Interview with Sheeba of SugarSugar Cards & Gifts
me your name, where you are from and where you are
trying to go?
"Sheeba" (SH): My name is Maya "Sheeba" Grant-Richardson
and I am originally from the Washington, DC metro
area. I plan on moving my way up the east coast,
making a stop in Philly and eventually settling in
did you know you wanted to be artistic throughout
SH: I am
a born artist...some say it's in my blood. Both of
my parents are creative professionals and in many
ways, I always knew that art would be a part of my
life. Throughout childhood and adolescence, my hobbies
grew into passions. As I entered adulthood, it was
only natural that passions would develop into a career.
Sings the Blues (hand crocheted)
did you end up in Philadelphia?
SH: It all started with a series
of visits to a good friend, Josey aka afroDJiak.
I began to make friends and contacts who were for
more progressive in their thinking than in my hometown.
I felt that I wanted to be part of this network whose
mission was to be proactive about creating the type
of environment they would like to live in....in their
personal lives and on a global level. So I packed
my bags for Philly with the words of Mohandas Gandhi
as my mantra..."Be the change that you want to
see in the world."
do you think of arts education in schools?
SH: I think that arts education
is crucial to a well rounded upbringing. I am disappointed
that such an essential part of education is so
incredibly underfunded and undervalued. Not only
does arts education help students understand the
fundamentals of math, science, history, english,
and so on...it also helps to develop creativity,
problem solving, and critical thinking skills....all
very important aspects of human development...regardless
of a persons career/life goals.
are you up to now?
SH: I'm currently running an online
store, SugarSugar Cards & Gifts, www. shopsugarsugar. com. The
site features my digital poartrait art on a variety
of cards. As the shop grows, we will be offering
cards for all occasions, postage stamps, gifts
for the home, and shoes & apparel for men,
women & children. We also host a monthly contest
where SugarSugar fans can submit a photo of their
face for a chance to have their portrait featured
on one of our products!
Our motto: Send a little SugarSugar...It's a sweet
there been any highlights of your journey you care
to speak of? Highs? Lows?
SH: SugarSugar is a culmination
of several creative efforts made over the last 5
years. I ran an online gift shop of crocheted clothing
and accessories that were designed & hand crafted by me. I also created
hand crocheted portraits that were exhibited in Washington,
DC and Philadelphia, PA. In the end, production was
timely and overwhelming and left me little time to
design. So I began to focus on creating custom portraits
in a new medium, Pastels (a dry paint/colored charcoals).
that I would have to charge hundreds, if not thousands
of dollars for my work. This in turn narrowed my
market and made my work less accessible to the audience
i was trying to reach. So, I began to explore other
ways of creating my portraits. I began working on
digital illustrations of beautiful faces and launched
SugarSugar to make my work more affordable while
giving myself enough flexibility for my own creative
do you tell yourself when times get tough?
SH: Anything worth having is worth
working hard for. Tough times are a part of life...overcoming
tough times is the reward for your efforts. Without
tough times, how could we even appreciate the sense
of accomplishment when all the hard work pays off?
Of course, it's difficult to see this when your
in the midst of obstacles....but i am always
aware that giving up on yourself the same as failure...I
can not allow my efforts (even if things don't
work out the way i had planned)to be in vain.
So I press forward on faith.
you struggle with doing something that pays you wallet
over something that pays your spirit?
really...traditional 9-5's can be a reasonable means
to an end...I've had to work jobs that didn't really
feed my soul, but I channeled my distaste for these
jobs into motivation to keep pushing forward on my
creative goals...I've also used these jobs to finance
these goals...My quality of life is measured by my
spiritual fulfilment and happiness...not the size
of my bank account. Of course, if i strike it rich
doing my artwork, i would not fight it!
else you are working on?
SH: SugarSugar in my main focus
right now. Currently it is on a web based platform,
but i have a much bigger vision for the shop in
the future that i am working on. Nationwide distribution
and opening a storefront (or 2....or more) are
part of long term goal that I'm also working on.
Obama mean change?
SH: Absolutely. It's already been
demonstrated in his ability to rally a nation to
become more involved in politics. I'm proud of Obama
for breaking down alot of barriers by doing what
so many believed were impossible...im proud of the
different levels of empowerment for Americans that
resulted from this election. The change I'm most
excited about is that we are finally discussing things
like race relations and outdated policies in a much
more open forum.
can these issues be sugar coated in "political correctness",
swept under the rug, or spun to perpetuate an agenda
that excludes too many Americans of very basic
human rights, whose voices deserve to be heard.
The shift in thinking on a personal,national, and
global level is a tremendous change that Obama
has already accomplished. I'm confident that these
kinds of changes will continue while he's in office....
(brush & ink)
do you think about Change? (think of GeoClan. com's
SH: I think that empowerment through education and
change go hand in hand. I think that change is
inevitable...things are always growing and evolving....but
it is up to the people to take responsibility for
change (whether they are making change happen or
living the consequences of it). I also think that
as the world of technology moves forward, we must
use these powerful tools to our advantage.
example, Obama and his team planned their campaign
strategies based on how people receive and send
information. By acknowledging this, he created
a campaign unlike any we've ever seen in history.
The record numbers of newly registered voter, the
voter turnout, the interest and involvment of the
youth are major changes. If that's not a testament
to "Uploading Change" i don't know what
Go to shopsugarsugar.com
by clicking here
sure to drop GeoClan a line at firstname.lastname@example.org