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Inspiring Stories from DTLA

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out LA’s rising stars below.

Trinity Tran

Five years ago, I went through a reawakening and became fully conscious of the urgency for change. I didn’t know how the revolution would unfold, I didn’t have a strategy going in, but I knew I needed to trust the process and find the courage to begin. Read more>>

Aaron Olson

I am a musician (composer and multi-instrumentalist) based in Los Angeles. I started playing music in elementary school — quickly gave up on piano lessons in favor of self-teaching guitar. Played Rock music throughout high school, then studied Classical music in college. Read more>>

Bas Tamiet

As a child, I began modeling, even had my own billboard in Israel and that career ended before I was five. I started modeling professionally as an adult in 2014. I then began to explore photography. I fell in love with both fields. At the start, I had been blogging about Fashion and landed a short contract with Steve Madden. Read more>>

Joni Seto

I’ve always been drawn to art — whether it was film, photography, painting, or anything that provided a creative outlet. However, growing up as the youngest child in a first-generation Chinese family, art was not viewed as a priority. My parents came to the US with nothing. Read more>>

Bekah Rife

About five years ago, I fell into becoming a private chef. I had a background in cooking as I have always cooked for myself, and part of my allowance growing up was cooking dinner for my family. Over the years, my business began to grow to include diet consulting, recipe development, catering and cooking lessons. Read more>>

Lyric Perez

Dedicated to music, film, television, creative writing, and the arts, since I was a child, I had dreams of creating art through my words, and visualizations with the intention to heal through relation. Growing up in New York City allowed me to be enriched in diverse creative culture. Read more>>

Dariel Filomeno

My interest in the arts began in Puerto Rico growing up on English dub anime (which also helped my brother and I learn English). I would always try to draw DBZ characters and Knights of the Zodiac until eventually when my family moved to RI and I began reading manga and western comics. Read more>>

Dionne M. Lackey

I have always been an advocate of health and wellness in various forms. From sports throughout school to running or hiking with friends to starting a Mom’s exercise group back when my son played little league sports. Taking care of one’s “self has been a priority. Read more>>

Alex Picha

I’ve wanted to do hair since before I can remember. As a child, I was obsessed with color – my room was painted rainbow and in my eyes, so long as it was bright, none of the tones or prints had to match. In my small Bay Area hometown, I would go to the hair salon with my mom every six weeks and fantasize. Read more>>

Nicole Russell

I started my non-profit organization in 2012. I became aware of the lack of support youth transitioning through foster care and homeless shelters receive at bedtime. I couldn’t find any orgs that work directly with the youth to provide bedtime coping therapy or basic comfort items. Read more>>

Amber Dee

I am a licensed professional counselor and I was in search of a therapist for myself. I have a cohort of friends that are therapists but I wanted someone outside of my circle. I began to search for a Black Female Therapist and found it very difficult to locate someone. Read more>>

 Akira Nakano

I grew up a classical pianist and percussionist at the Colburn School of Performing Arts complete with lots of competition and a tiger mom. I got into UCLA on a full-ride piano performance scholarship, left the music major after six weeks and graduated with a BA in Film & Television Production. Read more>>

Shea Stratton

I moved to LA from San Diego in 2008. Met Guitarist, Andrew Orvis, via Craiglist. We then met bassist, Cristy Michel also on Craigslist, followed by drummer, Michael Schneider from, you’ll never guess, Craigslist. Band members rotated in and out until we found bassist Patrick Morgan (not on Craigslist). Read more>>

Mars Wright

After moving to LA and coming out, I started getting involved in the local LA queer community. At the time, I was working at a really toxic job doing something I wasn’t very passionate about and all of a sudden, I just decided I couldn’t do it anymore and walked out. I had studied fine art and design in college. Read more>>

Josue Espindola Tapia

I am the fourth born out of six to an “immigrant” mother. My mother assimilated to the American culture and bought the idea of entering wholeheartedly into capitalism as the way to live a successful life. That instantly meant a separation from our roots and ancestry. Read more>>

Destinee Davis

As a young girl, I was always emotionally guarded. As a result, my mom put me in dance because that was a way for me to express my emotions without having to speak. However, as times got tough dance was a luxury we could no longer afford. At this time, I was had two options to suffer or find a new coping mechanism. Read more>>

Deanie Chen

I picked up a camera during my senior year of high school, it was just to find something to do. Growing up in the suburbs of Kansas, it was a way to expand my worldview, not by traveling, but by viewing the place I’d grown up in with a new perspective. Read more>>

