5:30PM November 11, 2016 UPDATE 4/06/2017
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 sold 759 copies. It may be purchased for $10 at www.CreateSpace.com/6658866.
“My natural hair 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. 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 Style Weekly, 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.
“Coloring Curls: An Adult Coloring Book Celebrating Natural Hair” may also be purchased on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Coloring-Curls-Adult-Celebrating-Natural/dp/1539637964/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486764724&sr=8-1&keywords=coloring+curls or in person in Richmond, VA at the East End Library from 2-4:30 p.m. on the following Saturdays: March 4, April 8, and May 6. See more of Ms. Buster’s artwork at http://uniciab.wixsite.com/artwork. For more information or to contact the artist, email firstname.lastname@example.org.