When Sherlanda Telusmond isn’t studying the scientific chemistry of living systems, she’s doing hair in her bedroom, completing creative commissions, and hosting painting events for young women in her community.
Telusmond, known by her friends and customers as “Dada,” is a junior biochemistry student and entrepreneur at Florida A&M University. Currently creating acrylic paintings, clothing customizations and tattoo designs (among other things), she is nothing short of a jack-of-all-trades.
Telusmond was born on Dec. 21, 1999 in Fort Lauderdale. As a child, she often found herself drawn to the arts and everything right-brained, despite having dreams of being a doctor when she got older.
It was evident from a young age that she would be a multifaceted individual due to her love of the pursuit of knowledge.
“I was a curious child when I was growing up,” Telusmond said. “My nose was always stuffed in a book and having the opportunity to read as much as I did really piqued my determination to discover more.”
Although Telusmond always knew that attending college would come up somewhere along her life path, she wasn’t sure what to expect from the experience.
“Being a first generation college student that grew up in a traditionally Haitian household did not set detailed expectations for college for me,” Telusmond said. “All I knew was that I couldn’t fail and I had to graduate on time.”
Upon her arrival at FAMU, Telusmond quickly realized the importance of the connections that she could make at the university.
“I befriended some amazing and talented people on The Hill,” Telusmond said. “Seeing how diverse the school is along with the large pool of talent that encompasses it definitely acts as a fuel of inspiration to be great.”
On Feb. 8, Telusmond hosted her first “Paint and Sip” event at her house. Providing paint, canvases, brushes and inspiration, Telusmond brought together a group of young women to relax and create.
This was the first of many art-based events that Telusmond plans to hold for the young people in her community.
Chardine Thervil, a rising junior bio/pre-med student at FAMU who attended Telusmond’s event, felt that the occasion was a great opportunity for the attendees to explore their artistic sides.
“Sherlanda pulled the artist out of everyone that night,” Thervil said. “People that I didn’t even know could paint were giving me Picasso.”
Some attendees saw the event as much more than just an arts and crafts night. It was a chance for self expression.
Zharia White, a third year pre-nursing student at FAMU, felt that the event was a comfortable way for her to interact with and meet new people.
“Walking into Sherlanda’s Paint and Sip party felt like hanging out with a crew you never knew you needed,” White said. “I’m usually very shy but I quickly found things in common with the other girls and having an intimate group of people made it easier to be outgoing.”
Although Telusmond finds joy in inspiring others to create, her main source of motivation comes from her personal beliefs.
“God definitely has a plan for me,” Telusmond said. “It pushes me to never give up and to keep going because I know something great is coming later.”
Telusmond’s work can be viewed on her Instagram pages @HairByDadaaa and @Concepts2Canvases.