At Acceptd, we revolve around our artists. Meet #IAmAcceptd ambassador, Njari Anderson!
Acceptd: Tell us about you!
Njari: My name is Njari Anderson, I am seventeen years old and I’ve been interested in the arts since I was about eight, and I guess you can call me an artist.
Acceptd: What first got you interested in the arts?
Njari: Art wasn’t a major part of my childhood, I grew up in Jamaica where my access to art was very limited. I lived in the deep Jamaican country, where there was a serious absence of art galleries and an excess of schools funneling students into vocational programs. I found my love for art in 3rd grade, I was eight years old and my teacher had taken her class on a field trip to the Norton Museum. I had never seen “valued” art before, we moved from room to room to room my eyes glued to the work in front of me. The work that truly captivated my eight-year-old self was Nick Cave’s sound suits. The Norton was doing a spotlight on Cave’s work and I instantly became infatuated with art as a form of expression. It dawned on me, here stood this black man, the centerpiece of this art museum, telling his story with some of the most beautiful visual and conceptual imagery I had ever seen.
Acceptd: What inspires you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Njari: I try to not think of life in terms of being inspired or not being inspired anymore. The thing that gets me up in the morning is the need to do something. I only have so much life to live and I hate thinking that I’m wasting it being complacent with my ambitions and actions. Inspired or not, work has to be made, if I fall into this idea of relying on inspiration to create I’m only setting myself up to fail.
Acceptd: What does it mean to you to be accepted? Can you recall a time you recently felt this feeling?
Njari: Accepted is a weird word for me, the current political landscape of America has made it hard for anyone who looks like me to feel truly accepted. However, in regards to art, I felt truly accepted when I was lucky enough to be chosen as a YoungArts winner and had the opportunity to spend a week with the most amazing and supportive group of creatives that do nothing more than help me love and appreciate the person I am.
Acceptd: What do you plan to do either in the arts or with your artistic talents in the future?
Njari: I am working towards having a flourishing career in the arts, my life goal used to be becoming the world's most famous artists, and then I quickly realized that most of “the world’s most famous” artists are all dead. As I’ve grown I’ve come to learn that art exists in so many facets that the “traditional art tradition” that inspired me when I was younger isn’t what I want for myself anymore. I simply want to be a successful artist, I want to focus my future on art exhibitions, art direction, writing and much more than that: I want to do a lot.
Acceptd: What is one piece of advice you’d give aspiring creatives like yourself?
Njari: Don’t overthink it, make work that’s important and make sure the work you’re making you do it better than anyone else who has ever done it before. Also, art as much as it may seem like a fanciful dream, if you want to make it a career you have to start thinking of yourself as a business and you have to capitalize on the work you make every chance you get.
Acceptd: What is the definition of art to you?
Njari: Art to me is simply a form of storytelling: nothing less nothing more.
Are you an artist with a story to share? Become an Acceptd Ambassador today!
Acceptd is the world’s largest arts network, connecting organizations with top talent and providing artists tools to help them flourish. Acceptd boasts more than 600 partner organizations, universities, festivals and other arts groups as well as more than 450,000 artist user profiles. From performers at Sydney Opera House to the marching bands in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Acceptd has had the privilege of working with premiere arts organizations around the globe to optimize their application process and connect with the right talent.