this is 20/20 vision, straight up

Wearing selections provided by New Balance from the 520 New Balance sneaker collection, these young artists share the words, sights, and sounds that shape their daily practice.

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Aug 18 2017, 3:00pm

Making art in the city is a hustle; sometimes it's nice to escape. Photographer Eric Chakeen takes a trip out of town with five East Coast creatives, to talk inspiration and individuality.

Butch Dawson, 24
What do you do? Create
Current focus? My current focus is making music (writing and producing)
Express your style in one word: Peacock
What are your biggest inspirations? The Neptunes, Blue Skies, and clouds
How do you break down boundaries? Get curious
What do your work to convey to the world? I would like for my music to give the world confidence in themselves and to let them know that it's cool and real to be yourself
Who do you create for? My mental health
Does the city disrupt your creative process? It enhances my creative process because when I see haters hating I flex, and when I see other artists smile it motivates me
Could you create the same type of work outside of your normal cityscape? Yessir it's nothin'
How do you avoid falling into the same creative patterns as your peers? Stop listening to rap music
What does the future look like? iPhone 10+

Joy Postell, 25
What do you do? Singer/Songwriter
Current focus? My debut EP + self care
What are some of your biggest inspirations? Life experiences, strong willed loved ones, a brighter tomorrow
What do you want your work to convey to the world? That we each have our own story to tell
What's the ultimate goal you'd like to convey with your work? Liberate the masses and spread love
Who do you create for? I create to heal myself and others
How does escaping from the city stimulate your creativity? It provides a complete refresh. Too much time away from nature can leave me feeling flighty and out of sync
Is there a dedicated space away from home that has offered insight during an otherwise, uninspired period? Anywhere that has a lot of trees, rocks, and water
How do you avoid falling into the same creative patterns as your peers? Solitude, I make sure to take time for myself so I can remain grounded with with clarity
What does the future look like? The future looks like us

Milkizm aka Milk, 23
What do you do: I am a confused artist aka multimedia artist. I paint, art direct, graphics, and music. Whatever I want to do
Current focus: Mula baby/Creating/Living
What are some of your biggest inspirations: People, nature, lights, sounds
What do you want your work to convey to the world: Let your mind go and just absorb
What's the ultimate goal you'd like to convey with your work: To inspire myself and others especially the youth culture
Who do you create for: Myself first and if people fuck with it, then bless them
Does the city disrupt your creative process: Yes and no, it's a love hate relationship but it's made me a boss/taught me how to grind
How does escaping from the city stimulate your creativity: City can break you mentally, escaping lets me breathe and regroup my thoughts
How do you draw inspiration from your surroundings: By not judging anyone or anything
How would you express your style in one word: Chill
What does the future look like: My future looks lit right now but I can't predict the future

Brooke Wise, 23
What do you do? Fine artist/curator
Current focus? Curating group shows in NYC, LA, and soon Europe
What are your biggest inspirations? Catdog, The Offspring and Kid Rock aesthetically and spiritually
How do you break down boundaries? By activating non-conventional, non-white cube spaces to merge established and emerging artists
What does your work to convey to the world? Accessibility
What's the ultimate goal? Changing the way we interact with the conventional art world
Does the city disrupt your creative process? Enhance. The constant rush and anxiety-filled day-to-day life has more benefits than negative aspects
How does escaping from the city stimulate your creativity? It doesn't, being relaxed does more bad than good for me creatively
How does the environment shape the work you create? It makes me filter/sift through the clutter of cultural pollution in order to find inspiration
How do you draw inspiration from your surroundings? I filter through the trends and the bullshit to find the things and people worth keeping
What does the future look like? Cut

Zachariah Shaw, 22
What do you do?
Model/DJ/Party Host
Current focus? Modeling and DJing
Express your style in one word: Eclectic
What are your biggest inspirations? Old people because one day I'll be like them
How do you break down boundaries? I try to be the voice that others don't have
What does your work to convey to the world? It's OK to relax
What's the ultimate goal? I'd love to get a fragrance campaign and to DJ with Paris Hilton
What helps you maintain a sense of individuality? I just be me
How do you draw inspiration from your surroundings? I look around
What does the future look like? Future looks like Meryl Streep

Credits


Photography: Eric Chakeen
Styling: Sasha Kelly