LANSING, Mich. — Inside of Cedar Street Art Collective with a few brushes and paint, you'll find Sera Reneé.
"Reneé is a person, an artist who came from being incredibly shy and soft spoken to somebody who is growing into herself. Becoming more vulnerable, open and outgoing," Reneé said.
The body painter and content creator has a love for art formed when she was little.
"When I'm painting on a canvas by myself, I'm sitting with myself, and I have all the things that I'm going through and thinking about going through my head along with actually working on the painting," Reneé said.
But it was a friend who pointed her int he direction of using a different canvas, the body.
“From there, I just, I loved it. I started doing it, and painting on a person is different than a canvas," Reneé said. "I kind of liked the aspect of getting to hear people's stories and talking to them. So just like I fell in love with it.”
For 2022, Reneé knew she wanted to do something that wasn't your typical New Years' resolution.
“I knew that I wanted to focus on my discipline, and I wanted to be creating something every day,” Reneé said.
So she created "The Pieces of Me" a 365-day, self-growth face and paint project.
“Every day was definitely different," Reneé said. "Every day, I'm giving a piece of myself to the audience."
In 2022 from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, Reneé used her face and sometimes her body to document her life, from things she loved growing up to emotions she had that day.
"Like bands or along the lines of that movies," Reneé said. “I had done things where I expressed feelings of anxiety, of sadness, of anger, all that sort of thing.”
And those feelings reflect that this journey wasn't always easy for her. There were times where others might have given up.
"There was one painting specifically, where I had Strep C that was terrible," Reneé said. "I also had a colonoscopy. Yeah, so I did during that made sure that I had the paint on that day, and I made sure that it was posted and ready to go before the procedure."
But regardless, she documented it all.
"My dad had actually asked me, in case I got sick and things, if I had extra paints I was gonna do, and I said I can't do that. Like I can't have extra paints already done because it's the whole point of the project is to authentically be doing it every day," Reneé said.
She kept track by taking selfies and waited until the project was finished, so she didn't have to deal with the pressure.
"I purposely didn't talk about it until the very end of the project realistically, to hold myself to that on my own. So that was definitely a big thing," Reneé said.
She says the project helped her go into this new year not doubting herself in regards to her resolutions.
"Realistically, any goal that I wanted to make not even just a New Year's resolution, it's just anything that you put yourself to, if you hold yourself to it no matter what, then you can do it," Reneé said
By doing this and giving the world a piece of her for 365 days, she that it inspires and motivates people.
"Documenting yourself and really paying attention to yourself, I think is important, because time goes by, it doesn't stop. Pay attention to it. You know, I mean, we're growing every day. And that's something valid that we need to be recognizing in ourselves," Reneé said.
So, what's next for her? Well, this project will go into "The Sides of Me," which will be a more canvas-oriented and a little bit of video documentation.
"This is going to be going more in-depth of of me in that process of growth," Reneé said. "I also am doing embody your business as well. That is a project where I'm taking businesses that are interested, and for events and marketing purposes, doing body paints in regards to their logo and their message on either myself or representative of the company."
To see her all the photos from "The Pieces of Me" and learn more about Reneé and her art, click here.
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