A CREATIVE DC
I grew up just outside of DC, in Alexandria, Virginia. My father and grandfather were printers and their shop was in the city, for the first thirty years in Shaw, and for their last dozen-or-so in Anacostia. When I graduated college there was every question of what I was going to do with my life, but complete certainty that, whatever it was, it would be happening in the District. This is my tenth year here.
I make a living as a decor and installation artist, and as a creator of online content. I make work for the internet, and I make tangible work, too, in DC, and occasionally in other cities, or for national brands. I love my life here. I love Washington, DC.
As a whole, this is too complicated a place to be represented by any one person, and too diverse to be summed up by one image or one sentence. Creative DC – and living a creative life in DC – is no different. There's not one community that owns it: it's not the "art scene" or the "food scene" or its bloggers or writers, its photographers or musicians, its illustrators or Instagrammers. It's all of that and more, but also less. It's side projects and full-time hustles; collaboration and good vibes. It's the thirty minutes you spent browsing a local record store, or picking out seasonal produce at a farmer's market. It's stopping a stranger in the street to tell them you dig their steez. It's as simple as following your interests until you've made something interesting, whether that something is a mural or a small business, a gallery wall over your couch or dinner for you and your friends. It's about your life inside your house, and what you do when you walk out the front door.
It requires perspective. A creative DC lifestyle lives shoulder to shoulder with the interests of the nation, and of the world. To celebrate it can feel frivolous, even when it Venn diagrams with a cause or an ethos or a movement. It requires a zen-like acceptance that to the rest of the world – and to much of the city itself – it will go unseen. It can feel pointless to argue that it exists; if you don't know it's here, it might not be for you, anyways. It has long overlooked being overlooked. With so many facets it's certainly not invisible, but my goal for 2015 is to contribute voice and visuals.
I'm going to use part of this space to help represent a creative lifestyle here in the District. A diverse representation. Its makers and doers, and those who are picking up and supporting what's being laid down. Their projects and interests and craft. What their day to day looks like, their homes and closets, their jobs and their after hours. ACreativeDC.com will redirect to this new Panda Head Blog series.
On Instagram, I'll be using #aCreativeDC when I'm making, doing, and gathering in the city. When I'm at home, and when I'm out. When I'm eating, drinking, buying, and being local. When my life looks exactly the way I want it to, here. When there's no where else I'd rather be. I'm asking you to do the same, and I'd love to share the visuals of your creative lifestyle @acreativeDC. This project needs as much perspective as it can get, and I would be so grateful if you'd take part.
Our creative lives look good here. Let's share them.
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