienced in my life, current interests, and aspects of my culture. I’m such a scatterbrain when it comes to producing visuals. I pull thoughts from deep within my mind and make them visible. Making art was always such a personal thing to me. I use to never share my work with anyone. I’m naturally a shy person, so sharing artwork was always a struggle for me. It wasn’t until about two years ago when I started to use social media as a platform to connect with people who I could relate to creatively. That’s when I started to post my art and people began showing interest in my work.
I simply emulate my life, visions, and imagination as a black woman through art. I always make it a point to paint, animate, and draw black hands/figures in my art because it is a reflection of thoughts, my experiences, and myself. Using my own personal experiences as a black woman and aspects of my imagination and personality is the best way I work through my industry as a black woman.
How did you grow into your black identity?
I still feel like I am continuously growing into my black identity. I constantly go through experiences that mold my identity as a black female. I grew up in a traditional Ethiopian family, which played a main role in shaping my identity for sure. My parents were freedom fighters in Ethiopia back in the day; so black art, rebel/peace posters, and acknowledgment towards history were always present in my life. Something that I have noticed and learned so far is that there are multiple flavors to the black identity. To put it simply, I was able to understand and grow into my own definition of what it means to be a black person.
Growing up, where did you look for inspiration? Who or what inspires you now?
Growing up, my inspirations always seemed to stem from whatever I was obsessed or interested in during that time. When I was younger, I would always find inspirations in people who I could connect or relate to easily, like friends and idols. But I would say that my creative inspirations mainly come from my experiences. For example, when I was younger, I hated math because I couldn’t understand its function. As I got older, I began to realize that math is just another language to be learned. So I started to creatively express my interest in something I once hated, specifically geometry. Now, I’m obsessed with drawing shapes, perspectives, and dimensions; trying to understand their functions. It’s always been hard to explain where my inspirations come from because of how constantly I find myself indulging in new interests. Currently, I pull inspiration from '80s computer culture and virtual graphics. My inspirations continue to come from my surroundings. I’m always inspired by my group of friends in the Bay, creatively learning off one another. I also find inspiration through my boyfriend, Andreas, because we are able to feed off each other through our similar creative outputs. Being able to creatively connect with my friends and family is such a strong source of inspiration for me.