As an artist, musician and self-published author, Lawrence Lindell knows more than a thing or two about freedom, and how it makes him feel. He reflects this value in his art, music and his recent book series’ that focuses on inspiring and reminding black and brown people that they are loved, valued and should be respected. His top-selling works include “From Black Boy With Love”, “From Black Boy With Love Part II” and “You’re Beautiful Volumes 1-3”. His latest book, “Hey, People of Color” is a freeing and uplifting collection of love letters that, like his others, dispels the notion that dishonor and disrespect should be an acceptable form of treatment and way of life. Instead, the Oakland-based artist writes, ‘You Are Life’ and offers many other words of encouragement. All of Lindell’s creations are beautifully crafted and illustrated in his preferred format — a zine. In this interview, we learn how women have responded to his books, his roots of self-love and what’s in store for 2018.
SolShock: What has been the most touching or helpful feedback from women about your book, “From Black Boy with Love”?
Lawrence: That this book was needed years ago. That when they are having a rough day, they pull out my book.
SolShock: Do you use it as a tool when educating or talking to students at the school that you work at?
Lawrence: Yes! I have a few classes that are mostly black and brown girls and on the first day, we sat in a circle and read it with each other out loud.
SolShock: How were you taught self-love?
Lawrence: I was mostly taught about self-love in reference to being black. It was made clear that I should be black and proud by my family. Later, I found personal self love from music and art.
SolShock: How do you hope your new book will impact people of color?
Lawrence: We just need to know that some things are not on us and it’s ok to to feel the way we do about certain situations.
SolShock: What do you love about the zine format? Tell us about your self-publishing journey
Lawrence: Freedom! I learned from releasing my own music that it’s always better if you do it yourself. You can say what needs to be said without restrictions.
SolShock: Does your music also take on this subject or reflect these values?
Lawrence: Most of my music is instrumental. It’s usually a personal reflection of what I am going through at the time.
SolShock: What does the soundtrack to “Hey, People of Color” sound like?
Lawrence: I haven’t made one for it, but I would say it’s heavily drum based.
SolShock: What is it about you that makes you radiant?
Lawrence: Not sure. I hope it’s sencerity.
SolShock: What was your most recent happy discovery?
Lawrence: That my work is helping folks.
SolShock: What can we look forward to from you in 2018?
Lawrence: More radical work and really pushing for a re-evaluation of how women and girls are treated in our society.
A limited edition of “Hey, People of Color” and other works are available at lawrencelindellstudios.bigcartel.com