The Future is Female; the Future is Now.

The Future is Female; the Future is Now.

future is female; the future is now

by Elijah Watkins

The Future is Female

    On Saturday, April 14, 2018, Beyoncé Knowles made history by becoming the first African-American woman to headline Coachella, America’s biggest festival. Her performance was an unprecedented and unapologetically black showcase to a majority-white audience. Beyonce’s headlining performance broke barriers by showcasing raw African-American culture at Coachella in a manner that her black-male predecessors, including her husband Jay-Z, couldn’t. She ditched the expected million-dollar electronic production and chose a backdrop of black marching bands, black dancers, and other black celebrity guests.

    This isn’t the first time an African-American woman has kicked down doors. Simply skim through the pages of history and you’ll see the undeniable truth that black-women have frequently been the true catalysts shifting global perspectives and spawning international movements. Yet these women, too often, go overlooked and underappreciated--and this fact is ever present even in our own backyards. During the same weekend as the phenomenon we now refer to as “Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance”, there was a cultural shift occurring in the city of Atlanta that spearheaded by collectives (yes, collectives with a ‘s’) of innovative, artistic and entrepreneurial women of color. Like Beyoncé, these ladies were acting as catalysts for the arts.

    Unfortunately, unlike Beyoncé, there was little-to-no media coverage or documentation highlighting how these fearless females were progressing “the culture”. The lack of coverage and recognition was the only true disappointment. It gave me a greater understanding why Drake partnered with 22-year-old Karena Evans to praise an all-star cast of female mavens in his music video, ‘Nice for What’. I, too, felt compelled to create my own ode that could showcase the work of these young, but strong women of color in Atlanta so that their work never goes overlooked and forgotten in history.

An Exploration of Her Ritual

    The first event, that led this feminine powered weekend in Atlanta was kicked-off with, ‘An Exploration of Her Ritual’ was curated by Paula Cuevas, and the SOAP Goods Creative. With opening day on Friday, April 13th, the event exhibited new and original works from 23 female photographers, artists, and designers. Together they created an interactive art environment that illustrated the hidden-elegance lying within the rituals that allow women to fully embrace their femininity to its supreme, and still very personal, nature.

    A standout installation included, ‘The Restroom’ created by Quianah Upton. The bathroom installation served as mystic sanctuary filled with a myriad of products that women know oh too well. From a male perspective, it allowed me to understand how these “sacred” products metaphorize women’s appearances. These appearances that many men (admittedly,  myself included) take for granted because we’re so used to the end-result and not the products or the process involved. Equally as impressive was Chrissy Brimmage’s “Heart” piece it encouraged its audience to “touch my heart, but please be gentle” and it bathymetrically changes colors under the warmth of one’s touch.

    Opening night was packed to the brim with an audience as eclectic as the artwork itself, but many didn’t get the chance get into the high-demand and low-capacity of the gallery. To me, this was just a foreshadowing of the impact that a collective of women of color can create when they create together. The exhibition is available for viewing until May 4, 2018.

The Cleaners

    Another amazing display of black (female) excellence came the next day, Saturday, April 14, with The Cleaners pop-up shop. It was curated and founded by Brittni Mariah and hosted at the Public Eye Studio. As the name “The Cleaners” suggests, the environment was tastefully inspired by the every day dry-cleaners. Brittni successfully enlisted a variety of women and female brands including Alex Belle, St. Babylon, Jazmyn George, and many more.

    While being a commerce hub for upcoming clothing brands, the pop-up also included clothing from individual’s own personal collections. The experience immersed and engaged a niche community by showcasing brands that lead by female designers that constantly push Atlanta’s fashion scene forward. While the pop-up has concluded, people can stay updated with The Cleaners by following their brand on IG.

the Art of Metanoia


    The weekend lead by female mavens concluded on Sunday, April 15th with the Art of Metanoia quarterly-hosted event, founded by Auriel Oates. The Art of Metanoia, located at the M. Rich Building, has become quickly become a local staple that displays a plethora of young upcoming artists, designers, and musicians. What Auriel successfully demonstrates, time and time again, is that she and her team can consistently cultivate a community of creatives that maintains its freshness and energy. Her niche community has become an incubation that bridges the gap allowing both younger and older generations alike to express themselves authentically, and party authentically, like any true Atlantan.


The Future is Now

     Perhaps this incredible ‘Year of the Woman’ can be marked with Oprah’s “Their time is up” Golden Globe speech on January 7, 2018, leading up to the Beychella performance. One thing is for certain: the future has always been women and the future is right now. Women like Paula, Brittini, Auriel and countless others are creating a beautiful world without fear. As a young black man raised under a largely matriarchal household, I find that it is my responsibility to do the best that I can to support this progressive movement. After all, this global shift is being charged and powered by my fellow sisters, mothers, aunties, and soon will be carried own by my future daughters that will create a brighter future for us all.


glad i was alive during the year of the woman.

