For Today's Real Human BEING Extraordinary
This is a special feature for us at Queeniebrownmagazine.com as we have done something quite unique to us... psst! the cover is a hint.
Yes! we are playing on the Halloween theme, coordinating our drop with the day. That said, we want to acknowledge the many significant occasions of the season.
Significant occasions like the fall equinox kick off of the season when the sun aligns with the Earth's equator. The nights get longer than the days, but not before the Harvest Moon lights the night sky (for several nights) with its big full (or almost full) moon. In the days of yore, farmers used the big bright light to extend their work days during harvest - hence the name Harvest Moon.
Speaking of harvests, this is the busiest time of year for farmers as they remove crops from their fields to store for sale and future human and animal needs- as well as prepping for next season's planting!
Crops like grain corn, apple, squash, pumpkins, are just a few of the items removed for the season. Hence, the salient dishes of Thanksgiving, and dried front door decorations.
While some of us gather with loved ones, giving thanks to farmers and the food on our tables, in Southeast Asia the River Spirit is honoured by the setting out of boats alight with incense and candles, celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent. Paper lanterns are lit and set to float in the night sky, fireworks and gifts are shared within the community.
In many African cultures, the moon symbolizes the feminine, a woman who is beautiful, powerful, and said to be the mother of all life on earth. Of course, she is associated with fertility, birth, and growth. Some groups of the San People worshipped the moon because they believed that after death, the soul went to God‟s house in the sky.
Another full moon celebration takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The Mid-Autumn festival is one of the most significant occasions of the year where the moon is celebrated as a symbol of peaceful times.
Then there is Halloween. This practice originates from ancient festivals of the North West Coast of Europe and Southern Europe to Central America. It is the integration of harvest/ bringing in herds from pasture as summer melds into winter and the world of the dead blends into that of the living... parades and parties are held; candy is shared; cemeteries and skulls are decorated with candles, food, and flowers; costumes are worn, and gifts are left for children.
In India, one of the most important festivals depicting victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance is held. The Festival of Lights or Diwali (coming from the Sanskrit word “deepavali”, meaning “rows of lighted lamps”) is a 5 day event, recognized by people of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths.
All of these celebrations (and many others) are broadcast across the world, celebrated by believers and non-believers, alike, because they are about sharing, laughing, loving, paying homage and reflection. Who doesn't want to be a part of such times?
Much like farmers rushing to complete their harvest, parents are busy organizing, decorating, cooking, dressing, and shuttling children to and fro with barely a moment to rest before next season.
Hats off to parents!
Tell Us Your Story
Meet Dakota Patton
aka: The Princess of SFX! The world's youngest makeup artist.
This darling pixie created the image on our cover.
Yep, that's right!
This SIX year old artist, not only created the character on our cover the makeup work is all hers; executed by her little hands.
Still having trouble believing it? Click to watch the interview with her father, Jarell, and herself on "The Steve Harvey show." It took place two years ago - when she was four!
I saw Dakota for the first time on tik tok.
Shock and awe barely describe what I sat, transfixed, witnessing. The transformation was positively eerie for a child to create. I didn't even know the sweet little girl who became "Venom" before my very eyes was only three at the time.
As I watched, I really wanted to know,
"Who were her parents?!"
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dakota Patton's parents this week. A few minutes into the conversation, it became clear how this little talent experimented, then became the successful professional she is with a portfolio any artist would envy.
The Patton parents, Jarell and Kandis, are the best friends you always wanted.
They are both ready for a laugh, a good story - and a really great prank.
Discovering each other on Facebook, this army man was attracted to Kandis' beautiful personality. She admired his sense of family, demonstrated by the way he interacted with his oldest daughter. But, it was meeting his family of jokesters that confirmed Jarell was The One, for her. Apparently, she comes from a family of pranksters, too!
It seems everything this duo does is with good-natured humour. From Kandis and Dakota scaring Dad in dark rooms (Jarell hates dark rooms, though he claims it is hard to scare him) to Dylan eating her big sister's brains (see the photos). Dakota is a makeup genius, without a doubt. It is also very clear, paint_with_dakota is a fun family affair (with a hardworking duo behind the scenes)... that's Dad, Jarell, on the cover, by the way.
