The Power of Music


Age: 20

Occupation: Student- Junior

Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD


What is your favorite form of artistic expression?

My favorite form of artistic expression is music. I am a singer!!!! I sing just about every genre except for country and electronic. Music education is my major here at University of Maryland. My mother says I have been singing since before I could talk. There are many picture of me as a baby holding a mic and singing in my diapers. I loved everything about singing, just because it is an art form that involves the whole body. Although music is something we listen to, it is also something we watch and feel. Going to a concert we don’t want to just hear great music we want to see the artist having fun expressing every word of every song. So I guess I am in love with performing as well as music.

lynique1What are the hardest and best parts of how you express your art?

One of the best things about singing is that I can do it wherever I am because I carry my instrument with me. I am my instrument. The frustrating thing about that is if I am sick I cannot actually sing because my body is too weak to even begin to think about singing. Also, when I am learning a classical piece sometimes it is frustrating because I have to actually spend time learning the notes and rhythms to even begin making music. On the other hand it is a way to perfect the craft of music reading. A way for me to work on perfecting my ear is to listen to music of the Gospel or R&B genre and break apart harmonies. I love breaking harmonies and hearing them together it is one of the most satisfying feelings ever.

What inspires you when it comes to your art?

I feel inspired knowing that someone can be feeling down and they can listen to me sing and that immediately turns their mood around. The power of music is often overlooked. Music is a powerful experience for the performer and the audience. The thoughts that race through the mind during a performance cannot be explained. The emotion that the audience and performer feel cannot be explained. It is an extremely intimate experience but one that can impact life forever. It sounds cheesy I know but there is no other way to describe it.

What do you hope to do with your art in the future?

My plan is to become a music educator. I want to have some sort of impact on students lives. People say it all the time, “Children are the future!” It is a true statement and it actually inspires me. I believe that if the next generations could be inspired the way I was in elementary school then they have a chance to do something greater than the generation before.

Want to hear Lynique sing? Check out her youtube page!

“An Expression of Life…”


Age: 21

Occupation/Placement in School: Dance Major at Alonzo King LINES Ballet B.F.A Program-Senior

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

What is your favorite form of artistic expression?  

I started dancing when I was eight years old and it has been a passion of mine ever since. I have trained in ballet, tap, hip-hop, jazz, and modern and now I have a love for contemporary ballet. I love the way I feel when I dance and I love to share my joy for this art form with all audiences. Additionally, I think it is the most beautiful art form because it is an expression of life itself.

 Taylor 1What are the hardest and best parts of how you express your art?

Honestly, training to be a dancer is very challenging. It is demanding not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Also, it requires an enormous amount of discipline and sacrifice. And through all of the hardships, it is incredibly rewarding. I love being able to connect with people and to inspire others with my art. Dance is universal and I have experienced how it can heal a community and bring happiness to many peoples lives.

What inspires you when it comes to your art?

I feel that I draw inspiration from everything like music, art, literature, nature, people, or experiences in life. Through dance, you are able to communicate ideas or concepts that words may not be Taylor3able to express. Additionally, other dancers and choreographers of the past and the present are a huge inspiration to me. For example, Misty Copeland, Alonzo King, and Aesha Ash, just to name a few.

 What do you hope to do with your art in the future?

In the future, I hope to become a professional dancer and inspire other young black girls to dance. I would also enjoy traveling and sharing my love for dance with the world. In addition, I would like to become a physical therapist for athletes and dancers to help people recover from injuries and sustain a career as an athlete or dancer.

Want to get in touch with Taylor? Email her at:!!

Through the Lens


Age: 20
Occupation/Placement in School: Federal employee/ Junior at Southern New Hampshire University.
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland


What is your favorite form of artistic expression?

My favorite form of artistic expression is photography. I was always interested in taking photos as a child but my interest really flourished when I took a photography class in sophomore and junior year of  high school. After those classes, I began to further my skills on my own.

I’m so drawn to photography because there are so many meanings you can take from a photo. When I look at a photograph, I like to think about what kind of story is behind it. I’m drawn to the emotional component of photography because it is an outlet for me.

Dejah3What are the hardest and best parts of how you express your art?

The best parts about photography is how happy I feel when I finally get the shot I wanted. I also enjoy finding the beauty in simplicity. I feel as if sometimes there does not have to be much going on in the photograph to convey a message. It is also so rewarding when people enjoy my art. I love it when people tell me what they got from my photo and what it means to them. I like to create art that makes people get an emotional response. Even if it is negative, I want to hear what people think. This also brings me to the hardest parts. Sometimes I can get sensitive about criticism. Like Erykah Badu said….”I’m an artist…and I’m sensitive about my shit”, haha. Although I am sensitive to it, I appreciate it. I always want to improve myself. Another hard part about photography…it’s expensive!