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How I Read 20 Books in 2017

How I Read 20 Books in 2017

How I Read 20 Books in 2017

Hi world, I must say I love how much can happen in a year…like how I read 20 books in 2017!

Years, as a period of time, alert one’s life in both expected and unexpected ways. I suppose that’s why we often make New Year’s resolutions or goals.

Maybe it’s because we’ve determined that a year is both a realistic and optimistic quantity of time that will allow us to achieve even the most outlandish goals. For me, an outlandish goal I had was learning how to become an avid reader.

See it happened when I read this article this time last year illustrating how Bill Gates reads over 50 books a year.

50 books a year!?“, I said to myself, “I struggle trying to read one a month!

So this year I am proud to say that I’ve read over 20+ books in the year of 2017! If you would’ve told me a year ago that I could do it, I wouldn’t have believed you.

These are the books I read in 2017… Others I borrowed or loaned away.

Last year, I was ambitious & I had the burning desire to finally become an avid reader. I even read this article that illustrates how the majority of millionaires and billionaires, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, read daily. So I decided to take on this goal! In previous years, I’ve set reading goals like “I want to finish 12 books this year.” I almost always fell short.

This year I decided to take a different approach to tackling this lofty goal. This time set a goal of habit instead of a goal of quantity.

My secret approach was holding myself accountable that “I will read 1-hour a day or 7-hours a week.”

I learned that by adding the caveat of “7-hrs a week” was a major key because–let’s face it–shit happens in life and sometimes I wasn’t able to dedicate an hour a day…So I had to make up for lost time during my slower & lazier days, like weekends.

Like building any new habit it was pretty tough at first. But after sticking through January it became a habit…and by March I pretty much became addicted to reading because of its amazing side-effects!

So I wonder if you’ve asked this: “What are the side-effects of daily reading and why the hell should you want to read an hour a day?”

Here are the Top 10 things I Gained by Reading Daily:

1. I developed a long-term peace of mind.

In an ultra-compulsive world of social media, it’s hard for people (especially in my generation) to sit still long enough to be content with their thoughts. I realized how distracting and destructive social media became for me after watching this video from Simon Sinek. We not only waste precious time on social media, but we also become depressed after spending so much time on it.

And so I learned that the less I spent on social media and the more I spent reading, the greater my peace of mind.

2. I learned how to talk to anyone about…well pretty much anything.

Reading different subjects not only makes you book smart, but it can make you people smart, too. One of the takeaways I got from the classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie”, was that in order to be a good conversationalist, you’ve got to talk to people about things they are interested in. And not in a superficial way, but in a genuine way!

So in this way, reading helped me have better in-depth conversations with people about topics they are passionate about.

3. My memory increased, tremendously.

My memory has always been pretty good when it came to remembering facts about people and their faces. I learned that was because of long-term memory.

However, I used to be very terrible with my short-term memory like remembering names, numbers, and other small details. This is because of short-term memory.

Reading is to memory what weights are to muscles. So while I am still not the best at remembering names, I know I’ll continue to get better.

4. I became much more focused & thus increased my productivity.

Like I stated earlier, reading helped me gain a peace-of-mind. With peace of mind, comes the ability to focus.

Imagine your mind is a lake. When the lake is still, it’s easier to see clearly to the bottom of it. It is easier to see what’s truly important. Then you can better prioritize what you give your energy to. But when the lake is not still and is in turmoil–like hurricanes creating tidal waves in the middle of the ocean–it’s harder to see anything at all.

Chaos, like lack of focus, throws off your ability to know what to do. The habit of reading helps stills the lake and thus gives you clarity.

5. My quality of sleep got a lot better.

Admittedly, I’m a workaholic. So I rarely get more than 6-hrs of sleep.

Studies show that reading, rather than watching television or being on your phone, will help you get deeper REM sleep. I can say from experience that this is absolutely true. I may not get the “recommend 7-hrs” of sleep, but when I read before I go to sleep, I usually wake up feeling very well rested.

6. I developed better internal skills like persistence, patience, and compassion.

To be honest, I don’t know if this came from the self-help books that I’ve been reading, or just reading in general.

What I do know, is that I’ve been able to become a better person by becoming a better reader. Finishing tough/boring books in general, like the 400+ page book “Story” by Robert McKee, helped me learn the value in persistence through challenging material.

While I read, I always take notes. Note taking teaches me how to not only finish books for the sake of reading them, but also the power of internalizing & retaining each book’s information.

I believe more than compassion, reading other people’s arguments or philosophies taught me how to be more empathetic. I might not agree with the author’s point-of-view but I learn to respect it by allowing them to present their case. The same thing can be applied in everyday situations, including how you react when you get cut off in traffic.

7. I developed better spending and saving habits.

I can honestly say that before this year, I always spent my money very frivolously. Up until this year, I wondered if I could ever overcome the curse of compulsive spending.

But I learned a lot from the personal finance book called “The Money Answer Book” by Dave Ramsey.

