This #Pride, we were truly proud to showcase the incredible array of talented LGBTQIA+ creators on our platform and beyond, including Elizabeth Wirija. 

Elizabeth “Eli” Wirija is a photographer and director born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and currently based in New York. Pointing their lens in the direction of unapologetic truth and beauty, they are known for their keen ability to document and create rarefied worlds. 

Wirija picked up their first camera at age 15. After obtaining a B.F.A from School of Visual Arts, the graphic design major started freelancing for ad agencies but found photography more liberating and restorative. 

“At first, it was more nature and landscape-based, but I found that my true joy is photographing portraits. I always feel very grateful when someone trusts me to photograph them as it is a vulnerable process,” they told American Influencer Council.

Wirija documents narratives that inspire others and make the viewer feel something genuine, carrying a new story in every frame. Their work spans different avenues of the industry, from editorial, to documentary and commercial. Most recently, they photographed and directed a Pride campaign with Bob the Drag Queen for Coach. 

Other clients include Nike, Vice, Adidas Originals, WNBA, Atlantic Records, Microsoft, SSENSE, ASOS, Make Up For Ever and Barney’s New York. Their work has been published in British Vogue, Billboard, Vanity Fair, FADER, Refinery29, Fast Company, Paper, and Nylon.

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.  

Meet Indonesian director and photographer, Elizabeth Wirija.

What is the first creative project you remember?

Drawing whatever I imagined and coloring outside the lines. I used to draw on the walls and I would get in trouble. When I first picked up a camera, I was mesmerized. I remember vividly observing the world with a new set of eyes. When I was 14, I had a friend in high school who was making music at the time and creating bootleg CDs with his music on it, so we decided to make an album cover where we would print it out at the recreation center and fold it into the plastic CD cover with a tracklist and everything. We styled him in this colorful outfit and went around school at different locations and photographed him. It was so exciting and I remember sharing tons of laughter when I look back on the images. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Experimental. Freedom. Fun.

A campaign for Carrots x Footlocker, photographed by Wirija.

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

I have had the absolute honor of working with such great talent over the years and I appreciate every single collaboration as it takes trust, energy and passion to create something magical. One of the most fulfilling collaborations I’ve worked on is a story I photographed for an up-and-coming contemporary Indonesian magazine called Pears Mag that is due to be released this summer. It was documenting individuals with “unconventional” bodies who have altered their bodies to make it feel more like home. I found it was such a vulnerable process for each person to open up to me and tell me about their experience, whether it be top surgery, hormone replacement therapy or even heavy tattoos and piercings. The power to change our physical vessel to align more with the image of our soul or how we perceive ourselves is amazing to me.

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

Each project has taught me something about myself as I continue to expand and evolve. It is a splice of my future self embedded in the work that I slowly unveil. One project this year that reminded me of something I hold dear is the Carrots x Footlocker campaign lookbook I did. I got to build this narrative of kids ruling the world where adults don’t exist. There are no rules, there is freedom to be and create. It was cool to embody this through how they decorated their rooms or even at the dinner table, being able to play with your food and make these insane food sculptures. I revere the good memories of my childhood and this solidified the idea that I need to constantly take care of my inner child because that’s where my imagination comes from. That’s where all the wild ideas are stored, and that spirit of not giving a fuck and just doing stuff because it sounds fun is the best way to approach things.  

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

Creativity is a sense of awareness. How we as humans exist in this world is ultimately creative, if you ponder on it. In some ways, it is also a sensitivity. My sensitivity is the ability to observe what’s around me, then interpreting it through an abstract embodiment. There is an inherent baseline of creativity that lays dormant in every person, until we find forms or mediums to express it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, as the word itself means finding unconventional ways to solve dilemmas. In my mind, everyone possesses the seed of imagination, it is only a question of who will nurture it with the necessary exposure to sunlight (stimuli) and water. Some will let it stay the size of a sapling while others will take care of it sweetly until it blooms.  

Wirija captured this image of model Symone Lu for Vogue.

What’s the last dream you had?

The last one was kissing my crush (aha) and holding hands in a dimension that was so beautiful, it’s really difficult to explain. Although not the last dream I had, another one that is always implanted in my cognition is the time I lucid dreamed and was flying over a city that is a mix of old Manhattan and a new world. The grid system was very apparent; I didn’t have to avoid any buildings in the way because I had a way of passing through like I was a transparent spirit. The feeling that flying gave me was the highest form of freedom, I felt so detached to the physical with no worries holding me down–just the wind blowing in my face and this overwhelming emotion of lightlessness. 

