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Artist [HIGH]light: Gerda Creates

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Elevate Black History Month with Canadian Art & Soul

Trees Cannabis is rooted in community and we just love to celebrate those around us, especially in the arts. The artists in our communities brighten our spaces, lift our spirits, and remind us that there is beauty all around if we can just take a second to stop and breathe.  This month we are proud to feature the work of Gerda Bateng in our Brampton Trees location. 

Gerda is a Ghanaian-Canadian illustrator who is self-taught and works in a number of different mediums.  Much of her work focuses on representing black women in vibrant and dynamic ways, and she executes on that modality exquisitely.  We asked her a few questions about her work and her creative process to provide you with a little insight into this local talent.  

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What does your creative process look like?  Do you have any rituals, and do those rituals include cannabis?

My creative process is based on my mood. I have to be in the mood to create, to design. I can’t put myself in the mood, it just comes naturally. I don’t use recreational drugs of any kind. 

Where do you draw inspiration from? This month is Black History month, and so much of your work seems to include African-Canadian subject matter with a very feminine flavour. Can you speak to that?

I’m inspired by women like myself, my family, and understanding humanity. Everyone wants to feel beautiful and seen. This is my inspiration and motivation to focus mainly on women of colour as my muse. To help them understand that they can find themselves represented in art as well.

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What has your artistic journey looked like? Your style is phenomenal and feels very meaningful.  Likely you have developed it over some time – will you share with us what that path looked like? 

I started off in art only being comfortable with dry mediums like pencil charcoal pastels. Then wanting to challenge myself, I experimented with watercolour and loved it. I’ve always wanted to know how to do digital art. So I took some time during the pandemic to learn digital art and understand what message I wanted my art to convey. I reflected on my past experiences that have effected me and wanted to provide a positive outlook on these things through my art.  

Trees Cannabis is all about community, can you tell us about your community and where it might overlap with Trees?  How does community influence your work and rhythm of life? 

My art is all about community, I create mainly for others around me that connect to my work. Women of colour that are looking for the representation they lacked while growing up. Community is very important to me. 

Trees Cannabis also holds a deeper connection with the natural world – we love to get outdoors!  What is your favourite outdoor activity, or way of engaging with nature?  

I love the outdoors. Going for walks in the woods and exploring a different location. I also love plants and have them all over my place. Connecting to nature and plants have a way of centering you and reflecting on life, creation, and the creator. 

To view some of Gerda’s original work, be sure to visit us at the TREES Brampton store!

You can also check out a preview on her website, www.gerdacreates.com or at her Instagram handle @gerdacreates