Top Three Shadow Spotlights for 2017

Top Three Shadow Spotlights for 2017

December 11 / 17

This week I’m pulling out some favorite posts for 2017. Let’s start with Shadow Spotlight. I’ve looked at the spotlights for the past eleven months and here are the top three spotlights that are my favorites.










There is more Best of 2017 all this week. Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!



Image source: Clipart Library

Shadow Spotlight: Cardi B.

Shadow Spotlight: Cardi B.

November 13 / 17

A new wave of hip-hop artists has come and put their collective stamp in the music industry. Some have managed to swim, while others have drowned. Belcalis Almanzar or Cardi B. is one of those who is swimming right along the sharp waves with aplomb. According to Billboard, she is now the first female rapper to chart her very first three entries in the top 10 positions of the list, simultaneously, on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. You may remember her from the sixth season of  VH1 reality tv series, Love & Hip-Hop: New York.

Raised in the Highbridge neighborhood in the South Bronx section of New York City, Cardi B. became an exotic dancer at the age of 19. By 2013, her videos became viral on social media through Vine and Instaram. Cut to 2015, when Cardi B. made her musical debut on Shaggy‘s remix to his single ‘Boom Boom‘, with Popcaan. That same year, she made her music video debut, ‘Cheap Ass Weave’, her rendition of Lady Leshurr’s ‘Queen’s Speech 4’. Cardi B. released a mixtape titled Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 March 2016. In September 2016, her single, ‘What a Girl Likes’ was part of a collaborative album released by KSR Group titled, Underestimated: The Album. 

“a raw and aggressive rapper in the style of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown.”

-David Jeffries, AllMusic

 “unapologetic does not begin to describe the totally unfiltered and sheer Cardi B-ness of Cardi B’s personality. She’s a hood chick who’s not afraid to be hood no matter the setting. Cardi B is Cardi B 24/7, 365, this is why she resonates with people, and that same energy comes out in her music.”



By January, she released her second mixtape, the second installment of Gangsta Bitch Music series. Cardi B signed her first major deal with the recording label with Atlantic in February this year. This past summer ‘Bodak Yellow‘ was released, which became a  hit. The single reached the top two of the of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart also becoming number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Bodak Yellow was certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). In September of this year, Cardi B bagged the top spot of the Hot 100 chart with Bodak Yellow, making her the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Adding another diamond to her crown, she became the first female artist to land her first three entries in the top 10 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Not only is Cardi B making waves in music, but also in fashion. Earlier this year she partnered with M.A.C. and Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport for an event during New York Fashion Week. She played Mercedes in BET’s Being Mary Jane and she was a guest on the celebrity show Hip Hop Squares. As I said before, some swim, some drown, but Miss Cardi B is swimming and enjoying the ride.


Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!


Image source:, Dazed, &


Shadow Spotlight: Lee Pace

Shadow Spotlight: Lee Pace

October 9 / 17

Hey everyone. Hope every one of you guys enjoyed your weekend, even though it was short for some of us. Lee Pace is this month’s Shadow Spotlight. Now, if you don’t recognize the name or face, you should remember him as Ned the Piemaker in ABC’s Pushing Daisies.

Lee Pace…Pushing Daisies.

Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Pace has graced the big and small screen for the past fifteen years. His breakout role was in the 2003 film Soldier’s Girl as Calpernia Addams, a transgender showgirl. He won a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor and was nominated for several other awards, including a Golden Globe Award.

In 2004, Pace was in the short-lived television series, Wonderfalls, as Aaron Tyler. The show was co-created by Bryan Fuller. Fuller cast Pace in the lead role in the fantasy television series Pushing Daisies as Ned, which debuts in October 2007 till June 2009. Pace was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and a few others.

He also has appeared in films such as Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Possession, When In Rome, The Good Shepherd, Ceremony, Lincoln, among others. He was also in 2006 film, The Fall, directed by Tarsem Singh, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 2 as the sexy nomadic vampire Garrett, and as Thranduil in The Hobbit film series. Pace was also in 2014 Marvel studio film Guardians of the Galaxy as Ronan the Accuser. His recent work includes The Keeping Hours and The Book of Henry.

He will appear in the sci-fi film Revolt. You can catch him as Joe MacMillan in AMC’s tech drama Halt and Catch Fire.

Here is a video that a fan created. Just to get familiar with Lee. Hope you like it.



In his downtime, Lee is an avid reader and is part of Conservation International, who are dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment. To know more about this nonprofit organization please go to

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed.



Image source: emaze, twilight saga wiki fandom, screenrush, and dvdbash
















Image source: Collider

Shadow Spotlight: Association of Writers & Writing Programs

Shadow Spotlight: Association of Writers & Writing Programs

August 21 / 17

Hello….hope everyone enjoyed their weekend like I did, although it was too short. This month’s Shadow Spotlight falls on the Association of Writers & Writing Program, also known as AWP. I know that posted about this organization, but for the new followers, here is some information about AWP.

