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    Blog Posts (12)
    • Rest In Power, Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau

      Trigger Warning for written work after artwork: Murder, death, sexual assault Image Descriptions Below These quotes are from this video of Oluwatoyin's last speech at a BLM protest: “BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER! Tony McDade was a black trans man. We do’in this for him. We do’in this for our brothers and sisters who got shot, but we do’in this for every black person.” “Because at the end of the day, I cannot take my f*cking skin color off. I cannot mask this sh*t, okay? Everywhere I f*cking go I am profiled whether I like it or not. I am looked at whether I like it or not.” "I want white people to realize they’re f*cking privileged. No one can look at you and tell anything about you, unless you give them that information. Wherever the f*ck I go, I’m profiled. Look at my f*cking hair. Look at my skin, bruh. I can’t take this sh*t off. So guess what? Im’a die bout it.” “You cannot take my blackness away from me, my blackness is not for your f*cking consumption.” Y’all need to know who the f*cking enemy is. Sometimes I get mad. But, I’m not trying to divide nobody. Y’all need to remember who the f*cking enemy is. “The same energy we have walking the streets, keep that energy with you at all f*cking time.” “Don’t let nobody take away your blackness from you. Your blackness is not supposed to be subdued at all.” End of Image Description PROTECT BLACK GIRLS AND WOMEN Trigger Warning for: Murder, death, sexual assault I woke up Monday morning and went against my "Do not open Instagram until 11am" rule, and opened it anyway to checked the first story posted on my timeline. It was her face with a "SayHerName" hashtag and a screenshot of tweets of the recent news. My immediate thought was: "This is the price Black women are paying for the fight for our rights and the rights of all Black people?" Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau was (I hate how I have to say was and not is) a black 19-year-old, young woman, and activist. Girl, really. Considering she's younger than my younger sister, and how much life she had left in her until she was reported dead this week in Tallahassee, Florida. Although these past weeks have been a blur, I saw the tweets from her friends and fellow activists about her going missing after she sent out a series of tweets about her sexual assault at the hands of a man after the protests took place. She spoke passionately and proudly at a Black Lives Matter Protest, using her powerful voice to draw attention to the murder of the transgender man, Tony McDade, whose life was taken by the police on May 27th, 2020. I listened to her speech and was speechless myself. She had such love and passion for every Black person. I created this art work in honor of her and to call attention to how she impacted me, and how at every corner, Black woman are in danger even without police brutality. There is more I could say and I'll never stop saying her name, but for now, I think I'll let my art speak for me. Rest In Power, Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau

    • The Queer Elephant in the Room by Anneliese Palmer

      *Plain text at the end of the artwork* The Queer Elephant in the room is hard to miss. Still, its presence is ignored at every hour, minute, and moment of the day. From sunrise to sunset as it exists between being seen and unseen. Existing in that in-between place. The Queer Elephant takes a warm shower the morning, relaxes on the couch to watch their favorite show in the afternoon, sits at the table eating dinner in the evening, and goes to bed with the stars as their nightlight. Perfectly normal habits while it’s perfectly ignored by the ones they wish to see them at their innermost self. At this point in the Queer Elephant’s life, they no longer hide themselves from the world after they had nervously made themselves known to it. But once they did make themselves known to the world, the Queer Elephant was met with words of: “What’s the difference in choosing to be queer or a pedophile?” and… “Aren't transwomen pretending to be women so they can sleep with men?” and… “You’re just going through a phase. We all do.” and… *insert Bible verse here* and… “Should you really be using that word on your public profile? and… “This gay stuff is all just a trend.” and... and... and… The Queer Elephant listens and begins to feel a sense of misery as its identity is erased, ignored, criticized, and questioned. Thus, the Queer Elephant in the room who is hard to miss but many try their hardest to do so (in hopes that they will drop the “queer” from their existence and go back to being a common elephant?), paint themselves to be what others want them to be and tries to follow rules they were never meant to follow, putting their true self in a cage, hiding away the key because they believe they will not be completely free while living someone else’s reality. So they hide away in their room. For where else would they hide during a global pandemic that forces them between four walls or living not quite a lie, but not a truth, either. Regardless of how they are addressed–or lack of– the Queer Elephant longs to share the joys and resilience and fears and hopes and love and strength of their identity. The Queer Elephant wants to see themselves on the television screen as characters being serious and silly and in love and evil and kind and mean and fearful and brave and normal and weird and just to be seen. And although there are many days where the Queer Elephant feels invisible or worse–perceived only the ways others want them to be– they know that who and how they see themselves will always remain. They will look in the mirror and repeat these words into their eyes, tired, but full of life and full of fight: I am queer. I am here. I am not going anywhere. Today* is May 17th, aka International Day Against Queerphobia. I’m writing the first draft of my inner thoughts as I sit with my family playing a game of spades. There is a brightly colored elephant in the room, and that elephant, is me. *I started writing these thoughts and created the art on May 17th after discovering what that day's significance was. © 2020. Anneliese Palmer. www.afroflower.com

    • So, What's Your GAYgue?

