Thomas Evans a.k.a. Detour

Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is a Denver-based creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals, portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that has shaped his landscapes and perspectives, examining the future of culture, music and society. 

“I always tell artists that we’re basically historians,” Detour told My Modern Met. “You can really tell what society was a thousand years ago based on the art that was created and the materials used and the subject matter.”

Detour’s vibrant portraiture has honored the lives of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as featured celebrities ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Erykah Badu—all with euphoric colors and striking detail. His work is an ongoing experimentation in visual art, music, and multi-sensory technologies like interactive paintings. The self-taught artist has been drawing his whole life and although he never attended art school, he does have an MBA in Marketing. This has no doubt helped him to navigate major partnerships with clients like Netflix, Red Bull Mountain Dew, the NBA, and General Motors.

With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist, to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation. 

You can check out his latest projects on Creatively here.

Portrait of the artist, Thomas Evans a.k.a. Detour.

What is the first creative project you remember?

The first major project that I remember participating in was painting a mural for my high school. This was the first time I was able to actually create a mural. This was in Ramstein, Germany. Our mascot was a Lion and we were called the Royals. It took myself and another fellow student about a week to complete. It was an interesting time because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing but it would lead to building confidence in my identity as an artist. 

Describe your aesthetic.

I would describe my aesthetics as being at the intersection of figurative community work and bright, bold expressions of color. Like any artist, my work and aesthetics evolve over time.

An original mural in Denver by Detour.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

One of the most fulfilling collaborations was my last exhibition. We needed to turn the space into a museum for an imaginary band in the future. It required a ton of different art pieces to be fabricated in different mediums. This allowed me the opportunity to work with several different artists specializing in several different mediums. I had to get everything from an electric motorcycle built to a 6-foot-tall harp fabricated from scratch. This experience taught me a lot about working with others.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

Creative projects that get me outside of the country really teach me about myself because it forces me to learn all new things. The residencies I participated in in France and Argentina taught me a lot about creative problem-solving. They both forced me to look inward when it came to my ideas about creating my own opportunities. 

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?

I think everyone is born with creativity because it’s all about creating new connections between ideas. Because everyone comes from different perspectives y’all have the opportunity to create new things. It is something that has to be nurtured as well. Those that nurture their creative process, through reading, learning, traveling, and other forms of exploring, have more opportunities to create unique perspectives that then lead to new and original ideas.

Thomas “Detour” Evans stands in front of his mural at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Photo by Chayce Lanphear.

What’s the last dream you had?

Unfortunately, I do not remember. I can’t recall the last dream I’ve had because it has been years. Hopefully that is not a bad thing. Lol!

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

It’s very hard to think about what will be relevant in 100 years. I hope that they will at least see how I tried to capture this time on Earth in a bottle. My wish is that they will  see and appreciate a colorful perspective of what was happening in our society. 

Follow @Detour on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

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Ashley Armitage

Ashley Armitage is a New York based filmmaker, photographer, and creative director with a quirky style and honest approach that has garnered worldwide attention. Whether it’s photographing  women combing their underarm hair or gorgeous pastel portraits of families, her work exudes candidness and brings an intimate, fresh approach to storytelling. Her photography is centered around reclaiming clichés and subverting the hyper-feminine image. 

Armitage catapulted herself into photography and directing at the young age of 15 after observing the lack of diversity and representation in the media. Her work, which helps to dismantle beauty standards, continues to push the boundaries of the expected and often out-dated ideals that society adheres to. 

Marrying impactful imagery with a progressive outlook, this Seattle native continues to inspire the next generation of female filmmakers through her commercial campaigns.  She’s worked with Nike, Gucci, and Nordstrom. Her ad for the razor brand Billie was the first ever to show women removing body hair.  

You can check out her latest projects on Creatively here.

What is the first creative project you remember?

Maybe not exactly the first but a notable early project was when I was in third grade. I had a role in a school play as a shark and had to make my own costume. So I recruited my grandpa and together we made this incredible cardboard shark head that fit over half of my body and left me pretty much unable to see. On the day of the play opening, I was going to be the best shark there ever was. It was my big break. When it was time I ran out onto stage and immediately collided into some sort of stage prop, fell over, and moderately injured my face. I haven’t acted in a play since.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Colorful, nostalgic, cinematic.

