Bellas, I’d like to present a new monthly series. Afrobella Art will feature images that inspire and celebrate our unique beauty, and the people who create them. First up, Nastassia Davis.

Nastassia is a New Jersey based artist and photographer specializing in fine art portraiture and conceptual photography.

Two Sides to Every Story by Nastassia Davis

Two Sides to Every Story by Nastassia Davis

Her fascinating self-portraits include this stunning image titled Two Sides to Every Story, which first got my attention on natural hair blogs and Fokti pages. Via BGLH I learned that she was a member of The Wondaland Arts Society. I wanted to know more.

What inspired her art? What was she hoping viewers got fom her images?

Assimilate by Nastassia Davis

Assimilate by Nastassia Davis

She answers those kinds of questions in our interview.

Afrobella: How long have you been an artist?

ND: My impetus for becoming an artist began around the age of 9. Growing up, I was exposed to a rich diversity of cultural experiences within my schools and organizations I was apart of. The arts, in general, have always been a positive outlet for me to freely express myself, but photography has been my main focus over the past few years.

Afrobella: What inspires your art?

ND: Imagination, creativity and technology; anything and everything that awakens my spirit – be it people, music, films, etc. I also find a great deal of inspiration from the simplicity of God’s divine nature. I think it’s something that many of us take for granted. I find special comfort there.

Afrobella: Your art directly tackles concepts of black women, feminine identity and race in a very eye catching and beautiful way. When you create your art, what are you hoping the viewer gets from it?

ND: Definitely some of my images tackle themes that directly speak to many black women/people in our community, like “Two Sides To Every Story” and “Assimilate. Although, I have no control over what the viewer chooses to take from these images, I can only hope that these pieces help to challenge their thoughts and stereotypes society has conditioned them to believe about themselves for the better.

In addition, I think it’s important to mention that the underlining themes in more of my recent work aim to focus on concepts any human being all over the world, no matter race or gender, can relate to. These images, like the pieces mentioned above, were developed by myself or with an assistant (Marcel Hadorn), using a camera and surroundings to tell a story of what I was going through at that time. These are my “selfies”, as I like to call them.

“Arise”, is about motivating myself to work harder on my goals as an artist and finding inner strength while feeling a little down and out.


Or “Rebirth” when I felt a sense of self-renewal or personal growth, something we all experience from time to time.


Or “Goddess’ Love Dance” – an eerie depiction of a dance I created that is inspired by the thought of self-love, loving oneself – from my hair, to my body, to my skin color, to everything that makes me who I physically am.

Goddess' Love Dance

Break Out My Shell

Or Break Out of my shell – which talks about my overcoming my awkward shyness growing up.

These are all creations coming from me, a black female artist, but definitely not limited to “black issues”. I believe anyone from any race or background can relate to those themes or know someone who can.

Afrobella: Where would you like your art to displayed? When your pieces are sold, where do you envision them going to?

ND: To the moon! (haha) But really, anywhere art and beauty is appreciated. I’m primarily a fine-art photographer so producing work for exhibitions, my own projects and commissions is what I want to focus mostly on.

Afrobella: What’s next for you?

ND: Many things are in store, including my first creative photography workshop that I am currently planning. I’m looking for venues to hold the class now and accepting recommendations from anyone that can help. More info on the chosen location and registration can be found on my facebook and flickr as soon as it’s available.

Thank you so much for your time, and for allowing me to feature you and your incredible artwork, Nastassia!

Prints of Nastassia Davis’ art can be purchased here via her Etsy page or her Society6 store (for iPod cases and skins), and you can follow her artistic and commercial work via her Flickr page. Click here to visit her official site, and click here to follow her on Facebook.

If you create art that celebrates the beauty of natural hair and a wide range of skintones, please contact me using the subject line, Afrobella Art.

