I recently had an intriguing conversation with MAD, the artist formerly known as Maleaha Davenport, about the future of her art, collaboration, and her experience reconnecting with her roots and with her ancestors. MAD is a reconnecting multi-media ᏣᎳᎩ artist and poet that is currently undergoing the CNO enrollment process, on top of all things 2020, whose experiences and hopeful spirit are reflected in her work.
Mc- What do you hope viewers get out of experiencing your artwork?
MAD- I hope that people feel happy and heal with they experience my artwork.
Mc- Do you focus on a central theme or message with your artwork?
MAD- I really don’t focus on a central theme with my artwork, I don’t even think that’s possible because when I draw, I draw and a lot of times – I do not plan. Messages, I would say- I try to put in there that you are loved, and you are not alone.
Mc- I’ve seen you branch out into other mediums- like wood carving, do you tend to choose your media based on your mood/what you feel like working with or based on your subject matter?
MAD- Yes, I was wondering if people noticed I do that. Yeah, really depends on the mood or what calls out what to use for that day or if I’m having a rough day with my depression or anxiety. Sometimes I do a week of wood working, and then next; digital art or poetry. Really depends on what needs to be done for voicing myself or healing or how I’m feeling that day.
Mc- Are there other forms of media you plan to try or branching out into in the future?
MAD- I really want to branch out into moving graphics, or video but also, I really want to try my hand again at pottery or oil.
Mc- You work feels highly personal- are there specific areas your focus on in your art or are you moved by what you are experiencing in the moment (or both)?
MAD- I would say both.
Mc- How has your experience reconnecting to your Tribe and culture impacted your art?
MAD- Yes, it has impacted it a lot. Really has impacted my line art the most. It has shifted my focus and understanding of my art and where I want to take it in the near future. Reconnecting will be impacting my art for the rest of my life, and I love that. Lots of healing, listening and learning going on.
Mc- Do you have plans to explore your reconnecting journey through your art in the future?
MAD- Yes, I’m hoping to visit my family, and the Cherokee Nation soon. I really want to move there that I can reconnect with my ancestors, family and learn about our art, stories, language, and culture.
Mc- How do you use art to explore or express your connection to your ancestors, is there a piece or pieces of your work that speak to that connection?
MAD- I use my art to help heal and connect with my ancestors during certain times. When I usually do line work, it is me healing, or working with reconnecting and my ancestors. Every line is a thought for healing, understanding and connecting
Just dropped my huge project I’ve been working on. @xoxozairah and I came together with Line Lab for epic merch collaboration for her 🖤🖤🖤🍑🔥🔥 you can check out her music and her new line at https://t.co/kkN53HMUnu
— ⫷ ᏅᏙ⫸ (@atsenvdo) October 11, 2020
Mc- Do you ever collaborate with other artists or plan to in the future?
MAD- I got something in the works right now for collaborating but it’s a hush hush atm. BUT, I really want to work with some my favorite Indigenous artist in the near future.
Mc- We have seen some of your art on tee shirts & other clothing, any plans to create your own line of wearable art in the future?
MAD- I just started a brand actually with my partner. it’s a baby right now though. It’s called: Line Lab. It’s a small clothing brand with t-shirts, socks, pants, and other things. I’ve been taking my artwork like patterns, and characters & putting them on t-shirts and hoodies! It’s actually pretty cool. I did have everything on Redbubble, but it was time for start something new and bigger.
Mc- What can fans of your work expect to see from you in the near future?
MAD- More line work! Well, more of everything I can get my hands on. Hoping to spill my line work into my wood curving in the future as well.
Mc- What is the best advice your received and/or what advice do you wish you had received when you are starting out as an artist?
MAD- Just be yourself. There are all different kinds of artist out there. Experiment with all different kinds of mediums and don’t give up.
Mc- What advice would you give another artist?
MAD- Its okay if you don’t fit in societies boxes for art. Experiment with different mediums and learn, and listen. And have fun, stuff happens. Use your mistakes to make art with it.
Mc- Are there any artist you think our readers should check out on twitter or IG?
MAD- Yes! Twitter:
Mc- What products do you have available for sale and what is your price range?
MAD- We sell t-shirts, hoodies, fleece blankets, mugs, sports bras, masks, pants and more. We start from $12.00 up to $65.00, it depends what product it is. For ordering prints from me: I sell 8×10, and 11x14s good quality poster prints for $25 and $35 plus shipping. You can hit me up on IG, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoping to get stickers, or small poster size prints or poster cards in the near future
Mc- Where can people find you and more of your work online & irl?
MAD- You can find me on IG, I post a lot my artwork on there: SunNmoon13 Products/clothing: http://getlinelab.com
Can’t really find anything IRL, but you can order prints from me if you see a piece you like.
Mc- And finally (what readers really want to know) will you ever bead your artwork & if so, can we buy earrings?
MAD- This question made my day, lol. This actually sounds super fun, and one of these days – I shall. And yes <3 I will let you and everyone know when it happens.
We’ll keep an eye out for those earrings!
This month’s beading term:
Quilling- Porcupine quilling is an Indigenous artform that involves softening and dying stiff porcupine quills and weaving, appliqué, embroidering or wrapping them onto leather, beadwork or birchbark.