Category: #LMPYO, Black Excellence

Peace family. This year, as we honor Black History Month, I felt compelled to put together a list of Black Creators that inspire me daily. I am a true believer in letting people know you love them, see them, and support the art they are putting into this world, and I am also an advocate for ALL BLACK EVERYTHING. Some of these people I have known all my life, established a lifetime friendship with from meeting or pledging in college together, connected online with and established a friendship over years/months, or even became more familiar with after purchasing some of their work. However we crossed paths, the people included here have made an impact on my life, and I would love to share a little bit of their light with you, in no particular order. This will be a lengthy post, so feel free to skip around if you must. If you feel moved, please check them out, and let them know Jordan sent you. As always, I love you dearly.
Peace,
JP

 

1. Krys.

My longest friend. What can I say about him? I’ve watched Krys blossom into an unapologetic, happy, hardworking person for over 22(?) years now? I really can’t call it. In some instances you stop counting the years, and just realize the impact someone has had on your life, and this is definitely one of those times. Krys has taught me so much about self-love, redefining who you are, and really holding yourself accountable for the life you want to live. Krys does it all, music, design, tech, record collecting, and even vlogging. What I really want to bring to your attention is his take on what it is to be navigating life as a trans-man in today’s society. To quote Krys, “Being a transman is only 1% of my life, however it is a part of it. I’m navigating through life working on being the best man I can and redefining masculinity…not living in and up to toxic masculinity standards.” …. so well said. Krys runs several businesses, works with a variety of music artists, hosts a podcast, and also documents a lot of his journey on YouTube. Please check out his videos if you’re interested in seeing life from a perspective, you may not be familiar with. |  | Medium | PodcastYouTubebillionorbust.co

 

2. Ben.

It’s funny how life works. I could not stand Ben when I first met him, and he also tricked me into believing he was from Ghana when we first met. Liar. But that is neither here nor there, because we are best friends now. They say you meet lifelong friends in college, and I can definitely attest to that statement. Raise your hand if your best friend is pursuing their lifelong dream of being a professional wrestler. AHHHHHHH! ME! MINE IS! While a lot of our friends thought this was a joke due to Ben’s dry humor and overall playful demeanor, I’m proud to watch him navigate in a space that is majority white, and still make major strides to overall wide-recognition in the wrestling community. I talk to Ben almost everyday, and everyday he teaches me something new about wrestling. Admittedly, when I was younger, I thought a lot of it was fake, but in my ignorance, Ben has showed me how much discipline, consistency, work ethic, and passion goes into this craft. I am so so proud of him, and would love if you showed him some support if you are into wrestling. | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

photo by @fisticuffsphotography

 

3. Alonna.

I do not deserve the unconditional love and support I receive from this woman on a daily basis, but God. Alonna was sent to me almost 9 years ago now, and I truly don’t remember what life was like before meeting her. Not only is she my line sister, but she is the friend in my life I can always count on, confidant, support system, and personal comedian. Alonna is the one who just gets it. I never have to explain anything to her, she just knows, and vice versa. She is truly a Godsend. So, naturally I support all of her positive endeavors. Recently she has started to share her beauty talents, and personal triumphs on her YouTube channel, as well as short clips on social media. If you rock a natural or short cut, need someone new and real to watch on YouTube, or are just looking for a real, chill Queen to vibe with please check her out. | YouTube

photo by Ana Rice

 

4. Nijah.

I have been truly blessed to have this woman in my life. I couldn’t be more proud of the person I’ve been able to see her blossom into. Not only is she my line sister but she is my friend, soulmate, confidant and sounding board. When God sends you gems like Nijah, you honor, protect, and value her as such, because she is a rarity. For a couple of years I’ve urged this Queen to establish an outlet where she can give her take on what it’s like as a late-twenty something navigating mental health, healthy relationship dynamics, love, society, what it is to be a Black Woman in said society, and artistry all in one. I am happy to say that she is finding her own path and has recently launched that platform; GEMS FOR THE CULTURE. | gemsfortheculture.com

photo by @mobella__

 

5. Schuyler.

As a Black Woman navigating a career in design, it often feels like a foreign territory as you climb the corporate ladder. You see less and less faces who look like yours, and often are opening doors for others to walk through as you go. As challenging as that can be, it can also be very rewarding when you find younger versions of yourself navigating their own path in similar journeys. One day, when I thought no one saw the work I do, Schuyler, sweet Schuyler, reached out to me to share some things about her own work, wins and losses she was facing in college, and to create a relationship with me based on giving feedback on her own designs  as she made her way through undergrad, and most recently her career and post-grad opportunities. We first linked, what seems like years ago now. Through those years I have come to know Schuyler on a more intimate level, and truly love and adore this woman. I’ve also watched her work, skill, and technique flourish on such a high level as she has honed her skills and developed a very clean and sharp design aesthetic. It would make my heart so happy if you check her out, and if you are in need of design work; hit her up. | schuylermobley.com

