We are all Travelers! August 11 2017

How many times in your life have you found yourself wondering where you are going in life? What are you supposed to do when you get there? How are you going to get there? "Dear God are we there yet?" That was my question. I realized the answer to our personal questions can most often be found by looking within when we find that we have complete access to this part of us.



Book Excerpt: We are all Travelers!


When I started thinking about writing this book, I often found myself wondering whether or not anyone was going to actually get the entire point of the “journey” concept. Is anyone going to understand what I’m trying to say? Just by thinking these little lies, I was dooming my whole project before I could even put pen to paper. I was already telling myself something that was not true. Because if it were true, then I would have no problem putting it out there.


I’m not going to tell you anything that you don’t already know.  This book is about your own personal road trip—your life. By the time we’re done, those lies you keep telling yourself will have dissipated, becoming merely a thing of the past. You will want to stop telling yourself those lies, starting with the biggest one of all: “I don’t know where I’m going with my life.”

 I remember being twenty- five, supposedly in the prime of my life.  Essence of my youth, or so I was told. I began obsessing about where I was in my life and where I would be going; it got so bad I began to get minor panic attacks. I spoke to my Mom about it one day, and she gave me one long, hard look and said, “I saw this exact thing on Dr. Phil the other day.” Now I don’t know if this is the case with all mothers or if it’s just a Latin thing, but my Mother soaks up television knowledge like a sponge. She is a walking news bulletin. Don’t get me wrong, she knows her stuff. If some random earthquake hit Indonesia, my Mom would be able to tell you about it in such detail you would think it happened to someone she actually knew. So I immediately knew that this Dr. Phil moment was going to be another news revelation.

 “It’s a midlife crisis. I read about this kind of thing, and that’s what this is,” Mom told me. Apparently, you can have a midlife crisis before you’re actually middle- aged; it’s called a mid-mid-life crisis. Like a precursor to the main event. At that moment, I wasn’t even sure I knew what a midlife crisis was. I pictured a graying sixty-year-old man with a potbelly buying a Corvette or a Harley, a  final desperate attempt to feel young and sexy again. I kept asking myself where I was going with my life and what I was doing.  This question seems to pop up the very minute something in our lives takes a colossal nosedive. In our minds, it’s the obvious thing to ask if something doesn’t go right. It’s a problem we all have, and it’s natural and human.)


Hop on over to this amazing journey and take advantage of this book promotion! 


We bought the book for you! 


We just ask that you pay your shipping/handling to receive it (just $7.95 US or $12.95 international anywhere in the world)


Make Your Next Move, Your Best Move July 13 2017



Today, networking is one of the major keys to get anywhere in life. It
is all about who you know. With social media and contacts at your fingertips, 
it is a necessity when trying to gain access into the career path that you want. Many jobs jobs are never advertised or posted, so knowing someone in your desired field can get you one step closer to your dream career.
Although, sometimes it can seem awkward, it is extremely important.

Here are a few key points about networking you will always need to remember:

Networking is about building relationships, not selling yourself
When you meet someone new who you believe has the potential to give
great advice, make sure you are getting to know that person as a
friend. Have a conversation instead of just talking about yourself. It
is good to express your passion and goals, but it is not all about

Network with the right people
Network with people who are in the field that you want or knows
someone in the field that you want. This is important on reaching
people that you otherwise would have never met.

Keep in touch
This may be the most important. If you are like me, you may
often lose contact with people you are not constantly around. Try to
practice fixing that with this step. Check in every once and a while.
Ask to have lunch. It is important to stay on good terms with people
you are networking with.

Attend networking events in your area
This is a great way to meet people in the career path that you want
when you do not know anyone in your desired field. Show up, make some
friends, and express your goals. You will come across someone who can
help you.

Don’t just take.
Have something to offer. Everyone has something to offer. If you are
just talking to someone to get only what you want, it will be noticed.
No one wants to feel as if they are being used.

These few steps could help you in building your next work related relationship and also help you gain the career experience you desire. Make your next move, your best move!

