I met Kadija in 2008 when we were both teenagers working in the After School Matters Gallery 37 art program here in Chicago. Kadija is the owner of Dija's Paint and Sip Session and is an amazing business woman and very inspirational in her grind and motivation. Get to know her and be sure to support September's artist for the monthly Artist Showcase!
1. Introduce Yourself!
My name is Kadija Robinson-Stallings, Chicago IL, I'm 24 yrs old, Eastern Illinois University-BFA in 2D Studio (Fine Arts), I enjoy portraiture specifically oil paint, and I've been an artist tactically all my life.
2. You have been killing it with the paint and sip parties. How did you start doing them?
Thank you, a friend of mine asked me, almost a year ago, to help her with one and I made a business out of it.
3. I also see that you're a henna artist. What made you start it up?
Well, I like henna and as a artist and I wanted to know how well I could do it on myself. People started asking me to do it on them and I made a business out of it as well.
4. You speak a lot about ownership and starting businesses. What life experiences gave you this mind state?
As a young girl my parents encouraged me to be an entrepreneur and it's stuck with me ever since. So whatever opportunities have come my way, I try my best to presume them.
5. What's the hardest part about being an artist and teaching paint and sip parties? What's the most rewarding part about it?
The hardest part about being an artist is that you have to create art pleasing to a specific audience. Instructing paint parties isn't hard, only when people are tipsy. The fact that I help people paint a picture when they thought they couldn't is a good feeling.
6. Many people state that art is not a good field to go into. I highly disagree and I'm glad people like yourself are proving them wrong. Why did you choose to create a career in the arts and not in another field?
Well I always made money from doing art since I was 5 years old. I even paid for prom by selling print makings in high school. So art was a no brainer.
7. How do you manage your time as a busy artist and business woman?
Well, I incorporate art with my businesses that I have today. The only thing is, I wish I had more time for is to paint in my free time.
8. What impact do you wish to leave on your community and on the world with your art?
I wish to share with people my talent and that with being creative, you can make anything happen and create finances when they world says "no". And art is a outlet to do so.
9. What advice do you give to younger artists and aspiring artists?
I would tell aspiring artists to keep producing art, don't listen to negativity when it come to art as a career. It's all rewarding when you live and breathe art.
10. Where do you want to take your paint and sip company in the future?
I want to create a business that people can take serious in hopes to expand.
Thanks a lot, Kadija!