 

6. Isaiah.

I don’t gas artists. Especially not artists who create music. If it doesn’t move or connect with me, I am not the one who will just play it, to play it. When I hear the production Isaiah creates, I not only want to play it on repeat, but I want the world to experience his brilliance. His music is often very cinematic in my mind, and I share with him often, that when I listen to his music, it feels like a score to a movie or play. I can see things when I hear what he creates as something solely meant to be consumed audibly. That’s crazy. I really do feel his music from multiple sensory channels, but I ain’t getting that deep today. Not only is this man one of the funniest people I’ve come across with such a bizarre, dry sense of humor, but he is wildly talented and from home. I can’t recall when we crossed paths, but I know we’ve been connected for years now, and it is truly a pleasure to experience his music. If you love hip-hop and enjoy layered production, check my mans out. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. | SoundCloud

 

7. Charles.

On a whim, one day I asked this very talented painter I came across if he’d be willing to let me work something out in order to obtain the most beautiful painting of Nina Simone I have ever see in my life. To my surprise, I was successful. Another connection made through social media, I came across Charles because of his beautiful artwork. Since moving into my new space, it’s been a huge effort of mine to fill my home with art created by Black Artists. Being surrounded by art lifts my spirits, and since my home is my sanctuary I have been very particular about the pieces I’ve acquired. I lost my mother very suddenly when I first moved, and I know I wanted something to remind me of her as the focal point of my small space. She loved Nina Simone, and when Charles showed his process online of the painting, all I knew was I had to have it. It was big, beautiful and so well done; like all of his work. Not only is Charles a talented painter, but he has great taste which is reflected in his subject matter, and overall technique. If you are in the market for beautiful art to fill you space, please hit him up. Very talented, very Black. I love it. | Instagram

 

8. Shari.

I really wish Shari and I got to spend more time together in college where we met, but I am thankful our friendship has been able to blossom over the years. Whether I randomly see Shari at a festival, or random party in DC with our mutual friends, it is always love between this Queen and I. Our friendship consists of sending each other music, bouncing ideas off of each other relating to art, and the business as a creator, as well as just life in general. It is a joy to know and love Shari, and I am a huge fan of her art work. Recently she has started to sell and show her work way more, and it brings me so much joy to share her with you all. I have so much of her art in my crib, so it only makes sense to include her here as well. If you are looking for artwork that reflects Blackness and Black joy, you’ve found the lady for the job. Be sure to support this Queen if you find something you like. | inspirethetribe.com | wethetribe.bigcartel.com

 

9. Tish.

I am on the quest of complete health; mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. On that journey I have come across so many people who are on the same wavelength and make their life a living source of healing themselves and others. Tish is a beautiful example of someone who’s journey in health has inspired me to continue on my own. By sharing her everyday life, recipes, and cooking techniques with the online community she has built, she is able to influence people positively and show them ways to heal themselves by being more aware of what they put into their bodies and how to prepare vegan meals that not only taste good, but help rid you of sickness. Again, I am unsure of how or when we crossed paths, but Tish is such a warm, beautiful soul, and has left a lasting mark on me; so of course I want to share her with you. If you are looking for tips on plant-based living, from a beautiful woman, with extraordinary taste in music please hit her up, and tell her I sent you. | YouTube | Instagramhttp://www.tishwonders.co.uk/

 

10. Audrey.

When the universe puts certain people in your path, you see them heart first and honor God allowing you to experience their spirit. This is exactly how I feel about Audrey. I’m not sure why, but I crossed paths with this beautiful soul, maybe a year or so ago and every interaction has been love. Whenever I come across Black Women, especially women from the islands, who are practicing spiritual gifts, my heart is set on fire with joy. Not only is Audrey a beautiful soul, but she helps others tap into healthy spiritual ways of healing themselves. If you have questions about altar work, oracle readings, learning about angel numbers, or even using crystals to heal certain chakras, Audrey may be able to direct you to some beautiful information. She has so much knowledge and shares her gifts in a multitude of ways. Check her out when you have some time. | Etsy | Spreesy

 

11. Deandre.

The internet is a crazy place but sometimes it introduces you to people you may have never known were in your area, or even miles apart. With that said, I definitely have to thank the internet for introducing me to all things DreEastwood. Not sure if Dre knows this, but I became a fan of his work when we were in our early 20’s, when I noticed he was the videographer behind Shaolin Park’s early work. I haven’t lived back home since graduating from high school, but at my core I am so VA, and the work they were putting out was so 757. I loved it; it made me feel like I was home. Ever since, I’ve just been a fan of the content homie has put out. Whether it was a mix he threw up on soundcloud, some flicks he took, or even blog posts, Dre has been the most relatable person I’ve come across that just does him, all while having great and similar taste to my own. Somewhere along the line we became cool, and he’s definitely someone dope to know. My guy has recently re-launched his site where you can find just about anything dope. I am very proud of him for getting this up, because he’s definitely a great source of all things shit-you-may-not-know-nun-bout. Hit him up for something different. | dreeastwood.com