An editorial moment captured by Wirija.   

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

I’ll be down to come back as a hologram once every other 100 years for a short 10 minute visit to communicate and connect with the new generation and project some of my life’s work. I hope that people can take a moment to stay in their present and appreciate my art, wonder at the beauty, and initiate some joy. 

I don’t need my art to immortalize me anymore, I used to desire it strongly but to me, after the realization that energy can never be destroyed, I’m more focused on how I make people feel in this current realm more than anything.   

Follow @e_wirija on Creatively] 

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

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

Duckie Confetti is a New York-based celebrity stylist and fashion designer known for creating theatrical and avant-garde looks. He’s the very definition of a trendsetter—producing gutsy pieces that sear fashion memory and inspire copycats to quickly attempt to follow suit.  

Take the luxe-fur-meets-casual-slides look, for example. Duckie was the original creator of the iconic fur slides (as seen on the Kardashians) before brands like Givenchy and Fendi dropped theirs. He introduced leopard print to men’s streetwear when he deconstructed a plain black hoodie for Meek Mill, replacing the sleeves with the animal print. 

Beyond fantastic fur, the eclectic Confetti Boutique includes bejeweled earmuffs, sequined jerseys, camo-print mesh bodysuits, and the iconic money-printed pajamas that Beyoncé wore in her epic visual album, “Black is King.”

Duckie wears many different hats and runs his growing empire to the beat of his own drums. 

Many designers tend to follow the fashion calendar, but Duckie’s approach is a bit unconventional. He releases his own men’s and womenswear capsule collections throughout the year—sporadically. They sell out in minutes.

Duckie has been featured in Vogue, Elle, and Bazaar among other publications. He’s worked with major artists like Cardi B, Amber Rose, Teyana Taylor, Fabolous, French Montana, Dej Loaf, Draya Michele, Meek Mill, and more. 

Ahead of the Juneteenth celebrations on Saturday, we asked Duckie about the meaning of the now-federal holiday, and discussed his portrayal of Black people as “successful, regal, and respected.” You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.  

Meet fashion designer and tastemaker, Duckie Confetti.

What is the first creative project you remember?

During highschool, [my first creative project was] making denim. I used to do studded, bleached, and rhinestone denim. It was my first creative project and I gained a lot of popularity from it. It’s what helped build my confidence to design.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Innovative. Bold. Confident. 

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

The Beyoncé collaboration was the most fulfilling for me because her team reached out to me—and of course, it wasn’t something that I had to be persuaded to do. It was really my wow moment and really an honor to be a part of it.

Beyoncé wore this custom Duckie Confetti design in a scene from her visual album, “Black is King.”

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

The custom piece that I did for Mary J. Blige for her tribute on BET. I got very little direction, they just gave me the specifics which were minimal and they didn’t bother me. In a sense it kind of scared me. Creating for someone so legendary, the pressure was on. I felt they really trusted me and that gave me more of a sense of confidence. They knew I was going to do a great job but it led to a lot of stress and pressure.

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

For me, it was something I was born with, I don’t know anything else. I think you can be taught creativity but I don’t think you will have the same passion as you would if you were born with it. When you’re born with it, that passion to create is endless. I’m creative in all aspects and it’s definitely something I was born with.

Mink purses designed by Duckie Confetti.

What’s the last dream you had?

I was on vacation and my friend stole my money. I don’t know why I had all of this money on me. There was so much money. I didn’t know exactly how much she stole from me. It felt so real, because in real life I really don’t like wallets.

What does Juneteenth mean to you and how will you be honoring it this weekend?

Juneteenth for me is about standing in my own Black excellence and being a representation, not only for my ancestors, but for who we are now as a proud, strong Black culture. It is important to show the world that as Black people we are not defined by just the negative aspects of our community, but that we can be successful, regal, respected, and lead with class no matter where we go or what we are doing. On Juneteenth I simply want to relax, reflect, and show up as the best version of myself!  

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

I hope people write that I always stayed on trend, that I was always innovative, and that I shook the era. I hope they say there was never a dull moment when he created and everything he created was timeless.  

Follow @duckieconfetti on Creatively

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

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

This #Pride, we’re truly proud to showcase the incredible array of talented LGBTQIA+ creators on our platform and beyond, starting with the photographer, Marcus Branch.