The Girl’s Room series by Ashley Armitage

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

One of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on was this commercial for a diaper brand called All Good. It was a nine-day shoot in Toronto and I just got to hang out with surprisingly chill babies all day.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

Two years ago I was brought on to direct Billie’s launch film called Project Body Hair. Before that I had only been a stills photographer and this was my first real motion job. On that day I very clearly remember thinking, “Yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”  That was the day I realized I definitely wanted to be a director. 

A still frame for Billie’s Project Body Hair, captured by Ashley Armitage. 

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught?

That’s hard to say! I kind of believe that anything can be taught if you’re put in the right circumstances and given the right opportunities. Like heck, maybe I’m a REALLY good chess player but I’ll just never know because I didn’t start young enough. Maybe I’m actually (secretly) a math prodigy!

I think the same goes for creativity, I bet there’s something innate that can’t be taught but I think so much of everything is nurture, not nature.

What’s the last dream you had?

Last night I had a dream that someone snuck into my bedroom and cut my hair as I slept (in my dream), and then I woke up (in my dream) and was kinda okay with it!

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I’m not really sure but I hope my work can serve as some sort of sweet time capsule for someone to stumble upon.

Alexis for Blume. Shot by Ashley Armitage on Pentax 67 on Portra 400.

Follow @AshleyArmitage on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

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April Walker

April Walker is the fashion game-changer and culture creator who inspired a lane. Her brand, Walker Wear, helped create the multi-billion dollar industry of urban menswear—or what’s known as streetwear today. 

Guided by the custom tailoring requests that poured into her Brooklyn boutique in the late 80s, she focused on fashion, fit, and function. Inspired by workwear, Walker was an innovator of the all-denim look, ushering in an era of contrast stitching, deep pockets and wide legs. 

“We were listening to this thing called hip hop that had just become mainstream,” she said in an interview with CFDA. “I’d like to call it the voice and generation of the unheard and at that time, it really brought in a spirit of entrepreneurship.” 

As the first woman to rise in this realm, she’s also one of the first to dominate it, securing celebrity endorsements from the likes of legends like Tupac, Method Man, Notorious B.I.G., Aaliyah, and even Beavis and Butt-Head. The lifestyle brand was one of the first to open distribution doors and command millions in sales, and it’s still thriving today. 

Walker has consulted for various brands, branched into online learning as a contributor to Parsons School of Design “Streetwear Essentials” course, and is the author of the book, Walkergems: Get Your A$% Off The Couch. She’s featured in the film “Fresh Dressed” (2015) and the award-winning Netflix documentary, “The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion” (2019).

You can check out her latest projects on Creatively here.

Meet April Walker, the visionary designer and cultural icon behind Walker Wear.

What is the first creative project you remember?

The first creative project I remember is making some artwork and a screen and then screen printing and selling them for the United States bicentennial with my dad. I was 10.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Left. Fly. Cool.

Walker Wear became the go-to label for hip hop artists and rappers like Tupac Shakur.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

The most fulfilling collaboration was with myself and God. [It was a] self-care project on getting to know myself and listening to that energy. It was understanding that I needed to shed to become and unlearn to learn.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

I remember going to the fashion district in high school and buying linen dresses wholesale and then selling them on pay day to the working women at their jobs. It taught me how to live in my discomfort zone, and once you push past that uncomfortable stage, you build your confidence. I also learned that you’ll never grow in a comfort zone.

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?

I think we all have creativity in us. It just may be gifted in different ways. Some of us are creative in financing and some are creative in art. Believing activates your creativity and then fostering that energy enables it.

April Walker launched Walker Wear out of her custom boutique in Brooklyn in 1988, becoming the first woman in the industry to carve her own lane in streetwear.

What’s the last dream you had?

I dreamed that I went to my niece’s school to complain about a teacher that was inappropriate and that there was a line of parents waiting to complain as well about the same teacher and incident.

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I hope that people write about me as a giver, a game-changer, and a woman who came, conquered, and created; [I want people to say] that I helped and empowered others towards their dreams, acting as a catalyst for positive change.

Follow @IamAprilWalkeron Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Samantha Gongol of Marian Hill

Samantha Gongol is the lead vocalist of the band Marian Hill, an American songwriting duo formed in 2013 with co-writer and producer Jeremy Lloyd. Together they’ve written songs that have garnered hundreds of millions of streams and views across multiple platforms, and have had songs synced across film and television.  