 

12. Sylvester.

As a record collector, you come across people who do the same, from all over the world, everyday. It’s like a secret society that none of us deserve to be in, but usually end up finding some dope ass people from; just by being affiliated. Sylvester is one of those people, and I owe Tone for linking us up. I followed this gentleman for the music, but ended up staying because he has a heart for our community that is apparent in the way he gives back, supports Black business and art, and also makes it his duty to share basic survival tips and knowledge that many may not have been privy to. Sylvester embodies for us, by us. Sylvester embodies, each one teach one. It brings me joy to know of someone truly living a life and sharing with others, so steeped in blackness and support. To pay the support forward I would love if you guys checked him out, along with his partner Tarik, in their group called BlackPackerz. They do so much work in our community, and it is truly a pleasure to be able to share them with you all. email: blackpackerzcrew@gmail.comblackpackerz.com | BlackBackerz Instagram | Sylvester’s Instagram | Tarik’s Instagram

 

13. Nick.

My guy. I think it’s been a few years since I’ve crossed paths with this dude and it has been a real pleasure. Not only is Nick hilarious, and has great taste, but he is always finding ways to expand himself creatively. Most recently he has started a candle line. What? Who’s friends are doing that? MINE. You tell me you don’t know any Black Men creating scents for the home, and I’ll show you one who not only makes them himself, but has a very unique process that works to improve quality, scent, overall look and experience with every batch he creates. Nick shows pure dedication and drive, with every endeavor he pursues, and it brings me so much joy to be able to bring you this brand, created by a Black Man. Cop a candle, and be sure to stay on the look out for new scents to come. | karlekcandleco.com

 

 

14. Inga.

My goodness. If I ever had a spirit animal in live human form, it would be Inga. This woman is my twin, you hear me?! Not only does she love wine, good music, home decor, and plants, but she is a curator of all of these things and shares her take, her home, and her current faves beautifully on her website and her social media accounts. I am a huge fan of women who are interested in things I love, and share these aspects of their lives while remaining true to their introvert ways. Inga has immaculate tastes, and an even more infectious personality. I honestly feel like I’ve known this woman for a lifetime. She is a true gem, and has a unique way of making me feel so comfortable and at home as I scroll her content. I feel like, I am hanging out with myself when I engage with Inga. So if you are here, you love me, so I know you will love Inga. True beauty, inside and out, and has an eye for spotting the same in others. Please engage with this woman as she shares her world, with us all. | Twitterbisouselle.com

 

 

15. Tashawn.

My mans. As I’ve mentioned before, it is a rarity to see faces resembling my own when navigating the design world from a corporate perspective. And even more rare is when you find those people; them being a dope person. Tashawn is one of those rare cases of meeting someone with a similar design background and passion for marrying his love of art with his love of hip-hop. Tashawn is an extremely talented designer + developer and artist who also extends his offering by being a dope ass DJ under the name DJ Blood Diamond. To top that off, of course he is also a fellow record collector. Another true renaissance creator, and it is an honor to have crossed paths with this hilarious Black Man with incredible taste in music, art, and is equally talented. Check him out when you can, and show him some love. | dribbble.com/tashawnjones | theupsetter.coSoundCloudMixCloudInstagram

 

16. Blair.

I’ve mentioned before, honoring God when he allows you to cross paths with certain souls, and I count it no coincidence that God brought me to Blair in our early college days, to begin a friendship and sisterhood with many parallels neither one of us could’ve planned for. Not only is Blair an inspiration in the way she experiments with sampling, producing, and DJing, but she is one of the sweetest souls I have ever encountered. She has made it her business to live a life that promotes vibrating on a higher frequency as we figure out our way through this thing called life, and it is apparent in the way she creates and loves on others. If you are a frequent visitor of my site, you know that I support all things Blair. She is truly a long-lost sister, soror, friend, and fellow hip-hop fanatic and crate digger. I love this woman an immense amount, and also admire her voice and advocacy for Black womanhood. If you are interested in a very powerful, yet humble voice I implore you to check this Queen out. | lovenloops |  WE Levitate

 

