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.

Follow @Tiger on Creatively

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.

Follow @LOWFIELD on Creatively.

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

KidSuper

Colm Dillane a.k.a. KidSuper is a New York designer whose boundless creativity can’t be contained in a single tag. His creative collective of people, ideas, and mediums not only makes clothing but also produces films, art shows, and music videos. 

It all started when Dillane, the son of a Spanish artist and an Irish fisherman, launched a t-shirt company with his friends, screen printing the goods in his parent’s basement and selling them out of his high school cafeteria. In college, the NYU sophomore expanded his grassroots operations, converting his dorm room into a shop and selling his KidSuper branded clothing to fellow undergrads. It didn’t take long for the fresh streetwear brand to take off.  

KidSuper the brand (and KidSuper the guy) now live and breathe at the cross-section of high fashion, music, and art. Some statement pieces look as if they were ripped directly from an abstract painter’s raw canvas or sketchbook. The label is known for bold patterns, wild graphics, and whimsical designs. Take a denim work jacket constructed like a piece of folk art—each color of the farm landscape patched together with separate pieces of fabric. Or an oversized coat completely covered by the faces of two people kissing but with the KidSuper twist; the jacket opens up on the kiss. 

Always innovating, for Paris Fashion Week Dillane embraced the digital event with a stop motion animation catwalk of his Spring/Summer 2021 collection. He’s expanded his fashion kingdom, attaining cult status by creating statement pieces that have attracted co-signs from culture hounds like Lil Baby, Young Thug, and Gunna and locked deals with major brands like Nike and Puma. 

You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.

Colm Dillane a.k.a. KidSuper in his Brooklyn storefront and studio.

What is the first creative project you remember?

Wow, that’s a hard one. I grew up with a mother who was an artsy-type. So every morning or everyday after school, I would come home to a project that she made up. In first grade for Valentine’s Day, we hand stamped cards with potatoes for everybody in the class. I remember so many projects, videos, and silly things. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Fun. Vibrant…and…hodgepodge? Yeah, that’s probably not good to say that. Let’s try another word instead of hodgepodge. Ambitious. [Laughs]

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

There’s been many. From J. Balvin, from Proera, from Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers–that was a huge one for me because that marked the first collaboration co-sign that I got. 

I think the most fulfilling one for me was PUMA just because I was able to check off so many life goals in one collaboration. I got a global collaboration, I got my own shoe, I got my own soccer cleat, but from there we got Héctor Bellerín, a professional player in the EPL [English Premier League] to wear the cleat and that was a crazy bucket list item. And we’re building a KidSuper x PUMA soccer field which is also a life goal. And then also, the “Scram” cartoon we used to promote the PUMA collection ended up being a 30-minute pilot cartoon for what I think could be a KidSuper cartoon with potential to be on streaming platforms. I’m pitching that out. 

There were so many things I was able to do in that collaboration that I was able to accomplish and finesse a little bit. So yeah, that was fulfilling. I just love the idea of someone coming to you, “Hey, this is a collaboration we should do,” and me being able to come up with different projects outside of what you’d typically think a collaboration should be. 

KidSuper (far right) and friends modeling the PUMA x KidSuper Studios exclusive collaboration.

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

Gosh, these are some hard hitting questions. I would say it was the fashion show in Paris. It was such a big undertaking and I was a little bit unprepared and really didn’t know what to expect. [It was] a financially, physically, and mentally draining project. 

It was just cool to have so many of my friends figure it out and be on the same stage, same platform as Louis Vuotton and Hermes. What I found out about myself was that having good people around you is always important, no matter if they are the most skillful or not, just having a good team and a good group of friends. And I guess I also learned that things are possible, so shoot for the stars. You can compete with Hermes and Louis Vutton. 

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

I say this all the time: I think creativity is inherent. I think humans have that; humans are born with problem-solving skills. The term “creativity” makes problem-solving seem like it’s this blessing from another power whereas I think creatives are people with problem-solving skills that have been nurtured and supported. And I think everybody can be creative if they’re not only always asked questions and asked for solutions but also are supported. I think a lot of times people don’t have the confidence to say they are creative. I think most creatives are egomaniacs because to be creative you just need to be confident in your ideas. 

KidSuper A/W ‘21 for Paris Fashion Week.

What’s the last dream you had?

[Laughs]. My dreams are worse than my reality. The one I had the other day was I had sex with my highschool girlfriend who currently has a boyfriend and I felt so bad about it because I ruined their ten-year relationship and I was just devastated and didn’t know what to do. My dreams are always worse than my reality.

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

100 years from now? I hope people go to my work as inspiration to channel their optimism and freedom and they look to my work as a guiding light to think without any bounds. Like, “Oh man, [KidSuper] has inspired me to be boundless.” 

Follow @KidSuper on Creatively.

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

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

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. 

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

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. 

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

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