Nneka Gigi's Uninvited Art Exhibition & Film Screening April 17 2017

We recently had the pleasure of meeting #ModernDayHippie and all around creative, Nneka Gigi. An expert and artist in fashion, design, and painting, we have been inspired by her artistic journey and expression. Nneka's art showcase is this Thursday (4/20/2017) and we asked her a few questions about her event and what this moment means to her. Check it out below!
Event: Nneka Gigi's Uninvited Art Exhibition & Film Screening
Nneka Gigi Art Showcase
Location: Mid City Arts Center - Event Venue Rental
 1644 S La Cienega Boulevard Suite A
 Los Angeles, CA 
Instagram: nnekagigi
Description of art: 
Taking my own approach to art, the exhibition will consist of my complete apparel collection and hand painted canvases, like dunny dolls, a skateboard and the chest of a friend/ model. I have worked on this collection for 3 years and each piece holds a memory, a feeling or "action" that occurred over the past few years of preparation. The collection took great influence from Japanese street fashion and the 90s bold "in your face" colorway. To put simply, I would describe the art as beautifully grotesque with a shot of chaos. 
The Event:
I did not want to participate in Fashion Week because this being my first event in a new city (originally from Buffalo, New York and have been living in LA for a little over a year), I wanted something small and intimate. I wanted to feel vulnerable and allow people to get close to me and where my head has been for the past 3 or so years. 
Last year, 2016, I rented a mini mansion and a small team of creatives (Zach & Ronnell), really helped take the lead and produce a short film that will debut at the event. 
There will be a live body painting and canvas at the event, as well as two performances. The clothing will be displayed as art suspended from the wall/ ceiling and attendees will be able to enjoy an interactive exhibit.
The event is FREE for registration and you can register at the following link: 
What I hope to get:
One of my primary passions for this event is to be able to support and grow a culture of young creatives who can understand and converse with me through the pieces that I design or art that I create simply just cause.
Nneka Gigi Art Showcase

Modern Day Hippie Profile: DJ Tee Tee June 09 2016

In the process of building this vision and brand, we have been blessed enough to connect with some very inspirational men and women. These hippies are young, beautiful, conscious, ambitious, and just like you. Please continue reading and get inspired by their stories.


 ☮ DJ Tee Tee ☮


Modern Day Hippie Profile DJ Tee


Connect (list all of your contact, website, social media accounts):


What's your zodiac sign?  Gemini


What is your definition of a Modern Day Hippie and how do you identify as one?

 My definition of a Modern Day Hippie is a girl who is just as comfortable being ratchet for the evening but equally knows how to be quirky, interesting and classy whilst ensuring her spirit is a genuinely pure and positive one. For me, I am very much your modern day girl pursuing my passion of music through the art of DJing. However, as cliché as this may sound, I am always genuinely searching for ways to be better physically, spiritually and mentally whilst still being an undercover ratchet ha!


How would you define your style?

It changes daily. Some days I will do the whole polished look body con dress, high heels, sleek hair but generally I like to mix and blend. Some days I may be in an oversized top. Other days a body and jeans, or some days in one of my trusted snapbacks or wooly hats. I do love hats!!


Where do you like to shop? My favorite shop in the entire world is Topshop their jeans never fail me. But I love Missguided and ASOS, then I love random online shops for one off gems you just can’t find in mass retailers.


How did you decide to start on your venture/career path? Living and partying in NYC helped carve out my career. I have always loved music and partying; I think being Ghanaian contributes to that we have parties for everything. But back to NYC nightlife, I think my first foray into clubbing was at a club called Mansion and I couldn’t get over how the DJ just maintained momentum the whole night. I was like I need to learn and I just signed up to a DJ course at Scratch DJ Academy.

 Modern Day Hippie Profile DJ Tee


Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

I get inspired by everything and everyone. In the fashion sense just walking the streets of London will always inspire the way you dress as much as online bloggers - I love them too for inspiration. For everything else, I am a reading fanatic and will read articles upon articles about business people such as Warren Buffet and the ultimate girl boss Sophia Amoruso. They make you think beyond the now and focus on the long term.


What are you biggest dreams?

 For TeeTee to be globally known as the DJ who will have your event popping, so fly all over the world curating music for super dope events beyond the nightlife realm.


