2019 EDGE: Kenesha Sneed

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This multi-hyphenate defies definition.

After studying motion graphics at Otis College of Art and Design & graduating in 2009, Kenesha has since worked as Art Director and multidisciplinary artist. Her design studio Tactile Matter translates concepts from her design background and highlights the nuances of representation through her creative lens. Currently, Kenesha works from her Altadena studio which is comprised of pixels, clay, paint, coconut oil and black girl magic.

LA Design Festival sat down with Kenesha to learn more about her daily rituals, what she’s working on, and where she’s headed.

You’re trapped in an elevator and someone asks you what you do, what do you say?

Multi-Disciplinary artist is usually my go to, it’s short and sweet. My long winded career title is designer, illustrator, sculpter, founder of Tactile Matter which serves as an online space for handmade objects , and freelance Visual Creative Director for Call Your Girlfriend.  Really, I’m a visual storyteller who squirms at the thought of navigating through one lane.

What have been your biggest challenges?

My proudest moment so far is taking my mom to see the movie Little which included my artwork in so many moments between Issa Rae and Marsai Martin. My mom had the biggest smile and pointed at the screen every time my work was highlighted in the scene. I’ll never forget that, I’ll never take it for granted.

What have been your biggest successes?

Navigating through grief has been a challenge that’s taught me a lot about giving myself the green light to take a break. And not apologizing to anyone for it. Creating has always been a needed way of translating emotions that can be difficult to articulate. Support, no matter how that looks is the only way to get through the hardest times. Family, friends and creativity are life savers.

What are you super excited about right now?

I’ve been working on a few collaborations I’ll be excited to share.  As someone who loves working, I love nothing more than a pause in between.

What do you want to do next?

Next means so many things to me these days. The next day looks so different from the next month or year. Currently, next has been so much about a balancing creative projects in a way that’s meaningful and reflects who I am. I have a long list of goals I can’t wait to check off.

Who is your favorite designer or artist?

There’s a long list of artists who are inspiring in different ways, who have a way of giving me good feelings. The first who come to mind Simone Leigh, Jennifer Packer, Kehinde Wiley, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Amoako Boafo.

Haily Zaki