am proud to introduce Stacey Wilson to the World
Family. Stacey is a dynamic artist and entrepreneur,
whom we had the pleasure of featuring at the
recent HomeGrown Eclectic. If you didn't get
a chance to check out her work at the show,
you can always turn on MTV's Real World Philadelphia
and see her work featured all over the house.
This dynamic woman of many hats, literally and
figuratively, can be seen running around Philly
always making something beautiful for the people.
Whether she is working with paint or creating
an event, Stacey is known for masterpieces.
Introduce yourself by describing yourself in
your mind's eye. Like what does Stacey Wilson
mean or what do you want it to mean?
to me Stacey Wilson equals hustler... ha ha
ha just playing... in my mind eye, I see myself
as a creative, multi talented, modest, honest,
loving, determined hard worker that has the
ability to do whatever I want to do. To be honest
with you, I think it DOES mean what I would
want it to mean. I bust my ass at whatever I
do and in the end it feels good to know I have
a life where I have the freedom to do or be
whatever I want.
How long have you painted?
I was always into art... my first art class
was in high school with my first art teacher,
Mar. Whitehead... he introduced me to things
I had no idea I'd enjoy. Things like making
jewelry, sculpting, painting, whatever, so I
decided to go to school for it. I went to Hessian
school of art on 11th and market streets. It's
a small school that only has 2 majors. Illustration
or design. I went for design. That school was
very different than most art schools though.
We had no regular classes like math + science
like some of the others schools do. We focused
strictly on art, all kinds of art. Art that
I went in not knowing and came out loving. Nude
drawing/painting, airbrush, computers, design,
photography, whatever... in your 4 years you
only focus on your major your senior year. So
you have 3 years of learning everything... the
stickler was the schedule... 9-3 Monday through
no choices... but it was a great experience....
funny thing is that I never graduated... come
my senior year, b/c there are no dorms you have
an apartment and school and work were killing
me plus I had realized whatever I did artistically,
the corporate scene was not for me so I bounced...and
here I am :) not bad I must say....
What do your pieces convey?
I feel like my art should convey whatever the
viewer wants it to.... sometimes I will put
lyrics to a song with my pieces like I did at
the union show to give a little insight on the
feeling but it's up to you to take from it what
you want.sometimes they aren't about anything...just
images that are visually amusing...
What do you consider your art?
I don't. I have many different styles so it's
hard to consider it any one thing. It is different
things @ different times.
What were your influences and muses?
artistically, my influences range from emotions,
love, people, relationships, music, colors,
dreams, to anything that creates a feeling but
with sb + business, I have 4.
Bynum, my mother, Jazzy Jeff + Kenny Gamble.
Gamble is a recent influence... he's an amazing
man.... I've sat in his living room with him
and had the most amazing conversations.... I
could sit there for days and just listen! He's
so full of knowledge and experience. He's a
great man. I've always admired him but after
speaking with him, he is definitely an influence
in my future endeavors.
well he's one of my great friends, but I definitely
look up to him and he's a wonderful mentor.
I appreciate him and what he stands for...he's
been a great teacher and friend to me...
he truly is magnificent! My mother, well
she always worked hard and I always saw it...
so it's in me. I learned it by watching her.
Bynum is one of my greatest influences. He is
the owner of Warmdaddy's + Zanzibar Blue. That's
kind of where I started out.... ok, here's the
story of how I got here... so, I started working
for the Bynum's in 1996 @ one of their new venues
(the old Zanzibar Blue), Deluxe. I've always
been a hard worker; I blame that on my mother.
Wait, I take that back. I thank my mother for
that. :) So they saw that in me and from there
I went on to be a manager of Zanzibar Blue then
to Brave New World. I truly thank Robert for
instilling in me a work ethic and determination
that will always be with me.
from there, I was the market manager of KBA
in Philadelphia, a Marketing company for Salem,
camel + various liquor accounts. All the while
I had been doing graphic design for the local
promoters at that time, John Barber, Carl Dash
and others...after realizing I'm just so not
the corporate, reports and follow the guidelines
person I was looking for an out...
Yameen + ?uestlove. We were all friends and
hung out OFTEN!! We would end up at the south
street diner every damn night. After a while
of jokes, ideas and silly thoughts we realized
we can have a party... shit, we can have a company.
The DJ. the host and the brain. (That's me).
So, Squarebiz was born and here we are!
What are some of your most positive and negative
experiences so far?
If you are referring to experiences in art I
think I have 2 positive experiences, my first
real gallery show @ Union 237 this past January.
It was a collective show with me, Soul-One,
Saga Moor and Hanan Selah. It was amazing.
It was the galleries first show and my first
show. The most amazing part about it was the
response I got from people viewing my work.
Then on top of that to sell 5 of my 12 pieces
was incredible. From then on I've showcased
work on numerous occasions also selling pieces.
One other experience is 12 pieces of artwork
being placed throughout the house of the Real
World: Philadelphia. Prior to the show airing
I went and picked up my pieces and the(y) bought
5 of the 12. And now to see my work on TV is
a wonderful feeling and I thank everyone who
has been supportive with it all!
I can't say I've had any really negative experiences.
Yet. My experiences with Squarebiz are amazing....