What are some of the challenges you face? Time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day but it can be a challenge to ensure you are nurturing your most important relationships with yourself and others whilst chasing a dream. Additionally, I am insanely private so sharing bits of myself on social media with people I do no know is something I continuously battle with but I know it is something I have to do.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Becoming the most zen girl boss.

Modern Day Hippie Profile DJ Tee Tee 

What piece of advice would you give to other hippies that are trying to pursue their dreams?

Read. Why? Because you will not always have people who understand what you are trying to do. When you read around, you will realize there are people like you and sometimes it’s the silent support system you need, plus you learn loads. Definitely find a friend that can become your #dreambuddy so you can share the good, the bad and the ugly as talking is healthy and keeps you accountable. 


What themes do you wish to see in our generation in 2016?

Genuine individuality in everything you do. 


Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide April 28 2016 1 Comment



Mercury Retrograde, we meet again!

Buckle your seatbelts, Mercury Retrograde is here. From April 28th through May 22nd, the planet Mercury will slow down and appear to move backwards (retrograde). Although this is a dreaded time for many people, the retrograde can also be a great time for reflection and turning our focus away from worldly energies and into ourselves. 

Mercury, the planet of communication, is the ruler of how we choose to express ourselves, think, and communicate our thoughts and feelings to the rest of the world. So when Mercury goes retrograde, communication, travel plans, and electronics can go haywire. 

If this sounds stressful, don’t worry! With any new opportunity for growth, challenges and pain should be expected (and even embraced). This process gives us the opportunity to re-assess where we are not aligned with our truth and how we have been communicating with those around us. As a result, Mercury cracks us wide open in order to understand who we are and how we choose to express ourselves. Are you moving in love? Have you been communicating from your most authentic self? How will you react to challenges and misunderstandings?

Mercury Retrograde wants to walk us back to our most spiritual self. It is giving us the opportunity to re-examine areas of our life that need more work, so that we can move forward in a more positive direction. Intellectual, emotional, and spiritual breakthroughs are waiting for us in the shadows. 

So how can you prepare for Mercury Retrograde? The best way to cope is to just GO WITH THE FLOW. When you react in fear or fight the retrograde, life can get ugly. You may find yourself in arguments with close loved ones or that your computer breaks down out of nowhere! Be compassionate with yourself, move slowly, be careful, and don’t set high expectations for anything to happen picture perfect during this time. Now is the time to love yourself completely and let that reflect in your interactions with everyone around you.

Here are some quick tips for how you can ensure a positive Mercury Retrograde:

  • Don’t take anything personally. People may say hurtful and harsh things, but it is because their communication skills are not lit! Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and always react with love.

  • Back up all of your electronics: computer, cell phone, iPads, etc.

  • Don’t make any big purchases. If you absolutely have to make an investment, triple check the paperwork and make sure you have a warranty!

  • Read the small print on every contract. Ask as many questions as you can. Communication may be rocky, but you can still make it your duty to get as much information as possible.

  • Spend time in nature grounding yourself through meditation and receiving energy from the plants around you.

  • Don’t run away from painful conversations. Mercury has a tendency to bring up everything from the past: memories, people, and emotional wounds. Walk into these moments with positivity and courage – it will benefit you in the end!

  • LAUGH! Surround yourself with people that don’t take life too seriously and can make the best of any situation.


May we all enter and emerge from the next few weeks with love, light, and a stronger sense of self awareness.


Peace and Love!

#SOITSLIT | Modern Day Hippie Festival Picks April 17 2016

From Coachella, to Afropunk to Atlanta’s Shaky Beats Festival and even London’s Wireless festival the list of where you can find yourself shaking your tail feather this summer is endless. Beyond enjoying the sounds of some of music’s most exciting artists, choosing what to wear can become an art in itself. So how does one prepare for the ultimate festival get-up? We spoke to fashionista and London DJ, DJ Tee Tee, to help us select some rhythms and fly Modern Day Hippie threads for the perfect Festival vibe. 

"First things first I always need a hat because my leave out will never ever let me be great in the heat! These hats are extra special because they are perfect for everything I embody - Enlighten Up."

Modern Day Hippie Enlighten Up baseball cap

"I would then pair the snapback with something a little racy like this top from Nasty Gal - which is the perfect antidote to sex up this look.