Sadie Dean

I’m an LA native and I started out playing music at a young age. Was always around it, thanks to my mother and music artist Sayed Sabrina. She always made sure to introduce me to new music and always made sure we had instruments in the house. I was drawn to the rhythm section. My first love being the drums. Read more>>

Sunil Mohan

I’m the co-founder of Markk, a free mobile app that lets users rate places using just pictures and video, on a scale of Nope, Okay or Dope. Ratings last for just 24 hours, so everyone in the community can see the best places around them right now. My jump into the entrepreneurial world has been a long time in the making. Read more>>

Rachel Andersson

My career path is a little… non-linear. I grew up on the east coast and thought I’d become a writer (not a novelist or an academic, though – I’m pretty sure my dream was to write for a fashion magazine). I moved to California for college, studied sociology and English. Read more>>

Alexis Ramirez

I was born in AZ I came to California when I was 5 I woke up in LA first and loved Cali I came to the IE and grew up but through out my whole life every photographer every professional opportunity has been from or in LA and I can’t get to LA because I don’t make enough money. Read more>>

Michael Azuma

Michael Azuma, a.k.a. AZU, is a Los Angeles-based artist whose music draws on complex synth layering, foley elements from nature, and atmospheric pads, to create beautiful, immersive, and passionate soundscapes. Michael began teaching himself how to DJ and produce at the age of 12. Read more>>

Dreux Antoine

Dreux Antoine was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. He attended school in the historic French Quarters in New Orleans, where he discovered his love for music, culinary arts and entertainment. He was a cast extra in his first motion picture movie “French Silk” starring Susan Lucci. Read more>>

Joshua McCall

I was born in LA 1996, moved to Long Beach and have been here since. All of my life’s experiences, struggles, lessons led me up to who I am today. Back in March of 2019 I had lost my job. Immediately, the first thing I turned to instead of a pity party was go buy food and water to feed my local homeless community. Read more>>

Calla Donofrio

I’ve always been drawing and I started taking formal classes when I was about seven. I continued to take drawing classes in and outside of school up until starting community college. There I took several art courses, including figure drawing and an intro course on acrylics (although I didn’t care for painting at the time. Read more>>

Christopher Mack and Wanda Webster

Christopher Mack has been leading recovery groups for the past 19 years since he first got sober. He noticed that there was a dynamic of recovery that occurred in the individual when the right question was asked of the individual and pertaining to that individual. It was a magical process in many ways to see the AHA moment occur. Read more>>

Diddi Gawd

When I was in high school, I liked to make videos and film. As time went on, I needed to learn other skills to complement that which led me to know everything I know now and start Krow Klan Media. The biggest challenge is finding good people to work with. Most of the time, I have to do things myself. Read more>>

Charles Stella

I was born in LA but moved to the Bay Area when I was five and grew up in Oakland and Berkeley. I was always interested in music and at the are of 13, I attended Cazadero Music Camp to study guitar and voice. As a sophomore in high school, I joined a band that would change the course of my young life. Read more>>

Caroline Geys

I am a Belgian-born multimedia designer and artist who has been residing in DTLA since 2011. I began drawing at the age of seven and besides taking a few art classes in high school and college electives, I am self-taught and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Marketing. Read more>>

Demetria Logan

I was ten years old when I held my first camera. I knew right there it was something I would love and want to do. As I got older Both of my grandfathers were film photographers in the airforce and once they passed, they handed their cameras over to me. Read more>>

Sakina Ibrahim

I am from Springfield, MA the where I grew up dancing at a performing arts school in the suburbs. My mom choosing to send me to arts school changed the trajectory of my life. Springfield has a lot of drugs, violence and high teen pregnancy rates so there were a lot of circumstances. Read more>>

Charmaine Hurst

It all started when I started to be honest with myself. I went to college at La Sierra University and graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, and Masters Degree in Counseling. However, I knew this is not what I wanted to do. Yet, I did not have the confidence to pursue my dreams until these past two years. Read more>>

Rodney Shead

This company was started because we felt a need to disrupt the industry and bring a viable non tobacco product to the forefront. With that in mind, the founder of Million Bananas reached out to some of his roots and came up with the process of farming banana leafs. Read more>>

Joshua Karry Garcia

Back in 2014, I was giving a camera as a gift just a cheap started camera a Nikon D5500, and I found it very therapeutic. At that time, I didn’t have a job and my life was pretty much going nowhere and homeless at the time. Since I wasn’t working. Read more>>

Bryan Manrique

The story started when I was younger. My older brother had just purchased an expensive professional camera. No matter what, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. Eventually, I snuck it out and started taking pictures of my friends and of anything that had caught my eye. Read more. Read more>>

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