Moreover, what I learned by frequently reading is that we often spend carelessly because we are constantly being advertised. We’re told to buy stuff everywhere we go. On social media. On TV. On billboards. Everywhere!

We have become programmed to believe that happiness is external. Reading has acted as an antidote to advertising teaching that happiness is really internal.

Reading makes me feel content & happy; learning something new makes me feel better than purchasing something each and every time.

8. I learned how to better handle stress.

Now don’t get me wrong, reading doesn’t stop me from encountering stressful situations.

Instead, it helped me calm the lake of my mind so I think clearly through them.

When I encounter stressful shit I ask: “Is this worth stressing about?” & “If so, what can I do to change it so I can stop stressing?…”

Also, if there’s something you’re difficult that you’re going through, chances are someone wrote a book about it. If they didn’t, you should.

9. I learned how to learn.

I attribute this concept to the book: “The Practicing Mind” by Thomas M. Sterner. Because reading taught me how to be more focused and patient, I’ve multiplied this concept of learning by practicing other skills like drawing, writing, etc. Thus…

10. I learned how to accomplish my other goals!

I had a plenty of grandiose goals this year. Some were accomplished and others will be accomplished next year…

The biggest way that reading has helped me (outside of the pure inspiration that came from each book) is the fact it taught me that you can accomplish anything with consistency and practice.

More than anything, this is the lifelong lesson that I am grateful to have learned this year the most.

Did you enjoy this blog and feel better prepared to tackle your reading goals for next year?… Awesome, feel free to share this with your friends.

these are the books I’ll start reading in 2018

You can also help me with my reading goals for 2018 by gifting me with any of the books from my Amazon wish-list.

Thanks for the support and stay blessed!

-elijah ♱ watkins.

Summer 2017

Summer 2017
elijah watkins featured image

The summer solstice has finally come to an end. Moreover, my favorite season is right on the cusp, the autumnal equinox (aka fall).

I wrote this blog partly so I don't forget how much I did this summer, but I really wrote this to give me some peace-of-mind.

While a lot of my friends were traveling to different countries, on tour with kendrick lamar, or were enjoying the bliss of sunbathing on the beach, I had a very boring summer mainly working on different projects to pay the bills.

my weekends were usually spent at home reading or resting...the weekends that I could anyways. Very boring, I know! But this summer I learned Austin Kleon's #9 rule in Steal Like an Artist actually reigned true.

 "Be Boring (it's the only way to get work done)"- Austin Kleon

So, ladies and gentlemen here's the brief timeline of the not so boring stuff I was able get done during Summer 2017.





Reactions from my First-Ever Podcast

Reactions from my First-Ever Podcast

A few weeks ago, I released my first-ever finesse worldwide broadcast (read: podcast)!

The broadcast included the story of my greatest finesse of all time...

how I finessed my way to working with my role model, Pharrell Williams!

It's the very first time I've actually released any this personal publicly in my life so I am very honored to everyone who took the time to listen.

What I didn't expect was the overwhelming amazing positive reception that I received from the listeners.

Some were my friends, many were people who just happened to hear the broadcast via word-of-mouth.

Is it is as "inspiring" as everyone says it is!?

I'll let you be the judge of that...

(4/20 update) april events in the a.

(4/20 update) april events in the a.

hi world,

now that it’s spring a lot of people have been sending a lot of events for the month of april!

I often get asked, “what’s the move?” and people always bless me by inviting me to events…so i’ve decided to create a page dedicated to this month’s events.

just click the pics below for more info. if you have an event that you want me to post on here, please email me at ecswatkins[at] and i’ll update this post as I get the events.

Please follow me on Instagram for more updates.


(4/20) UPDATE:


super lowkey launch party.




louie lou will be having a special event with your dj’s favorite dj, dj teknology

hero the band mansion party
must attend: the 81st annual dogwood festival at piedmont park

Dope art showcase at the Goat Farm Arts Center.

exclusive listening party for artist elhae’s new project aura II

from the same tonys (yes, plural) who brought you the Y2K party….
sammy approved is hosting a special spinclass at vibe ride.
the intersection of my two favorite topics. what can be better?

louie lou will be having a special event with your dj’s favorite dj, dj teknology

finesse worldwide.

finesse worldwide.
creating the future.
finessing is an art;
finesse is a way of life.
thank you.


hi world,
I want to give a very special thank you to everyone who came out to my special premier presentation, “Never Stress, Finesse” last Sunday at General Assembly (Ponce City Market) as a part of Pecha Kucha Atlanta’s Vol 32: Cultural Changemakers series. Most of all, it was the official launch of  the movement, Finesse Worldwide.

The presentation will posted on in about a month…but until then learn the art of finessing please go to the official finesse 🌐 worldwide website.

Special thanks to: Chris House, Alan Johnson, Bri Martin,  Abraham Miller, Jabriel McIntosh, Neia Omer, and of course Pecha Kucha Atlanta for giving this amazing platform to share my finesse stories.

may the finesse be forever with you.

with love,

elijah ♱ watkins