Raye Joanz is a painter, author, tattoo artist, makeup artist, chef, and more, from Baltimore, Maryland.
Joanz has been creative since she was a baby. She recalled her mother telling her that she would make her own boardgames, with boardgame pieces and rules, growing up. As she grew older, Joanz later found an appreciation for tattooing, and she gave her first tattoo at age 14. Continuing her artistry into her adult life, Joanz had also learned to do hair, create nail art, choreograph dances, paint and cook.
Joanz explained, “Whatever medium I feel called to, I’ll go and learn it if I don’t know how to do it already. When I was pregnant, I went to culinary art school because I was obsessed with food and food photography…I’m an artist by nature, I don’t know how other to express myself than via art. When I’m sad I have to create, when I’m bored I have to create, when I’m in love I have to create.”
Joanz believes that art can and should be used to help heal. After having her son, Joanz was struggling with postpartum depression. During this time, she started taking painting more seriously as a way to recognize and work through her current fears and tough feelings.
She said, “I didn’t take up painting heavily until after I had my son—I was dealing with my postpartum depression through painting. When my son was six months old, I used to be breastfeeding with my son on one thigh, with the canvas on the other thigh. Painting really helped me work through my postpartum depression.”
Since then, Joanz has continued to use painting as an affective tool to help work through negative feelings of hopelessness and grief.
In the future, Joanz plans to start her own art-collective, with a program for underprivileged youth. Her goal is to use her passion or art as a tool to help teach the younger generations how they can find their own power and voices through the arts. Additionally, Joanz hopes to launch her own dispensary, because she believes that weed can prove to be a useful tool when combatting the opioid epidemic in the Black community.
“I want them to be able to have a multimedia center and rec center where they can go to do music, learn visual art or anything else they’re interested in. I also want to have my own studio where I can direct movies. I want to have a dispensary because I’d like to combat the opioid crisis in Black communities with weed,” said Joanz.
We loved Joanz’s makeup work, so we asked her to create for us a SiKK inspired look! View the finished look and the details behind the look below:
“Those drops are actually hot glue, I painted them and attached them to my face with liquid latex, and that took about two hours roughly. Then, with painting myself blue and sketching the idea beforehand, it took about four hours. I got the inspiration from SiKK Magazine and one of my favorite friends and artists, Baby Mutha, who has a song called Sick. In her video, people are throwing up an stuff so I’m like I want to make it real drippy like I’m oozing everywhere. My people are always blue too, so I had to stay true to my blue.”
You can stay connected with Raye Jonaz by following her @runawayraye on Instagram.
Photos courtesy of @runawayraye on Instagram.