      There are a lot of labels out there. A LOT. I personally find myself flipping back and forth on the ones that sound "almost right". gauge (n): an instrument or device for measuring the magnitude, amount, or contents of something, typically with a visual display of such information. site: Oxford GAYgue (n): an internal and external battle with yourself to discover, define, struggle with, and accept your gender, sexual, and orientational identity as you grow and learn more about being a queer and/or lgbtqia+ human being. site: AfroFlower I don’t know why during middle school, my Christian summer camp leaders wouldn’t tell me what being gay was after a fellow camper called my dad “gay” while I was making my dad a choker necklace during craft time. How hard would it have been to tell a twelve-year-old being gay was when two men like each other, instead of leaving said child confused as to why everyone looked at her like she hailed satan? I still didn’t understand what being gay was when they made him apologize to me... And then a few years later when some random kid called me and my friend “lesbians” while we were chill’in out on the floor together during youth group. I was like: can we not show affection without homoerotic subtext? Stop making everything gay! People shout. Well damn, I didn’t. You did. These were my first vivid experiences with hearing the words gay and lesbian. I didn’t know what they meant exactly, but I knew that the words meant I could be something other than what everyone was saying I had to be as a young woman. Little did I know, there were so many more words out there that I could use to describe who I want to be and discover in life. "––I knew that the words meant I could be something other than what everyone was saying I had to be as a young woman." Now that I’m older and have consumed countless articles, books, media, and conversations that are helping and guiding me on how I want to be in life, my world has gotten a bit bigger. Here I say “how” and not “who” because who I am at my core will never change, but how the world sees me will. The same way that there are sub-cultures within cultures is the same way I understand how there are many sexualities and gender identities within the queer community. I even flip flop from saying Queer or LGBTQ+ because let me be honest, there aren’t a lot of “q” words in my vocabulary to begin with and I just find queer fun to say! "––because who I am at my core will never change, but how the world sees me will." I use the word queer as an umbrella term for me to explore, develop, and understand myself. The best way I do that is by creating some sort of artwork to visualize what I’m experiencing. I designed this bright illustration using Adobe Illustrator and turned it into a GIF animation in Animate CC to represent a few of the many names and labels for different sexualities and identities that I’ve been learning about and gravitating to. The biggest thing I do to help myself for finding which lifestyle seem more right than others is to visualize my life according to what that particular label defines. If I gravitate towards the lesbian lifestyle, can I imagine myself spending my time and possibly life with a woman? If I pick the bisexual lifestyle (or should I be saying identity instead of lifestyle…?) can I see myself finding love in a man or a woman? What if I don’t care for a relationship that includes sex? Or I find myself with someone who has more than one partner? I know there are many names for genders, sexualities, and orientations, so what about someone who is non-binary or aromantic? Identity is something everyone will, has, and is struggling with while simultaneously triumphing over by just existing. As much as labels can help you find a good starting point in your identity, it can also be overwhelming. Am I a queer woman who likes women, or am I a lesbian? Or am I bisexual and I just find men aesthetically pleasing but maybe romantically too? Do I need a solid label, or can I be more fluid in how I define myself? As much as I try and think about what my life could be like with someone else and how I would want to love and be loved, I always come back to what I want my life to be like for myself now. So yes, I go back and forth and back again, but I still give myself permission to just be me in my growth. "––I always come back to what I want my life to be like for myself now. " So, what's your GAYgue, and how many labels did you go through before you landed on the one your own now? Or are you still working on what fits best? Either way, take your time. I'm sure taking mine. The still image: Artist Notes: I created this initial sketch during a family meeting that my parents called to talk about our family’s self-isolation and everything that it involves. I honestly struggled with creating a title for this artwork and I know I could have title it "gaydar" or something like that, but I'm saving that title for another artwork...

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    • About Anneliese Palmer | Afro Flower Studio

      Afro Flower, Anneliese Palmer Welcome to my studio! My name is Anneliese (Ah-Nah-Lisa) Palmer, and I believe there is a story to be found everywhere. My pronouns are she/her, and I am a Black and Queer visual artist based in sunny Florida, but my creativity roams. I focus on imaginative storytelling through illustrations, writing, animations, and soon-to-be watercolors. Although I have an Associate’s degree in fashion design–which helps me understand trends and how the evolving markets work, I’ve always had a love for animation ever since I saw my first clay animation as a kid. I lost the only video copy of my first claymation short film: two human-ish shaped blobs, moving into their beautiful recycled goldfish box house. Although my skill set and interests have turned towards 2D animation, claymation will always be my first love. I’m glad you’ve found me and my little art corner on the internet. Check out my portfolio and explore my website, or contact me below!

    • Afro Flower Studio

      Welcome to Afro Flower Studio! Here is where I sell my original, made-to-order, custom fashion designs and accessories. Everything here is handcrafted by me, Anneliese Palmer. This means that I measure, cut, and sew, and ship everything from my home to you. Track Orders Shopping Bag Sign In

    • Illustration Collections | Afro Flower Studio

      Illustration Collections I'm currently selling all of my fun prints and designs on Redbubble, and you can click each photo to see more designs and even buy some for yourself or gift them to someone else! I AM HERE Click to find awesome merch my Redbubble! I AM HERE is an illustration collection I created to help my understanding of others in the LGBTQ+ community. This Pride month I want to celebrate the people who are willing to be vulnerable to themselves and to the world, no matter their circumstances. My role as a human being doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be sincere. Road to Empowerment Click to find awesome merch on my Redbubble! Women and girls shouldn’t get permission to follow their dreams, but they should warn others when they’re coming through! I’m honoring International Women’s History Month and Day by celebrating the ceilings broken, roads paved, and sacrifices made by women and girls everywhere! – Afro Flower #ILOVEMYSKIN Click to find awesome merch on my Redbubble! "I Love My Skin" is inspired by Black History Month. My designs are not just a celebration of the people who made history in the past, but of those who are making history now! GAL PALS Click to find awesome merch on my Redbubble! Welcome to my debut illustration collection, Gal Pals! Celebrating Galentine’s Day, a time to share with your sisters, besties, and all the gals in your life. For the ones who impact you for the better, and love you for you. Designed by Anneliese Palmer, with love

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