The long-time friends and collaborators starred opposite one another in their high school production of “The Music Man” as Marian Paroo and Harold Hill. While their band name may be a mashup of Broadway characters, their sound is leagues away from the whimsical show tune. 

Gongol’s sound is piercing and pure, soaring over hazy synthesizers and a deliberate backbeat. Billboard praised the band’s “signature dark pop production and jazz-inflected melodies,” while Mother Jones noted their “well-balanced tincture of electro-pop, old school jazz, and R&B that feels rebellious but controlled.”

Their song “Down” was featured in an Apple AirPods commercial in 2017, which landed them their first Top 40 hit. They have performed at festivals and headlined shows around the world, and have made several television appearances, from “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” to “Later… with Jools Holland.” 

They’re scheduled to release new music this year. You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.

Meet Samantha Gongol, lead vocalist of Marian Hill.

What is the first creative project you remember?

I’m sure if I dig through the recesses of my memory, there were a myriad of early creative projects. However, one that really sticks out to me, for some strange reason, was an invention fair in third grade. We had to invent a product, and I created a glow-in-the-dark balloon—which I thought was revolutionary at the time. Really bringing that extra pizazz to all the parties.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Magnificent, dazzling, resplendent. (Haha! Isn’t “resplendent” a great word?) 

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of talented people. But Marian Hill has, up until this point in my life, taken up the most creative space. Jeremy and I have been working on Marian Hill consistently since 2013.

Gongol, performing live and greeting fans with Marian Hill.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

Not to be a broken record, but Marian Hill has taught me more than I sometimes give it credit for. It’s been the defining project of the last eight years of our lives and I’m very grateful for it. I sometimes have friends and family remark that I’m “living the dream,” and while that’s often true, this business can also be really challenging. 2019 and 2020 were particularly difficult (2020 for obvious reasons!). 

Jeremy and I have been lucky to celebrate the highs, but we’ve also had to navigate the lows. And let me tell you, there are lots of them, haha. And while it’s amazing and necessary to enjoy the highs, the lows have been the real teachers. They’ve taught me the importance of listening to the power of my own voice. I know that sounds cliché, but when things are tough it’s really easy to let it consume you. No one can fight your battles for you, and I had to learn that often the hard way. 

2020 has also made me realize that I hate livestreams and they will never be a substitute for a live audience—not even close. Even when they’re unruly and talk through all the quiet moments, I love our fans so much. And like Tinkerbell I become starved for applause if I don’t receive it. I guess that’s problematic, if that’s a fundamental truth of mine. 

Gongol doing one of the things she loves most: performing in front of a live audience.

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught?

Both. I think everyone has the potential to be creative, but some are encouraged and allowed the time to flourish while others don’t get the chance. A great tragedy.

What’s the last dream you had?

Literal dream? I’ve had stressful COVID dreams lately about my life and it’s lack of forward progress. I’m trying to ignore them.

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

That we were resplendent! Haha! This question is also so hard to answer. I think all creatives want to be remembered as moving the conversation forward. Contributing to culture. Making the world a better place, even for just one person. 

In terms of live performance, I hope people say it was empowered and joyful. That they left feeling better than when they came. Maybe they were transfixed, brought into another world when they experienced our work. Even for just a moment in time. That we left a small yet bright and indelible mark in this vast and beautiful creative universe. 

[Laughs] Okay, I’m done! I barely know what I’m doing tomorrow and thinking too far into the future makes me really anxious. I literally can’t process one hundred years from now. I’m just trying to leave my house these days and imagine a pandemic free world—which is hopefully in the not too distant future.

Follow @MarianHill on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Galen Hooks

Galen Hooks is an L.A. native who has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades. With a unique artistic approach to dance and choreography, she’s created a style that is instantly recognizable and entirely individual. Her versatility and experience have rendered her one of the most respected and sought after performers of her generation.

Hooks is the mastermind behind scores of blockbuster music videos. She’s worked with over 50 artists, including Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Usher, Chris Brown, The Jonas Brothers, The Pussycat Dolls, Miley Cyrus, Rhianna, and Ne-Yo, just to name a few. Her mesmerizing YouTube tutorials have become a viral sensation with over 300 million views across social media. 

