We love asking the folks that inspire and excite us about what inspires and excites them. Check out their responses below.

Laura Roebuck | Artist

I’m inspired by being outside as well collecting images taken from nature- scientific illustration and landscape photography. Read more>>

DeAnna Butler | Seeded Produce Seller & Juicer

I’m inspired by life, growth, and how magnificent the smallest of things can make someone smile. Life is so precious but we sometimes take it for granted. Do u know that everyday you open your eyes is a new day to do something better then you did the day before. Like right now I’m doing this interview for Voyage Atl. Read more>>

Elea Xylem | Image Consultant & Creative Director of Elea Blake Cosmetics

I had a rough childhood in terms of growing up and preferring a non-binary presentation. My mom was a makeup artist and aesthetician with a specialty in image consultation. You might assume this would mean she would pressure me to look or present in a stereotypically feminine way, but actually she was always very supportive of my preferences. She helped me look for the best basketball shorts and shoes that would help me feel confident. Now that I’m older, I feel strongly in respecting people’s individuality. I get to work with my mom every day in our business, and I’m always inspired by her caring attitude. What she doesn’t understand, she tries to, and she will never force someone to be someone they aren’t. I love the idea of empowering people to be their ideal selves without changing who they are at their core. It’s something I use every day in my job. Read more>>

Lester Greene-The Connector | Actor/Producer/Rapper/Bus Driver/Host

I’m an artist. I’m an actor. I’m a rapper – so I am inspired by the sound of music. I am inspired by a Jason Bateman performance in Ozark. I’m inspired by the man jogging on the street at 4am. I try to allow my surroundings to inspire me. Why else do you live?! Inspiration keeps the spirit alive. Read more>>

Laine Gay | Artist

I am constantly inspired by women and nature. Women are strong and resilient even in the face of so much adversity, so I create art to celebrate women. Most of my artwork focuses on themes of growth and healing from trauma. I love depicting women growing alongside nature or women becoming part of nature. I use floral and figurative elements to show the strength and beauty of the feminine spirit to help others feel empowered. Read more>>

Marquitta Rucker | Founder of SWAT Foundation Inc

I am inspired by my parents. My parents were married for over 30 years before my mom passed from cancer. My mom was devoted to helping our church and the surrounding community. My passion for serving comes from her. My dad was a family man and awesome provider. He definitely passed his work ethics on to me. Best of all, they taught me about Christ. I strive everyday to be more like them. Read more>>

Mika Billins | Writer & Yoga Instructor

I find inspiration in the little things. Over time, I’ve noticed that I don’t find inspiration from big, grandiose things, but small, maybe even simple, everyday things. Most of my inspiration comes from when I’m alone with just myself. When I’m practicing yoga or writing in my journal, I become inspired when I have a moment to reflect on the day or think about who I am, what I gravitate towards, what brings me peace and joy. Read more>>

Jules Downum and Mattie Waters Directors of The Pop-up Project | Non-Profit Dance and Production Company

I am inspired by people and stories. Especially those that show me a new way to view the world, or challenge assumptions I have had. Read more>>

Marlee Winters | Printmaker

I enjoy spending my time outdoors finding new adventure and inspiration; I suppose nature is my greatest muse. Most all of my work is inspired by the beauty and balance that can be found in the natural world around, and within us. Symmetry and sacred geometry have always intrigued me, especially the ways shapes and patterns present themselves in nature. There is something mystical about the unexplainable patterns that exist within our universe, and that is what will keep me exploring for as long as I can, both in my art and the great outdoors. I also try to surround myself with fellow artists, creatives, and makers. I dearly miss the shared studio space and creative community that art school provided, but I have found that as long as I surround myself with creative people and environments, it helps keep my inspiration and creative spark alive. I’ve found a similar sense of community in the people I meet at markets, shows, and events — my fellow makers, and also strangers that stop by and show interest in my art. Some of the best ideas and conversations have sparked this way. Read more>>