To balance the look, these Modern Day Hippie shirts are the perfect companion - light and colorful especially since I am wearing black for the top." 


Modern Day Hippie Flower Power Blazer

"Like the model, I would pair with a killer pair of denim - either baggy jeans as shown in the picture or denim cut offs with some fly ass sandals or sneakers. A nude lip and then I will be ready to rock out!"


Modern Day Hippie Slay Them All baseball cap

"Want to know what I will be listening to while getting festival ready? Check out my festival track selection below. #SOITSLIT."


Modern Day Hippie, Nasty Gal, and the Power of Manifestation. March 23 2016 3 Comments

With the launch of Modern Day Hippie accessories on, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and reflect on my journey leading up to this HUGE moment for my business.

'Enlighten Up' hat available on Nasty Gal.

When I first started Modern Day Hippie, it was really just a passion project and creative outlet for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always sought to showcase my individuality through my clothes - specifically thrifted and vintage clothes. I love being able to take an item that was trendy 15 years ago and flipping it to make it more modern. I have always considered myself the definition of a free spirit and wanted my brand to reflect that. In 2014, I decided to pursue it as a side business and Modern Day Hippie was born.

What no one warned me about was how hard it would be trying to start a business while working full-time. Especially working full-time in a corporate environment where people thrive on constantly crushing your light, personal dreams, and goals. I lost sight of why I really started Modern Day Hippie, instead unhappily focusing on building someone else's dream. I suffered from depression and often times felt defeated. Right as I decided to make a change, I received an e-mail and the opportunity of a lifetime - an interview with the CEO of Nasty Gal. At the time, I just thought this would be another corporate interview. I had no idea that this day would change my life forever.


I didn't get the job, but I walked out with more fire and passion inside of me than ever before. Instead of talking about the job, we talked about the Law of Attraction and our favorite books. She mentioned that God plants success inside of us, but it is always up to the individual to tap into it. I had never had such a spiritual interview before and I knew that this was not a coincidence. The last words the CEO repeated to me as I walked out of her office were words that I was all too familiar with. They were words that have guided me my entire life: Failure is not an option.

My journal entry after interviewing at Nasty Gal

It was at this moment that I knew I had to stop making excuses and get to work. Somehow I had forgotten that God did not put me on this Earth to live an average existence. Over the next six months, I experienced some of the hardest personal challenges I have ever had to endure. I left my job, a long-term romantic relationship, friendships, and the financial security I had grown so comfortable in. I didn't realize that God was removing everything out of my life that would not help me advance to the next level. It felt like my entire world was crashing down. Often times, I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills or where my next meal was going to come from. The only thing I knew was that I had a vision and that God was going to make it happen.

I won't lie, this was the scariest period of my entire life! I spent many nights up late worrying about my next move. Money was a major stress factor. Then one day I realized that by focusing on the negative, I was only going to attract negative energy into my life as the result of my own thoughts. In order for me to truly receive what I know I deserved, I had to completely change my entire mindset. I had to consciously choose to vibrate at a higher level. Everything I have ever received in life, it was because I believed in myself and manifested my biggest desires. I had to brainwash myself with so much positivity and light that there was no other choice but for me to succeed.

I started to write out a weekly and monthly list of goals I wanted to achieve. I created a very specific and detailed vision board of everything I wanted to happen with Modern Day Hippie and my personal life. I practiced meditating more in times of fear and darkness. I only focused on the positive. I woke up every day thinking about Modern Day Hippie and went to bed thinking about how grateful I was to be present in this moment.

Vision Board

So when Nasty Gal reached out to me about hat designs that were intended to be a personal project, I knew that the power inside of me had reached a new level. I wanted to figure out a way to bring an element of spirituality and confidence to my brand, but still remain relevant to who I am as a person: fun, wild, and bold. Fast forward to today, and my designs are live on the Nasty Gal site! This is exactly how I always knew it would happen.