She’s modeled extensively for Nike‘s Dance and Sport Culture lines, including a two-page ad in Vogue. Hooks’ eye for crisp detail and storytelling that she breathes into every project, including her own self-produced, self-written, and self-directed short films. 

You can check out her latest projects on Creatively here

 Galen Hooks is a VMA-nominated choreographer and multi-hyphenate creative.

What is the first creative project you remember?

I started dancing and gymnastics when I was three, so I remember being in classes and moving to music at that age. Even though I was following a teacher, the creativity of interpreting music was so engaging—even at that age.

Describe your aesthetic/approach to dance in three words.

Personal, musical, storytelling.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

So many! Touring with Snoop, dancing at the Super Bowl with Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake, working on the entire Libra Scale album with Ne-Yo, three seasons of a show called THE LXD: Legion of Extraordinary Dancers on Hulu (with live performances at TED Talks, The Oscars, The Guggenheim Museum and so much more), every self-produced project I’ve done (“Campfire Vaudeville,” “There Once Was a Woman,” “Wait For Me,” “Tuesday,” all of which are on YouTube!).

“There Once Was a Woman,” is a musical written, produced, directed, composed, choreographed, styled, and edited by Galen Hooks.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

The 20-minute original musical I wrote, produced, directed, wrote original music for, composed, choreographed, styled, and edited, “There Once Was a Woman.” I had never written a script, never directed dialogue, never hired a crew that big; there were so many “firsts.” We shot about three days of material in about 10 hours. It was overly ambitious and I didn’t get key footage I needed.

I sat on the footage for months completely depressed. But I ended up editing the film (having never edited dialogue/acting scenes before) and I am so incredibly proud to have overcome the emotional hurdle (major depression) and creative hurdle (missing key footage) to create a film that I am extremely, extremely proud of.

It taught me the fundamental ability of problem-solving and solidified my love for filmmaking.

Hooks is an LA native who has been in the entertainment industry since she was seven years old.

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught?

Creativity doesn’t only relate to the arts—there is creativity in running a business, in marketing, even in planning what to make your kids for lunch. In any case, creativity has so much to do with being inventive, and being inventive is about thinking outside the box, which can absolutely be taught.

What’s the last dream you had?

It was actually incredibly sad! I dreamt my mom (who in real life is alive, in her 70’s, and is essentially my best friend), was no longer able to drive and was losing her motor skills. I’m hyper-aware of the mortality of my parents, family, husband, and friends—and I suppose it crept up in that dream! I’m sure 2020 was a great reminder for everyone reading this to cherish the people in your life, but in case you need it, consider this a reminder!

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

100 years is quite a ways into the future! To be honest, I’ve always thought it presumptuous to assume that anybody thinks/writes/talks about my work now, or that they will in the future.


If I had to hope for or pick one thing I’d like people to write about my work, it would be that I shared the joy of dance with people of all levels. That’s why I developed The Galen Hooks Method. We’ve had everyone from producers, recording artists, architects, animators, scientists, stylists. (For some, it was their first dance experience ever, so there is no level of beginner that is too inexperienced). The style of my choreography, the elements of storytelling, song choice, musicality, experimentation, acting, etc., have become a new way of approaching dance entirely, and because I plan to solidify this approach, I hope that in 100 years it’s something that can be written about in that context.

Follow @GalenHooks on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Derrick Ofosu Boateng

Derrick Ofosu Boateng is a photographer and digital artist based in Accra, Ghana. Inspired by the richness of everyday African life, his images are methodically concepted, transforming ordinary scenes with vibrant color-blocking. These soulful images are all shot on his iPhone and edited with Photoshop, Picsart, VSCO, and the internal iPhone image editing tool. 

Boateng wants to use his contemporary photography to change the world’s perception of Africa and its art, which is often viewed through a limited lens in film and media. Through his work he represents the beauty and visual poetry of everyday African culture, lifestyles and behaviors, thereby “changing the story that is told of Africa.” 

“Photography has always made me happy, since I was a child,” he said. “And now it means something important to me because it is the way I have to defend the idea that Africa is not just something negative.” 

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here. And tap on the “Black Creator Spotlight” at the top of your Discover feed to see all the incredible Black creators we’re showcasing this month!

What is the first creative project you remember?

