By Shanika P. Carter
From rap artist to author, Corey Blackman narrows down his talents and various roles down to simply being an artist. He says that he has always been writing and creating music that he turned into poetry. Now, Blackman has turned his writing into a children’s book – The Positive Power.
Blackman says that although he had worked on books as a graphic artist for other authors, he always wanted to do more; the pandemic made this goal a reality for him. “Like everyone else, there was something else I wanted to do, which was writing books.”
When 2023 came, Blackman, who had already created coloring and game activity books, started doing his research to become an author. What he eventually created sat on his desk for two months, until he came across an authors’ showcase and decided to move forward with self-publishing his book for release. He introduced his book at the recent 3rd Annual Black Authors Showcase sponsored by the Muskegon Young Black Professionals (MYBP) this past March.
The Positive Power, according to Blackman, is a series of short stories that he focuses on the message of listening to one’s inner voice. He says that books were how he got out and saw the world outside of his hometown of Muskegon Heights when he was growing up. “No matter what, you can have all the skills and smarts,” he says, “but if the inner voice isn’t telling you to do it, then it doesn’t count.”
The father of three sons – ages 14, 11, and 9 – Blackman also encourages the development and positive power of that inner voice, particularly in the youth, during this time of social media, where so many people are influenced by what they see.
Primarily a videographer in his main profession, which he has over 10 years of experience, Blackman says he learns as he goes along his journey. Before the videography, he began graphic design back in high school. He eventually attended Muskegon Community College where he earned a certificate.
Although he did not go away for a college degree, Blackman understands those taking that opportunity to pursue a degree. “I never thought I was going to college, never thought I had the opportunity,” he says, adding that he feels it is a big advantage for those offered the chance to go away. “I definitely think college has its advantages, but I don’t know-that wasn’t really my route.”
Blackman does advise those interested in entrepreneurship to educate themselves (even if that means reading or taking online classes), start planning out next steps, and creating a business plan. “Just get started.”
Whether he’s in graphics or illustration mode one moment, or as videographer or author the next, Blackman says people should not “box him” into only a few categories since he does so much professionally.
Blackman plans to create more books, including one book targeting young girls and a book for both boys and girls. Other creative projects in the works include documentaries, black-themed coloring books, comedy sketch books, and notebooks featuring black people on the cover.
During this creative journey, Blackman looks forward to meeting more new people from different backgrounds. “Seems like it’s going to be an amazing ride.”
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