Art,  Community,  Culture,  Graffiti Art,  hip-hop,  New Orleans,  Non-fiction,  Photography,  Underground,  Urban Neighborhood

Nola Grown Artist: Street Graffiti 

New Orleans is filled with artist who create regardless of the state of the canvas…. Come take a visual tour with me to admire how graffiti artist color our city.

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...


      • Andy Oldham

        Present it to the city council. Be and advocte. I think of that every time I get stopped by a train and see all the beautiful artwork on the side of train cars.

      • mzcakez

        Can I do that?? Like just me?? Im just a black girl who got out of New Orleans just in time to do a lil something with my life. Im just a nurse and a special needs foster mom… idk the in’s & out of the system. Wld they even take me seriously. OMG

      • Andy Oldham

        First take all the “just” out of your comment. You are a valuable woman with ideas. Is there a group of friends, some professionals, that help you start a business? Use as many people as you can for your ideas. Then find some graffiti arrest and challenge them t draw some NOLA ads that are attractive. Decide where they can go that would be advantageous to the city. After that, Set up appointments with advertising agency to see what the possibilities are. Maybe you can partner with them and put graffiti on bill boards. There are all kinds of opportunities. Don’t try to do it alone or it will overwhelm you! Get everything together before you go to the City Council so you can present the possibilities. A good presentation is very important. Remember, you are NOT a “just”, you are a lady with the potential. You have to decide if you want to use it or not.

      • mzcakez

        Its ironic having you help me. I just met a pastor at a community event his church had and he followed up on me and my girls even had the church come pick is up. There was an outreach church program from Atlanta that came out to help him with the community event. It was really awesome.
        I honestly dont think if I wldnt hv had the exposure I had in Minnesota that I wld feel comfortable. Down in New Orleans I noticed that black ppl shy away from white ppl like there’s no trust still but ppl love ppl I hv learned. Thank you again. I’ll work on it. You actually inspired me to write bout my teen experiences in New Orleans.. I actually drowned it all out…. I survived alot..

      • Andy Oldham

        Yes the South still struggles with racism. Its something I believe will always be around in every state. More so here though! I believe we must look to the Lord for our guidance. Man will always let you down. I’m thankful this pastor is helping you and the girls. Stay in church. Let God speak to your heart. Ok, sorry, I’m thru preaching, lol. Tell This pastor of your idea. Get his input. Perhaps you could use the church for a graffiti contest like we discussed. Maybe he has just the right people to help you get it done. Stay strong! You and the girls are in my prayers!

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