I am always experimenting and looking for new mediums to apply and this collage was no exception. It was inspired by a coffee cup sleeve, not just any, but Tim Hortons, an iconic Canadian ‘institute’ in itself.

My eldest had been asking me to paint J Cole, an artist whom I didn’t know at the time. If I use one or two words to describe my daughter, she is an advocate and social justice warrior. These are the reasons why she connects with J Cole, a rapper who defies the lifestyle that goes in tandem with being a celebrity. His musics and lyrics speak to the black experience in America, the issues that riddle black neighborhoods, the rampant racism and gang violence.

I was drinking a Tim Horton’s tea While creating and wondered what I could do with all the coffee sleeves we had accumulated. Then it struck me, I used it to create an instant texture and colour field in the portrait and have made it a consistent theme in all of my work since then.

I was introduced to J Cole’s music through my eldest who absolutely loves his music and him. He’s not your typical rap star caught up and trapped in the rockstar lifestyle, his lyrics address contemporary social justice issues.

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