Marcus Branch is a Philadelphia-based photographer and artist whose work celebrates the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ experience, embraces inclusivity, and contributes a broadened perspective of underrepresented communities. His honest and reflective images honor Black joy, light, and celebration amidst the darkness. 

“I continue to preach about our capacity as humans, the power we possess and the ability to shape, challenge, and change the conversation,” Branch told Dazed

A renaissance man with an affinity for portraiture, Branch graduated from the University of the Arts in 2014 with a BFA in Photography. Along the way, he also served as a rehearsal director and principal dancer in a dance theater company, a practicing filmmaker, and an internationally published model and photographer. Branch willingly juggles his passions and exhibits commitment and an undeniable love for the act and impact of creation.

The photographer has been globally recognized, having worked with star talent such as Dominique Jackson of FX’s “Pose” (in which Branch himself makes a cameo in season 3!), Philip Lim, Yara Shahidi, Tina Knowles, and Ari Lennox. His work has been featured in publications like Interview Magazine, i-D, Dazed, Afropunk, Marie Claire, Polaroid Magazine, Gay Times Magazine, Caldera Magazine, The Tenth Magazine, Vice Austria, and Urban Outfitters.

Branch was notably awarded the Robert Mapplethorpe Award by Off the Wall Gallery and Deemed one of 12 Top Fashion Photographers of Philadelphia. 

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.  

Caption: Meet Marcus Branch, a photographer, performer and director celebrating BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ experiences.

What is the first creative project you remember?

The first creative project I can remember is a magazine and associated blogs that I created in 2009, titled SKLTN-M (short for “Skeleton Magazine”). I would document and interview unique and intriguing individuals in Philadelphia, sharing their story and taking a step into their world. It was a passion project that turned into one hell of a portfolio piece come college.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Honest, Reflective, and Celebratory. 

Photographed by Marcus Branch. 

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

The most fulfilling collaboration I have worked on was just weeks before we all went into quarantine in 2020. I was asked to photograph Dominique Jackson, an icon in the ballroom community and Mother Elektra on FX’s “Pose,” for Marie Claire. Not only was I photographing a woman that I truly admire, but I was also a part of a team that was made up of Black and Brown creatives and queers; everything about this shoot aligned with my creative intentions. Before I began shooting, I pulled Dominique to the side and asked if there were any angles that she’d like me to stay away from to flatter her best, and her response still sticks with me: “You are here to capture our truth, no restrictions necessary.” My heart exploded. 

The legendary Dominique Jackson for Marie Claire, photographed by Marcus Branch.

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

One creative project that taught me something fundamental about myself was a series I was commissioned to do for i-D magazine surrounding the 2020 election and (specifically) Pennsylvania’s democratic victory, and the youth that voted. I remember being entirely nervous for this shoot, innately. I had everything planned and lit, muses scheduled, assistants on hand, but I was still so nervous. I was nervous about the outcome and whether what was in my head would translate in the images, nervous about whether I organized this properly, if it would go as planned. 

I then realized as I began photographing that my nerves were being misunderstood and misplaced. My nerves were coming from a place of fear, a fear of failing or letting down those involved. I don’t like to live in or through fear, but in and through love. I learned just how capable I am, even in the thick of doubt, to cultivate and organize a space of love, reflection, and honesty. 

“Leading a Pathway to Change: Young Voters of PA on Changing the State Blue,” photographed by Marcus Branch for i-D.

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

I believe creativity is something that everyone is born with, it’s just a matter of who decides to exercise it.

What’s the last dream you had?

The last dream that I had, that I can remember, is in shambles, almost like a movie trailer. I remember small parts, like vignettes. My dreams as of late have involved adventure, a lot of adventure. They have also involved forms of “the end.” Not just natural disaster, rapture-like forms of “the end,” but terroristic, government-issued attacks. I’m talking helicopters, dropped bombs, and civil hysteria. It’s very cinematic, and dark at times. But hey, you asked. 

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

One hundred years from now, I hope people write the truth. I obviously can’t dictate what will or would be written but I hope that it’s honest, reflective, and celebratory. I hope that they write that my work has contributed to dismantling toxic masculinity, celebrated the marginalized, gave light and voice to the unseen and unheard, and that it honestly reflected the times from my perspective. 

Follow @marcusbranch on Creatively

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

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

When it comes to building a creative career, we know visibility matters. This past month, we were proud to put AAPI creators at the forefront of all our programming—from the teachers we featured as part of our #CreativelyClasses series to the creative work we showcased on our social accounts. We’re honored to close this powerful month with creative powerhouse, Puno. 