17. Amara.

Seemingly I have been living parallel lives with Amara since we were in high school. We both went to HBCU’s, pledged the same sorority, and are currently navigating life making a career out of pursuing our creative passions. When I think of Amara, I think of someone who identifies and knows first hand how scary it can be to try and find lucrative ways to sustain yourself by not just doing a job, but by doing something that makes you happy. Writers and Artists have always been the same in that regard from my POV, and in our case we have talked for years and shared fears with each other about possible failure. What I take pride in, is that we both have continued, saw it through, and are currently OUT HERE in our respective fields, figuring life out. Amara is dope as hell to me, and an extremely talented writer and scholar. She recently launched her own site that celebrates her multitude of interests in the writing space and I couldn’t be happier about it. It brings me so much joy to share her space with you, and if you find something that resonates, be sure to let her know. | amarahandwrites.coTwitter | Instagram

 

18. Odie.

It’s only right to mention Queen Odie now, since Amara is the reason I am aware of this beautiful woman. Odie is one of the sweetest souls I’ve encountered. Her love of God, her Nigerian heritage and support of all things Black made it easy to fall in love with everything this Queen radiates. When I learned about her passion for Black Cinema it was so refreshing to see the dedication she puts into elevating the conservation surrounding it. With her brand Black Girl Cinema, Odie works to create and expose the Black female voice in regards to films and documentaries. Black Girl Cinema is motivated by her love and passion for film and her interest in Black directors ,actors, actresses and of course Black films. She noticed the lack of film reviews on Black movies and decided to fill that gap by creating her own platform dedicated to rectifying that missed opportunity. It brings me joy to watch Odie shine, and I really hope she continues to be a voice for all things Black Cinema. | blackgirlcinema.comInstagramTwitterYouTube

 

19. Nancy.

In my experience the universe has ways of supplementing loss and has allowed me to gain so many connections with people who identify with tragedy. Bonding through these less than fortunate experiences, has afforded me the opportunity to also learn more about the individuals as creators, and gain a little more understanding behind their passion, and why they create. Nancy is such a talented photographer and artist, and her eye and POV is one that I truly enjoy. I feel thankful to have crossed paths with her, and hope that you enjoy her work as much as I do. If you feel so moved, please check out her work. It is as stunning as her personality and heart, and it would mean the world to me if you got to experience her beauty. | nmusinguzi.com | Twitter | Instagram | VSCO

 

20. Derek.

We’ve come a long way from being the art kids in college, and every friend I made as an art major is doing their thing now, so many years later—and that is dope as hell to see. I can remember watching Derek, who professionally is known as Sky Welkin, draw characters and doodles all the time. Who would’ve known it would lead him to being a published author and artist, as well as being able to create a brand and shop housing all of his visual work? Over the years, Sky Welkin has lead art shows, launched a clothing line, and even began to sell original pieces as well as prints. Whenever I can, I love to support this man, not only as my friend, but as a fellow creator, because I can recall a time where we didn’t know if this shit was possible. I love seeing him win, and will continue to always root for him. Check him out and cop something if you see something you like. | skywelkin.com

 

21. Michelle.

My Queen. It is an honor to call this woman line-sister, friend, and other half. She is truly the yin to my yang, and it has been a beautiful journey to be close to someone who understands what it means to live, breathe, and eat creativity and Blackness. Michelle is the flyer version of me. Where I am introverted and minimalist, Michelle amps it up and does the maximum, and does it flawlessly. I have always admired Michelle’s ability to make something of nothing, and deliver style on a level that most never and cannot achieve. Even if resources are low, Michelle is able to create on a level that knows no limit or boundary. Whether she is styling you, beating your face, creating statement jewelry for you, or even giving you a full make over; head to toe; Mimi is a true renaissance creator. She does it all, and along the way makes herself available to teach and share her techniques with others. I told y’all she was a Queen. It would mean the world to me if you check out her shop + services. Also be sure to stay on the lookout for upcoming partnerships she is involved in. | houseofmimi.com | Personal InstagramBusiness Instagram

 

22. Dari.

I found Dari years ago on YouTube when I was first starting my locs. I had been natural for years, and at this point in my life neither natural hair or locs were as popular as they are now, so there were limited resources for knowledge I trusted on the subject. Lo and behold, I stumble upon this person on YouTube who is just like me; weird, awkward, Black, an artist, loves music, and was starting her locs. It was eerie really, but needless to say I have been following Dari’s journey ever since. Most recently she has began painting again, and I am always amazed by what she is able to produce. The way she captures things she has in her mind on canvas is so dope to me. I love that she has made it a goal to produce art, and allow it to sustain her life. It’s inspiring and it makes me so happy to be able to share her with you. Be sure to check her out and if you like anything, cop some art from her and let her know I sent you. | daricalamari.comInstagram

 