I felt that I need to share this story because so many times I hear people doubt themselves and their God-given purpose. We have to know that greatness is inside all of us. We won't reap the benefits of our greatness until we commit ourselves to putting in the work. If you have an idea but don't know where to start, WRITE IT DOWN. Write it down over and over until you begin to map out exactly how you're going to get there. I am not the richest person nor do I have all of the business knowledge, but I trusted my instincts and always bet on myself. You have to believe that you are going to be successful no matter what obstacles are put in your way. You have to embrace change and trust that there is always a bigger plan for you. God did not put a purpose on your life and intend for you to fail.

One of my favorite rappers of all time said it best: Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart's in it, and live the phrase 'Sky's the Limit.'

See you chumps on top.


Trust Your Dopeness



We made it to Nasty Gal! Purchase one before they are gone.Modern... March 23 2016

We made it to Nasty Gal! Purchase one before they are gone.

Modern Day Hippie Enlighten Up Baseball Cap | Shop Accessories at Nasty Gal!

Modern Day Hippie Hats are coming soon! March 21 2016 1 Comment

It's lit! We are so excited about our new dad hats dropping on our site soon! Stay tuned for new arrivals and a really big announcement coming to!
My Chakras are Lit

Modern Day Hippie Profile: Jamil Veals November 22 2015

In the process of building this vision and brand, we have been blessed enough to connect with some very inspirational men and women. These hippies are young, beautiful, conscious, ambitious, and just like you. Please continue reading and get inspired by their stories.

☮ Jamil Veals ☮





What's your zodiac sign?

Im a proud Aquarius! January 21st

What is your definition of a Modern Day Hippie and how do you identify as one?

My definition of a Modern Day Hippie is someone who is young and living in their moment and not afraid to go against today’s society. A Modern Day Hippie is someone who is ambitious and determined to do exactly what they want to do with their life - to use their gifts and talents to contribute to making the world a better place. I identify as a Modern Day Hippie because I’m naturally a free spirit. I've always gone in my own direction, even as a child, and I’ve always  loved that about myself.  I stay true to me and I go wherever the wind takes me. I’m a risk taker.

How would you define your style?

My style is U-C-P. Urban-Classic-Prep. I like in to incorporate elements of street wear with a clean preppy touch. I love class colors like black, grey nudes, & white. My style changes so often, so I go wherever the wind takes me.

Where do you like to shop?

I LOVE H&M! It's one of my favorite places. It's so fashion forward, but affordable at the same time.

How did you decide to start on your venture/career path?

I’ve always been super creative, especially as a child. I used to draw a lot, so art is definitely my thing. My mother always taught me the importance of presentation and dressing nice. During my junior year of high school, I watched the Kardashians on TV and I just thought they dressed so well. I decided I wanted to become a stylist around that time. I did an internship at Spoiled Boutique and the owner, Mika McCants, really taught me the business of the fashion industry.  I worked for her for 3 years and I just tried to get as much experience as I could. Today, I'm just hustling and grinding for fashion. It's what I love and it's my art. It's a career that helps people not only physically, but internally as well. I think that’s what makes me so happy about styling.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Well I was raised by a lot of women, so women are naturally my biggest influences. I have a ton of female friends who are all very beautiful women, so I have a bunch of muses.  The female anatomy is so interesting to me, but I pull inspiration from a lot of places - mostly music. Music is my first drawing board. It sounds weird, but I can listen to a song and in my brain envision a the woman in my head walking in slow motion.  I can see the whole outfit in my head, starting with the shoes. That’s how I come up with a lot of my looks. A lot of trap music and Beyonce.

What are your biggest dreams?

My biggest dream is to be able to have a reputable and successful career in fashion, by the grace of God. I want to be able to take care of my family and friends. I want to be in a big enough position to help them go after their own dreams.

What are some of the challenges you face?

What challenges don’t I face? I think my biggest challenge is the financial struggle. Being self made requires your own money to start. When it's limited, it's hard to really go hard and focus on just your goals. I'm not perfect and I have self doubt a lot. I feel like I see other people achieving their goals and living the lifestyles they want. It looks like they are doing it so fast and I wonder am I good good enough or talented enough? But I push through and keep faith. God has a plan and I go at His pace.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

God willing, booked and styling all of my favorite celebs. I want to style for red carpets, magazines, tv shows, music videos. I want it all! I see myself being able to help my mother and siblings live comfortably, living in a nice town house in LA, driving an all black g-wagon. Just living and enjoying life.

