A Conversation with Artist Melanesia Hunter

When I first moved to Los Angeles 3 months ago. I was in search of a place to go hang out that had a vibe that I was most familiar with, like: live music, great energy, & libations.

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It was a Monday night and my second week in LA and I was looking for somewhere to just have a good time. A friend of mine invited me to come join her at this event called "Tha Juice Joint". She let me know that it would be an open mic type of vibe. Which is so my scene. I adore open mics, because of all the random raw talent I am able to experience. So I was down when she invited me out.

The event started at 8 pm and I was basically right on time because I know how open mics can be and I wanted to make sure I was able to actually have a view of the stage and the musicians. Being right on time allowed me to actually see and meet some of the individual people who put this event together. One person I met that night, was Melanesia Hunter (Mel).

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Before I even met her, I knew that she had to have something to do with the energy and the vibes that were created at Tha Juice Joint. You could just tell.

As the band was tuning their instruments, playing around getting ready for the night to actually start I hear this powerful voice over the microphone introducing herself and welcoming everyone for coming out tonight, that was the voice of Melanesia Hunter.

Artwork tattooed on Melanesia
Artwork tattooed on Melanesia

She was giving her "Church Announcements" as she calls them, which are basically the rules and expectations of The Juice Joint. One thing that stuck out to me the most and made me feel right at home was when she said "NO EGOS ALLOWED"!

"When you come in here, all we care about is your soul, & souls don't have titles. I created this for the people so if and when you come into our house, you are one of us!"

Mel let it be known that she created this space and atmosphere for her and her friends to have a place to gather and be free, and she refuses to allow ANYONE to change that aspect of Tha Juice Joint.

That is why it was a must for me to get to know her just a little bit better.

I walked up to her and she had a very welcoming demenor that it almost felt like we knew each other already. I just wanted to let her know that the event was amazing and I would love to talk to her to learn more about what she has going on out here in Los Angeles, CA. We exchanged information and that's when I found out that she was also from Alabama, my home state, and I knew I had to interview her.

Outside of creating her brand "The 27 Brand" , Mel is an amazing artist. I found this out after following her on Instagram and seeing other aspects of her life.

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A makeup artist, a visual creative, and a maker (of jewelry and clothing)...how? "How" was the question I had for Mel, because I know so many creative individuals who are wanting to step outside of that ONE thing they are good at and do more of the things they love, and it seems that Mel may have some advice for myself and for others.

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You can find out more about Melanesia Hunter, HERE, and her brand "The 27 Brand" HERE.

Melanesia on set of a photoshoot DTLA
Melanesia on set of a photoshoot DTLA

The World of Color Theory with Solange

All colors carry electromagnetic energy. It is believed that our brains and our endocrine systems absorb this energy from colors and inspire us to feel or act in certain ways (although it is not exactly clear how this happens). This effect is illustrated by our differing responses to warm and cool colors.

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If you've been following the stream of black girl magic that has been happening throughout the year of 2016, then I'm sure you are aware that Solange has dropped a new album, "A Seat at the Table". It's been four long years!!!

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One day after she dropped the album, she graces us with two soulful visuals from the project "Cranes in the Sky" and "Don't Touch My Hair" ft. Sampha. Both of these visuals were directed by herself and her husband Alan Ferguson.

After watching both of these videos, I was automatically drawn to the choice of hues and the tones that were used. I felt so at peace and calm, and happy, and joyful, and beautiful, and all of these other emotions all at once just from this visual experience.

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Many cool/warm tones are used and left me feeling relaxed yet stimulated and inspired to create!

The electromagnetic energies of different colors affect both our bodies and our minds. Both of these videos start off with calming/relaxing colors/tones.

For example, the first few frames of "Cranes in the Sky" show Solange in a light pink material, surrounded by concrete, which is light grey. Both of these tinted  colors have significance and can play apart in making us feel loved, calm and balanced.

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Bold colors used in the video "Don't Touch My Hair" such as the color royal blue gave me a sense of royalty and confidence. A feeling of being regal at times when women of color may feel like they don't matter, is so needed!

Brief moments of peace come over me as I watch both videos and see how the browns, beige, nudes, & umber hues that were used offered a relaxing/pleasant feeling.

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Overall these visuals made me feel so warm inside. Color theory is a tool used in so many mediums of art and to appreciate color is to appreciate the things that make us unique. Solange has always been an aesthetically pleasing artist, but more recently she has shown so much of what she has to offer to us. More than a singer-song writer, this album along with the visuals have inspired me and many others to create more, and not be afraid of where you came from and glorifying your culture.

You can watch both videos below.

Also, check out more from Solange here, and here.