RICHMOND, Va. -- Tequitia Andrews sees life these days in rich, bold colors. She’ll admit in recent years it hasn’t always been that way.
The Petersburg mom of 5, a self-taught artist is quite transparent sharing that her struggle with postpartum depression several years ago put her in a dark place.
Determined to avoid medication, she turned back to a passion she once had for creating art.
“It was really a step out on faith for me because I didn’t have any professional training. I took a leap of faith and started honing my skills and it became therapeutic for me” Andrews said.
She found herself creating artwork focusing primarily on African American women.
“I really want them to feel empowered, beautiful and confident because representation for black women has been poor. So, I just want to inspire them to feel good about themselves” Andrews explained.
Her work posted on Instagram drew the attention of a national company. Andrews was tapped by Cricket Wireless to serve as the artist behind its nationwide Black History Month Campaign called Smile Makers.
“I’m grateful for companies like Cricket Wireless who are highlighting these local heroes who are activists, and everyday people who are doing things to bless and uplift their communities” Andrews said.
Reconnecting with art brings her renewed hope. It is something Tequitia is eager to share with others, especially during the pandemic when so many people are battling their own mental health issues. She encourages others who are struggling to find ways to connect with those things that they love.
“Because it can feel hopeless. One of the things that was a lifeline for me was that I have two young children. I knew I needed to be there for them. That was my motivation. Just try to be hopeful that it can get better. When you’re going through it, it may seem like it’s never ending, but there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Andrews said.
To learn more about the people and institutions across the country that are being recognized through the Cricket Wireless Smile Makers campaign, clickhere.