But, how did a three-year-old head down this path, you may ask?
I know I had to know...
As it would be, Dad loves to watch scary movies but does not like to watch them alone, hence a family-time ritual was born.
The big question?
How could a three year old not cry, be scared, or even comprehend what they were watching on TV?
The answer is, the parents use a simple practice more of us need to incorporate into our lives when dealing with kids. The practice is called, Talking with Our Children.
You see, from their early years, Jarell educated his daughters on the difference between real life and make-believe. "I explained that the people on TV were everyday people like we are, playing parts and dressing up." Jarell told me. "I told them the people on TV were actors portraying characters - wearing make-up and costumes."
It would seem that Dakota - in fact, all the children - got the message.
Because, when Dakota saw Joker in "Dark Knight," and was as intrigued by the character as were many of us, her intrigue became inspiration. She told her dad she wanted to do that (make her face look like Joker's).
Now, the best part of the story is, instead of laughing her off, ignoring her, ridiculing or brushing her off (she was just three after all), Jarell bought the necessary items to make her dream come true, then encouraged her every move. In other words, he set his child up to succeed. "I want my kids to know, I will support them no matter what they do until they no longer want to do it. If they want to play soccer, I will buy the goalie net and the ball." Jarell Patton.
Also, Mom and Dad have a "Find another way to get it done" philosophy.
The phrase, "I can't do it" is not accepted in their home.
Many of us do well in life in spite of our parents. The most well adjusted of us excel because of our parents - and their unconditional love, encouragement and support.
The most impressive piece about these great parents is that they highlight all their children. Dakota has an astounding, well-honed talent. The determination, dedication and perseverance shown by her and her siblings is just downright impressive.
The youngest girl, Dylan, for example, first sat while Dakota painted her face when she was two. How many two-year-olds will sit for longer than a minute unless they are sleeping? And acting chops? Kandis taught Dylan the different faces of emotions, and the toddler could repeat them like an old school Hollywood Starlet! Those eyes, that smile - those cheeks! I wager Dylan is bound for the Youngest Oscar Winner title in the very near future. There is also a new Star in Waiting we are sure to see more of likely when he is older than a just a few weeks, though he has made an appearance, little baby Atreus - as in God of War's Norse God, Loki (you have to check out the video game!)
Looking forward what Dakota and her incredible family do next.
Tell Us About Someone
In case you have not noticed, Dakota is no one trick pony.
You have to check out her IG page: paint_with_dakota to see what she has accomplished. The breadth of her work transitions from special FX and makeup in horror, cos play (the art of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game), fantasy, high fashion glam (see mom's above picture) to creating her own characters as her imagination allows.
Dakota's original group of characters inspired her father to write a book called, "The Undead Horizon." Dad's book is now adapted to a television series - where Dakota is Lead Makeup Artist! "The Undead Horizon" was picked up by KDS Entertainment's, Blerd Station, a streaming platform (ya know like Netflix) dedicated to Blerds and all Nerds of Color (less like Netflix)! Blerd (Black Nerd) Station offers: Original Television, Anime, Action, and Live Streamed content, where one can access Blerd-themed streaming and enjoy a wide range of Original Black and *POC CENTERED Sci-Fi, Horror Noir, Fantasy, Superhero, Anime and Action entertainment. Viewings range from classic television and films to Blerd Station Original Series.
"The Undead Horizon" is Coming in 2024, People!
But here's the interesting thing about Blerd - aside from their focus being on *People of Colour* which is big enough. You pay a subscription to join the service, BUT, once you reach a certain dollar point as a subscriber (36 months multiplied by 10.99) you become a share holder in the company! If you ever dreamt of owning one of those big streaming companies (like when viewers could have bought a piece of Netflix), this might be an opportunity. Also, maybe you are a talent looking to have your work used for a show, or a comic book creator looking for exposure. Do your research, contact BlerbStation.com.