The first picture I created after searching hard to find my preferred style in photography, which is colorblock. I did a picture called “Life is Like Riding a Bicycle.” That very image wasn’t staged and it was a little boy on a bicycle.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

I would say live, love, evolving.

“Color is a Power” by Boateng.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

For now, I would say the new one I just did with the phenomenal rapper Common. My images were used for his album covers.

Boateng created the cover image of rapper Common’s latest album, “A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1.”

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

I learn from each stage of life. Every project prepares me to be better for the future.

An original piece captured and edited by Boateng.

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?

I wasn’t taught to be a creative, or a photographer, or an artist. I feel it’s something that came naturally. I believe one works hard on something to become talented or creative in that field. 

What is your wildest dream?

That my art has brought love to different people with different cultures and backgrounds. It has inspired people and changed the negative attitudes towards Africa. 

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I would want my art to be remembered as spirit, truth, love, and happiness. How bravely I am fighting to change the mindset of people about Africa or Africans and promoting love among people.

Follow @DerrickOBoateng on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Coco & Breezy Dotson

Corianna and Brianna Dotson (better known as Coco and Breezy) are the style icons and creative geniuses behind their eponymous sunglasses line, founded when they were just 19. The twins are also music producers, DJs, and owners of a set of bespoke cottage rentals in the Catskill Mountains. 

The Minnesota natives got their start embellishing safety goggles with studs and spikes, DIY-style. They moved to New York City and launched the premium eyewear line that has been worn by icons like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Serena, and the late, great, superlative style icon Prince. 

They’ve partnered with brands that range from Twizzler to Samsung to Zenni Optical and—most importantly, at the age of 26—they’re writing their own rules for their brand. 

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here. And tap on the “Black Creator Spotlight” at the top of your Discover feed to see all the incredible Black creators we’re showcasing this month!

What is the first creative project you remember?

Our first creative project was when we were two years old. Our aunt tells us this story that every time she babysat us, she could never put us in front of the TV like other kids so she started to buy us bags of arts and crafts. But if we received the same bag with the same crafts, we would know and we would tell her so she had to mix them up to challenge us more. We always wanted to create something new. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Our aesthetic is unapologetic, effortless, and thoughtful. 

Meet Coco & Breezy Dotson.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?The most fulfilling collaboration was our partnership with Zenni Optical. It’s an eyewear collaboration called Planet CB x Zenni and we actually just launched in August. The reason why it was so fulfilling was because for almost 10 years, we said we would live on Planet CB in 2020 and then we—funny enough—launched Planet CB in 2020. We wanted to launch affordable glasses for kids that were stylish. What’s great is that a portion of Planet CB proceeds supports Child Mind Institute’s efforts to provide youth of Black communities with greater access to mental health services. 

Coco and Breezy partnered with Zenni Optical to create PlanetCB for kids. Each frame style is named with an affirmation, including I Am Positive, I Am Powerful, and I Am Strong.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

One creative project we did that taught us something fundamental was when we did the ‘third eye’ glasses for Prince. He taught us a lot about ourselves because during that time, we got to work with a legend. When he told us he wanted us to design glasses for his third eye, we were like: “How the hell are we going to do this?” This was a real challenge. Just being around someone that creative and that special was amazing. Even if an idea sounded unrealistic, he would just say it; being around him made us think bigger. 

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?

Coco: I think creativity is something you’re born with. And I think the beautiful part about creativity is that you don’t have to be artistic to be creative. I tell people who work in jobs that aren’t artistic like accountants that they are creative because they have to find creative ways to do things or creative strategies. That is really the definition of being creative. 

What’s the last dream you had?

Breezy: I just had a dream that Rihanna had a crush on me. She was flirting with me in front of everybody. [Laughs] I was like: “Are you sure you want to do this in public?”

Coco: I don’t remember my last one! Breezy writes her dreams down. 

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I hope people will write that they got the blueprint to be Black women entrepreneurs. Men aren’t often criticized for having multiple businesses but [according to society], women can’t handle it. If this is the Coco & Breezy blueprint, I want people to say, ‘If they did it, I can do it, too.’ 

