Interview with Shakira Stewart (@k.b3ar)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I am a retired Navy Veteran who enjoys creating and selling art. I am also an award-winning author who has written a children’s book called “The Divine,” available on multiple platforms. I have taken to art to help relieve my depression and anxiety while serving in the Navy. I have assisted in autopsies, performed phlebotomy, and did the ship’s Diesel engines. I was always able to push my feelings through my art and create a happy place for myself through the colors, so people could not see my pain. Happiness is what I always wanted, and satisfaction is what I want to continue to spread.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
I remember creating a piece of art for an NFT and a favorite music artist named Larry June. Once I started noticing the number of followers I was gaining from my works of art and a view on my story of my skill from the music artist, I became excited to share my art with the world. I began to have hope and started consistently sharing art and illustrations of my book.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would remind everyone to take time out for mental health. Take the time to show gratitude towards many things. It’s easy to take steps forward, but it’s hard to accept getting knocked back. Write everything down and show your body a lot of love. Remember that everything thing takes time. Keep your lips tight about all your new projects; everyone doesn’t need to know your moves.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I am grateful for all my fellow shipmates and service women/men. I am thankful for my mother, aunt, and mema (grandmother). If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to see the light shine through those dark days.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am currently working on giving a percentage of all proceeds to the VA and helping less fortunate black communities.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Knowledge is when you learn from your mistakes, and wisdom is when you don’t repeat them”-anonymous. I have made plenty of mistakes in life and my naval career. I have repeated things and expected different results, which is considered insanity in most cases. Now I have learned from those mistakes and had things thrown back at me. Today I have decided not to go down that same path that I have taken. Remembering that same path put me into bad predicaments.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow me on Instagram @k.b3ar, and I have a link tree account connected to the page. That account keeps everyone posted on all outdoor projects that I have going on.
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
Spread joy and positivity. One positive comment can make someone’s day.