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Meet Mr Joshua of The No Talent Ugly in Little Armenia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mr Joshua.

Mr Joshua, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I come from Orem, Utah, a place that harbors intense creativity veneered by religious and societal turmoil. I grew up in a “broken” home, mothered and fathered by an incredibly kind woman, my mother. She encouraged me always to be myself, to live my way, and to explore my every desire. I was lucky in that way because it protected me and gave me the strength to ward off the pressures of conformity that press hard on oneself there. I was a competitive gymnast from age 6-12, and when that got too hard, I moved on to dance, where I found myself and discovered how to listen to my body.

I taught myself to draw from a “how to” book and could render works photo-realistically by the time I was 16. When I kept skipping classes in public school due to the ridicule from peers and the force of institutional education, I begged and pleaded to attend a performing arts high school that implemented a freedom program and beyond. My mother couldn’t afford the tuition so, in turn, I taught dance classes at night to supplement payments for education. My focus was on dance and voice. Singing has been a challenging dream of mine from day zero. I tried a move to NYC at 21 years old to pursue that dream, but that was a major fail so I moved back to Utah to get my shit together and do something creative to make money. I studied hair.

After that, I ended up moving to Los Angeles in 1999 where I met my life partner, Larkin (our relationship is 20 years in the making), and got a job in a burgeoning barbershop chain that inspired me to open my private studio in 2003 in Silver Lake. In 2007 I helped and worked with my now husband to open his dream machine restaurant that was sought after and acknowledged by the press at large. While doing that for him, I recorded songs with producers, danced in a company for eight years, did countless L.A.-based original musicals, and had the pleasure of dancing in a film featured in a notorious French film festival in 2010.

In 2011 we moved to New Orleans where the visual art came back like a hurricane. I studied how to paint and understand color theory in local classes. I began doing art commissions there and haven’t stopped since. After the second run in NYC—not the place for me—I moved back to LA and opened my studio, the No Talent Ugly Creative Group, with the hope of creating in all of my forms, and hosting my creative collective to build them up so we all come up together. I have dabbled in all art forms, from all the aforementioned to interior design, mural work, makeup, and photography. For me being creative is all encompassing. I just see it. It’s natural. And I’m ready to help others.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No road is smooth all the way. There are always smooth spots, potholes, gravel, sometimes ice and boulders. But guess what. We always keep driving until we make it to where we want to go. I’ve had people take advantage of me for “free” art my whole life, even to the point of feeling like no one deserves what I have to give, and those interactions left me feeling hopeless, unable, and empty. Now, at 43, I am finally learning to value myself and my creative worth because no one will unless I do. I’ve had a lot of tough lessons but those have been invaluable and have given me the strength to ask for what I need and demand what I deserve.

Please tell us about your business.
I currently own and run The No Talent Ugly. A creative group that comprises art, hair, photography, music, and dance collectives that are ready to show the world what a creative tribe can do. I’ve been diligent in creating relationships with like-minded creatives to build a machine that can change the perspectives and thoughts of the troubled world we have to survive in without the narcissism and fame monsters that exist in and around us. No one needs that. We just need the beauty that is created.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Being supported and loved by my friends and family, especially my mother who always believed in and encouraged me to be unabashedly myself.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Polina Neshpor Lovison
Cristine Tatomer
Anna Wingfield
Ritzy Periwinkle
Corey and Torey Comier
Lelah Angelica Foster

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