23. Aaron.

Speaking of Dari, she also put me onto another artist by the name of Aaron. Seldom do you find Black artists who are very vocal about what sexual pleasure is for them, and even more seldom do you find these discussions being led by Black Men. It was very intriguing to me to come across Aaron’s work, under the name Expressions-Untold. Not only does he write, but he is also able to capture audio, photo and video in a way that is so beautiful and highlights true visceral pleasure, from the perspective of participant and viewer, depending on the experience. Aaron does not shy away from pleasure, and what it means to us as Black People. With his work he seems to be combatting all that is taboo regarding the topic amongst our community. It makes me happy that this conversation is happening, and also that it is coming from a Black Man. Too often our sexuality as Black People is laced with ideas of dishonor, shame, and pain; and with his art Aaron dismantles all of that, and provides such an enjoyable view into the complete opposite. I urge you to support his efforts and check out his work. It’s truly been a joy being a patreon supporter of his work, and I hope you do the same. | Expressions-Untold.com | InstagramPatreon

 

24. Rob.

It baffles me how we don’t hang out more, and I hope to rectify this soon. I’ve been a huge fan of Rob’s voice and artistry for years now, and I absolutely will always take the opportunity to make sure I tell as many people as possible about his gift. As sweet as his spirit is, he has the soul and voice to match. Rob’s voice has the ability to soothe me so much, and when you match that with the content of his lyrics you get a listening experience that not only engages you, but pours into your spirit, and lifts you up, comforts you, helps you recognize your own humanity, as well as reassures you that you are not crazy, and we all have some shit we go through sometimes. That’s what I want from the music I listen to, every time. Rob consistently delivers HEAT and is killing your favorite singer’s favorite singer, any day. He’d never brag on himself, so I want to take the opportunity now to let you know, that homie is LIKE THAT. If you enjoy soul music; check him out and support some raw talent. | therobmilton.com | iTunes | Bandcamp | Teespring

 

25. Jacque.

Everything about Jacque is sweet; her voice, personality, and soul. I have been a fan of her warm, powerful voice since I came across her videos when we were in college? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that I have been rooting for Jacque since hearing her for the first time when she was a part of Martin Parks. That was about 10ish years ago now, give or take? Jacque is a vocalist, musician, and songwriter, and it is apparent in the quality of music she releases all the time. She is so in control of her artistry and sound, and while she experiments with her music as she evolves as an artist, you can tell that she has taken the time to truly perfect the strength and fluidity if her voice. Or maybe I just pay attention too much. Either way, I respect artists who live and eat their craft, and I wish Jacque all of the success and happiness; whatever that looks like to her. Jacque, you are more than deserving and I want to thank you for allowing me to experience you work. Every track on “Elbow Room” is my shit, and you snapped on “Wood” too. Love you Queen. Y’all check her out. | jacquehammond.com | SoundCloud

 

26. Shavonda + Carmeon; Hamilton Gardner Interiors

For those who only know me for having an obsession with music, allow me to inform you that I am equally obsessed with homes, and truly looking at a space as a canvas with endless opportunities. I am always on the hunt for designers who inspire me by their style, and pour their heart and soul into their work, while also offering you realistic expectations about what goes into interior design as a craft; and service. I am all about designers keeping it real with their audience, as well as showing new ways to bring life to a dull space. In comes Shavonda. Not only is she beautiful in spirit, but she has an eye and home equally as beautiful to match. Shavonda is so transparent about what goes into infusing style, and functionality into your home and really making a space work for you. What’s even better, is that she is Black, a Mother, Wife, and Designer — killing it. Representation matters, and it makes me so happy to see faces like mine, in a space that can feel very whitewashed in general. As if she wasn’t enough on her own, she also introduced me to an equally beautiful and talented soul; Carmeon. Carmeon’s style/eye is by far one of my favorites I’ve come across in a while — I knew this when she was able to make me stop in my tracks from redesigning her laundry room. Her laundry room y’all! She is so talented, and what I really love is her fearlessness when trying out patterns, bolder colors, and the mixture of different elements. Between the two of these ladies you get it all; and the icing on the cake is they also have a healthy obsession with plants. Ugh. I can’t get enough. The two of these ladies recently partnered together, and just finished their first room makeover! It is beautiful, and I implore you to check out their separate and joint accounts.

