This blog post was written by Girls Write Now Mentee Zahraa Lopez about the Writing & Mentoring Program’s Memoir Workshop on November 21, featuring Dr. Laurie Jean Cannady and Andrea Pippins. Zahraa attended Andrea Pippins workshop, author of “I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos.”
When I walked into the Girls Write Now office for our monthly workshop, I instantly noticed Andrea Pippins who created the coloring book, I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos. Her hair was big and full of curls and it reminded me of my own. I had no idea she was our guest speaker, so when she was announced by the workshop leaders I was really excited. As she began to speak, I was drawn in by her vibrancy. She talked about her evolution as an artist and her journey to perfecting her craft. Her motto “I want to draw everyday” made me realize that in order to be good at something, you have to work at it. You can’t just master something automatically; it takes time, patience and ambition. Her art work started out as doodles in a notebook but due to her determination she published her first book.
I Love My Hair is a coloring book that demonstrates the beauty in all hair styles and textures. The book is filled with breathtaking drawings and intricate patterns. Seeing all of the messages of self love literally made me cry! Growing up I was never told my hair was beautiful. I wish I had a book like this when I was younger. I probably would have embraced my natural hair and I wouldn’t have wanted to change it. During our break I got up the nerves to go over and talk to her. We talked about our hair journeys and she even signed my book!
For the rest of the workshop we worked on our own memoirs. I’ve always been reserved about sharing my story but Andrea’s openness inspired me to be honest. By sharing her story, she encouraged me to share mine. Hopefully one day my story can influence someone like how hers influenced me.