I get to create amazing memories for people...
so many positive experiences I can't even begin
to name them.... it's been a wonderful journey.
I've learned ALOT!!
feel like my most negative experience w/ SB
is just when you put so much effort into something
and people just don't get it... that's hard.
It's only makes you stronger and smarter for
next time. But all in all it's an amazing experience...
Who knows where it will take me!!!
What has shocked or surprised you about the
What shocked me most about my positive experiences
was everyone's support for me and my art. Most
people had no idea I was an artist. So from
the various showcases and the real world I've
experienced tremendous support with it all.
So thank you to those people. it's so motivating!!
same goes for SB. The support that we receive
is overwhelming.... it really does touch me
when people reach out to us to let us know how
much what we do matters to them.... it feels
good to know people look forward to what we
will do next. It's just a great feeling to know
that for a living I create good times + great
memories for people.... sometimes it's surreal.
The most surreal moment Squarebiz has brought
me was being the one to put together + execute
Prince's private after parties to his 3 Philly
shows. I could never put into words how amazing
and surreal it was to hang out with him and
speak to him, probably the most surreal moment
of my life. I'll never forget that.
Who/what do you see yourself as in 10 years?
Ha ha ha, I can barely see myself at the end
of the day.it's really hard to say b/c I do
many things... not at all to toot my own horn
b/c I'm quite modest, but I can do a number
of things and I enjoy them all so it's hard
to say where I'll be... I'll be wherever life
takes me. Right now, I'm an artist who has displayed
my work in various shows in galleries, currently
has 11 pieces of art showing on MTV's Real World:
Philadelphia house, and also will have pieces
in Jill Scott's upcoming poetry book, I'm a
graphic designer, outside of various fliers
for random people and Squarebiz, I also do all
of the graphic design work for Zanzibar Blue
and Warmdaddy's, and last but not least, I am
the proud owner of Squarebiz where I do a bit
of everything, plan, promote + execute numerous
events/shows for the past 4 years. So from here,
it can go anywhere. b/c 5 years ago I had no
idea I'd be doing this!!
Who do you make art for?
most often, I make art for the people closest
to me in my life, the people I love.... but
first and foremost I make it for whoever enjoys
it and if it turns into someone buying it, even
better... my house is full of my art. I'm running
out of space... visit flyjawn.com and take some
off my hands so I can make more!! :) (a shameless
plug, I know!!) but seriously, most times I
work with people... I know not everyone has
a lot of $ so I try to work with people. I'd
rather people have it and enjoy than me be a
stickler for the cash and nobody seeing it.
What is your short term plans? Long term plans?
Stay creative. Stay happy. Stay healthy. After
that, it's out of my hands... it's funny. I
don't plan so much because anything can change
in one second so I like to take things as they
come... of course there is some planning but
I like to go with the flow and keep my plans
to myself until they are solid ventures....
I constantly have new ideas and new ventures
and new partnerships so anything is able to
happen at any time... It's a great wave I'm
on and I'm just riding it. If a new one comes,
cool, I may jump on that...but I like where
I am. I'm happy personally, I'm happy career
wise and I'm having fun. You're always going
to want more but you need to at least be happy
with where you are first then you build from
What is your background in? Artistically?
graphic design. That's what I "went to
school for" but because of what I told
you about the school it led me to other avenues.
I'm just a creative person. Whether it's making
a painting, building + executing a party, doing
fliers, innovating, to making mixed CDs, I just
am creative. It's so wonderful to be able to
express myself in many ways like that. I'm appreciative
that I'm able to... I think I'd go nuts doing
just one thing for a living.
Do you have any extracurricular activities?
my extracurricular activities vary depending
on my mood and what my day/night is like...
I absolutely love to dance, I love to travel
with people close to me, paint, watch movies,
cook, chill out... But to be honest with you,
I don't have much time to do much sometimes
because I have 10 hats it causes for long days...
Granted long days with freedom. So I'm not complaining...
I'm super appreciative of where I am.
Where are you and what do you do usually on
a non-descript day?
on a regular day I start out @ my new friend
Sarah's coffee shop called ground floor on 2nd
+ poplar. She has free wireless internet (how
dope is that) so I work from there quite often
or I'm at the office. (Another shameless plug
for Sarah but the place is cool + there is an
outdoor area too...) Running around, phone calls,
deadlines, dinner, parties, promoting and spending
time with close friends. That's a normal day.
What do you think of the quality of life in
hmm. Philly is funny. It's a great place. I've
lived here all my life and it's comfortable.
The only quality of life I can really speak
on is my own. Life is what you want it to be.
Not everyone grows up in neighborhoods that
are wonderful but they may be rich in love +
family which can make all the difference in
the world. I think the quality of schooling,
the arts and influences/mentors for young children
all need major focus. I think priorities need
to be different. Instead of building new stadiums
how about kids in high schools having books.
What do you think about change (think of Uploading
Change, GeoClan.com's slogan)?
I'm all about change. Change is great but I've
found that people have a hard time with change.
We are creatures of habit so I think change
has to occur gradually for people to accept
it, but I'm all for it....
more information on the art of Stacey Wilson
checkout her website, http://www.flyjawn.com