What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to celebrate black love!
We partnered with Roses are Black to release an exclusive home accessories collection for Black History Month. This also marks our first artist collaboration! Roses are Black (RAB) launched in 2018 by our owner, Raahz. RAB highlights and emphasizes stories rooted in love, identity, wellness and prosperity through poetry. Her latest collection Black Cinema is inspired by the films: Love Jones, Love and Basketball and Brown Sugar.
After watching Love Jones for the umpteenth time in September she decided to create a series of poems based on the black love films. She chose Love Jones, Love and Basketball and Brown Sugar because they are all deemed classics in the black community. After curating the poems she decided to create products that correlated with each film. Here's some insight on Raahz's process in creating this project.
You launched RAB in 2018, how long have you been writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem at 11, for a class poetry project. In high school, I began writing songs and poems in free my time. It has served as therapy and an escape for me ever since. Many would describe me as reserved and I'm pretty private. However, writing is one of the few things that makes me comfortable with being vulnerable.
Describe your writing process
For poetry, I have a few methods. I usually freestyle stanzas in my voice memos and then structure them on paper. Other times, I’ll think of a topic and then write about it. I'm big on using a thesaurus or google to expand my vocabulary when writing. Some poems just come to me, others I have to dig deep from personal experiences or I take from what’s happening in the world at that time.
Of the three poems, what's your favorite and why?
Ironically Love Jones is my favorite poem ( it’s also my favorite movie of the three as well). It was the first poem I wrote for the project. I think because I connect with the movie so much, the poem just flowed like water for me. The poem is written from the perspective of Nina, she battled a lot with self worth and trust in the film. This poem symbolized her finally surrendering to the love she deserves.
What inspired the Black Cinema Collection? (add pics)
Each release with RAB, I try to incorporate something different. This stretches me as an artist, but also allows me to analyze what my audience is receptive to. Since launching Araysun, my goal has always been to amplify art in all forms. I decided to use Black Cinema as my guinea pig. I wanted something tangible and a keepsake so to speak to be released with the poems but I knew I didn’t want to do a book. Basketball planters have been popular for a couple years, after I go the idea to make a personal one for myself, I thought of creating a line of home accessories that reflected each film. Furthermore, the poems and products are my way of showing how powerful and beautiful black love is.
"Love Jones" Print
"Love and Basketball" Planter
"Brown Sugar" Candle
As an artist, what are your goals when releasing work?
This is a loaded question. I consider almost everything I create art. From designing pieces for Araysun, writing poetry and songs, creative directing projects for myself and others, editing videos, hosting events etc. I have so many mediums and they serve different purposes. I can say that they all are passion and purpose driven. I’m still new to releasing art to the public, so my long term goals aren’t activated yet. Short term, right now my main goal is to stay true to myself and be authentic with my artistry and through that I hope I’m connecting with and inspiring someone.
What do you predict for Araysun in the future as far as collaborations go?
I’m so excited for what’s to come for Araysun. I truly envision Araysun being a creative house in 10 years. We want to create a unique platform for artist and incorporate innovative ways to consume art. I'm personally excited to work with musical artists on album releases and merch lines. However, there are no limits to the type of artists we can work with. I also see Araysun collaborating with major fashion brands in the future, I'll keep my dream list under wraps for now, but just know Araysun is going global.
Check out the "Black Cinema" podcast here.
Stay in touch with Raahz