“There are many things out here begging for our attention. We are constantly being bombarded with stimuli. The phrase “protect your energy” is a reminder during these times to pay attention to who and what you’re giving energy to.” – Eso Tolson
“White Americans must recognize that justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. – Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Radical Changes. We are reminded daily that the sacrifices made to ensure justice come at an incredible cost. Scholars who document this moment in history or push through to produce the work are setting the foundation for generations to come.
As you strive to be your ancestor’s ‘wildest dreams’, I encourage you today to live in the words of Eso Tolson, a gifted artist who uses his craft as a medium for social change.
Protect Your Energy.
As he describes his work, Eso creates “art projects to uplift, inspire, and celebrate people”. He has been commissioned by brands such as Best Buy, IKEA, the Biden/Harris campaign, and Coca Cola, he curates the “Chill Mode Project” on Clubhouse with other notable professionals, and he develops brand strategies for companies that value “themes of joy, pride, Black culture, emotional awareness, and celebration”.
Cite Black Authors recognizes advancing scholarship can come in various forms, be they articles in journals or curated art projects. When asked to share his joy and work with us, Eso gave in ways that may help each of us protect our energy as we continue to work towards radical change.
Please see his Q&A below:
Q: Your art tends to speak to the moment, reflecting what is happening in the world. Why did you choose “protect your energy”? What does it mean to you and who is it for?
There is a very social aspect to my work. I like to talk about the things that are happening in the moment. There are many things out here begging for our attention. We are constantly being bombarded with stimuli. The phrase “protect your energy” is a reminder during these times to pay attention to who and what you’re giving energy to.
Q: What are ways you protect your energy with everything going on right now?
One thing I’ve started to do was create some boundaries with my time. At the beginning of the quarantine, I was constantly talking on the phone, doing FaceTime with friends and family, and having zoom meetings and meet-ups. Over time, I started to get drained and anxious. I had to stop allowing myself to be accessible to so many people. I also had to monitor the content I was engaging with. Being mindful of those things and putting up boundaries has served me well during the quarantine.
Q: Finally, you’re also a musician. Who is on your playlist right now?
I am. And I enjoy all types of music. Right now, I’m into music that’s lowkey, vibey, and chill. I started curating a series of playlists at the beginning of the quarantine last year that would help people create an environment to take the edge off and relax. I call them “chill mode”. They’re a mix of genres ranging from alternative r&b and electronic soul, to lowkey hip-hop and indie-pop. Various artists like Solange, Alex Isley, Moonchild, SiR, Christian Kuria, J Dilla, and more are giving all the vibes.
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