Follow @CocoandBreezy on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Siobhan Bell 

At Creatively, our mission is to champion creative talent and help you achieve your  wildest ambitions—connecting you with work opportunities that help grow your careers. We know, however, that Black creatives are all too often underrepresented and underserved by the creative community. And when it comes to building a creative business, visibility matters. So all this #BlackHistoryMonth, we’re proud to put Black creators at the forefront of all our programming—from the teachers we feature as part of our #CreativelyClasses series to the creative work we spotlight on our social accounts, starting with the incomparable Siobhan Bell. 

Siobhan Bell is a London-born and raised DJ and producer who has become one of the fashion world’s most in-demand talents—both as a musician and a tastemaker.

Bell first got her start as an intern at Atlantic Records in the UK, and then started booking DJ sets in East London. In 2018, she hit it big with her official remix of MadeinTYO and A$AP Ferg’s “Ned Flanders,” which earned a premiere in Complex and was streamed 500,000 times. Now, Bell is considered one of the London greats, commanding sets on Boiler Room, a music broadcasting platform based in London, and appearing on lineups for major festivals alongside A$AP Mob, Migos, and Virgil Abloh. She’s even toured alongside WizKid and Megan Thee Stallion. 

Her skyrocketing popularity on the DJ circuit caught the attention of brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Miu Miu, and Nike, along with media outlets like Vogue and Complex—all of which booked Bell to DJ at major events. In 2019, Bell was featured in CR Fashion Book’s Class of 2019; and in 2020, she released her first fashion collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld—a project that managed to sell out even amidst a global pandemic. 

What’s next for the multi-hyphenate powerhouse? More music, of course. You can follow Siobhan Bell and check out her latest projects on Creatively here. And tap on the “Black Creator Spotlight” at the top of your Discover feed to see all the incredible Black creators we’re showcasing this month!

What is the first creative project you remember?

The first creative project I did was create a club night called Cherryade in East London. It was for me and my friends to have a place to have fun. I also used it to connect with other DJs from different parts of the world.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

“Globe trotter stylish” and “mini size fun.”

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?

The most fulfilling collaboration I have worked on was with the Karl Lagerfeld brand this past year. I DJ’d for Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion party in Paris in 2018 and that was such an honor. I have always wanted to grow into being a creative director or designer for a brand, and to now have a collaboration with one of the most legendary icons of fashion is a dream come true.

Siobhan Bell collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld on the release of the new KARL LAGERFELD X MUSIC collection.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?

My “Made in Tokyo” remix featuring A$AP Ferg. I did a club remix of the original song, and the remix process taught me how to put a track together, which helped me with my producing skills. You can listen to it here on Spotify. 

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught?

For me I can say It was something I was actually taught. In my Jamaican household, music is everything. I was introduced to many genres and sounds from an early age due to my parents being musically inclined. 

Siobhan Bell behind the DJ booth at XOYO in London during the Megan Thee Stallion tour.

What’s the last dream you had?

I dreamt I was in a supermarket shopping. It was unlimited food, but I had to wear a disguise. 

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I hope people say that I used my platform to bridge the gap between the US and the UK, and that my DJ career became a multifaceted brand. 

Siobhan Bell wears an oversized hoodie and shoulder bag from the KARL LAGERFELD X MUSIC collection.

Follow @SiobhanBell on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

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Noa Santos

Noa Santos was only 25 years old when he started the company that would transform his career: Homepolish. He’d been working with one of New York’s top interior designers when he came up with the idea for the business that would combine his passion for interior design with the technology he’d grown to admire while studying at Stanford University. After raising more than $30 million and building a business with over 12,000 clients—not to mention an online community in the millions—Santos closed the doors of Homepolish in 2019 and still considers “one of the best experiences of [his] life.” 

Now, Santos has launched what he describes as his “next chapter”: NAINOA, a new interior design firm that offers design service ranging from interiors to full-scale renovations. You can follow Noa Santos and check out his latest projects on Creatively here.

What is the first creative project you remember? 

I built a birdhouse in elementary school as a class project and I  remember being absolutely thrilled with it even though I don’t remember what it looked like exactly. I’m also relatively certain I cheated and got my grandpa’s help. But I recall vividly what it felt like to be building something as special and significant as a home. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words. 

Collected, not decorated. 

Interior designed by NAINOA Architecture and Interiors.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on? 

My partnership with my husband, Ross Matsubara (Vice President and Style Director at PR firm Nike Communications). There has been no collaboration as stimulating, challenging, or rewarding as that one.

