Notes & Narratives goes “On the Record” with artist and illustrator Geneva B.

by: Tania Lasenburg


 Image of Geneva B. Courtesy of: The Carolina Peacemaker
Image of Geneva B. Courtesy of: The Carolina Peacemaker

No matter what you are into or not into, Art has a special place in everyone’s heart. There is something about this creative outlet that brings forth emotions that have a lasting impression.

When I first saw the artwork of Geneva B, I was blown away. There is so much detail in her work. It is bright, colorful and full of life. Not only did I have to support her by purchasing some items but I had to reach out for an interview and let me tell you, if you don’t follow Geneva B on social media, you need to. She is so pure!

N&N: Firstly, I want to say your work is amazing! What led you to pursue art?

GB: Playing video games, specifically role playing games when I was a kid inspired me to go into art. They crafted such art and ambiance, and I wanted to do the same thing too!

N&N: With the lack of representation and diversity in the media, books, etc. how important is it for you to focus your art on African American women in not only everyday settings but in magical ones too?

GB: I think it’s quite important. Growing up, I rarely saw protagonists that looked like me or were inclusive. I feel it’s important for me personally to at least fill the need for black and magical together.

N&N: Recently, you have published a children’s book called Allie & Gator, why did you decide to write a book and specifically a children’s book?

GB: One reason I wrote Allie & Gator was because of the pun. But I love kids and the general whimsy of children’s literature so I wanted to take a stab at it!

N&N: How would you describe your experience in the book publishing world?

GB: It’s a little ruthless. Everyone wants to publish a book, so it’s hard to stand out, especially initially. Self publishing is even harder but feels quite rewarding.

N&N: What is the difference, at least for you, about being an illustrator and a writer?

GB: You have to paint with words when you’re writing, and that’s such a hard and rare skill.

N&N: Do you consider yourself successful? If so, what is your definition of success?

GB: I’m definitely no millionaire and still have financial worries, but I certainly consider it successful! Not very many people are able to illustrate full time in the comfort of their home, so I feel blessed for being able to even do so at my age.

N&N: As an artist, what are five things you need to keep going and why?

GB: You need to keep loving what you do, definitely. Along with basic set of tools, a mindset to keep practicing, a portfolio website. A person in your life that supports your work helps quite a bit as well.

N&N: Finally, How would you describe your work and what do you want the viewer to take from it?

GB: I would like them to feel inspired to create too! It doesn’t necessarily have to be art; just create or help someone else’s day and hopefully inspire that person too.

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Allie & Gator as well as all of Geneva B’s artwork is available on her website: https://www.genevab.com/