Shavonda: Instagram | sgstyleblog.com

Carmeon: Instagram | nubiinteriors.com

Hamilton Gardner Interiors: Instagram

 

 

27. Lawrence.

Some people have an undeniable eye and Lawrence is one of them. Law and I have a lot of mutual friends in this digital space, so I can’t recall when I first came across his work, but I do remember being very impressed by the way he was able to capture such stunning portraits. Often times we are bombarded with images on a daily basis, so it is easy to feel numb to certain things. When a person’s work is able to pierce through that numbness, you remember them, and you remember their work. This is exactly how I feel about Law’s art. Not only does he capture faces that look like ours, but he infuses who is into his overall aesthetic and composition; it’s so Chicago, so Ghanaian; so intentional — you can tell when you look at his work that he puts his heart and soul into developing his technique and developing a connection or rapport with the subject matter through the lens. His portfolio is stunning and diverse, and if you are ever in need of headshot, a shoot, or want to recommend a Black Man to do a photoshoot for a project, please check this man out. | lawrenceagyei.coInstagram

 

28. Joekenneth.

What can I tell you about Joekenneth that I haven’t shouted from a mountaintop already? As I’ve mentioned before with some of the other creators, sometimes when you meet a person you recognize God’s hand in that specific union. In many ways Joekenneth and I live a parallel life, and have journeyed through triumph and tragedy at similar paces. When God brings you these kind of occurrences in life, you honor them and recognize the love and beauty of it all. It has been a pleasure to watch Joekenneth express his highs and lows in life with such transparency through his art. I relate to many of the stories he shares with his audience on a very personal level. Through poetry, spoken word, and the curation of perfect visuals to match the power of his voice, Joekenneth should just be called a captivator. That’s what he does — he captivates anyone who hears, sees, or experiences his art. I am super proud to call him friend and pray his work touches you and inspires you to share your own gifts. | joekenneth.com | Instagram

photo by Matt Doscher

 

29. Ashley.

The love of my life. I am going to talk about God here, again, because God blessed me when he gave me Ashley as a friend. I first met Ashley in college, and knew instantly we’d be friends. I am such an introvert, but one thing I can always appreciate is a good laugh, and I always felt comfortable laughing with and around Ashley. As we’ve gotten older, in my observation, we have both mellowed out as we’ve grown into the women we are today. We both share a recognition for the importance of love, speaking life, honoring yourself by putting good things into your body and spirit, as well as taking an active role in directing your own healing. Those are all important factors for me when considering where I purchase wellness items; fortunately all of these factors translate beautifully into the handmade health and body care products Ashley creates for her business Soul Bliss. Everyday Ashley inspires me to be more disciplined with the choices I make regarding consumption. Not only does her own self-awareness rub off on me, but the love and dedication she puts into learning and revamping her products is shown with each iteration of her current line and new additions she adds along the way. I am so very proud of her shop, and will always support. Everything I buy from this woman smells amazing, works amazing, and makes me feel amazing. Please check her out y’all. | InstagramEtsy

 

30. Shannon.

When someone has a zeal for life, it is often infectious and has the ability to translate over into any endeavor they pursue. Om Divine is a direct reflection of the love, enthusiasm, and honor of self-care that Shannon displays with her lifestyle. The care she puts into the creation of her handmade wellness products, and the dedication she has to always providing something new and beneficial to one’s overall wellness and satisfaction with life, is something I appreciate very much about the brand she has established. I admire Queens with the courage to take their passions and develop them into businesses that can help sustain their lives. Not everyone has the range, nor drive to take their lives into their own hands when it comes to entrepreneurship, but Shannon does. I am such an advocate for this woman because, not only is she a beautiful soul, but she is unapologetic in her approach to making sure the people and clients she works with have a product that enhances their overall wellness and influences them to make healing a priority. I respect and love the work Shannon does, and pray that you feel inclined to do business with her. | iomdivine.com

 

31. Amber.

God brought me Amber, and I haven’t stopped thanking him since. A very real part of healing one’s self that is often neglected or disregarded is really getting in tune with nature, and spending time out doors. Admittedly, as a homebody, I can be guilty of this more often than not. In Amber I am met with a beautiful, gentle, reminder of the beauty and lushness of God’s work. She reminds me to allow nature to influence my body, spirit, wellness, and health. I appreciate every Black Farmer I come in contact with, but in Amber I have a sister, friend, and someone who relates to my story in a way only she can. I appreciate her friendship, and influence on my life so much, and it would mean the world to me if you would consider her for any farming services, or workshopping needs you have regarding nature education. | ambertamm.comInstagram

 

32. Anitra.

What a beautiful soul. From my first interaction with Anitra, I could tell she was exactly what I was looking for. At the time, I had just moved into my new space, and happened to be looking for mud cloth, and African print accent pillows to adorn my new sofa. As I stated before, I only wanted to work with independent Black Artists, and that is exactly what I found when I stumbled upon Reflektion Design. I believe I sent an inquiry about something regarding her products and Anitra not only responded right away but, followed up with me to make sure I was finding everything I needed. As someone who has experience working in retail, I remember how important it was to always display good customer service to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. Not only is Anitra’s customer service some of the best I’ve ever experienced, but the quality of her handmade decor pieces is unmatched. I will always support an Independent artist before a larger store with mass-produced items, because of the intention and care the creator puts into each item. Anitra makes it her business to always deliver quality, and beauty, and I will always be a supporter. Please check her out when you have time! | reflektiondesign.comPinterest