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Nzingah Oniwosan says:
September 28, 2011, 11:16 am
I loved this feature and am excited about this new series.
bella says:
September 28, 2011, 11:24 am
Me too!! Thank you :D
Nzingah Oniwosan says:
September 28, 2011, 11:34 am
I have a few folks im going to tell to submit and I have some stuff too.
Monique E. says:
September 28, 2011, 12:21 pm
Such BEAUTIFUL artwork...and so inspiring! Nastassia is a truly talented artist! Thank you for introducing her and her wonderful art to us!
sandy says:
September 28, 2011, 12:28 pm
oooohhh. I'm loving this series. Art is life. And most of all I think Nastassia work is just gorgeous and has such meaning. I'd love some of her art. I will be looking for her. Thank you so much. Suggestion...I know you'll have many artists on your roster but check out ...BeautifulEHuman on You Tube(artist and poet combined)
Tiffany says:
September 28, 2011, 12:45 pm
Cameron Silver, owner of vintage salon, Decades Inc., has undeniably changed the dress code in Los Angeles with his modern fashion designs and innovative concepts. Find out more about the award-winning fashion mogul and his latest ventures in today's Theodora and Callum Creative Factory.
LAGirlatheart says:
September 28, 2011, 1:01 pm
OMG! I love her work!!! I am going to love this series! Keep it coming Afrobella, and thank you for all you do to uplift the "afro" human race!
dgh says:
September 28, 2011, 1:54 pm
Nastassia's work is undeniably beautiful and compelling. As an art enthusiast, I'm super-excited about the new series!!!
Nastassia says:
September 28, 2011, 9:05 pm
Likewise, Patrice! Feels honored to be the first among many great artist that will be featured here in the months to come. Thank you all for your kind words! Much love.
Gia McGlone says:
September 28, 2011, 9:28 pm
Nastassia is an amazing definition of ART! I have watched her work since COLLEGE, and no other photographer moves me the way her art does. Thank you for featuring her FIRST. "I'm so proud of you NASTASSIA!"
Cheyenne Smith says:
September 28, 2011, 10:26 pm
Nastassia is amazing! Before meeting her, I was able to see many of her creative and outspoken photos. As a model, I knew she was someone I had to come across. Meeting Nastassia for the first time was an uplifting feeling. Her passion for photography really motivates others, such as myself to push harder. Im really looking forward to working with Nastassia and to see what amazing ideas she will come up with next!  •The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.* -Richard Brinsley Sheridan
health-today says:
September 29, 2011, 5:06 am
great madam! thanks for sharing
Travis Love says:
September 29, 2011, 8:06 am
Nastassia's art is very powerful and tranquil. Thank you for sharing her work with the world. Much love and respect,
Vanessa says:
September 29, 2011, 8:29 am
This girl is awesome. In the few years I've known her, her friendly personality and passion for life is reflected in her work. When we had a photoshoot, she was so much fun to work with, and made me feel so comfortable about myself. She was able to take some shots (from strange places, including a public bathroom) and turn them into gorgeous works of art. I know she has the talent to go far, and maybe one day her work will indeed be on it's way to the moon! So proud of you Nastssia and so glad to know you :)
Luz Pestritto says:
September 29, 2011, 8:34 am
Nas, the love and dedication that you pour into your work shines through time and time again. I know that beautiful things will come your way. I am so proud of you! :)
Jamie says:
September 29, 2011, 9:32 am
I love when young African American artists express themselves in ways that push the bar. I am VERY excited about this series.
Ava says:
September 29, 2011, 10:53 am
Such a great feature of an AMAZING photographer. This is not just photography, this is ART. Not only is her work beautiful, the meaning behind each shot is powerful, inspiring and definitely something everyone can relate to. I am excited to see what she comes up with next. And cudos to afro bella for recognizing talented artists.
CarlyQ says:
September 29, 2011, 5:19 pm
AWESOME...what more can I say! Beautiful blog Afrobella!
Jeff D says:
September 29, 2011, 5:43 pm
Unbelieveable imagination and talent! This is just the tip of the iceberg. To see more of the "ice", check out her website. Thank you sooo much Afrobella for featuring this AMAZING artist. This speaks positive volumes for your ability to recognize and showcase talent like this! Her vision for the world is so compelling and uplifting, that NOT to spread it would be a serious crime worthy of banishment from the face of the earth!
pablo says:
September 30, 2011, 7:12 am
Hola, yo soy un enamorado de las fotos de Nastassia Davis. Es una artista con mucho talento y considero su obra como un buen referente artístico. Enhorabuena por tus trabajos. Saludos. Pablo García Calvente
pablo says:
September 30, 2011, 11:29 am
Me encanta el trabajo de Nastassia, es refrescante y reflexivo. Es una gran artista.
Kadijah Cliff says:
September 30, 2011, 12:22 pm
I've been following her work for a long time and so excited to see others finally jumping in and joining the wave of imaginative and inspiring art. GO Nastassia !
Marques Johnson says:
October 1, 2011, 10:22 am
Nastassia is won of the most talented individuals in the field. Her work, authentic and artistic, sets a standard of what true art should be. Having seen her work for years, I've been introduced to art in a new way. Her works has the ability to connect with people on multiple levels; leaving such an impact, and being an inspiration. As an activist, she has definitely used her art as an open public forum to speak out on issues of social justice, speaking out and giving a voice to those who are voiceless. Nastassia is a true inspiration, and deserves to be recognized for her efforts, and the impact she has had via her art. Simply amazing. Thank you, Nastassia.
pets says:
October 1, 2011, 7:01 pm
Wow! beautiful images and so much talent. Thanks for sharing.
Erika says:
October 8, 2011, 1:53 pm
She's amazing! I love this. Thanks for sharing!
Khadijah Thompson says:
October 11, 2011, 3:47 pm
I have been a fan of her work for many years and it never ceases to amaze me. I can't imagine how she creates such works of art. It is definently a gift from God. Thanks for sharing it with the world!
Luis R. says:
October 13, 2011, 8:50 pm
Very proud of you that you are getting featured. You really deserve it from all the hard work you put in. Keep it going because the rest of the world will soon know who is Nastassia Davis.
Rene C. says:
December 12, 2011, 7:38 pm
Thank you for interviewing Nastassia Davis. I had never heard of her until now and I am going to be profiling her in my Women & Art class. She is phenomenal and I can see her being in art history books in the future. Peace and blessings. ~ Rene


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