Jennifer Puno (better known as Puno or on Instagram as @punodostres) is a UX designer, creative director, digital entrepreneur, and the founder of ilovecreatives, a platform connecting fellow creative “slashies” with digital courses, resources, and a community of like-minded freelancers. The L.A. based art director and branding whiz is also the host of Girlboss Radio, the go-to podcast for stories about women redefining success on their own terms. 

As a multifaceted creative with an enduring passion for learning from and connecting with the world around her, Puno has bridged the gap between technology and creativity to create a number of businesses that provide both inspiration and opportunities for those around the globe. She does it with style and cheer, calling her hybrid pedagogy, “edu-tainment.”

Puno lives for those who are also living that “slashie” life—a term she uses to describe folks that embrace doing multiple things all at once. With speaking appearances at SXSW, Squarespace, Create + Cultivate, and General Assembly, her creative capital is widely revered and recognized. 

When she’s not helping other entrepreneurs stack their digital skills, you can find Puno creating highly elaborate photoshoots with her cat, Muad’dib—a feline influencer in her own right.

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

Caption: Meet digital entrepreneur, creative director, podcast host, and all around creative – Puno (aka @punodostres).

What is the first creative project you remember?

I think I was 11, but I had written a story called, “The Tortoise and the Teenage Mutant Rabbits,” or something like that. 😂. It was a version of “The Tortoise and The Hare,” but Nickelodeon style. I was born in 1984, heh. 

I loved being on the computer but at the time, AOL was charging hourly (right?!) for the internet and there’s not much to do after you beat Carmen San Diego for the 10th time. I remember how scary a blank page was, but also I loved… typing? Who doesn’t like pressing buttons! It was quite a few pages, and I really surprised myself that I was able to finish it. 

Unfortunately, I showed it to someone and they told me it sounded really childish. At the time, that seemed like a bad thing so I didn’t write again until I was in college and made my first html webpage. Another blank page strikes again!

Since then, and especially at ilovecreatives, I’ve embraced that I am a childish, goofy, simple writer. It’s a bummer that I lost all those years of writing, so I really take the time to give people encouraging advice. But I also believe in opinions and finding your audience. I don’t want to be blanket sunshine. If I have an opinion, I just say that it’s my perspective and it’s subjective. Do you

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Fun, quick, off. 

Caption: Puno and Muad’Dib, also known as @muaddibthecat, serving looks. Puno regularly creates beautiful and ornate sets for her feline friend’s buzzy portraits.

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

Building a life with my husband. This is the most important relationship in my life and it’s wild that we weaved work into it, too.

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

Our Squarespace design course. I realized that I love teaching and getting people excited about their potential. 

Caption: Puno founded www.ilovecreatives.com which provides resources and a community that celebrates being a multi-hyphenate (or being a “slashie”).

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

Neither, it’s a process. 

What’s the last dream you had?

I had an animated talk show like “Space Ghost” meets “Clarissa Explains It All.” 

Caption: Puno is the newest host of Girlboss Radio, a podcast with a mission to “delight your minds and ears with stories that redefine success.” 

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

Oh wow, 100! Hmm… “It made me smile.”  

Follow @punodostres on Creatively]

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

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

When it comes to building a creative career, we know visibility matters. So all this AAPI Heritage Month, we’re proud to put AAPI 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, including the amazing R. Kikuo Johnson. 

R. Kikuo Johnson is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and educator based in Brooklyn. His award-winning drawings and stories have appeared on book jackets and skateboard decks, in an array of editorial publications, and on the cover of The New Yorker

Johnson grew up in rural Maui, Hawaii, where he spent a lot of time exploring the woods, climbing trees, devouring comic books, and creating his own. He’s since traded ink for pixels’ his signature palette often bearing graphic pops of inky blacks and all shades of blue. Johnson’s birthplace has often played a muse to his professional work—his forthcoming graphic novella, “No One Else,” is a family drama set on the island of Maui. 

His first big breaks took a little bit of luck and a lot of hustle. Johnson cold-called a legendary comics publisher and pitched what became his first graphic novel. He spent weeks sending a spec comic strip to every magazine art director he could find an email address for, and landed a gig for The New Yorker. His contributions to The New Yorker have ranged from full-page artwork of notables like pop princess Lorde, to a fitness-themed comic strip series, to the ultimate crown jewel: cover illustrations.