Credit source: Association of Writers & Writing Programs
The mission of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs is to foster literary achievement,
to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers,
students, and readers of contemporary writing.
Because literature is a source of awareness and enchantment, it is a medium for wisdom,
creativity, and joy. Because literature maps our shared experiences, it is a builder of communities.
AWP’s purpose is to cultivate the making and appreciation of contemporary literature along with
those attendant virtues: wisdom, creativity, community, and joy.
Primary Goal
AWP seeks to help writers and teachers do their best possible work while we help writers
connect with the widest possible audience.
AWP’s Core Values
AWP values:
• Contemporary literature for its power to enrich the lives of individuals and communities
• Writers & writing programs
• Excellence in the teaching of writing
• The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) as the appropriate terminal degree for writers who teach
• The cultivation of growing literary audiences
For information on individual, gift, and organizational membership go to
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
University of Maryland
5245 Greenbelt Rd,
Box #246
College Park, MD 20740
Main: 301-226-9710
Fax: Not available until August
Department Contact Information:
Here is some information about next years conference and book fair…

2018 AWP Conference & Bookfair

Tampa Convention Center
& Marriott Tampa Waterside
March 7 – 10, 2018

Key Dates

Materials to View/Download

Social Networking

Conference Queries


Conference Events

Register today!

Click on links to get the information you need. If you’re interested in attending next years conference, you can register today. Enjoy your Monday be blessed.






Image source: Desktop Background

Shadow Spotlight: World Photography Organisation

Shadow Spotlight: World Photography Organisation

July 10 / 17

Hello, everyone. Today we’re putting the spotlight on The World Photography Organisation. Here are a few tidbits on what this organization is about.

cred: world photography organisation

The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives. Working across up to 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers as well as our industry-leading partners around the world.

“We work with the best in the industry, forging strong, international partnerships to bring our photographers the exposure they deserve.” – Scott Gray, CEO, Founder


The organisation has year round events such as….

Sony World Photography Awards
Free to enter and open to all photographers, the world’s largest photography competition celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017. Winning photographers are flown to London to receive their prizes at the annual awards ceremony. Winning, shortlisted and commended photographers are showcased at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition each Spring in London, United Kingdom.

Find out more

PHOTOFAIRS, International Art Fairs Dedicated to Photography
With destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco, PHOTOFAIRS is dedicated to presenting fine art photography and moving image from leading international galleries and their artists. Through a highly curated approach, PHOTOFAIRS provides an elegant and vibrant environment for both established and new collectors.

Sony Global Imaging Ambassadors
A worldwide program, giving photographers from around the world the tools to document important stories of fame, fashion, culture, sportsmanship, war, human devastation, celebration and environmental shifts.

#WPOmeetup – Local and international meetups
Previous sessions include group critiquing and networking held in London and New York. Experts have included: Jennifer Pastore, photography director of WSJ. The Wall Street Journal Magazine; Simon Bainbridge, Editor, British Journal of Photography; Dan Rubin, photographer, designer & creative director; and various World Photography Organisation staff, including senior members from our editorial and marketing departments.

Dubai Photo Exhibition
In March 2016, alongside The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), we produced the inaugural Dubai Photo Exhibition. Built in a purpose-made temporary museum in the Dubai Design District, Dubai Photo brought together photography professionals, collectors, institutions, and artists. International works by many of the greatest working photographers today were shown alongside the grand masters of the 20th century.

If you want an event in your town or city, click here.

So now that you know, you might want to visit their website,  They are having the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards and yes you do have a chance to enter. Hope you have great Monday, be blessed.

Image source:

Shadow Spotlight: 8 Illustrators to Watch

Shadow Spotlight: 8 Illustrators to Watch

June 12 / 17

Hello! This week is gonna be busy, plenty busy….Today with this month’s Shadow Spotlight, we have eight illustrators who you need to pay attention to.


The ABC of Nature, letter F by Mariana Rodrigues.

Mariana Rodrigues

Based in London, this unique illustrator, with a style pattern focusing on nature, has created whimsical symmetry and patterns that create wonderful and colorful designs. She has studied communications design at ESAC College of Art and Design Matosinhos, Portugal. With colored pencil, watercolor, digital manipulation, and coloring, plus some photography, these illustrations have garnered positive notes. She has worked with Country Living, Patrick Watson, Vogue Japan, and Work Club for Original Source.  To see more look here:






by Anna Kovecses.

Anna Kovesces

Beautiful, bold, child-like, and colorful. Those are four words to describe this Hungarian illustrator’s work. Kovesces has created works for Die Zeit Magazine, The Style Press, The New York Times Magazine, Hong Kong based Milk X magazine, and others.  Just drop by for more of her work.







AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! by Oscar Ramos

Oscar Ramos

Working and living in Santiago, Chile and using Character Design and Photo Manipulation, Ramos has created a colorful and brash work of characters in the most amusing way possible. 










Merry Christmas by Andy Hau.

