Imani Sayyed is a multifaceted artist from the city of San Francisco. She is well known around the Bay for her photography and work as a fashion stylist but what you all might not know, is that Imani is currently working to provide affordable housing for creatives living in SF. With all the craziness going on with gentrification in the Bay, many creatives are being driven out of their homes due to UNREASONABLE cost of living expenses. So, when I met Imani for the first time and she told me about the work she was doing with the Muse Collective, all I could do was give her praise. I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with this queen and talk more in detail about her vision and inspiration of such a powerful movement.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Imani Sayyed, artist and founder of Muse Collective
, based out of the San Francisco/Bay Area. I am a contributor, promoter, and lover of the arts in every aspect. On any given day I can be directing a photoshoot, sketching outside, sewing in my studio, or jamming out at a cypher. Art is what I do.
What/who inspires you to do what you do?
Living and growing up in The Bay Area, one of the major hubs for artist, has had a heavy influence on on what I do. Art is when you are walking down Graffiti Alley in the Mission District, or when you are passing through West Oakland on Bart. Art is the galleries of Downtown Oakland, and is tagged on the Muni lines of SF. Art is The Bay Area and has definitely inspired me to continue to contribute to it’s rich history.
Can you please describe your vision for this housing project?
The vision for the Muse Collective project is to provide up and coming youth with an opportunity to thrive as artist. By providing affordable living/work space, as well as additional resources needed to help them succeed, gives them the ability to harness their creativity and turn it into a career. With successful projections for the project in the Bay Area, Muse Collective has high hopes to this venture on a global scale.
What inspired you to develop housing for Bay Area Artist?
What inspired me to develop housing and work space for Bay Area Artist is the mass amount of young artist struggling to live The Bay Area. Many up and coming artist here do not have the funds and/or resources to be able to live and produce the work at an affordable rate. With living expenses in The Bay Area being higher than ever before, I see this as the perfect opportunity to allow artist to truly succeed at their craft.
Why did you choose the city of SF for this project?
The city of San Francisco was our target market for this project because this is the mecca for creatives. San Francisco’s diversity allows the artist be surround by fellow peers that are working towards common goals, produce and sell their work in surrounding areas, network with more established individuals in their field, and quickly gain lucrative connections to thrive as an artist here in the Bay Area.
Have you faced any challenges with this project?
The main challenge with this project has been funding for the space. By the year 2018, our goal is to have raised 2 million dollars to start converting underdeveloped warehouses in San Francisco into live-in art studios. Muse Collective
will also be hosting events and gathering in the near future to raise awareness and funds for the project. Stay tuned! Muse Collective
gives thanks to everyone in support of our movement. For generous donations, please visit Gofundme.com/musecollective
What are some challenges that you have faced as a female creative in the Bay Area? How have you dealt with them?
I cannot say that I have faced any challenges due to being a female creative but I do highly encourage female empowerment/development within our own circles. Next time you see a “sista” doing well, shout her out.
Who are a few local artists that we should look out for?
Please be on the lookout for these multi-talented art groups: Oakland Mind, W.O.M.B.S., Black Mail, Outtatown Music Group, SBC (Success Beyond Content), and Black Sex Talk.
Follow the Muse Collective on instagram here