2020 Speaker Spotlights! It’s a series dedicated to the OG Black Igniters who spoke at our inaugural event in August. Amidst a pandemic, unemployment, racial upheaval and a critical election, 30 brilliant people shared stories of transitions and triumphs as Black designers in America. Hear what the event meant to them and what everybody is up to now.
“My name is Nyasia Sylvester I’m a New York based content creator that specializes in photography. I started out doing fashion photography but after a couple of years of finding my footing then switched to a documentary style of shooting.
I’m inspired by life experiences and telling those experiences through a series of images. I’m also inspired by changing the narrative around topics that are deemed “taboo” I’m fueled by my community and helping/inspiring the youth and letting them know that a career in the arts is not only doable but an amazing life path.”
And it’s been amazing to get to know Nyasia these past few months. 3 words to describe her style? BLACK. Interesting. Heartfelt. We definitely felt that from her talk in August.
She opened with a personal story of loss, the death of her mother. It goes without saying the life-altering loss of a parent can really affect a young woman’s sense of being, of artistry. For Nyasia, the death of her mom reminded her to really live with purpose. And to be present.
So she started shooting with purpose. We got to see some of this.. and hear about the deeper meaning behind her photo work. She “tells stories for us and by us”. That’s what Nyasia is about. So often with imagery in the media, we only see one story. Nyasia really works to uncover those other narratives, the stories not so mainstream. These truths matter.
Watch her talk below!
I’ll never forget going live with Nyasia and Ash back in August when they first got the news they were speaking. When we put the call out for speakers we honestly didn’t know what to expect.. and here come two badass creatives from the same creative team @presenceofcolour. Feeling that unity at the event in August was a true gift.
“The highlight of BlackIgnite2020 was being able to listen to all of the amazing designers’ talk about the challenges that they’ve faced and seeing them persevere and come out on the other side stronger. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a beautifly community.“
Nyasia says her work has transitioned even since we last heard from her. She’s transitioned to doing some film work which she’s excited about. (As are we!)
So what’s she working on now?
“I’m currently working on a new project called “The Wonders Inn” A Photo series that focuses on the characters that check in and we the viewers get a peek inside their lives for a brief moment. I started this project because I’m very interested in seeing what people do and how they act when they think people aren’t looking. What type of people they really are when the mask finally comes off.”
Besides this intriguing new project, Nyasia contributes to projects for@Presenceofcolour, too!
“I am constantly growing as a woman and artist, my art is ever evolving and I am excited to see where it’ll go these coming years.”
What I personally love about Nyasia’s work and in following her on social, is I can tell she’s inspired by an array of different mediums and perspectives. She grew up loving shows like As Told by Ginger, That’s So Raven, and Avatar the Last Airbender. And right now she’s watching Lovecraft Country and X-Men Evolution. Her favorite accounts to follow on Instagram are @thehoodhealer@girlgaze@firstname.lastname@example.org @Presenceofcolour