 

33. Niara.

There is something to be said for artists who are always working on developing their technique and honing their skills to ensure they deliver the best experience for themselves and their audience. From a distance I have watched Niara develop her skills as a DJ and literally smash every opportunity she has to display her skill set. Not only does this woman have incredible taste, but she is never not working. I see a flyer featuring Niara every single day yo. And I am not complaining. I could not be more proud of this woman turning her passion into something that is able to help sustain her in life. That is admirable from any artist. It is hard out here, and as I continue to say about all of the creators listed, not everyone has the courage to pursue their dreams and passions, so it brings me so much joy to watch them do what makes them happy. Beyond her talents, Niara is just a beautiful soul, and I feel blessed to have encountered someone so stunning, inside and out. She has a heart of gold and I pray that her life is one full of fulfillment and love. If you need some new mixes, or are in the NY area, be sure to check out DJ Niara Sterling. | SoundCloud

photo by Chaunna Michole

 

34. Davida.

Proud isn’t the word to describe how I feel about Davida, and everything she does with Kate Lynn & Adwoa Skin + Body Care. I met Davida about five years ago when I moved and I immediately loved and felt comfortable with her. Davida has a way of lighting up any room, as well as making you feel comfortable so easily. I consider her a sister, and really admire the love she pours into her work. Her compassionate spirit, and confidence translates over seamlessly with her brand centered around love, family, and empowerment. Kate Lynn & Adwoa Skin + Body Care is named after Davida’s grandmother (Kate), sister (Lynn), and mother (Adwoa) and is true to her mission – to provide 100% natural skin care products that are not only beneficial to our skin, but also serve as tribute and source of empowerment to the women of Ghana. How beautiful is that? Every product I’ve purchased from Davida is used up within a month’s time because of how good they work. I would not lie. Her brand delivers quality, and stands on a beautiful mission, so I will always support her and implore you to do the same if you feel so led. | katelynnandadwoa.com

 

35. MoRuf. 

When I first heard MoRuf, I immediately wanted to bodyslam someone because he was just that talented. Forgive me, but sometimes, good music makes me react, lol. Garden State of Mind: Ready to Live was the first project I heard from MoRuf, and the way he married melody with his flow sounded so ill. The production he chooses, and the content of his lyrics makes MoRuf’s music the kind that incites thought, laughter, introspection, and reflection in general. No matter where he is in his journey and evolution as an artist and lyricist, his overall message of love and positivity is always present and even translates to the mantra he has come to be known for; L.O.E. — Love Over Everything. I will always be a supporter of this brother, because I truly enjoy his music, his Blackness, and his overall love of art and the people he encounters. I also just got word from him that the MOOLODIC ep (produced by MeLo-X) is coming Spring 2018. Yaaaasssss. Check this man out, and return some of the love he effortlessly gives out. | Revolt Feature | Bandcamp

photo by @kingtexas

 

36. Eugene.

It makes sense that Eugene and I were born on the same day. It’s crazy how similar our tastes, interests, and overall love of all things music and hip-hop align; so much so that I call him “Twin” — to everyone else he also goes by Hip Hop Henry. Eugene is a person I consider a jack of all trades, and has such a rich knowledge of our culture in general. I would call him a Hip-Hop historian but I feel like that title puts him in a box. Eugene does it all; dj’s, collects, designs, hosts a radio show; anything art/hip-hop/culture related — Eugene is your guy. I met Eugene in college; but over the years he has consistently been a great friend and whenever I get to chop it up with him it’s always love. If you are in the RVA/DMV area and are looking for anything hip-hop hit my man up. Also be sure to check his show out on mix cloud called, The Listening Party. Peace. | MixCloud | Knxwbodies.com | Thecheatsmovement.com

 

37. Dave.

It’s funny how many friends I made from starting my locs on YouTube, at a time where it wasn’t so popular. Dave happens to be another friend I met in that space, and am thankful to still keep up with to this day. Even back then, which was almost 10 years ago now, I knew he was poppin from the way he would edit his videos. He was so ahead of his time — super talented and always had a way of making things look so cinematic and beautiful. He has always had an eye for cinematography and design in general so it only makes sense that Dave’s journey has led him to become one of the most well-rounded Creative Directors I know of. Dave does it all; branding, video directing, photography, project management, and even will engage as a media personality. He has worked behind the scenes with some of your favorite artists, which leads me to believe you’ve probably come in contact with his work and didn’t even know it. I support this man and hope you will too if you or anyone you know needs any creative work done. | filthymcdave.com

 