The prolific illustrator also teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. His portfolio of projects range from designing wrapping paper to labels of local coffee roasters. Clients include Airbnb, Apple, The Atlantic, ESPN, The Guggenheim Foundation, GQ, The New York Times, Nickelodeon, and Nike among others. 

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

Meet illustrator and cartoonist, R. Kikuo Johnson.

What is the first creative project you remember?

I wrote and drew 25 issues of a superhero comic book unironically titled, “Windman,” when I was eight years old. I’m 40 now, and I still wish I could just draw comics all day. My newest graphic novel, No One Else, is due out in November.  

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Narrative, naturalistic, cartoony.

Johnson’s debut graphic novel, “Night Fisher,” is a coming of age drama set in Hawaii. The award-winning book will be rereleased in hardcover with retouched drawings in honor of its 15th anniversary this October. 

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

Drawing covers for The New Yorker is the most fulfilling. Most jobs in the field of illustration involve articulating someone else’s ideas, but The New Yorker cover offers a very rare opportunity for illustrators to express their own ideas on a highly visible platform. The magazine’s Art Editor, Françoise Mouly, is a brilliant teacher and collaborator. Somehow, she manages to make the illustrations better and helps me sharpen my own voice at the same time.

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

My last cover for The New Yorker changed me in ways I did not expect. I used to think my ultimate career goal was to tell the stories that I want to tell. When I was tasked with drawing a response to the wave of Anti-Asian violence in America, I felt immense pressure to try to give voice to others. I’m embarrassed to admit that it was the first time I felt that impulse at my drawing table.

Johnson’s striking cover illustration for “The New Yorker” was his creative response to the wave of Anti-Asian violence in America.

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

I think I was probably born with an attraction to drawings and the patience to sit and draw for hours. That combination of attraction and patience seems like it’s the recipe for “creativity.”  

What’s the last dream you had?

I’m always dreaming of Maui, the place where I grew up, and my friends and family there.

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

“It’s so hard to relate to this 21st century drivel now that we live in a sustainable global utopia.”

Follow @RKikuoJohnson on Creatively

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

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

When it comes to building a creative career, we know visibility matters. So all this AAPI Heritage Month, we’re proud to put AAPI 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, including the incredibly talented Jeremy Nguyen.

Jeremy Nguyen is an illustrator, humor writer, and cartoonist based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been featured in magazines like The New Yorker and several books, board games, and hotels around the country. 

The Savannah College of Art and Design grad moved to Bushwick in 2011 to pursue a stand-up comedy career and honed his humor with a comic strip called “Stranger Than Bushwick,” which poked fun at his gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood.

Nguyen’s sharp wit and whimsical humor gained a following and he broke through as a cartoonist for the New Yorker in 2017. He’s called their single-panel toons “the original memes.” Nguyen, who has described himself as a writer first and an artist second, finds inspiration from the world around him—jotting down dialogue he overhears in diners and coffee shops, then sketching and marrying wordplay with the art. The end result could essentially be considered an illustrated standup routine. 

In recent years Nguyen has co-produced a monthly comics reading series called “Panels to the People,” and has occasionally made appearances at live comedy shows, conventions, and other special events. 
You can check out their latest projects on Creatively [here]. And tap on the “AAPI Creator Spotlight” at the top of your Discover feed to see all the incredible AAPI creators we’re showcasing this month!

Meet cartoonist, illustrator, and humor writer, Jeremy Nguyen.

What is the first creative project you remember?

As kids, my brother and I would construct these really cool original Lego sets. We basically had a formula of creating five floors of a tree fort for our archers and knights to guard. As I would get older, I’d try to go taller and taller incorporating new Legos we got that year, without losing aesthetic and function. It got weird though, since we’d be forced to mix in weirder sets, and all of a sudden our cowboys are working hand in hand with our pirates to defend the fort from incoming dragons and Bionicles. Actually, that’d make a good cartoon…

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Funny, modern, traditional.

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

My best friend from college and I made a board game in 2019 called Santa Monica. I flew out to Santa Monica and walked the boardwalk while I took a ton of pictures and made a billion observations. We stayed in a house for a week just living this board game. I was busy drawing buildings and beach activities while he refined gameplay with play-testers. And we’d hang out and joke like we did when we were in college. It was a really special week that flew by and it’s so cool to see a fully printed and playable board game as the result of it. It’s also nominated for a Golden Geek Award for Game of the Year!

