When Kriss Mincey first told me about her masterpiece of an idea that is the Unleash the Beast Art Series, I felt like she’d been in my head quietly watching the last four years of my journey to self and success, from the back of my mind. Becoming what she calls an #ARTrepreneur has been one of the most transformative processes I’ve ever undergone in my life; becoming an ARTrepreneur forced me to shed any trace of the person I thought I was or wanted to be.
I’ve always been a person who took the road traveled often enough (ex. college) in the most non-traditional of manners (ex. single mother of two)…which would then lead to the road less traveled (ex. freelance journalist and entrepreneur)…the road I now consider home.
There are many more 20-something ARTrepreneurs out there like Kriss and I. And if there’s a few things that we can all testify to, it’s that:
We’re two events into the series (the last one is Saturday, November 1st) and I finally got a moment to chat with Kriss about her vision for UTB, how it came about and her message for both 20-somethings and #ARTreprenuers.
Ladies and Gents, say hello to Kriss Mincey…
Sincerely Syreeta: For those who don’t know: who is Kriss Mincey? Tell the SS readers a little about yourself.
SS: I love that term—although I struggled to pronounce it during our video interview! Haha! So what is Unleash the Best?
KM: Unleash the Beast is a 3-part art series about becoming who you are as an Artrepreneur (r). It consists of a discussion panel, a workshop, and an art show all about becoming the “you” that you want to be.
SS: Very timely given the emerging millennials of our time! How was the series conceived?
KM: Unleash the Beast started as the concept for a photo shoot I did with Phylicia Ghee, a renowned photographer in Baltimore. I was new on the Philadelphia scene, and wanted new shots. But, when I finished the treatment, was I was reading was really a story of self-actualization; of metamorphosis; shedding; purging. Becoming. I knew this story wasn’t just mine, and that I wanted to be able to relate to my peers in this way, by shifting the focus from the things that make me an individual, to the vulnerabilities that make me just like anyone else.
SS: Why was curating an event such as this important to you as an artist and 20-Something?
KM: It was important that I do something bigger than just me. When I first started singing five years ago, I thought I had to compete aggressively, and sell what makes me “special.” And, while these things are important, no one ever taught me to be self-compassionate as a way to succeed. No one taught me the difference between accountability and self-judgement. And learning these differences as a young person helped me cope with the common effects of competition and achieving, like anxiety, isolation, loneliness. Celebrating the fact that this was a common experience helps us address it more directly, and strive for that sense of accomplishment in ways that are healthier, happier.
Click here to get your tickets for #UTB2014 now!
SS: What is the greatest thing that you’ve learned about yourself thus far in your 20’s?
KM: The greatest thing that I’ve learned in my 20’s is that I am worth far more than what I do. My self-worth is not based on my productivity And especially this: fear is not a character flaw; it’s character. When I stopped trying to edit the “bad” parts of myself, it allowed me to neutralize those emotions, and direct my energy to the emotions I wanted to flourish, like happiness.
KM: The advice I’d give 20-somethings is: You’re doing great. Don’t waste your 20’s thinking you’re not where you’re meant to be, and try not to judge yourself so harshly for feeling that way in the first place. Rather than feel isolated by this fear, take comfort in knowing you’re connected to people by this experience. Even giants get scared; that’s what makes us human.
SS: What are your hopes for those who attend this event?
KM: What I hope people get out UTB is a tangible example of self-actualization, to be able to see the internal experience in front of them through paint, digital art and live performance. Just putting this event series together is my Beast, my “becoming.” I want Artrepreneurs to know that fear is not the opposite of strength, but a part of it. If we want to thrive as creatives and innovators, we have to love all the parts of ourselves today to become the people we want to be tomorrow.
SS: In what ways do you this impacting the lives of the featured artists?
KM: I want to build industry for the participants in this series; to give them a space where their voice is part of a collective one, the voice of The Artrepreneur (r). Really, that’s what I want to do in Philly; it’s my home now. I want to brand the creative and entrepreneurial talent here into a movement that thrives, not on how “unique” or “individual” we are, but rather, how connected we are. We all want fulfillment. Everybody wants happiness. Let us pursue it together.
SS: Why does Philly need an event like this?
KM: Philly is teeming with this raging current of entrepreneurship, and I walked right into it. I was enchanted by this city. As an artist, I’ve had the chance to see the communities built in Hamburg, Germany; Brooklyn and DC. Everyone knows the Philly sound; everyone knows the feeling of Philadelphia. What if we could brand that feeling, and celebrate it wherever we go? What if “The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” was meant to be built, not on competition, but community among its change makers? The Artrepreneur (r) works to celebrate this idea by targeting young artists and entrepreneurs on the mission to become who they are. We become ourselves when we look beyond ourselves; we thrive best when we do it together. That’s why the brand is fit for Philly.
– Sincerely Syreeta
Photos by: Phylicia Ghee