Monthly Artist Feature (March 2021) – Abigail “Abii Paris” Hewitt

Artist’s Name: Abigail Hewitt

Name of Brand: Abii Paris

Artist’s Age: 26

Artform: Visual Art

The Artist

Why do you do what you do?

Practicing art is something that comes naturally to me. It is an act of self care, self love and therapy. 

When did you realize you had a passion for what you do?

I realized very early in life that I was passionate about creating. If I should put an exact time frame on it, I’d say when I was around the age of 10.

What is your educational background?

My educational background includes my high school diploma in Building Construction and some time in college – where I studied Interior and Fashion Design. During that time, I honed my creative skills and the knowledge I gained in the courses taken have been directly beneficial to my development as an artist and creative person. 

What are some of the challenges you faced while trying to pursue your passion?

One of the biggest challenges faced while pursuing my passion has been the lack of motivation and inspiration. I work primarily based off my emotions and my inspiration comes mostly from interactions with people and being within certain spaces. Outside of that another challenge is people not being willing to pay the price for the work they request. As a young artist who doesn’t have a household name just yet, some persons act as though you are too presumptions to actually charge for your services. 

Have you ever encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams and how did you deal with it?

There has been a number of people along my journey who have been skeptical, discouraged me and overall, not been supportive. At first, I was a little heartbroken but then I had to believe in the dream for myself. I had to realize that this journey is mine and nobody else’s. 

How do you react to those individuals now?

Those individuals are no longer in my life. They now have the view of a window shopper and not a backstage pass like they used to. 

What are some of the fears you face within your journey today?

In the earlier stage of my journey, I was fearful that I wasn’t good enough to actually charge for my work. I was also a little fearful about the unknown. How would people view and receive my art. 

Do you deal with those fears?

Confidence in oneself is very important on this journey and I have since gained a lot of confidence in myself and my creations. With this confidence I’ve been able to let go of my fears. I have been speaking life into my art. I am greater than I was giving myself credit for. 

How do you work, what is the method to your “madness” and how do you filter your creativity?

There’s not much of a method to my “madness” once the inspiration comes, and I act on it, that’s where the magic happens. I just let my emotions roam free during the process.

What role do you believe the artist has in society?/how do you feel your artform has the power to benefit society/how do wish it would impact society?

The artist plays a very important role in society in all aspects. Art is very influential in culture and society by connecting people from across borders and educating the masses. So far, I’ve seen where a lot of persons have resonated with my work. They feel seen and heard and they are able to connect with them. 

Out of all your bodies of work which piece resonates with you most?

I have quite a few favorites but the piece that resonates with me most is the piece entitled “Body Posi“. There are so many other persons that this piece resonates with as well, especially women. 

“Body Posi” by Abii Parris

Where do you see yourself going?

There are so many possibilities for my artistic journey. I see myself branching off into using art as therapy as a long term goal. Outside of that, I am working on creative ways to brighten up people’s lives with my creations. 

By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

Success to me is the joy felt from an accomplishment or milestone. Smalls win are success for me. The ability to do something I didn’t know I could be my success. It took me a while to understand it, but the work is finished when there is nothing else you can add to it. Often times the pieces that I think are incomplete are actually in a complete state.  

What elements of your career bring you the most stress and how do you deal with it?

The lack of motivation brings me the most stress. I have been plagued by this over the course of this pandemic. I have learnt over this period that if you just keep going it will ignite the necessary flames needed to go on. 

The word “ubuntu” means “I Am because we are”; how have you seen that reflected in your own life?

Well, to me we are a reflection of our people and our ancestors. Who we are is in direct proportion to our society and surroundings.

What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?

The journey is not for the swift but for those who can endure. Be patient with yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t listen to all the noise but rather speak life into yourself and what you are creating. Feel through the emotions but don’t let them get the best of you. Your bloom is coming. 

What is something(quote or reminder) that you live by?

Be patient with yourself. The seeds you have been planting will bloom when you least expect it.

“Be patient with yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t listen to all the noise but rather speak life into yourself and what you are creating.”

Abigail “Abii Parris” Hewitt