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

I gave myself projects when I left college, like creating art for Tumblr. And I learned that I am fundamentally bad at making fan art. I felt desperate trying to play in that world, making art for likes. I have love for all the comics I read, TV shows I watch, but I just couldn’t channel any of that into creating fan interpretations of it. 

Props to people who do, fan art can be a great way to figure out your craft. But for me, I was always interested in making original stuff, dreaming that something I created would get other people to make fan art of. I eventually found my way back because New Yorker cartoons came from all those things I love. I stuck J. Jonah Jameson into a cartoon, my favorite Spider-Man character!

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

Creativity is like any muscle. You can be born with better genes, but you can train yourself to be just as strong as anyone. 

What’s the last dream you had?

Oh, I hate questions like these. I always forget dreams I just had, or just told someone, but I think I had a dream where Julia Louis-Dreyfuss was my mother? Or maybe I watched a ton of Veep recently and Selena Mayer creeped into my head to yell at me for something. In any case, I need to see a therapist and see what this means. My mother is not nice.

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

I’d love my cartoons to still be relevant in a hundred years. But I’m also realistic that humor will evolve and my cartoons will make no sense to that generation’s idea of what’s funny. Pandas might be extinct then and then all my panda cartoons featuring living pandas will be extremely offensive. But, I’d rather they say nothing about my work if they say I was a nice person. Or hot. 

Follow @JeremyNguyen on Creatively

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

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

When it comes to building a creative career, we know visibility matters. So all this AAPI Heritage Month, we’re proud to put AAPI 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 Tiger.

Tiger is a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist and entrepreneur known for setting  looks that capture a vibe. His power ponytails, tousled top knots, and effortless “I woke up like this” tresses have established his rightful place in the industry. 

Finding his flow styling hair was no accident—his grandfather was also a celebrity hairstylist in Hawaii. And young Tiger, who is of Filipino descent, began styling his mother and his sister’s hair when he was just nine years old. 

From there, the budding hair guru became his own muse—rocking wigs, changing up his hair color, and installing his own waist-long braids. Tiger would get stopped on the street by passersby who had one question: who did your hair? Many were shocked that it was him. From there, he decided to hone his skills, pursuing a professional hairstyling career and obtaining his cosmetology license in 2011.

Tiger’s career began at a Drybar salon in L.A. but things really took off when he joined the cast of “LA Hair” Season 6 on WE TV in 2016. His hard work, creative stylings, and free spirit caught the attention of many within the entertainment industry and he began creating looks for celebrities like Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger, Mel B, Christina Milian, Blac Chyna, Tamar Braxton, Karrueche Tran, and Cassie to name a few.

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

Meet Tiger, a Hawaii-born and now LA-based celebrity hairstylist.

What is the first creative project you remember?

My first creative project with hair that I remember was a hair competition. Our objective was to create a hairstyle that revolved around swirls. So I made a huge headpiece with lots of swirls and curls in it, but I also made a full-on dress out of hair that matched the headpiece—just as a flex. I’m really into fashion, so I wanted to connect the whole thing together and it turned out super dope. And of course, I won.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

My aesthetic in three words would be cultured, chill, clean.

Singer and actress, Cassie, is one of Tiger’s long-standing clients.

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

One of the most fulfilling creative collaborations that I’ve worked on is a collaboration with a dear friend of mine, Michael Mann, a wardrobe stylist. He commissioned me to do a maternity shoot with a celebrity, Draya Michelle, and it was the first time I had worked on a shoot. The outcome was just so amazing—how we were able to just portray everything that she was emitting at that time from her beautiful pregnancy and her glow to her fun, youthful-yet-sexy spirit, all through the styling of the wardrobe and the hair and makeup. And she just looked completely beautiful. From that moment on I was super-hooked on being able to capture moments like that through creative photoshoots.

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

A creative project that taught me something fundamental about myself was a recent campaign that I was hired for to do men’s braids and haircuts, which isn’t my usual thing that I’m booked on photo shoots for doing, but I do dabble in that with my everyday clients. Someone happened to know that I’ve dabbled in braids so they reached out [to book me]. I went on set and did my braids and haircuts and the photo shoot turned out amazing. It taught me that I definitely have a lot of well-rounded talents that I should be using a lot more to my advantage and it also gave me a little confidence boost to show more of that skill set.

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

I think that creativity is something that we are definitely born with but I also strongly believe that it is something that can be and should be nourished. When someone takes full control of their creativity and isn’t limited by external boundaries, the possibilities are endless.