Noa Santos (right) with his husband, Ross Matsubara.

    

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself? 

Designing our home in East Hampton has taught me the fundamental value of patience and how desperately little of it I have. A home, while it should look complete (and beautiful), is never truly finished. If you’re truly using it as a tool for living your life, it should evolve as you do—and that takes patience. But it’s been marvelous to see, in these uniquely challenging times, how important having a home you love truly is to the quality of your well-being. 

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught? 

For the lucky ones, I think being creative comes naturally. Personally, I have to work at it—to feed it and balance it against my naturally pragmatic sensibility. However that marriage, I believe, is what separates NAINOA and the work that we do. We aren’t artists creating freely without constraints. We are designers crafting solutions that address our clients’ unique and real challenges. 

Interior designed by NAINOA Architecture and Interiors.

What’s the last dream you had? 

I don’t dream. I fall asleep in five minutes and sleep like the dead. 

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

In one hundred years, I hope people write about how young I look despite all of the martinis—and how they can’t believe I’m still working. Otherwise, I’ll be dead so I guess I won’t care.

Follow @NoaSantos on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life

Emmanuel Sanchez Monsalve

Raised in Miami by Colombian immigrants, Emmanuel Sanchez Monsalve took his love of art, dance, and fashion to New York City in 2015 to build a career.

With a background in dance and experience in fashion—including an internship at Wilhemina Models—Monsalve cultivated a distinct photographic style, with an intuitive knack for casting and composition that emphasizes the human body. His images feel at once raw and intimate as well as slick and stylized.

Monsalve’s unique perspective has led to work shooting stories for major fashion publications like i-D, GQ, Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar, Document Journal, and Teen Vogue. Additionally, he’s worked with music artists like Bad Bunny and acclaimed designers like Oscar de la Renta and Christopher John Rogers. You can check out Monsalve’s latest projects on Creatively here

What is the first creative project you remember? 

I always used to paint when I was a child. My mom is one of twelve kids and her brothers are painters and sculptors; I’ve always been inspired by my uncles growing up. I remember drawing an older man from an art book once, and I remember everyone’s reaction. It made me feel good to think that I was continuing a legacy. I don’t paint as much now, but I use photography as a form of art. Does that count as my first creative project? [Laughs]

Describe your aesthetic in three words. 

Fluid. Mysterious. Intimate. My favorite thing is to push gender.  

“Space Cowboy” for Vogue Italia, photographed by Monsalve in 2019.

What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on? 

About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Tahiti with stylist Alexander Julian and my best friend, Lina Palacios. We had the honor to photograph  Nonahere (a Tahitian dance team) and two of Tahiti’s top models. That week, our producer, Manu de Schoenburg, took us all around the island of Papeete to location scout. It was the most magical adventure I’ve ever been on and to share it with my best friend was epic. I’ve realized that shooting real people in their own country and environment, as well as learning about their culture, is very fulfilling to me. I left that trip knowing that traveling and photographing culture will be one of my biggest priorities as a photographer.  

A feature for i-D, photographed by Monsalve.

What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself? 

This one project was one of my first international editorials shooting outside of the country. I worked with one of the grumpiest fashion editors I’ve ever met. She was very negative and patronizing. Unfortunately, I let her get the best of me, made me question myself, and brought out many insecurities during the shoot. But what I learned from this experience is to not let people’s energy affect you and your work. I had to learn about my self-worth, and this experience has made me stronger. I believe that I had to go through that to learn how to value myself and my career.

Do you think creativity is something you’re born with or something you’re taught? 

As humans, we’re curious. Through curiosity, we create, even without knowing. It can be both.

Fendi in Out Magazine, photographed by Monsalve in 2020. 

What’s the last dream you had? 

Lately, my dreams have been pretty dark, but I did have a positive one last week. I was in Colombia riding horses with my cousins. That’s actually one of my dreams: to own a farm in Pereira, Colombia.

One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?

I want people to see my work and feel inspired and moved. I want my platform to express all the types of beauty in our era, in our generation. That’s why I feel as though representation is the most important part for me.  I want to go deeper into my culture, for sure.

Follow @EmmanuelSMonsalve on Creatively.

Creatively is more than a platform—we’re a creative collective. 

Questions or feedback? Email us at feedback@creatively.life