What piece of advice would you give to other young people trying to pursue their dreams?

Do not give up! Do not give up! Do not give up! It's so important to keep your goals right in front of you. It will be hard! You will have long nights and no sleep. You will lose friends. You will not have support from everybody and it won’t happen overnight. Just grind hard and stay true to yourself always. Your blessings will come.

What themes do you wish to see in our generation in 2015?

Just to spread love and be happy. It is not cute to be mad and be a hater. I would also like to see young people, especially in the Black and Latino community, pull each other up. One thing I can’t stand is when someone gets on and acts as if they are too good to give advice or help the next young person achieve their dreams. There is enough money to be made. When one makes it, we all make it.


Modern Day Hippie Profile: Honey Soula October 11 2015

In the process of building this vision and brand, we have been blessed enough to connect with some very inspirational men and women. These hippies are young, beautiful, conscious, ambitious, and just like you. Please continue reading and get inspired by their stories.

☮ Honey Soula ☮



What's your zodiac sign?
Cancer/Gemini cusp.

What is your definition of a Modern Day Hippie and how do you identify as one?

I think a modern day hippie comes down to your spirit. A modern day hippie is simply a free spirit that doesn't conform to societal norms.

How would you define your style? Where do you like to shop?

I would say it depends on my mood. Some days I'm 60s mod and some days I'm 90s grunge. Since I enjoy getting fashion inspiration from past eras, I tend to shop lots of thrift or find vintage things on eBay.

How did you decide to start on your venture/career path?

I've always been a writer. From as long as I could remember, I've always enjoyed writing screenplay, poems, cheesy love songs, and stories. However, I didn't take music seriously until people around me pushed me into rapping at the age of 17. So, I studied hip hop, started posting freestyles on YouTube, and have been growing ever since.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

I'm constantly inspired by people who are ambitious, so I watch lots and lots of interviews to fuel me. As for what artists inspire me the most? Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Andre 3000, Lauryn Hill, and 2pac.

What are you biggest dreams?

My ultimate dream is to be able to use my gift to help cater to world peace, cheesy I know. Writing is my passion, so I want to write books, movies, and music of course.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Me versus me to be honest. I'm constantly in a battle within my own mind.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself owning every festival stage, 2 Grammys deep, and starting in an HBO show I helped co-write.

What piece of advice would you give to other young people trying to pursue their dreams?

You can literally do anything you put your mind to. Never let the fear of falling keep you from flying.

What themes do you wish to see in our generation in 2015?

The return of the real. And it's definitely happening.

Anything else we should know?
New music dropping in the fall!


Honey is wearing vintage pieces provided by Modern Day Hippie. Photography: @_loveg


Modern Day Hippie Profile: Vanessa Rivera August 30 2015

Beginning this month, we will be profiling a few of the amazing Modern Day Hippies we have gotten in touch with over the past year. In the process of building this vision and brand, we have been blessed enough to connect with some very inspirational men and women. These hippies are young, beautiful, conscious, ambitious, and just like you. Please continue reading and get inspired by their stories.


Artist/Graphic Designer



Instagram: @vjrivera

What's your zodiac sign?

Cancer! but I'm not THAT emotional lol. I'm a Cancer / Leo cusp.

What is your definition of a Modern Day Hippie and how do you identify as one?

A Modern Day Hippie to me is someone who believes in the ways of the universe, collective conciousness, and oneness. Someone who is conscious of self and our generations failures and successes. Modern Day Hippies are not afraid to be different and aren't easily swayed into hype. We live a different lifestyle and that's what intrigues people about us. For me, that lifestyle includes a lot of meditation, interaction with nature, and reading.

How would you define your style?

I'm a very chill person and I think that tends to reflect in my fashion style. The most important thing for me is comfort. If I'm not comfortable in it I won't wear it, no matter how cute it is. I'm also an artist with an introverted and extroverted side. I can be very quiet and observant, but I am also outgoing and social. My style reflects that. I'm either in all black or super colorful. It just depends on my mood for the day.

Where do you like to shop?

