“Hiii. My name is Ciarra (@cbozthepoetess)! I am an interdisciplinary artist and art educator formally based in Los Angeles, but now I’m an East Coast shorty again located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I am actually preparing for my MFA program at MICA in Baltimore for the fall!
My art practice centers around self-portraiture, movement-based performance, public art, and art education. Using video, performance, photography, and writing, I use my body as my main medium, to activate space, and explore healing through movement, nature, color theory, and time.
Aside from selling my artwork, I am passionate about art education and use my Instagram, website, and newsletter, “An Artletter”, as a way to educate, promote, and show appreciation for the arts. I host art talks, both online and in-person, curate art exhibition walkthroughs, and use “An Artletter” to highlight artists of color, art exhibitions, and knowledge of the arts. I am working to bridge the gap between communities of color and fine art.
Being an artist has helped me expand my view on beauty and not be so quick to judge, which is hard to do! If I do judge something quickly, like an artwork, I make myself critically evaluate why I do or don’t think it is beautiful. Art has given me a deeper appreciation of beauty and all the forms it takes on.
When I was growing up I had fashion ads from Teen Vogue all over my bedroom walls. I loved looking at the clothes, makeup, shoes, perfume, people, fashion shows, etc. I learned to spot good and bad composition, framing, content, and colors through these ads and I quickly learned what worked and didn’t work for me in photography. I thought everything in those magazines were so cool. To this day, I still geek out about well-done fashion ads and photographs.
I also think my mother had a huge role in my appreciation for beauty. She was super creative. Everything she made was beautiful. From her collages, photo albums, cards, and pictures, she made everything look effortless, simple, and fun. She really taught me how to create beautiful things with what I already had.
My skincare routine is pretty simple. My skin is acne-prone and I’ve been trying to mix up my routine lately and take my time, especially since I am approaching 30 at the end of the year!
In the morning, I’ll wash my face with the Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser. After that I will use Thayers Witch Hazel Toner, followed by Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector, and Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum, followed by Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Then, I’ll use SuperGoop Unseen Sunscreen or Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face Sunscreen. To top it off, I use Maven Made Rosewater Wondermist Spray.
At night I’ll switch out my face wash to Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, which I LOVE. It feels like it takes away any sweat or remaining makeup from the day. Two times a week I will exfoliate using my Dehiya Mihakka with Kiehl’s cleanser. Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion toner at night instead of Thayers. Every other night I will use Topicals Faded Cream, Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol Cream, and Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil, applied by my rose quartz roller. When I am breaking out I will use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. And finally, I will mix Golde’s Clean Green and their Papaya Bright face masks together and use it about 3 times a week.
I like to keep my face looking as natural as possible and the process as simple as possible. When I discovered Glossier a few years ago, it really was my ideal makeup company. I love their products and use them for most (if not all) of my makeup products. I start off with Glossier Stretch Concealer and Perfecting Skin Tint, followed by Glossier Brow Flick, Lash Stick, and to top it off Solar Paint in Heat and Cloud Paint in Haze. Right now, my current obsession for my eye makeup is ColourPop Crystal Face Jewels! I set my makeup with the Maven Made Rosewater Wondermist Spray.
My body care routine consists of exfoliating at least twice a week with an exfoliating mitt and Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub! For my body wash I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap and use Body Butter Lady Body Butter to moisturize. Two to three times a week I will dry brush my body before applying shea butter with the Bodecare Jute Dry Body Brush. I love this brush, it’s so relaxing and leaves my skin feeling soft.
My hair routine consists of shampooing my hair about three times a week to remove any excess oils from my scalp to prevent dandruff or scalp acne #mixedgirlprobz. When I want my curls to be bouncy and fresh and I don’t need to shampoo, I will wet my hair in the shower and let the conditioner sit in it for about 10 minutes. I switched to Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner. It smells so good and I do like how my hair feels after I get out of the shower. Every other week I will do a hair treatment with Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Moisturizing Masque and the Two-Step ApHogee Protein Treatment & Balanced Moisturizer. I’ve been in a groove with Pattern’s Leave-In Conditioner for over a year now. I will use a small amount of Eco Styling Gel to hold my curls together after I put the leave-in conditioner in it. I personally love how my hair feels on day two when I don’t blow dry my hair, but when I want my curls to be extra bouncy with more volume I will blow dry it with a diffuser. The diffuser is a must. On my day two or day three hair, I will add a dime-size amount of BioSilk Silk Therapy Original Oil.
For the last year, I have been really into yoga. I try to do it about 3-5 times a week. I love Allie Van Fossen on Youtube. Her classes are challenging, but relaxing and her yoga practice focuses on the chakras.
To get out of the house and meet new people, I recently started taking contemporary and modern dance classes at a local dance studio two times a week. These classes have helped me stay present, focused, and find comfort in my uncomfortableness because I’m definitely the worst in my all classes. Like life, dance is about progress and not perfection and I love that it reminds me of that. Outside of dance classes, when I am feeling overwhelmed I like to dance in my house, normally throwing on a Soulection mix or to some underground mixes on SoundCloud.
Outside of physical activity, one thing that helps me settle down is tea. Tea has made me calmer. I’ve had to cut back on coffee because it was making me too anxious. I have since switched over to herbal and green teas for most of the week. My friends bought me a few tea ceremony sets so I now practice tea time. My favorite tea right now is blue butterfly pea, it turns your water into a beautiful blue color and turns magenta when you add lemon. It’s a lot of fun and nice to look at and apparently full of antioxidants.
And if none of the above is working out for me that day, I will visit a museum, dive into an art book, or paint. Looking at art helps me get out of my head and enter into the artist’s world, helping me to better reflect on my own practice and my life. Art reminds me I am not alone and that really helps me relax.”