This is part of a project called ArtTalk, which aims to highlight and celebrate local art and artists. To submit one yourself, fill out the form at the bottom of the story.
This story was contributed by Missourian reader Sekou Gaidi, who has lived in Columbia for 23 years.
Q: What kind of art do you create? Tell us about your medium and style.
A: I am an all-around artist. I sing, I act, I write, but acting and writing are my life. I've done it since I was six, and I have become much better at it. I've written two books and many short stories, which I have shared with the world, and I won't stop until I get enough.
Q: What is it that inspires you? And why do you create art?
A: My stories are centered around revelations out of the Bible, but if there is any moral, it is that everyone can be a hero if that's what they want to do. I create art to show that you, too, can be a star!
Q: Can your work be found around the community (or has it been in the past)? If so, where?
A: I have performed in CEC theater as the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz." I've been in InterAct Teen-To-Teen Theater in varying roles. I performed in Friendship Baptist Church's Easter play and the Christmas play. I also sing in the church choir, so if you like you can see me one Sunday! I have released a book on Smashwords, and the second edition of "Princess of the Dark" will soon be out. Catch me with a few copies, because I'm going on foot to spread my art!
Q: What sets you, or your work, apart from other artists?
A: My work is set apart because I am different. I like to say that I bring the spirit of Africa when I am on stage or writing. Creativity flows and I just follow it. My characters write themselves, and I let them do what they choose in the story. My tales are character-driven, and the characters I play dictate how I act on stage — but always with a unique flair. I do it my way, and that's how I get my best art done!
This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.
Please consider sharing your own submission using the form below.