38. Morgan.

I’m going to use the term soulmate here because to use anything else would be inaccurate. As I have stated before, the bond I have with my line sisters is unmatched. They are truly angels on Earth and I do not deserve them. Morgan in particular, happens to be my soulmate because God has allowed our bond to grow beyond sisterhood and friendship. The love I have for this woman is unmatched, and it has been a true pleasure growing into a woman with her by my side. Watching her blossom into a person dedicated to pursuing happiness, health, love and a minimalistic approach to everyday life has been a joy. What brings me even more joy is that she is now capturing that journey through photography and travel. It’s beautiful to watch her experiment with different mediums to express herself. In her purest state Morgan radiates art, and I am proud to watch her find her voice in this space. Please support her as she continues to discover ways to share her story with you. | Instagram

 

39. Tiffany.

I’m laughing as I type this because as much talent as this woman possesses, she is by far one of the most hilarious, stereotypical stylish Brooklynite women I have ever met. This is my dawg, my line sister, and dear friend, and when I think of Tiff I think of her spitting Lil Kim lyrics and doing some kind of aggressive head movement to accompany it. All of this makes sense because Tiff embodies the words style, confidence, boldness and talent. She is a true risk-taker and I couldn’t be more proud of the success Tiff has been able to accomplish with her brand Carrie Pennie. It is so creative of her to present a line geared to towards children that mixes contemporary and urban styles. I urge you, if you are in the market for fashionable children’s clothing for special occasions to please hit my sister up. Tiff, I love you so much and pray success continues to create the life you want to live. | Instagramcarriepennie.com

 

40. Tiye.

As a creator, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to dedicate to your passions after a day full of working to fulfill your obligations. It is a balance in life that we can only hope for, and for those of us able to find that sweet spot in the middle, we are often devising plans to stay there. From a distance I have admired Tiye for making her works purpose to find, maintain, and dwell in that sweet spot. Whether she is expressing herself through her literary works, or finding new ways to express herself visually, Tiye is a creator that is always pushing herself to evolve and explore ways to share her voice. Most recently she has started to create mixed media collages that are so vibrant and captivating. It is truly a pleasure to watch her grow into her own, and it would mean the world to me if you check her out, and copped a few of her pieces. | tiyejohnson.bigcartel.com

 

41. Candice.

For as long as I can remember I have loved and been inspired by Candice. Not only is she my best friend’s older sister, but she is mine by default because I adopted her as such years ago, whether she knows that or not. Candice is one of the sweetest, most caring individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and loving. And on top of that she happens to be one of the illest makeup artists in VA. Candice, who works under the business name CandiPaint, specializes in highlighting the everyday woman, and helping them enhance their features as well as special occasions, with a focus in Wedding Services. As if she didn’t have enough to offer you, she has also started sharing her health journey and tips along the way as she reclaims her life, happiness, and overall wellness. I love Candice so much, and it is more than an honor to be able to share her with you. | candipaintmua.comFacebook | Makeup: Instagram | Health Journey: Instagram

 

42. Kalaéja.

I’ve known of this beautiful soul, for such a short period of time, but I would be dismayed If I didn’t bring attention to her gifts. I am an advocate of supporting Black creators who own and run their own businesses especially when they are offering a service or product that they create with so much intent and care. Kalaéja does just that, she pours her heart and soul into every jewelry piece she creates, and if you request a custom piece she is even more intentional about making sure that every aspect is to your liking and comfortability. If you happen to be searching for an artist who creates jewelry with charged crystals and wrapped with love, care and a creative spirit, Kalaéja is your girl. Please check her out, and let her know I sent you.| EtsyInstagram

 

43. Joshua.

It is a pleasure to have connected with Josh over the years, and it has been even more of a pleasure to watch him his expand his creative offering and still maintain a very high level of quality. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Josh’s work with the widely known Street Etiquette brand and agency, but more recently Josh co founded, along with his partner Karen, a stock photography business that seeks to transform the idea of stock photography by displaying images of diverse people and their stories around the world. It is called TONL, and it is such a beautiful display of creators handling an issue, and lack of representation with care, intent, and higher quality than it’s competitors. As a designer, who often needs to look for stock imagery, I can attest to it being rather difficult to find us, captured in a way that isn’t dull or highlights the vibrancy of our culture. On TONL’s website they say Our voices and visibility matter. Photography and storytelling can help humanize and hopefully diminish the stereotypes and prejudice against Black and Brown people, especially. We wanted to challenge the stale, homogenous look of traditional stock photography by showcasing the many ethnic backgrounds of every day people.” Super proud of everything Josh choose to align his brand with. Be sure to check him out. | Josh: Instagram | tonl.co

5 thoughts on “Black Creators I Admire | #LMPYO

  1. Jordan, what you’ve put together here is a true testament to your heart. As I read every profile, my smile grew wider. By sharing the light of others, you’ve truly shown just how bright your own is. I love you Queen, and I pray you receive all of the love you shower out, back to you tenfold.

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