Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancey B. Price.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I bought a hand-made journal a couple of years ago. On its cover is a painting of a beautiful black woman, my complexion, with protruding lips, a nose ring, and hair wrapped in a plump bun on top of her head. She’s looking off in the distance with intrigue in her eyes. Handwritten in cursive above her are words I have grown to live my life by: “I cannot forget to use my words to speak life.” It is through this statement that I have grown to interpret my creativity in both the presence and absence of words.
I identify as a writer, performance storyteller, and a collage artist. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, having first documented my own lived experiences in journals before incorporating the experiences of imaginary characters in the world of fiction. I finished my first novel at 14 years old, having spent the previous seven years starting and stopping; putting the story off, only to pick it back up again after time passed. Though I never sought publishing for that novel, the accomplishment I felt fueled my desire to become a published author. I am now working on my second novel and am documenting my experience on my blog, Diary of a Young Black Author in Need of a Hug.
Performance storytelling is a hobby I incorporated later in college after having fallen in love with The Moth Radio Hour on NPR. As a junior at Mercer University, I became a devout listener of NPR and on some evenings, I would catch The Moth and listen to performers tell wondrous stories while I cleaned my dorm room, drove around Macon, or even while sitting in the parking lot, holding on to every word the storytellers fed to their audience. I fell so in love with the practice that I eventually decided to test the waters myself at different open mic events on campus and across my region after I graduated. The stories I tell are my authentic, lived experiences that are insightful, thought-provoking, and sometimes tearjerkers that are full of nods to my ancestors and the rural community of Girard, GA in which I was raised.
My relationship with analog collage art is relatively new to my life, but it has gained the most traction in the quickest amount of time. I fell in love with collaging after encountering the work of Mirlande Jean-Gilles on Etsy and deciding to try it out myself one morning at my parents’ house in 2016. What began as a fun pastime that I shared on my Instagram page evolved to my work being discovered on Etsy and featured in O, the Oprah Magazine and on display at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. I am now working on my first solo art show that will open at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro, GA later this year.
Has it been a smooth road?
My relationship with time has been the toughest part of my creative journey. It took me seven years to write my first novel. And instead of viewing that as part of my creative process, my competitive spirit and track & field background viewed it as a time to beat. Having that mindset spilled over into my other creative endeavors and I started to feel that If I wasn’t creating things in half the time, then I wasn’t being as productive as I should be. Having that mindset in addition to seeing other creators on social media consistently putting out amazing work was a recipe for disaster. I noticed myself constantly comparing the amount of time it took for me to create even one piece to the amount of time it took other artists and though my body wanted to rest from working full-time and my mind wanted to rest from grad school, all I could think about was the time I was “wasting” by not creating, and that depressed me.
I have been going to therapy for over three years now and I can honestly say it has been the best decision I could have made for my mental health. It has allowed me to pay attention to my patterns and recognize the choke-hold that time has had on my creativity. Although my relationship with time is still a work in progress, I can appreciate my ebbs and flows and without feeling unproductive.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
Telling stories is what I find the most pride in. As a performance storyteller, I seek to take the audience on a journey through my lived experiences and inspire them to ponder their own life and how they interpret what they’ve gone through. As a collage artist, I tell stories in 2D and on canvas while centering Blackness and womanhood. When I am commissioned to create a custom piece, I seek to include my patrons in the creative process by consulting with them and understanding their stories so that I can create a piece that best speaks to and represents them. I want them to be included in the process and feel as if they’re involved in the creation. In everything that I do, I want my patrons to feel immersed in my creative expression.
I am currently preparing for my first solo art showcase at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro, GA. The show is set for an October-November run and it will highlight my artwork dating back to 2016, as well as my storytelling. It’s something that I never imagined for myself when I first started this creative journey, but it’s something that both excites and frightens me. I am a humble person to a fault, which often involves me not giving myself enough credit where credit is overdue, so to center me and only me for this show is new and uncomfortable. But whenever I think about chickening out, I remember what my therapists always tells me: this is the life I chose to live, so I can’t turn back. She asked me years ago what I wanted for my life and I spoke it. I used my words and I spoke into life the life I wanted for myself. It still amazes me that I’ve been able to do the things that I’ve done thus far, and I still am unsure what the future holds for my creative life, but I am thankful for words. In their presence, I have used the power of my voice and the pen to tell stories. In their absence, I have used art to convey my emotions and celebrate what I value.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
Although I am not an Atlanta native, I have traveled to the city on multiple occasions and I always get enamored with Little Five Points. There are so many pockets of colors and creativity that it’s easy to get lost in such a concentrated, visually stunning piece of the city.
As far as what I like the least, the traffic is the absolute worst.
- Workshops (storytelling/creative writing or collage art): $75/hour
- Collage Artwork (prices vary by size and medium): $100+
- Website: nanceybprice.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @nancey.the.storyteller
Mary Clare, Jamel Price, Melanie Goldey