We had the good fortune of connecting with Onesha Lena and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Onesha, what matters most to you?
There are so many incredibly talented people in the world. Yet, most of them believe that their dreams are unattainable because of obstacles in their lives. As an artist, grit matters the most to me because you have to overcome challenges and adversities to create opportunities to share your work with the world. When I first decided to pursue an artistic career, I had very little money and no studio space to create, so I rented a storage unit. There was no electricity in the units, so I bought a battery-operated lamp. I would also have to stop working every 10 minutes to walk down the hall and reactive the motion sensors on my floor so the lights and air conditioning would stay on. The only restroom was in the management office in another building which was awkward for the first few months of using my storage unit as a studio, but it was MY space to paint and create art.
When confronted with the challenge of not having a space to create, I put my comfort last and my passion and dreams first. I believe that moments like this make you appreciate your progress and love your craft even more.
My advice for aspiring Artists and Creatives:
When faced with an obstacle, try to view it as a problem that you can solve by thinking outside of the box. Use your creativity and know that you are resilient no matter what the challenge is. It doesn’t matter if you don’t solve the problem right away; it’s okay to fail as long as you get back up and keep on persevering.
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 most recent acrylic paintings are comprised of an eclectic mix of geometric shapes, nature, feminine energy, and texture. I am working towards merging those elements and forming a new collection of paintings. I believe that art and creativity are fluid and ever-changing. We live in a world where we’re confined to categories and labels, which sometimes limits creatives to stick with one subject or style. I disagree; artists should be encouraged to explore different styles and mediums to evolve their signature work. For me, the journey to becoming the artist I am today has been paved with obstacles. I was bullied a lot as a child, so I found comfort in drawing and creating things from a very young age. Drawing became my way of communicating and expressing myself, and to this day, it still is. Growing up, I was told that a career as an artist wouldn’t be profitable, but I knew deep down that I would be unfulfilled if I chose a different path. So I paved my way by accepting opportunities and jobs that allowed me to learn and develop as a creative.
My advice for aspiring Artists and Creatives:
You are on a journey that will last a lifetime. There will be a lot of twists and turns along the way, but every moment and every lesson will be worth it. There will be times when you feel like your work is being misunderstood or rejected, but stay true to yourself. When they say you can’t, prove them wrong. Believe in the skills and talents you’re naturally drawn to and work hard to develop them. Do what sets your soul on fire, and the money will come. Your choice to share your vision with the world is remarkable, and you deserve to take up space.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is full of fun and entertaining things to do! I would start our adventure at Brewing Buddha Cafe & Arthouse, then head to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. I would also take them to see the Wynwood Walls, the Coral Castle, the Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, and to eat at an Izakaya-style restaurant in Doral called Drangonfly. For a week long trip I would definitely take them to the Crandon Park, South Beach, and out to the Everglades for an airboat ride.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my partner, who has always supported my projects and ideas, no matter how crazy or impossible they may seem. I would also like to thank him for always believing in me, helping me, and encouraging me to create when I doubted myself. I will always be grateful to have him by my side.