Friday, November 11, 2016

New Adult Coloring Book Features African-American Hair and Mandalas

New Adult Coloring Book Features African-American Hair and Mandalas
Coils, curls, and coiffures meet mandalas, patterns, and shapes in this new adult coloring book by Unicia R. Buster, a Richmond, Va., native. Ms. Buster, an artist for more than 15 years, recently completed a 365-day creativity challenge in which she created an Afro each day for a year. Out of the challenge, “Coloring Curls: An Adult Coloring Book Celebrating Natural Hair” was born. In this book, the growing trend of African-American women growing their hair naturally has been coupled with the growing trend of adult coloring books to give color enthusiasts a fun stress-relieving treat. Each illustration was hand drawn by the artist with the same love and attention that is given to styling naturally curly hair (often called Afros when worn loose). Ms. Buster self-published her book through CreateSpace, an Amazon company, on November 4, 2016, and has already sold 50 copies. It may be purchased for $10 at
“My natural journey began 25 years ago when I was still in high school and being natural was unpopular. I got my first perm at the early age of 7 and by the time I was 12, perms had damaged my hair beyond repair. I began braiding my hair at the age of 14 in an attempt to go natural but was always afraid to wear my hair out. During my senior year of high school, I had to fight for the right to wear my micro braids down the aisle for graduation. My parents were told that I had to straighten my hair or I couldn’t participate in the ceremony. As a compromise, I was allowed to wear the braids as long as they were tucked under my cap out of site. Then in college, I met other sisters who wore their naturals proudly (and cornrows/pleats were becoming more popular thanks to celebrities like Da Brat and Alicia Keys). I felt freer to wear my hair out in all kinds of styles like the Afro, two-strand twists, cornrows, flat twists, and bantu knots. This freeing of my mind allowed me to express myself not only with my hair but also with my art. I began creating fine art photography, paintings and art quilts featuring the natural hair of African-American people to show the beauty and interesting quality, textures, and patterns of our hair.”
Ms. Buster has won a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a “Best in Show” award from The National Arts Program at VCU Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University and her Master of Arts degree from George Mason University and has exhibited in numerous cities including Richmond, Va.; Washington DC; Long Island City, NY; and Rome, Italy. She currently works at VCU Health as the art specialist where she assists with managing and curating gallery exhibitions and the hospital’s permanent art collection, as well as teach arts and crafts to patients seeing more than 800 patients per year. She previously worked for 10 years as a graphic designer for the Richmond Free Press where she won second and third place in the Virginia Press Association Awards advertisement category. Ms. Buster has been featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Richmond Free Press and was a guest presenter at the Good Grief Conference speaking on the impact of arts in legacy and memory making. 

See more of Ms. Buster’s artwork at For more information or to contact the artist, email

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

April 2016 #CreativeSprint

Day 1 Make something that fits in the palm of your hand,  using only materials from your immediate environment.

Day 2 Author Hans Christian Anderson was born on this day in 1805. Make something inspired by a children's fable or fairy tale.

Day 3 Make something inspired by your own name. 

Day 4 Take a 5 minute walk with no set destination. Make something with whatever materials you can find where you've ended up. Leave it for someone else to find but don't forget to document it first!

Day 5 What do you collect? Work with a collection of your own or borrow one.

Day 6 Look in your kitchen or a grocery store for inspiration. Work with the first fruit or vegetable to catch your eye (canned or frozen counts!)

Day 7 Observe a pet or watch a video of your favorite animal. Make something inspired by it.

Day 8 Make something while you are in the bathroom or with materials found in the bathroom, today.

National Cinderella Day
Day 9 Make up your own new holiday and show us how to celebrate it.

Day 10 Use water as your medium or inspiration, today.

"Pillowtalk" by Zayn

Day 11 Make something inspired by the last song or piece of music you listened to.

Day 12 Work with only what you find in your pockets or bag, today.

Day 13 Transform something you thought was trash into something you want to keep.

Day 14 Create something inspired by an email, text or other message that you receive today.

Day 15 Work with your non-dominant hand. If you are usually right-handed use your left, if you are left-handed use your right. If you are ambidextrous use your nose ;)

Day 16 Create something that makes you laugh out loud.

Day 17 It's national poetry month! Write a poem or make something inspired by a poem you like.

Day 18 Break something and make something new with the parts.

Day 19 Scan a newspaper or news site and make something inspired by today's headlines.

Day 20 Find a creative way to give someone a compliment.

