We had the good fortune of connecting with D.A. Alston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi D.A., we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My business/brand came to be in an unconventional way. On the back of an IHOP paper placemat I began sketching out the plan for my book series with just a random thought that blossomed into more. The book series opened doors for me to create multiple streams of income in ways that I never could have imagined.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art is not simply something I do, it is who I am. I’ve been creating before I could really talk. I grew up making my own birthday cards for people, designed my dolls clothes from socks (sorry mom) , wrote poetry that won me awards, painted, crafted and found ways to use my talents to bring others joy. My art, my craft is a beautiful weapon that I use to carve joy into anyone who has the chance to interact with it. Growing up I didn’t always feel seen in the media so I purposely go out of my way now to make sure others see themselves in my art.

My journey hasn’t been easy creatively but it has made me who I am. Every disappointment, every insecurity, all the highs and lows only add fuel to the fire that lights my way. I am resilient. I have fallen, failed, I made terrible pieces of art but stopping is never an option. That’s what I hope to inspire in others.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Chattahoochee River is one of my favorite places to sit and clear my head. The river is the perfect backdrop for you while you create. If you’re looking for good food check out Yeero Village for Greek, Hen Mother Cookhouse for brunch, or even down south for something sweet at Kings Doughnuts. There’s so many things to do in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Her to Put Shack to fuel your competitive side. Sky View gives you the best seat to experience the entire city. It doesn’t matter where you go, you can find inspiration everywhere in the city.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been blessed to encounter so many phenomenal people who have directly inspired me. The constant however is my mother, Bethany Trout. She sat across me at that IHOP when the “Royal Elite Squad” was only a thought and a possible coloring book. She has read rough drafts, helped promote creative events, been a personal billboard for my art and so much more. When dreams don’t quite manifest in my life she is the voice reminding me to “dream a better dream” . The best part of who I am is her.

Website: www.thedaway.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/d.a.alston

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thedaway

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheOnly.DA.Alston/

Image Credits
Phyllis Iller

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