6 Creatives You Need to Know

More than just journalists, photographers, artists, designers, and directors — creatives are doers who push the conversation forward.

We use our unique perspective to build a bridge between the past and present, catching nuances in the details.  

We’re eclectic. Vulnerable. Imaginative.

And while we are known for living within our own heads, being too hard on ourselves, and at times hoarding our work until it reaches perfection, it is the intense passion and drive that allows us to take an idea from a thought to something that you can feel.

In this post I highlight 6 Creatives whose work and spirit help keep me going. 

KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

DXR:  I think being a creative is what every person is alive to do. It seems to me that the way life is set up pushes us toward contributing something uniquely our own that comes from the core of who we are. For most people, that's probably children — which is cool. For others, though, it's ideas and tools and visuals and sounds and stories. Those people are creatives. 

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

DXR: I'm currently very inspired by Tristan Walker and what he's doing with Walker & Co. I think he's struck gold with Bevel and, more importantly, he has created something to service a need in society. There are so many other needs, but black men's grooming is a manageable and tangible piece. It just feels really good to see that brother delivering a solution to people and winning. 

fav work by dxr: 

Visit donovanxramsey.com for more goodness. 

Photos by  Noko Photo

Photos by Noko Photo

KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

N: Creativity is my outlet. Whether life gets colorful or complicated, I know being able to experiment with art, especially photography, will ultimately allow me to share my perspective. 

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

N: Currently, I'm super inspired by architecture. Recently I've been obsessed with looking for interesting places to dine or have coffee where I can get good vibes and aesthetic from the surroundings. 

fav work by nikky:

Visit nokophoto.com for more goodness


KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

ADU: To be creative means that you are using every single single aspect of your mind, body and soul to produce amazing content. As I grow as a creative individual I make sure that I am improving in all areas of creativity. I am hard on myself and my ideas when it comes to producing things. I always like to be ahead of the game when it comes to fonts, colors, videography, photography, fine art and any other field in which art plays a role. 

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

ADU: Life. This has always been my biggest inspiration. I don't take life lightly and I understand the value and beauty of it all, the up's and downs. 

fav work by ADU:

Visit Justin Adu Productions for more goodness.

She did not go to school for film or design, instead she was an English major. But there was always a fire burning, deep down inside, to pursue a career in film and art. Without a doubt, Shen always knew this was her calling. She just needed to figure out a way to get there: even when her parents pushed her to become a doctor or a lawyer. While in college, she began to answer her calling and turned to YouTube. Yes, you read that right. She taught herself how to do motion graphics and video production watching YouTube tutorials, and made a pretty successful career out of what she learned. What keeps her running: her passion. It still burns today. 

KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

SD: For me, its a sense of empowerment. I have total control of the outcome of each project I work on. I have to be willing to take risks and not let doubt get in my way. I have to fight for what I think is right not only for me, but in some cases for the client I am working with. Creatives see a world that others don't, and we have to be able to universally express those visuals by constantly changing our perspectives. I don't think non-creatives have to do that. 

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

SD: My mental state. As a creative, I tend to express in my work what is going on in my mind at the time. Sure it fluctuates, and it can change as frequently as every hour. But that's the beauty of it. 

fav work by shen:

Visit shendavis.com for more goodness.

B&W Photo by  Rambo

B&W Photo by Rambo

He's an artist for a living, primarily illustration and graphic design but has been creating more murals lately. Outside of that, he's founded his own clothing company, Fresh Kaufee, where he encourages folks to pursue their passions in the same vein as coffee provides that kick to your system; the shirts also smell like coffee.

KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

J: It's having the ability to make the best of any situation. From artistic to survival; a clever problem solver. 

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

J: My mother, she taught me "no days off". Music, I love how it compliments my creativity, and there's so much out there. Books too, I'm at a good stage in my life where no one's forcing me to read so I've been picking up more books as a result. The Measure of a Man and Hubert Harrison are my current reads. Lastly, myself, I'm inspiring the hell out of myself; you should too. 

fav work by joonbug:

Visit bugs87.com for more goodness.

KIE: What does it mean to be a creative?

AB: To be a creative is to live your truth, unapologetically. It's following your dreams while wearing your heart on your sleeve and knowing that failing (even if done publicly) is not the end of your journey, just the end of that chapter.

KIE: Who/what is currently inspiring you?

AB: Every young woman of color that walks into the Dinner Table space and is inspired and transformed by the experience. Especially the young woman who came into our Miseducation of Black Girls event and wrote this anonymous review:

After today's event, I would frame a picture of a 15 year old girl with an Afro standing on the globe. This image would represent that my black is beautiful and society would never tear me down. This event meant so much to me because silence was my loudest scream and The Dinner Table is now my voice. Thank you.

AB: No sis, thank you. I'm humbled and inspired by you. 


fav work by asha:

Visit Asha Kay B  on Instagram for more goodness.