Andy Hau

After winning a competition to design a packaging for a promotional copy of Imogen Heaps 2009 album Ellipse, this qualified architect, with a keen eye for detail, career has skyrocketed to great leaps. With his love of architecture and graphic design, Hau is becoming a force to reckoned with. 




by Sonia Hensler

Sonia Hensler

Ms. Hensler has created a portfolio of vibrant and colorful fashion illustrations. Heavily inspired by Victorian aesthetics, combining elegance, sophistication, with just a touch of dark gothic flair. Brands like Topshop, Reem Acra, Sheer, and many others. The sky’s the limit for this fashionable illustrator. To see more of Hensler’s sophisticated illustrations go to




by Karol Banach

Karol Banach

Based in Poland, this illustrator is already going places. His works are a collection of colorful and playful patterns, with interesting and fun characters. He has collaborated with Newsweek, Costa Coffee, and Ikea. Looks like 2017 is looking very promising for Banach. 




by Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith

This Paris-based illustrator’s portfolio of wonderful portraits is gorgeous, pretty and divine. What makes Smith’s work even more unique are the gifs. The vibrant pastel colors give these illustrations a breath of freshness to it, with a hint of sophistication. To see more of her works, go to





Cool concept work by Michael Kutsche

Michael Kutsche

His works have garnered attention from the likes of Tim Burton and Sam Raimi. Looking at Kutsche’s imaginative and wow-inspired works, you can see why. His artistry has appeared in Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful, 2011’s Thor, and many others.  Want to see more?


Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed.














Featured & other works by Mariana Rodrigues, Anna Kovesces, Oscar Ramos, Andy Hau, Sonia Hensler, Karol Banach, Charlotte Smith, & Michael Kutsche.

Shadow Spotlight: Mario Testino

Shadow Spotlight: Mario Testino

May 15 / 17

Hello, hello…It’s time for Shadow Spotlight and this month we’re focusing on photographer Mario Testino.

The Observer Aaron Hicklin said that Testino is “the world’s most prolific magazine and fashion trade photographer.” He’s right about that!

Testino’s career as a fashion and portrait photographer has spoken volumes about his work. He’s worked with Kate Moss and other celebrities, but I’ll always remember the photos he took of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Testino’s portfolio of works has been featured in magazines such as Allure, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Vogue. He has also worked with fashion name brands like Burberry, Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Michael Kors, along with make-up giants Lancome, and Estee Lauder.

My favorite photo of the late Diana, Princess of Wales by Mario Testino.

Born in Peru, to an upper-class Catholic family, as a child Testino wanted to be a priest. He studied Economics at Universidad del Pacifico, followed by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru and then the University of San Diego. By 1976, Testino decided not to pursue international affairs and economics, he decided to study photography. During his apprenticeships with John Vickers and  Paul Nugent, Testino began taking his first step into the world of photography. During those early years, he supported himself by taking a job as a waiter.

1983 was the year Testino’s first work appeared in an issue of Vogue and his career has been on the go ever since. In over 40 years, Testino has worked with A-List celebrities, published over 20 books, solo exhibitions, and has received awards and accolades. He’s also worked as a creative director, museum founder, guest editor, art collector/ collaborator and entrepreneur.

Testino has worked with charitable organizations and non-profit causes. He was appointed The Grand Cross Order of Merit in his native country of Peru and in 2014, became a President of the Board of World Monuments Fund Peru.  He’s a man of many talents and his work will continue to inspire other photographers.

You can find more of his work at his website at

You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Hope you guys have a great Monday, be blessed.


Kate Moss by Mario Testino



Karlie Kloss by Mario Testino










William and Kate, Duke & Duchess of Cambridge by Mario Testino






















All photography by Mario Testino, featured image by Clios

Shadow Spotlight: Chance the Rapper

Shadow Spotlight: Chance the Rapper

April 10 / 17

Hello, everyone! It’s that time again for Shadow Spotlight and it’s on Chance the Rapper.

Born Chancelor Bennett, Chance the Rapper resume adds singer, songwriter record producer, and philanthropist.

Coming from Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of West Chatham, in 2011 the rapper recorded his first full-length mixtape, titled 10 Day or #10Day. This was recorded following a 10-day suspension during his senior year in high school for marijuana possession on campus. Even before the 10 Day was released, Chance was already getting recognition as one of Complex magazine’s ’10 New Chicago Rapper to Watch Out for’.  The mixtape was released in April 2012, which gained the one of Forbes magazine’s Cheap Tunes column. By July 2012, Chance appeared on Childish Gambino‘s single, ‘They Don’t Like Me’, from Gambino’s sixth mixtape titled Royalty.

Chance released his second mixtape, Acid Rap in April 2013. It was released as a free digital download and received accolades from Spin and Rolling Stone, and was nominated for Best Mixtape at the 2013 BET Music Awards.

His third mixtape, Coloring Book was released in May 2016 and was streamed exclusively on Apple Music. It also earned the rapper to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy.

Chance is also lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. They released the album titled, Surf in May 2015.

Here is an article I read from Quartz. Written by Amy X. Wang, Why Chance the Rapper-who just made Grammy history-gives his music away for free. It’s quite interesting. Is it the future of music? Maybe so.





Hope you enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!
























































































featured image by Brandon Breaux