I don't really have a place I consistently shop. I tend to buy things very randomly. I enjoy shopping when I'm traveling because it's always something no one else will have. That's important to me. I like reflecting my individuality by having things that are cool but exclusive. I'm also huge on backpacks! I find great backpacks at Urban Outfitters, but my favorite one right now I bought in Amsterdam.

How did you decide to start on your venture/career path?

I didn't choose my career, it chose me. It may sound cheesy but it's true. I never planned to be an artist. I remember being really creative and drawing a lot when I was little, then I hit 4th grade and I started being more into my friends. After my dad died in 2009, art became my release. I drew a portrait of him the first fathers day after he passed away. After that piece, I never let art go. No matter how far I thought I was getting from it, it always reels me back in. I think that's how you know your purpose, when you continuously return to it without any effort. In September 2013, I showed my art to the world for the first time and that's when I started pursuing art as a career. A year and a half later I had my first solo art show. It's been an interesting few years.

I'm also a graphic designer, which I thought was something I wasn't going to pursue after college. Originally, I studied graphic design because it was a happy medium between art and making money while making art. Surprisingly I've been doing pretty well in the design field since I graduated from USC. I enjoy making my clients happy and I make money off of it. It's great!


Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Basquiat is my greatest influence and inspiration. It was after I watched "Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child" that I realized the power of art. It made me realize why I wanted to be an artist in the first place. It's hard to explain what it is that Basquiat has that made me feel... something. For a long time, I didn't know what that feeling was, or why his art made me feel anything. I just knew that he had a message and for a long time I was intrigued by him. I studied his pieces and I tried to figure it out. It wasn't until I went to his exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum earlier this year that I realized what it all meant, and I still can't really explain it. Every piece is a message filled with messages but in order to understand the message you have to pay very close attention and you have to know his references. It's like you have to work to understand his pieces and in that search, you grow and it's so rewarding. That's what I want to do with my pieces. I don't want to just hand you the juice! I want to give people enough bits and pieces to make them curious and have them search for more. I've learned that people don't appreciate anything that is simply handed to them. People appreciate things that they have earned. At the end of the day, I want to teach. I want people to wake up.


What are you biggest dreams?

My biggest dream is to be someone that continues to help people after death. My biggest dream is to make a life-changing difference in peoples lives. You'd probably expect me to say that I want to be some famous memorable artist. Well, if that's how my purpose is meant to play out, which I believe is a possibility, then sure I want to be a memorable artist. However, if I was to accomplish this dream through some other medium then I would be just as happy with that. 

What are some of the challenges you face?

I expect a lot out of myself. I am very ambitious and I believe I have a built up a reputation of being that. I expect myself to be very successful in all that I do. It has become a challenge because when I am not performing at the level I expect myself to I can be very hard on myself. I forget that there's a journey to success and in that journey every moment is not going to be a peak.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Honestly, I don't know. I stopped planning things a long time ago. 5 years ago, nothing that I thought would happen is reality now. Some parts of my life are far better and some aren't. I'm just a soul enjoying the journey. All I know is that I'll be successful in whatever I do.


What piece of advice would you give to other young people trying to pursue their dreams?

Man. I'm still trying to find some advice for myself but I think the most important thing is to take things step by step. People get easily discouraged by pondering on everything that they must do to get to the finish line. Stay focused on what you need to do right now. We will always be able to handle the present. The thought of something is always worse than the actual moment. Don't look up and think of how many more steps you need to take to get to the top of the mountain. Concentrate on where your foot needs to land next. Next thing you know, you'll look up and be exactly where you wanted to be.

What themes do you wish to see in our generation in 2015?

I think that our generation has a lot of extremes. I see a lot more people starting to gain consciousness of how we've affected society in the last few years. I think there's room for so much improvement in our society and communities. I would really love to see people unite to fight this whole police brutality issue. For me that means having peaceful protests where everyone is free to join without worrying about getting killed because of gang violence. I would like people to understand that this issue is beyond the petty gang rivalry. What I would really love to see is for gangs to really look at the premises of what they have built and understand the stupidity and manipulation behind it all.

Anything else we should know?

I love trees! I like listening to birds sing. And sometimes God makes my dreams come true.


Vanessa is wearing vintage pieces provided by Modern Day Hippie. Styling: @VByJamilVeals. Photography: @dre.a