Gloria “Glowz” O’Koye is a writer, spoken-word artist and current SKETCH Indie Studio artist-in-residence. She designed and created her own greeting cards which are on sale for $5. If you would like to purchase one, please contact her through her Facebook page. Here, she shares her thoughts on creativity, and her hopes that her own work will inspire.
My art practice involves spoken word, songwriting, and storytelling. I started writing when I was really young, like 8 years old. I’m speaking my life through poetry, photography, and visual arts.
I wrote a novel from grade three up until grade eight, and it was about sea snakes. I don’t even know what the hell I was writing, but it was about these snakes I was watching on TV during an episode of National Geographic.
Gloria performing at an event
I get into my zone by listening to music, instrumentals. I even get inspired by reading novels or other people’s stories. I write when I’m really in the heat of the moment. Some pieces do take longer when I need to process it. Writing got me out of trouble. I’ve learnt lessons from writing. It helped me fight depression and also helps me self-reflect, so I guess it’s healing.
I’m inspired by people, their stories, struggles, and seeing their resilience. I’m also inspired because I want to show that there are hidden blessings in any struggle, even though you might not see it at the moment, or even many years after. People can learn from the stories being told, or from what they see in themselves.
Gloria’s “Glowz Greeting” Logo
I’m working on my book. My vision is that it could be used as a resource for art educators, teachers, mentors, and organizations that help people. I’m in the process of also developing discussion questions at the end of the book or even making a separate workbook for critical thinking.
One of Gloria’s greeting cards, currently on sale
I want people to gain something from my book, or to be able to relate, and hopefully it gives them hope. Also, I am open enough that if they want to ask me any questions or they just want to talk, I want to make myself available through my book. So, really it’s about human emotions to spark critical thought and to also see the beauty in brokenness. From brokenness, when you pick up the pieces, you can be a more powerful person than before when life broke you.
Your art will save lives even though you don’t know it.