It takes guts, tenacity and vision to give life to a work of art that you intend to release into the world. That's what Teddy Wilsonexudes these days; an attitude that screams, "Yes I can!".
We asked the full-time freelance make-up artist, and now budding content producer, just a few inquisitive questions about what inspired his latest project, "Not Tonight", directed by Dylan Thomas.The visual is a 90's romp guided by Lil' Kim's signature voice and paying homage to fem queer people of color.
I was inspired by an article written for AfroPunk by Court Kim. She breaks down Lil’ Kim’s debut album HardCore and the impact Lil’ Kim had on black and pop culture, the fashion and music industries and just women in general. In the days of Nicki Minaj, I don’t hear people think or talk about Kim in the way that I do, so the articles excited me. Lil’ Kim was a millionaire at 17 years old. She came from Brooklyn in the 90s. She was a black female. According to the underlying story of white supremacy, she wasn’t supposed to do any of that. The odds were against her, but she turned herself into a cultural iconic by tapping into her sauce. That is her authentic power. People boycotted her all over the place, but she couldn’t be stopped. She gave us a language and a right to say things we thought about but wouldn’t dare say.
Immediately after reading that article I was hit with so much nostalgia and inspiration. From there I thought I was going to create a visual editorial and tell a story about personal power. I wanted to tell a story that speaks to queer people of color. Specifically, FEM Queer People of Color, because I think we’ve been shit on for years, killed & disaffirmed for too long. So, I decided to create the visual myself, showing just a small array of Fem Queer People of Color having fun and being their authentic selves. AKA, tapping into their power. That being said, I also wanted to celebrate Lil’ Kim and the Ghetto Fab era of the 90’s. This visual is a declaration of personal power and living in your truth. It’s an affirmation for FEM Queer People like myself, the cast and all of the other POWERFUL- ASS people who were on the set that helped bring this vision to life.
What does the project mean to you?
This project to me, means I can do whatever I want. As long as I stay committed, stay focus and believe. But it also has become a love letter to a younger me because of the healing and lessons I’ve received during the development and shooting process. I have been wanting to creative direct a visual for years, but I never had the money to do so. I felt so artistically stifled. I felt like a fraud. Like I would talk about this creative mind I have and what I want to do with it but I was never able to show it. This time I was able to and I’m so proud. I proved to myself that I’m capable of anything I want. Period. That’s what this project means to me.
What’s next for you?
What’s next…? I’m planning another project but I’m taking my time because I want to save a big chunk of change because my partner & I are moving in together this summer. I’m also planning to travel to Peru and Bali next year so that requires some coins. But I do want to release another visual in the new year. In the meantime, I’m seeking agency representation and work my way onto an agency assistance list. I am a full-time freelance makeup artist and currently work for a freelance beauty service, but I have my eye on bigger things. It's my time and I want to level up and call more of the shots in my career. So, anyone who sees or likes my work, call me! I’ll be waiting for you. I’m not above assisting. I like to be of service. I’ll be talking to you soon! xoxxo