Marketing in the Midst of a Pandemic and Social Outrage (as a Black Creative).

I'd like to start this off by saying that this is just a stream of consciousness.  What you're reading is to service the author and is only a reflection of the author and not the business.  It's 2:10 PM in Englewood, CO. and my eyes are tired.  I might've slept about four hours last night.  My thoughts have been on a loop the last five days.  I sit here searching for the words but keep thinking, "I'm black, i'm mourning, i'm angry. But I must stay creative, I must stay focused", and repeat.  I'm still processing trying to find some hope in the midst of the grief that myself and so many others are feeling.

Last time I checked, the coronavirus was extremely contagious and is claiming lives.  Many American citizens live within an inherent fear of black lives.  Even with a potentially deadly virus moving about rampantly, white people have time to kill unarmed black people.  Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, George Floyd, and so many unarmed black people have been unjustly killed by Law Enforcement.  Hell, Tamir Rice was a 12 year old boy playing in the playground.  The cops rolled up and shot him dead.  If one thing is for certain besides my impending death is that I am black in America, and for that reason I can die by the hands of the law in this country for doing very normal things.  It just takes that one white person to make a phone call.  I've yet to see the Donald Trump make a SINCERE EFORT to unify the country.  I mean, it took the whole damn world to convict four cops that were guilty.  Not only that, it was witnessed by millions.  Thank GOD for technology.  I want to thank everyone that has used their voice whether it was through protest, art activism, black out Tuesday, or donation.

It's evident that white people know the POWER of making such a call.  Amy Cooper demonstrated the power of white supremacy by invoking the authorities to come to her defense.  The crazy thing is, that particular form of racism we saw with Amy Cooper was INSTINCTIVE.  She abused her power with confidence and such certainty.  Almost as if she has done this before and had the "Ruin a Black Life" playbook down to a science.  How do I brave society being aware that such fear is  embedded in several generations?  With such abuse of power being documented, there are still many in this country refusing to except America for what it is, racist.

Every attempt to rationalize why I shouldn't be scared is futile.  Yesterday we released our Summer 2020 collection and I must admit I had some reluctance in doing so.  I'm trying to make sales to make a living as a  creative while the world is in a state of pandemic and our country is in a state of confusion.  Some are mourning, anarchists are inciting riots that have nothing to do with the protests, and cops are under rightful scrutiny.  As a black owned business I think we owe it to ourselves to continue to strive and prosper.  We also recognize the call to action and we have some art and products that are being produced with the intention of donating to positive causes that lend a hand to eradicating racism and assisting black people.

There's this internal conflict that dwells within me as a Black artist.  I don't want to profit off art about black plight.  I already feel like it's expected of me and most of y'all know I adore the unexpected.  Don't get me wrong, calling out racists and acknowledging black plight is VERY IMPORTANT, but I don't want it to cage my creativity.  I love being as free as the WeeBees I illustrate daily. I know America is racist and society is nothing more than an attempt.  To cope with my understanding of this I imagine and create.  When i'm creating I am escaping the ills of society but this year I find society's ills in my world.  The world created by Sky Welkin, me.  It's both heart-breaking and fascinating that it followed me here and I feel compelled to acknowledge the tragedies taken place through art.  My imagination can't keep me safe from the complex system that is racism.  This is something I take exception to.  Something that is profoundly offensive.  Moving forward is what I want to do as a black man, husband, friend, artist, and business owner.  This is what ultimately lead me to stay the course. 

I am thankful for anyone who read all this as the tension that's nestled on my conscious has somewhat lessened.  I'm gonna strive to walk by faith as opposed to fear.  More of my studio art will be available for purchase June 10th.  Art that will be sold for non-profits will be announced next week as well.

Please stay safe & stay vocal.

- sky

 

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