Today we’d like to introduce you to Sherelle Speed.
Hi Sherelle, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started painting as an outlet. I was going through a traumatic time when I lost everything in a house fire during a romance gone wrong. I would paint to keep my mind off things and create a painting that showcased my emotions at the time. I posted that painting on Facebook and received a lot of love. I liked the attention I received from something I created, so I pushed myself to see how far art could take me. And that decision led me to become an award-winning artist.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. There have been times when I didn’t have money to buy art supplies, so I’d have to cut the paint tubes in half and scrape the access paint to finish a commission. I also used to struggle with being a black female artist wanting the genuine support of my male counterparts without being sexualized and counted out until something clicked in my head that led me to do me authentically and unapologetically.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a muralist, tattoo artist, and painter. I’ve been in the arts for several years; I am in year 1 of being a licensed tattoo artist. My tattoos are easily recognizable from their pins, button eyes, and the art doll signature, making them immortal works of art. My signature tattoo style is voodoo-ish custom dolls representing healing, growth & rebuilding. My signature style in painting is faceless paintings or playful teddy bear masks that cover my subjects’ heads. My work is known for its faceless detail and vibrancy paired with the female form showcasing sexuality and playfulness, which sets me apart from other artists. I mainly use the melanated female form for inspiration which you can see in my work. My murals can be seen in stores such as toast time, social treats, the attack of magic, and Yah’ki awakened spiritual shop. I am most proud of winning awards two years in a row at the Springfield state museum and also being able to gift one of my paintings to Erykah Badu recently.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory is from when I was about 7. My teenage cousin and sister stayed with me until about 5 in the morning, playing Barbies. We built a little community with doll mansions, cars, and even boats; I had little cookouts. It was so much fun. But it was memorable because I used to beg teenagers to play Barbies with me, and they would not do it. I’ve always had an infatuation with dolls and having someone older than me create that memory I’m now smiling about is amazing.
- Mural minimum is $1000.00
- Tattoo hourly minimum is $150.00
- Custom commissions start at $250
- Website: www.theartdoll.net
- Instagram: The_artdoll