7: Perks of Being Surrounded by Creatives / by LaQuann Dawson

I've been thinking a lot lately about the things I like about being a college student. Part of this may have to do with the fact that I just found out I won't graduate until 2019, but that's another story. Another day. Another three years...Anyway, one of my favorite things about being in college is the amount of creative people I get to be surrounded by. Since I started school I have become friends, partners and acquaintances with so many creative people who have without a doubt changed my life.

I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity (even though I am paying for it) to be surrounded by so many inspiring people with their own minds and creative visions. I've come across designers, musicians, dancers, painters, glass blowers, writers, activists, stylists, models and so much more. Oh, and photographers, some awesome...awesome photographers. A few short weeks ago I worked with a friend Nico Ciani (nicociani.com | @nic_doug) who I'd met last spring in class. He slays.

Jacket - Thrifted (Volunteers of America) - Jeans - Self Distressed Levis - Photo by Nico Ciani (nicociani.com)

 

Sidebar and slight plug: Nico and I took a graphic design course together at Kent State taught by Aoife Mooney (aoifemooney.org) and Christopher Darling (christopherdarling.com) . I am not sure if this class is still available but if it is I highly recommend it. At the end of the class we traveled to Europe and explored Dublin and London, prior to this trip we researched and familiarized ourselves a bit with the culture and lifestyle of these places. The professors are talented and extremely charming, the students we traveled with are exciting to be around, not to mention apart of the group of creatives I am talking about.

Anyway, Nico and I met a few weeks ago to shoot together and I learned so much from this guy. Aside that fact that he is one of the nicest people I've ever worked with, he taught me so much during this 5 hour shoot. One thing I appreciated about this experience is that he wasn't afraid to share his knowledge. He told me about lighting, different retailers and brands for photography equipment and a bunch more.

I can't say that this is a rare thing though. Throughout my college career I've come into contact with many people who don't mind sharing their knowledge and experiences. Small things like this make such huge differences in our lives. Networking with the creatives we are surrounded by and being open to collaboration. This is how we grow, learn and prosper.

Hat - Pull&Bear (pullandbear.com) (does not ship to US last I checked) - T-Shirt - Beyonce.com (beyonce.com) - Jacket - River Island (riverisland.com) - Photo by Nico Ciani (nicociani.com)

Every day a new creatives start to sprout and I think that scares some people. Creatives especially. Some of us feel as though if everyone decides to become a photographer all of a sudden the craft loses what has made it special. I disagree with this completely, this movement of people becoming creatives is not forced. Art is not and should not be exclusive. It is a positive movement and it is quite beautiful if I might say so. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to express themselves in a certain way and current creatives should not be intimidated or put away by this. If anything, this is the kind of motivation I am talking about. When I see a photographer or designer or drawer stepping their game up, it makes me want to step mine up.

After all, what fun is any craft if you're the only person getting better?

Watch - Casio (amazon.com) - Jacket - Thrifted (Volunteers of America) - T-Shirt - ASOS (asos.com) - Photo by Nico Ciani (nicociani.com)

Shout out to my homie Nico for the awesome images, the truckload of knowledge, his friendship and his inspiration. Please check him out, he is an awesome designer, a great photographer and an all around pleasant ass person.

Be open to new creatives and be happy that the field you love is living and growing. We don't really own anything and if we love something so much, how can we blame someone else for loving it too?

Oh! By the way I have a subscribe button now. I worked for hours and hours trying to figure out a good system for this so I'd appreciate it if you subscribed. It is somewhere in my sidebar, just enter your email address and you should get updates whenever I make a new post. IF you're into that kinda thing. I got 1300 views on my post about masculinity and I would love to keep that kind of momentum so your sharing and support means the world to me.

Stay lit and stay tuned for my second shoot with young Nico.

- Lackwhen