Day 21 Do something intentionally wrong today.

Day 22 Make whatever you want, today, but do it in a public place - park, library, coffee shop - get someone to take a photo of you doing it!

Day 23 Make a disguise and take a picture of yourself wearing it. Bonus: Get someone to take a photo of you wearing it in public!

Day 24 Take something that you made with you wherever you go, today. Take pictures of it in different places or with different people throughout the day.

How to make SALMON CAKES
A can of pink salmon

One egg
Tsp lemon juice
About tsp of seasonings (curry, garlic powder, dill weed, black pepper, seasoning salt, ground mustard seed, thyme, ground ginger, paprika)
Tbsp honey
Olive oil
1. Drain salmon. Mix all (except flour and oil) together in a bowl
2. Add flour to coat mixture and mix
3. Form into patties
4. Optional: Coat with bread crumbs
5. Heat olive oil in frying pan, enough to coat bottom of pan
6. Fry patties about 5 minutes each on both sides on medium high heat.
7. Drain oil and eat. Good with rice, corn bread and kale.
Day 25 Teach us how to do something.

 Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, a former member of the group TLC, was born on this day in 1970. This watercolor painting for the song “Waterfall” by TLC. This bedazzled miniature flower pot for the song “Red Light Special” by TLC.
Day 26 Take your inspiration from something that happened today in history.

Day 27 Create something in collaboration with another CreativeSprinter, today.

My assignment: Describe three ways to creatively use old greeting cards.
  1. Make the cards into a book. I actually have a book of old greeting cards. I used an old photo album – Saddle_Sewing504_1024x1024.jpgthe ones with the clingy plastic overlay – and inserted a card on each page. You can’t see the inside of the cards in this way so I was thinking how else can the cards be made into a book where you can see both the inside and outside of the card? Make the cards into a saddle-stitch book. I will eventually make one out of some cards I have at home in a bag and post later. But there are lots of great tutorials out there on how to make a saddle-stitch book. Here is one that I like: Saddle Stitch Binding. If the cards will end up being a really thick book then use the Coptic Stitch method: Coptic Stitch Binding or make two books (as the coptic stitch is very work intensive.
  2. Frame as artwork. I wouldn’t do every single card you have this way but select no more than 5 of your favorite cards and frame them as if they were art. If you want the inside of the card on display as well; photo copy it, arrange and glue the card and copy next to each other on a piece of poster board or cardboard, cut to fit in the frame, and hang on your wall. In this photo, the person matted three cards in a single frame. The mat holes were cut the same size and the cards were floated in that space.DSC_0095-21.jpg
  3. Decoupage. If you aren’t that attached to your cards but keep them for the image on the front, cut off the front of each card and decoupage them onto an item like a small table, canvas, wooden box, etc. There are many tutorials online for decoupaging. Here is a good very basic one for doing it on canvas How to Decoupage. (You could also still scan in the message part of the cards and keep as digital files.) In this photo, the person decoupage images on individual wooden plaques and arranged them artfully on the wall. 
Day 28 Call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time. Tell them what you are doing and ask them to give you an assignment for what to make today.

Day 29 Ask someone you respect to look through your past month's work and select their favorite one. Revise or refine the work they selected for today's task.

Day 30 Make a trophy or another award for yourself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

On Display - "Ajani" and "Textured Locs" by Unicia R. Buster

Please check out the Pine Camp Art Exhibit where I have two pieces on display - the textile piece from the previous post and a photograph.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Ajani" by Unicia R. Buster

A quilt that began in 2012, "Ajani" is finally finished. I wanted it to be a part of a Black History Month art exhibition at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center this year, 2016. I got frustrated with this quilt some time ago and put it away for a year or so. Then last year, something made me revisit it, and I completed the border, put together the sandwich and began quilting the layers together. I put it down again until I got a call asking me to participate in this art show. In two weeks, I finished the free-motion quilting, put on a binding, added a few more embellishments and stitched my signature. (Between you and I, I may tweak a few more things after the show.)
"Ajani" by Unicia R. Buster

Close-up of "Ajani" by Unicia R. Buster

Close-up of "Ajani" by Unicia R. Buster
Quilt designed from my own original photo taken in 2004 with TMax 400 b/w film. 

I also have one photograph on display. There are many other prominent RVA area artists exhibiting in this show.

The show opens February 5, 2016 at 6:30PM. Pine Camp is located at 4901 Old Brook Road, RVA 23227. If you can, please come out and join us.

The exhibition is up until March 4, 2016