A photoshoot with the iconic Mariah Carey, featuring hair by Tiger.

What’s the last dream you had?

It’s hard for me to remember dreams specifically, but I do know that I have been having a lot of dreams about the plans that I have for the moves I want to make in my future, and I think that is a really good sign.

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

100 years from now I would want people to describe my work as simply fearless.

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

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

LOWFIELD is a Los Angeles based photography team composed of Sarah Barlow and Stephen Schofield. Combining their sensibilities in documentary, editorial, and dark-edge, they create imagery and motion through a variety of digital and analog formats. 

The duo originally met and started collaborating in Nashville, Tennessee, where their first major job was Taylor Swift’s “Red” album (2012). Soon after, LOWFIELD began working with artists like Pharrell, Halsey, Meghan Trainor, and Hailee Steineld among others. 

In 2014, Barlow and Schofield decided to relocate to Los Angeles, CA, to be closer to their management and clients. During this time, they collaborated once again with Taylor Swift, producing the iconic polaroid shot that covered her “1989” album (2014). They also began a working relationship with Hollister, the global retail company owned by Abercrombie & Fitch.

Currently, LOWFIELD continues working within both the music and fashion industries. Schofield creates music and sound design for television and film with his music production team 528XO, for clients like The Kooples, DSW, and Tommy Hilfiger. Barlow, along with her two cousins, currently hosts a self-improvement podcast called, “Somewhere In The Between.”

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.

What is the first creative project you remember?

Stephen: The first creative project that comes to mind would probably be around 2012 in Nashville. Sarah and I had just started collaborating and did a test for a local agency. We had zero styling/hair/make-up [on-set], nor did we have any photo support (digital, lighting, camera assistant, etc.) at that time. 

All we knew at the time was that we wanted to create something that said something visually as well as thematically. The location was in this huge metal scrap yard and we spent all day sneaking around shooting our model interacting with twisted metal formations. I don’t believe we even published the story, however the journey from start to end, concept to completion was a very exciting process for the two of us.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Underexposed, evolving, nostalgic.

Taylor Swift’s 1989 album cover, photographed by LOWFIELD.

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

We are currently in the middle—well, actually the beginning—of a personal project titled “Modern Raphaelites” where we explore evolving roles and identities of masculinity and femininity in modern society, all paletted in a sort of Rosetti/Waterhouse way. So far, the images we have captured feel the most honest and exciting to us and the subjects feel the most inspiring to our own personal tastes. We will probably continue to shoot and collaborate with various models and photo teams for another year before we edit our work into something ready to show.

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

Every single one. Each time we shoot there is always a new problem to solve, personality to learn, and a new way to depict what we’re trying to say. We are determined to never arrive and thus constantly learning new particularities which helps keep our creativity alive.

An intimate fashion editorial shot by LOWFIELD.

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

Both. Taste and identity, however, are way more difficult to attain. There’s a reason why when you see a Sally Mann or Tim Walker or even a Roversi you easily can tell whose work it is. Creativity needs to be personally challenged and cultivated constantly.

Tyga for Flaunt Magazine, photographed by LOWFIELD.

What’s the last dream you had?

Stephen: I was in an abandoned house and a cluster of black widows started chasing me. Seems pretty on-brand.

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

Stephen: Hopefully our work still reads as “current” and “exciting” because that really shows the work has stood the test of time. I still reference [Steven] Meisel’s 1992 Marc Jacobs shoot with Kristen McMenamy, Nadja Auermann, and Naomi Campbell and feel that it still looks current and exciting. It’s not 100 years old yet… but still, it is almost 30 years old…so what’s another 70 years of grunge soaked nostalgia? 

Maybe it, along with our work, will be transformed into a hologram 100 years from now.

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

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

Kathrin Marchenko

Kathrin Marchenko is a textile artist and designer specializing in custom embroidery masterpieces. Her divine signature stitch is akin to a gestural drawing, the energy and emotion of each stroke evident in the stunning details of her threaded portraits and anatomical studies. These celestial designs are embroidered into transparent tulle fabric and seized by a wooden hoop, giving each piece a 3D effect.  

Born in Moscow, Marchenko studied and grew up in a small but cozy city in the Kharkov region of Ukraine. After admiring embroidered dresses from designers like Valentino, Elie Saab, and Dior, Marchenko was inspired to create an embroidered tulle blouse for a sewing course in 2016. She was hooked. The following year she took an embroidery course at Ecole Lesage School in Paris. 

