Debra Cartwright: of Art and Curly Halos

Hey Beauts!

It’s another Friday! How quickly did the weekend get here?! It has been a somewhat weird week over here, but I am learning, as one does in this interesting arrangement called life, that we can fully control nothing. Before I go off on a long rant and attempt some philosophical undertaking, I shall jump right into my reason for being here today! Two words, Debra. Cartwright.

I am admirer of the arts in all its forms, really. I think that the ability to express the intangible in ways that appeal to various senses is a great gift that was bestowed upon humanity. I love it, I love it!

I found out about Debra’s work from the girls over at nik-nak. It did not take much to convince me to stalk her and her illustrations. The art speaks for itself. It really does. It is with so much fan girl excitement that I give you Debra, her art, and her hair for your ogling! Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Chi-chi Agbim

We wanna meet you! Where are you from? What is one random fact about you?

Hi! I’m from Annapolis Maryland. I learned to sail around 10 but I’m terrible at it. I do love fishing though. So much.

Let’s get right into it. Your art… how did it begin?

I’ve always drawn. Usually cartoons and paper dolls for my little sister and cousins. My mother noticed and put me in after school art class.

What do you love the most about what you do?

The ability to express myself through imagery. It’s nice to be able to get out my emotions visually.

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What do you like the least? What are your challenges?

Never thinking I am good enough. I’d say about 90% of what I post I go “well this sucks but, I want to track my progress so I’ll put it up”. I’m my biggest critic.

What are the things that inspire you?

Entrepreneurs, black women, our history.

What is the best compliment that you have received?

This lady once told me my paintings inspire her daughter to feel beautiful.  That really hit home.

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Now, your hurr! How long have you worn your hair natural?

About 2 and a half years!

Are you a less-is-more girl with your hair or do you go all out?

Less is more for sure. I’m a minimalist from my painting to my hair products.

Shrinkage- do you fight it or embrace it?

Depends on what I feel that day. I like to let my hair do whatever it wants for the most part, so shrinking doesn’t bother me, but I’ll twist it when it gets too dry.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

What’s your regimen like?

On Washday
Depends on how dirty it is. I try to stay away from shampoos unless necessary. For shampoo I’ll use mixed chicks or devacurl no poo. Then I continue with my regular routine. Finger detangle in four sections with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, add some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, then some Olive oil Eco Styler gel and out the door.

Morning routine
I do the routine above about every four days (minus the shampoo). If it looks dry I’ll spritz it with some water, my hair loves water.

Night time routine
I just sleep on a satin pillowcase and fluff in the morning

Go-to hair style?

Wash and go

Hair product or step that no woman should ever skip?

Detangling with Hello Hydration! Love that stuff

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Two absolute hair DON’TS

Comb or brush when dry (unless you’re teasing it for a music festival 😉 Blow dry from wet! (I’m so against direct heat) I really don’t do anything to my hair that feels like its straining it. I feel bad for my curls lol.

If you had one hair regret, it would be…

I didn’t go natural sooner!

Two things your hair cannot do without?

Hello Hydration and water.

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Share your favourite styling tip/secret?

A lot of times to look fancy I’ll roll the back up into a French chignon and twist the top ends into a hair sculpture with 500 bobby pins. It looks sleek but it only takes 15 minutes and is really just an organized mess.

Greatest discovery in your hair journey that totally changed your hair game.

My hair hates oils! I know they are everywhere but they start to clog my scalp and face pores and just sits on top of my hair. My hair loves butters and water though.

Any hair challenges or bad habits you’re trying to break?

I need to get up the courage to get a trim! I’m terrified of beauty salons, which is crazy because I was so dependent on them about 3 years ago. I love having control of my hair now and I don’t want to give it up.

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One of the things that drew me to your illustrations is the representation of hair. Is this something you do consciously?

Most definitely. I love fashion illustrations and noticed the majority of them never showed natural hair, same with media representation of beauty standards. My work was to combat these facts. Create the images you want to see.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

Where can we follow your work? Where can we buy your work?

Facebook, Instagram, my website and my shop.

Thank you to Debra! Are you guys in love yet?! No? Ok, here’s more for you to appreciate:

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Ok. Ok. To view more of Debra’s work, visit her website. I hope this has put some sunshine into your hearts this Friday and has got you magically more excited for the promising weekend! Until next time, beauts.

 – MeeMee

xx.

 

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