What inspires you when it comes to your art?Dejah2

So many things! I am mostly inspired by my own emotional pain, personal experiences, the experiences of others, and spirituality. Art helps me express what I am feeling when I can’t put it into words. When I am feeling depressed, frustrated, angry and even happy, I pick up my camera. It helps me to be able to let out my own skeletons in a healthy manner. I feel like I can tell a story to people without having to go into details. I’m also inspired by the good in people. I love seeing the people I love doing well and living their lives happily. I always want to capture those moments and keep the memories fresh.


Dejah4What do you hope to do with your art in the future?

I hope in the future my art inspires others. The emotion I feel when I view my favorite artists’ work is priceless and forever. I love to get people thinking and I hope I can just leave a positive mark on people’s lives.

Dejah’s work is available for viewing at:


Follow her on instagram! @Greeneuphorias


Imagination and Animation

ERINErin 1

Age: 21

Occupation: I am a senior at Colorado State University

Hometown: Washington, D.C.


What is your favorite form of artistic expression?

My favorite form of artistic expression would have to be drawing. I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started because I’m sure I was still in diapers. I’ve always been a drawing girl but I don’t do it all the time. I only draw when I’m moved to do so. But it is those special times that produce some of the best things I’ve ever drawn.

I like drawing because the pencil only moves when I tell it to. I can capture exactly what’s in my mind on paper and from there I can scan that drawing and mess with it in Photoshop or Illustrator. And if I want to change what I’ve drawn it’s as easy as turning my pencil over and using the eraser. Also, with drawing I can engage so many of the viewer’s senses to really make them experience what they’re seeing. Like if I sketched a turtle shell, I could draw light reflecting off of it a little to show that it is wet, or rough, or hard. I could put a shadow on the curve of an egg shell to give a sense of darkness or cold. I can make the viewer experience anything I wanted to express. Drawing for me is like the ultimate form of communication.


Erin 3What are the hardest and best parts of how you express your art?

What frustrates me the most is when I want to create something and have absolutely no idea what to create or how to get inspiration. I’ll go online and look at other people’s work and it will be so good! I’ll sit there and say to myself “Why didn’t I think of that?”. Sometimes it’s easier for me if I’m given parameters for the things I create. For example, it’s easier for me to get inspired if I’m told that the thing I have to draw must be green or if it’s a tattoo idea that somebody has and they just want me to make it look cool. I love doing my own thing when I have inspiration, but there are those times when I get artists’ block and I can’t think of anything extraordinary to draw.

On the other hand the BEST parts about artistic expression is when I’m done with my latest thing and I can look at my work. I step back, my hands are covered in ink and charcoal, and I can look at the awesome new thing I created with pride. Then I get to share it with other people on various different social networking sites and start thinking of new ways to make a better version of that thing I just made.


What inspires you when it comes to your art?

When it comes to my art I am inspired by nature. Animals and plants show up in just about everything I do. I Erin 4like the different forms that plants and animals can come in. Everything is different with its own texture, characteristics, and musculature. Plus the relationship between humans and nature goes back to the very beginning. I like how much depth and symbolism there is behind artwork that includes nature in it.


What do you hope to do with your art in the future?

Truthfully, all any artist wants to do is spend their days creating the things they find appealing. I’d love to work metal, carve stone, paint, and draw for the rest of my life. But I also have a huge soft spot for cartoons and animated things, plus there is more economic stability in computer generated artwork. At this point I would like to get into concept art and computer generated imagery for movies. That’s why I love watching films like Thor, Transformers and Lord of the Rings. Making one’s imagination come to life in such a realistic way would be an amazing career! I’m also sure I’d dabble in cartoon animation as well. I’d love to take part in drawing for the people who make Adventure Time and I’d love to take some time away from America to go to Japan and work in anime production and to work with one of my favorite artists and movie producers of all time Hayao Miyazaki. It’s a lofty dream but I have to start somewhere, yes?


Erin 6Want to get in touch with Erin? Here are the links to some of her other pages:




Diving into the Arts!

As we switch into December, the new theme for The Free Your Mind Project is ARTISTIC EXPRESSION!!!

For many, art in any capacity is a form of release, a stress reliever. Whether its dance, writing, photography, sketching, painting, acting, singing, videography, etc. art is not only a hobby but a way to express emotions and escape reality when needed. In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published an article talking about the positive effects art can have. After reviewing several studies, they found that “creative engagement can decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbances…through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and reservoir of healing.” Simply put, art is good for you and it makes you feel better. And I can personally attest to that fact.

Reflecting on what makes me happy, the obvious comes to mind: family and friends, but

when I was little the first thing I would say was drawing. Give me a pen and paper and I could be occupied for hours. In fact, I not only sketched often but played the piano and wrote short poems. However, as I’ve gotten older, those things have taken a backseat to the “priorities” I’ve acquired over the years…

But for many who stuck with it, art has become a vital part of their identity and personal expression. And this month on the blog, I’ll be celebrating those women who’ve made art an integral part of their lives. I’ll be featuring a dancer, a singer, a graphic artist, a photographer and a director.

Stay tuned 🙂