When Art and Music Come Together

When Art and Music Come Together

As a portrait artist, I have the unique opportunity to delve into the imagination of my muses. Every portrait aims to capture personal fantasies, memories and visions of themselves. It is a beautiful process to bring to life what each subject sees within. Once in a while I come across projects with a more personal meaning. Projects that, by their nature, call for an injection of my own emotions into the piece. Such is the case with my latest collab with the fabulous reggae artist, Hirie

I first discovered Hirie in 2016 when she opened for J. Boog at Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. My family and I had moved back to Miami after living in Hawaii for years. I moved back to Miami with a goal of re-energizing my visual voice. I wanted to share my Latin upbringing with my son and for him to understand that part of the story. After all the success in Hawaii, I wanted to make that full circle back to where it all began.

On this night in May, however, I found myself painfully homesick for Hawaii. As soon as tickets came out, we snapped them up. Because who doesn’t love a reggae show and to be among island expats, longing for Hawaii just like you?

Hirie came on stage and belted out her tunes with the poise of a roots girl and the bravado of a punk ska goddess. “Who is she?” I said, “she’s fabulous!” Between “chee-hoos!” and skanking I found myself transported back to the islands. To me listening to Jawaiian beats on my car radio, feeling incredibly lucky to call the islands home. 

Of all her songs, “Almost Home” struck a chord with me. “People tell me all the time take it slow, but I’m almost home. Almost home.” While I waged a secret war with myself for wanting to turn the ship around, these words spoke to me. “Trust yourself”, I said. “Hawaii is writing you love songs”. 

I returned to Hawaii in time. A handful of artists including J Boog, Jack Johnson, Eli Mac and Hirie are now staples in the playlist commemorating this move back home. When I hear this music I’m grateful for all the opportunities I've had. 

Naturally, when Hirie rang me up earlier this month, I was excited. She was so warm and as excited to be working together. She had a clear vision: a vintage-postcard to promote her upcoming livestream concert. The idea behind the concert is to bring virtual aloha to fans during this time, when life is on pause due to Covid-19. The finished piece features Hirie poised on the edge of her beloved Kaneohe Bay, in a sultry pin-up style.

The fan reception to the artwork has been amazing. When I look at the art, I’m taken back to those days of longing to return to Hawaii, wondering what life would have in store for us. It is this layer of gratitude that made for a special image that I hope will transport fans, if for a moment, to our beautiful paradise. 

Hirie’s Livestream Concert happens Friday, Sept. 18th at 6:15 pm Pacific Time (3:15 Hawaii Time) . Link here to tune In!
To buy a limited edition copy of the poster autographed by Hirie and myself click here!

And if you're out there dreaming of being home, here's a little something for you:

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