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Carle "Under5ive" Lewis leaves her mark on Milwaukee's arts and culture scene

A Milwaukee woman is making waves in the city’s arts and culture scene, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that transform poetry and lyrics into fashion statements.
Carle "Under5ive" Lewis
Posted at 3:06 PM, Aug 22, 2022

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee woman is making waves in the city’s arts and culture scene, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that transform poetry and lyrics into fashion statements.

“Everything I do, I try to create with purpose,” said Carle “Under5ive” Lewis.

Carle Lewis, known within the Milwaukee music and arts community as Under5ive, says she draws from her life experiences, both good and bad, when creating her work.

From lines on a page to a print on a shirt, Lewis says her means of expression came from within.

“That's how I got started is creating really for myself. I didn't create for other people. I started creating for myself, even when writing. It all stemmed from I wrote, really, to heal myself internally,” said Lewis.

Her mother died when she was young and for a long time, she says it clouded not only everything she did, but how she saw the world.

“I was the kind of person where I was happy on the outside, but I bottled a lot of things in. Once I started writing, I wrote poetry, everything of that nature. But, once I began to write and realize, ‘man I can write with meaning and purpose.’ I started writing down stuff that I wouldn't say and that I kept on the inside,” said Lewis.

From there, she says her creativity exploded, giving her the outlet she needed to find herself again.

Soon, she began working on songs like “Rise,” which led to performances showcasing her skills on the mic and her flow as an artist.

“It's what lives in my mind. It comes as I create,” said Lewis.

For her, the lyrics in her songs don’t just live on the page. A lot of times, they become the inspiration for pieces just like these.

“When I'm designing: did I put the visuals, am I putting the colors that in my mind invoke a certain emotion for me?” said Lewis.

As she continues on what she calls her journey, she says she has no plans of slowing down.

With this being a true passion project for her, the money that she makes is just, what she calls, a blessing.

“I don't expect people to appreciate what I’ve created. When people do I'm just really amazed. I'm like, ‘wow, it makes me feel good.’ So, I just want people to know, if you do decide to support me, just even by encouraging words, that's worth more than the money. If you don't purchase nothing, you know, even if you just talked to somebody else about what I do, that right there is just a blessing for me. Everything else is just the icing on the cake,” said Lewis.

If you would like to see more of Carle’s designs, as well as hear more of her original songs, visit her website here.

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