Naz Santiago | Correspondent

Representation for people of color throughout NC State is important for the different cultural organizations. Je’wel Lucas, the owner of Black Jewels, a second-year majoring in Fashion Textile Management, represents the Black community through her works of art, as many may know, due to her ongoing growth on campus as an artist.  Her style as an artist varies, while mainly having a focus on Afrocentric and surreal styles.

“My intent with my work is to represent and trigger thoughts,” Lucas said. “A lot of my art depicts the Black woman. I love drawing Black women because I want them to see the beauty that is in them. I draw a lot of darker-skinned women for this same reason. I want people to look at my work and be able to see themselves. I want it to make them happy and add value to their lives.”

The community has supported her business by asking for more content and helping her business grow. Lucas enjoys being able to provide the community with quality art through her available skills. She spoke on her growth as an artist.

“I grow every day as an artist,” she said. “Being self-taught is very challenging, but it’s a challenge I love. I constantly create things that cause me to push my abilities and broaden my skills and it is grooming me to become better at my craft every day.”

Gaining inspiration as an artist can often be random, Lucas tells us about her inspirations and her thought process when coming up with an original idea for her pieces. Stating that she is inspired by everyday life. Lucas said that she gets inspiration from everyday events and a variety of sources.

However, every artist has that starting point that marks the beginning of their ongoing creations. The artists first began taking art seriously in high school.

“…When I took a drawing class elective in high school, I realized that I was really good at art and I just kept practicing,” the artist said.

She continued, “Eventually, I mustered up the courage to start a campaign on Custom Ink with one of my most liked design concepts. Since then, I have been teaching myself art and growing my consumer base, and now I’m here!”

Artists usually set goals for their businesses which drives growth. Without goals, a business can only go so far. She tells us about the goals she sets for herself when creating a piece.

“Some goals I set for myself while creating a piece are usually time goals,” she said. “For example, I try to create a due date for the canvas or I give myself a certain time frame to finish a certain part of the painting.”

For her business, Lucas sets goals that will show inclusivity.

“For example, I don’t usually draw a lot of men, so I have set goals in the past to draw ‘x’ amount of men within a certain time frame,” the artist stated.

Some of her goal setting is what keeps people coming back for more. Her inclusivity has attracted different kinds of art-loving people.

As an artist that continuously aims to provide representation for various groups as well as consistently create content, Lucas mentioned that she spends a lot of time on her craft.

“I have pieces that have taken me weeks and even months to complete, but I also have pieces that I completed in only a few hours,” she said. “I’ve had pieces that I worked on for so long, I lost interest in them and never finished. It happens.”

Due to the time-consuming nature of her craft, Lucas genuinely appreciates her supporters.

“With the help of my customers, I have been able to grow and manifest my goals,” she said. “I just want to give my supporters a shout out here. I would not be here without them.”