Marchenko’s elegant fashion pieces conjure images of a vibrant fairytale. Feather-light tulle gloves look like translucent wings, flecked with Swarovski crystals. Brightly colored pheasants embroidered on a black tulle bodysuit show a more playful side. Beyond embroidery, Marchenko also creates resin art studded with dried flowers or speckled with gold leaf.

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.

Meet Kathrin Marchenko.

What is the first creative project you remember?

At the age of 15, I was given paint to paint on ceramics, on vases and saucers. They, of course, did not find applications, but I really liked to mix a lot of shades and watch them frosting, they turned into bizarre shapes. 

I think, from that moment, I had a great desire to work with color, and over time this desire found itself in embroidery. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Expression, sensuality, meditation.

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

The project I had with Gigi Hadid and V Magazine. We worked together for V Magazine’s Gigi Journal Part II. I expressed the theme of quarantine through a girl in a mask. She can be anyone—a doctor, a nurse, an artist, an ordinary passerby. In a pandemic, we are all equal, and each of us wears a mask or other personal protective equipment for global security.

 “The Flowering of The Soul.” Marchenko uses tulle, cotton thread, and a wooden hoop in this original work depicting a girl in a mask.

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

The set of works, “Touché Amore,” has shown my unconscious fear of love, of feeling anything. I had no plan before working on this project, but that’s how it turned for me.

Touche Amore, Piece III. Embroidery on hand-painted silk organza.

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

I think creativity is symbiotic, something with which you are born and it never leaves you. You see the world in this special, creative way and it has an impact on everything you do.

What’s the last dream you had?

A dream about free borders between our countries. My grandpa lives in Ukraine, while I live in Moscow, Russia. It’s really hard nowadays to see the people you love. So I hope one day all over the world people will have this opportunity to be near those they value and love. 

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

I hope that people will say that my works were sincere, done with honesty. That I expressed my feelings—good or bad—with my work, and that I wanted to make the world a little bit better with my art.

Follow @KathrinMarchenko on Creatively.

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

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

Carlotta Kohl

Carlotta Kohl is a German born, New York raised photographer, artist, and model. Kohl’s work deals with ideas of female sexuality and identity. Her aesthetic demonstrates that what may appear to be soft, innocent, and candy-colored on the surface can nurture deeper observations, revealing emotionally charged themes about the female experience. 

With a photo degree from School of Visual Arts, her photography work includes editorials in magazines like L’Officiel Paris, Hommes, Singapore, Numero Tokyo, Playboy, and So it Goes. In addition, Kohl has worked on special projects with brands like Miu Miu, Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, and Tiffany and Co. The gifted photographer has also spent time in front of the lens. Represented by Elite Model Management, Kohl made her runway debut in Milan, modeling for MaxMara and Alberta Ferretti. 

Kohl’s encaustic works, sculptures and fine art photo works have appeared in various galleries in Paris, New York, and California. Her work can also be found in “Babe,” a collection of work by young female artists. 

Kohl’s credits include design and film; she recently directed the music video for “Chinatown” (featuring Bruce Springsteen) by the band Bleachers and she’s currently working on a photo documentary about the lives of four teenage girls. 

You can check out her latest projects on Creatively here.

What is the first creative project you remember?

I very clearly remember meticulously making imprints. I must have learned it in school or something, but I remember this really nagging feeling that I had to “document” these things because they were important. 

Elite SS19 x Polaroid Show Package, taken by and of Kohl.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Nostalgic, melancholic, dreamscape.

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

It’s the one I’m working on now. I’m following a group of teenage girls and documenting them as they grow up in New York. I spotted them in the summer of 2019 on the street in the Lower East Side and I was enamored.  

Kohl’s signature melancholic and nostalgic approach to photography embodied here for Rachel Antonoff’s SS20 Lookbook.

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

Honestly again, it’s the project I’m working on now. I really didn’t know how important it is/was for me to work on something that’s real and something that I’ve been through. It’s heartbreaking and healing going back to a time that is actually the root/basis of my work. 

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

I think true creativity is something you’re born with. But I think people pigeonhole what creativity is. There’s a huge spectrum and it can transcend many different fields.

“Golden Eye” for So It Goes Magazine, shot by Kohl.

What’s the last dream you had?

Probably a nightmare. I’m so used to it though, that they’re just dreams now. And they’re also so ridiculously decodable—it’s almost painfully cliché. 

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

That’s not for me to figure out.

Follow @CarlottaKohl on Creatively.

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

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