We had the good fortune of connecting with Diarra Pouye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diarra, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
My business involves making surreal collages in photoshop. I print them in different sizes depending on what customers want and send them. Recently, I have started a fundraiser on behalf of a friend of mine whose family is affected by the new Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Due to their family’s involvement in women’s rights activism and belief in democracy, their lives are at risk under the Taliban. Of course this broke my heart because no one should have to go through this. My friend’s family is in need of help and I, a struggling college student, don’t have much to offer besides a shoulder to cry on. I wanted to raise money in some way so that their family could have some money in their pocket to escape and potentially start a new life elsewhere. I posted on my instagram about it and how I will use all proceeds from my art sales to send to their family. It went pretty well and I started to get donations as well as art sales! Although this is helping one family, it does serve the community to raise awareness about what is going on in the world. Another way I think my business helps the world is the fact that my art is centered around queerness, blackness, and feminism. By having individuals from all walks of life purchase these and put them on their walls, it feels like a form of support for these identities. What makes it even more meaningful is that these are my identities. I hope to continue to share my art and my message all over the world and expand my small business and continue to help people with more fundraisers. My business is still new and I’m working out all the kinks, but I feel hopeful that it will make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My business was created out of my love for art, specifically surrealism. I create by tapping into my imagination without restrictions. Unconciously, I made art that reflected my identity as a queer Senegalese-American woman. I made my first pieces in high school for an art project. When I put them up for the final show, I got a lot of positive feedback as well as people who wanted to purchase them and put them on their walls. Because of this, I made an instagram page and started printing and selling my art. Slowly my page grew. It is still small, but I feel like I have come a long way and I’m proud of the foundation I have built to continue to grow and share my work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Santa Barbara, but when I go to LA I like to explore Venice or Melrose!! There are always good places to shop and eat!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a general shootout to my family and friends who have encouraged nad supported my art since the beginning of my journey! It was those individuals who inspired me to keep going and get to where I am today.
Image of headshot by Kim Reierson kimreiersonphotography.com