Throughout Pride Month, we’re spotlighting and celebrating LGBTQIA+ creators who champion queer visibility through their creative works—including eighteen-year-old visual artist, activist, and curator, Diana Sinclair.
Sinclair’s multi-media artwork centers around themes of self-exploration, social justice, and identity. She was a YoungArts 2021 winner in photography, and has displayed work at SCOPE Miami and Art Basel. Her work has been featured in publications such as Hypebeast, Teen Vogue, and the Guardian, among other outlets.
Since entering the NFT space early last year, Sinclair’s accomplishments already include being featured in TIME Magazine, landing herself on Fortune’s “NFTy 50” list. For Juneteenth 2021, she curated “The Digital Diaspora,” an NFT exhibit and auction dedicated to celebrating the work of Black artists, with proceeds benefitting the LGBTQIA+ community and Herstory DAO, a group she cofounded to collect the works of marginalized creatives. As a young person navigating the metaverse, Sinclair believes that the next renaissance will be born out of the intersection of art and technology, and is passionate about creating work that embraces this evolution.
What is the first creative project you remember?
When I was really young, my dad would task me with a “daily challenge” to draw something for him by the time he got home from work that day. I have pages and pages of these artworks—it’s a great first memory of setting out a plan to consistently create art.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Forward. Vibrant. Fluid.
What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?
A few days ago, my friend Drifter (@driftershoots) took me exploring to photograph and document this abandoned power plant in New Orleans that’s going to be demolished soon. At the end of the trip, we decided to climb one of the two towers on the top of the building. We scaled a 300-foot ladder up the side of the tower and photographed the top and the whole way up. Surprisingly, I felt incredibly calm the entire time and it actually satiated this need to lay out a tough goal and accomplish it while being creative. We haven’t yet released the photos or videos from the trip, but it left me with the urge to keep creating and pushing new ideas.
What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?
“I Am the Black Gold of the Sun” is one of the very first photo series that I developed. I created it during the summer of 2020 on my very first camera, a gifted old Nikon. Learning to photograph during the pandemic posed a lot of challenges but helped me understand that there’s always a way to find a creative solution to any limitations, and it has really helped me apply that mindset to new situations. I shot that series on my own with one model in the ocean, and I had to get very creative with props, posing, directing, etc. to get the shots I wanted. All of this while still figuring out how a camera works!
Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?
I think it can be both! Most people are born creative, I think, but then are taught to see the world in a specific way which closes them off to alternative ways of thinking and being. In my eyes, creativity can also be taught, not by teaching someone what to think, but by showing them how to open their minds to all the creative possibilities that are right in front of them. Some people need that veil of confirmative thinking lifted so that they can reach their full potential.
What’s the last dream you had?
Weirdly, even as a visual person, I don’t remember my dreams well! I have zero recollection of my last dream, ugh.
One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?
As a visual artist, I think more about what artworks my art will inspire in the future. I hope to be a stepping stone and beacon of reference for other artists who look like me and share my struggles. In the future I hope to inspire films, exhibitions, music, and many other genres and forms of displaying art. There are some artists whose message and work impacts a whole generation and I plan to be one of those people.
Follow @dianasinclair on Creatively
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