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Downtown LA’s Thought-Provokers

LA has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.  Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around DTLA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Tyra Gabrielle Morrison

Being an actress, I just wanted to get my face out there and practice my craft, so I was auditioning in Philly and got cast in EVERYTHING. Which was hard because I felt like there was no room for growth. I went into every audition already knowing I would get cast. But I realized that accepting every role thrown at me was for the birdsssss! Read more>>

Samantha Rosenwald

I have learned to rely on humor as a social lubricant. If I could mask earnestness, fear, anal paranoia, and anxiety with comedy, I could be unflappable. Though this story is old now, it’s seared into my brain as something funny, but mostly something sad and painful — Read more>>

Wendi Lawlor

After graduating, I started my own jewelry business in my tiny apartment with not much money and just a few materials, and my grandfathers’ old tools from the thirties to work with. The line grew quickly, and I was in over 150 boutiques around the country. Read more>>

Nikko de Leon

Art was something that I easily identified with. When I was a kid, I felt very self-conscious about myself because I had bad grades in school and I didn’t grow up like the other studious Filipino kids in my neighborhood. Instead, I would be day dreaming in class and drawing characters and comics all over my notebooks. Read more>>

Leah Samuels

I was there was lucky enough to learn how to tattoo! Now I live in Los Angeles and work out of a studio that me and two others very talented tattooers just opened called “Baby.” I’m also working on a graphic novel with Ryan Kattner as well as smaller, personal zines. Read more>>

Jason Barabba

I never planned on being a professional musician. I grew up playing trombone and piano, but it never really clicked for me until I started to play in the orchestra at Occidental College when I was an undergrad. Read more>>

Thinh Nguyen

Nguyen’s educational quest was peripatetic, moving from psychology to painting to art education to receiving an MFA in studio practices from Claremont Graduate University in 2011. Since that time, the artist has developed an art practice shaped by research and “a series of revelations.” Read more>>

Nick Norton

I find myself doing all kinds of things (playing solo ambient sets, writing pieces for other musicians, producing concerts, running an ensemble, playing in bands, teaching…. the list goes on), but they’re all related to the composition in one way or another. Read more>>

Paul Juno

Drawing was freeing and fun, it allowed us to communicate our true sense of humor and self. It was also slowly fine tuning a rapidly growing interest in the arts. I don’t personally create parody work anymore, but truthfully that’s where the drawing began. Read more>>

Javohn Oddie

I have been creating art projects with teams since elementary school. Over the years I have worked with many people doing various art projects. I started off drawing form my mother. Read more>>

Niko Pope

I was born with a very powerful, potent, visual imagination. As a child, I was what one would classify as a “chronic daydreamer.” I often created stories, characters and even entire worlds in my mind and I’d watch everything play out as if I were watching and controlling a movie in my mind. Read more>>

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