We asked some of the most inspiring folks we know to tell us what they are inspired by.

Darius Bucknor: Fashion Designer & Stylist

I’ve always used my personality and style as inspiration for me. Growing up in Atlanta, I idolized; Andre 3000, 1/2 of Atlanta’s own “Outkast”, Steve Harvey, and Fonzworth Bentley. With each gentlemen having their own unique style, I studied them, and from their I went on to develop my own style that tailored to me, “Putting my own stank on it” as I would say. My passion with being authentic keeps me pushing, because I get to express my personality through each Knot I create, making what I do that much more enjoyable. Read more>>

Lauren Sauder (she/her): Artist, Writer

Inspiration is something I think I will always carry with me. For me, it’s not what I am inspired by but instead, how am I living with inspiration. I learned early on as a creative the importance of working in seasons. As a landscape artist and pigment worker, I am in an endless multi-species dialogue with nature. I do not work to imitate my outer landscapes, but instead to slowly translate and share earth stories. These slow observations and deep awareness have rendered me the time to find an abundance of reflection. It’s in these large periods of time I can truly harness inspiration, feeling it in all stages of my process and in all aspects of my work. Read more>>

Tiffany Pauldon-Banks: Owner, Lil Mama’s Chicago Style Hoagy

I am inspired by making others happy, doing what I can to make someone’s day, week, life or whatever I can better. That’s why I am so passionate about mentorship. It’s always about extending my hand back to see who else is ready to take the next steps to be successful in whatever they are passionate about. Empowering others inspires me to be the best that I can be. Read more>>

Deja Childers: Owner of Childers Cakery

I’m inspired by my incredible support system which consists of my family, friends, and beautiful community. Without them I am absolutely nothing. They motivate me to be my best self. Read more>>

Darrian Jones: Photographer & Abstract Artist

I am truly inspired by life and the people that I interact with, including strangers. I always say, “everyone’s world is different.” This means that while we all exist on the same planet, we can only view it from our perspective. It is through communication that we express what we see. Whether it’s through something as complex as technology or things a minute and simple as body language or facial expressions, we are constantly sharing information. Combining this information with my imagination to figure out what could be and reality, is what creates my world and perspective. In turn, I try to show these details in my work. Read more>>

Adara: Futuristic Electronic Pop Artist

As a music artist, I’m always inspired by the complexity of the human experience. I’m inspired by the extraordinary potential of human beings. We all have the capability of changing the world, and that doesn’t just mean some grandiose action. Small acts of kindness and love can do that. I think that everyone has so much beauty inside of them and I want to convey that through my music. I try to put messages of hope, strength, and love into my lyrics and brand. I’m also incredibly inspired by space, technology, and the future. I incorporate that into my lyrics and visuals. I am extremely passionate about promoting S.T.E.A.M. to the younger generations. Read more>>

Hannah Mahdavi: Acrylic Artist & Polymer Clay Earring Designer

I draw most of my inspiration for art from nature. I grew up in Florida, and my family would go to St. George Island (on the Gulf of Mexico) almost weekly. I have always felt most like myself when I am on the water. It blows my mind how vast the gulf is. Because I feel so connected to water, it is one of my favorite things to paint. It calms me, and I like to think my paintings do the same to those in their presence. I also draw a lot of inspiration from travel. My dad and I share a love of travel. I don’t think there is a single problem that travel cannot solve. The culture and crowds, the food and flora, the lifestyles and landscapes. All of those things about a new place inspire me. When I am traveling, I take many photos so that I can have them for painting inspiration when I return home. To sum it up, I would say I’m inspired by the ever-changing colors surrounding me. Read more>>

Jessica Rubio: Portrait and Boudoir Photographer

Early in my career I obsessively studied magazines; when I got my first job at a photography studio in 2004 there was no social media to glean information from. I figured out lighting methods and poses by studying portraits and editorials in magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. It wasn’t until I knew how to harness light, master my equipment, and coach my clients before I got to successfully flex my creative muscles. Now that I’ve got technique covered, I can move more intuitively through my shoots. I simply have more bandwidth for inspiration and spontaneity. I can show up on location, having never been there before in my life, and find compositions, lighting, mood; essentially creating a set out of what’s available. Architecture, an outfit, someone’s “vibe” or look, a song, the way a person moves, light and shadow are examples of what’s inspired me while shooting. Beyond my career, I think being a naturally curious person and putting myself out into the world, living intentionally, and pursuing a depth and breadth of experiences creates a deeper well for me to draw inspiration. Read more>>

Ja’Da Brayboy: CEO of MYF8TH Apparel

MYF8TH is inspired by my older brother, who was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which ultimately lead to him becoming legally blind. His perseverance and independence he exemplifies with his disability, always inspired me. He always told me “all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed” and “faith without work is dead”. Those two quotes stuck with me and I branched out and made a brand, and a lifestyle out of it. On our original circle logo you can see a boy in a valley of trees, with a blindfold over his eyes (faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see); this represents whenever you come across an obstacle, you can’t see the finish line, or you simply don’t know which way to go… all you need is faith. The words ‘MYF8TH is ALL I EVER NEEDED’ surrounds the boy in a circle. That’s how we came up with our mantra #KEEPF8TH. Read more>>

Justin Bannister: Finance Professional, Entrepreneur

My inspiration comes from my desire to share what I believe is my God-given purpose to the world ahead of me. I’m inspired by not only achieving success in business, but by creating a life for my family that I did not have growing up. The people that inspire me the most are true leaders that protect and empower his or her’s own people. My inspiration is beyond monetary value, but to provide hope and empathy to those around me. The ability to create opportunity for those I love is priceless. I inspire to inspire others. Read more>>

Alexis Hardy: Spoken Word Artist & Writer

Fahtima Golphin: Boutique owner

mother who raised 7 strong amazing children to Rihanna who’s constantly breaking barriers in the beauty industry. It’s the black excellence in women like Issa Rae and Marsai Martin that inspire me to push myself beyond the barriers society set in place for black women. There is no doubt in my mind that now is the time more than ever for black women to be successful in anything we do. Read more>>