Raegan Rowland | Artist and Designer

Artistically speaking, I am inspired by bright colors and large structures. Ever since I can remember I have been excited about making art, so it gets difficult to pinpoint what makes me excited the most, but the first things these are the first that come to mind. My first memories of being inspired are from reading books and watching TV. I always wanted the books with the most colorful pictures, even if I couldn’t read them, because I could look at them and try to draw them on my own. I drew “Rainbowfish” A LOT, and he was my favorite because he was so colorful. As I got older I remember watching shows like Spongebob Squarepants, and Rolie Polie Olie and while I was watching them I would be drawing the characters and scenes. If I wasn’t actually drawing them, I was thinking about it, and I do the same thing still to this day. Tangled is my favorite Disney movie, not only because of the amazing storyline, but because of the colors and the beauty of the “floating lights.” I watch it and I think about how I want to recreate it. I’m extremely inspired by: sunsets, flowers, bright colored insects/animals, light shows at concerts, fashion, etc. Bright colors. Read more>>

Courtney Napier | Writer-Journalist and Founder of Black Oak Society

There are a number of incredible Black women writers and journalists who inspire me, but I’ll keep it to three. The first is Nikole Hannah-Jones. I was familiar with her writing for the NY Times when she covered racism and education, but the release of The 1619 Project opened up my eyes to the possibility of merging untapped historical narratives and presenting them in provocative and creative ways. There’s also Isabel Wilkerson, a journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns and her newest book, Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents. She is such an incredible storyteller. Engaging her work feels more like reading a novel than reading a history book, and that is what I strive to do with my writing. Finally, I am deeply inspired by Deborah Holt Noel, who hosts two shows on North Carolina’s PBS station: “NC Weekend” and “The Black Issues Forum.” Like her, I have a deep love for my home state and I admire how she has spent her entire career bringing North Carolina’s hidden gems and narratives into the light. Finally, all three women represent how the power of the pen (or the TV camera) can create positive change and bring us as Black people closer to justice. Read more>>

Allen Green | Fire Fighter, Direct Support Supervisor, and Mentor

I am inspired by growth and seeing other people grow/develop. Read more>>

Brandon Curtis | Nurse, Creative Director, & Designer

God. People. The God that is in each individual. I love to communicate with others and understand their experience there likes, dislikes. There takes even if i don’t agree with them provide me some insight on another world that I don’t directly experience. Read more>>

Charmisse Morency | Author & Public Speaker

I am constantly inspired by my son, Donald. Youth, in general have been my inspiration for my books and business because I want to help them feel encouraged, empowered and equipped for their future. As a mom, I want to lead by example and give my son the tools he needs to have a bright future. He’s naturally curious so I am always trying to show him things, teach him how to do things and explain things to him. We read a lot, but he hasn’t taken an interest in the book I wrote for and about him, Donald Goes to College. However, he’s well aware that mommy is in school and she works. He is intrigued by my books, desk and laptop. I always show him what I am working on and I even ask for his input. I want him to see my journey and my work ethic and be inspired to achieve anything he sets his mind on. Read more>>

Crystal Davis | EmPOWERment Speaker, Life Coach, Minister, and Mentor

I am inspired by HOPE – the Heart of People Everyday and the Gift of Service! Beautiful exchanged is inspired by God and the hope and reassurance I longed for on my journey. As a battered and broken young lady, I like many others sought refuge and love in ways where it was never found. In spite of missing many marks and making many wrongs choices, I ALWAYS knew my life had Purpose – there was this “glimmer of hope” that I continue to hold on to, even when life, environment, and circumstances said, “No”. My journey was one of challenges from teenage pregnancy, to high school dropout, low self-esteem, domestic violence, homeless, and helplessness. Nearly four years ago, the Lord spoke to me and said, “You will inspire other young ladies and make an impact through your story/testimony of Triumph – Beautiful Heart was created. In 2018, the Lord awakened me from my sleep about 3 a.m. and changed the name to Beautiful Exchange, giving me the Foundational Message – “Exchanging Beauty for Ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). Read more>>