Lexington artist Bianca Spriggs has been through some changes lately.
She turned 33 in September, and while there was some apprehension at leaving her 20s behind, Spriggs now sees the benefits that a few years bring.
"I was really scared of the 30s, and all my late 20-something friends are, like, terrified," she said in her studio at the Bread Box building on West Sixth Street. "But what they don't tell you is the confidence that comes with your 30s. You're out of this awkward sort of like quarter-life phase. You're just more secure and confident in your own voice, what you stand for and what you believe in as a person."
And there has been a physical transformation, too.
"I lost 100 pounds this year," said Spriggs, who suffered from gastric issues and had to stop eating chocolate and drinking coffee.
"I started walking because I read that it helps digestion. So I started with five minutes a day and I'm up to four miles at the Arboretum. It's the real Planet Fitness," said Spriggs who is now a vegan and eats gluten-free.
A transformed body has meant a different way of dressing. Her old clothes were literally falling off.
"So I've been all about lipsticks and the girly colors and the skinny jeans this year because I'm really discovering what my body looks like and what I feel like in clothes."
A Ph.D. candidate and teacher at the University of Kentucky as well as a writer who presents readings of her work, Spriggs needs a wardrobe that can take her from the office to the stage.
"I love Michelle Obama's style," she said. "So when I'm doing readings or workshops and teaching I probably channel a little more of her style."
For her performances, Spriggs prefers something with a little pop, such as a vibrant red lip or unique earrings.
"Before losing the weight I've been historically more conservative, but now it's like, whatever. Whatever I feel good in."
For her birthday party this year at Al's Bar, Spriggs invited everyone to channel Beyoncé. Is the singer a style inspiration?
"I've found that when I wanted to dress up like her and all my friends were dressing up like her, we all looked so good, but each in our own way," said Spriggs. "She's definitely more of an inspiration to me now in terms of just her fearlessness and her courage to try new things."
What she wore
Shirt: Kentucky For Kentucky "Y'All" sweatshirt, available for $50 at Kentuckyforkentucky.com.
Jeans: From Burlington Coat Factory.
Boots: Kamik boots from Amazon.com.
Lip color: Spriggs is a fan of red lips. She's wearing Nyx in Eden. "I'm obsessed with this color," she said.
Scarf: "I was looking for an oversize scarf that could double as a shawl but was also sort of channeling fall colors. So this was $10 on eBay."
Moisturizer: "I love coconut right now. No lotion I've ever used has ever come close to what coconut oil can do."
Body scrubs: Spriggs uses sugar scrubs for face, lips, elbows and knees. A current favorite is Tree Hut's mango scent from Kroger.