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  • April Jakubec

Blog of Muses: Coming Soon!

While scrolling earlier today, I read that artists are culture-makers. As a creative, I was challenged to think of my role in the Black Lives Matter and other justice-oriented movements-- to make sure that I am not simply taking on a people's oppressions as a 'design challenge,' but instead to truly amplify the voices of those vulnerable to inequalities.


Muse 1 & Muse 2 (works in progress), part of the "Four Muses of New Bedford" series (5ft x 4ft)

It's not enough to just paint diversity.

My friend and colleague, Ashley, is one of my all-time favorite models to paint. Ashley is as beautiful and fashionable as she is sensitive and intelligent. Just last year, she was among the very first to challenge me to paint womxn of color; she wanted to see womxn that looked like herself among my work. She was right, and I've grown quite a bit as a result of her suggestion.


The last time we spoke, she said now I should create an opportunity for the womxn that I paint to tell their own stories.


And of course, she is right, again.


Model vs Muse

Today I sat down to reflect on the difference between models and muses in my art practice.


Models capture:

  • the physical likeness of real-world womxn;

  • visible diversity (age, ethnicity, race, weight, gender, etc.);

  • my vision of mental health struggles (eyes covered with flowers); and

  • an opportunity for me to create/ cope 'out loud' with my own struggles

Muses capture:

  • the physical likeness of real-world womxn;

  • visible diversity (age, ethnicity, race, weight, gender, etc.);

  • INvisible diversity (experiences of struggle and mental health issues);

  • my vision of mental health struggles (eyes covered with flowers);

  • an opportunity for me to create/ cope 'out loud' with my own struggles; and

  • an opportunity for others to share, collaborate, and create something meaningful based on their own experiences


I believe there is a time and place for both models and muses in my work.



Blog of Muses

This blog will serve as a platform to feature portraits of my muses and to amplify the voices of these real womxn-- of all backgrounds-- who self-identify as living with mental health struggles, as they feel comfortable sharing.


I am excited to see what comes of this project as the next step in my role as a culture-maker/ mental health artist-advocate!


Boston, MA, USA

©2020 by April Jakubec Duggal Art.