The Creative Takeover




Certain individuals are just born to create, they don’t choose art. Art chooses them. They have the ability to capture your attention, suck you into their world, and make you see them for who they are. They’re brave, bold risk takers who are unafraid to let the world see them for who they really are. They think in their own different and unique ways, and this world wouldn’t have been the same without them. Creatives.

What is a creative?

“A creative is an artist. Not just a painter or musician or writer. She/He is someone who sees the world a little differently than others. A creative is an individual. He/She is unique, someone who doesn’t quite fit into any box. Some think of creatives as iconoclasts; others see them as rebels. Both are quite appropriate. A creative is a thought leader. He influences people not necessarily through personality but through his innate gifts and talents.” – Jeff Goins 

oh, what is it that creatives do?

“Good question; sometimes they don’t even know. A creative creates art. Not to make a buck, but to make a difference. She/he writes to write, not to be noticed or to sell books. She/he sings to sing, for the pure joy of making music. And she/he paints to paint. (And so on…) A creative colors outside the lines. On purpose. In doing so, she/he shows the world a whole new picture they never would have otherwise seen. A creative breaks the rules. And as a result, he sets a new standard to follow.” – Jeff Goins

Being a creative, an artist

We are all creative. However, being “a creative” alludes to someone for whom creativity is life’s goal. Someone who loves turning ideas into reality. The ability to constantly create requires passion as well as commitment.

The label “creative” isn’t only limited to painters, musicians or writers. Art is a diverse range of human activities and it ranges from fine arts, visual arts, decorative arts, applied arts, and crafts: Art directors, architects, animators, bakers, dancers, fashion designers, graphic designers, hair stylists, illustrators, make up artists, photographers. sculptors, and the list goes on.

“Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of personality. It is the communication of intimate concepts that cannot be faithfully portrayed by words alone. And because words alone are not enough, we must find some other vehicle to carry our intent. But the content that we instill on or in our chosen media is not in itself the art. Art is to be found in how the media is used, the way in which the content is expressed.”

The creatives of my generation

“In the Haitian community, creatives are often overlooked and unsupported. Until the day they choose to chase their dreams in another country and eventually make it big. Then they’re suddenly well known and supported. I wonder when they will get the true support and recognition they deserve.” – Kyra Chavenet 

They are the future of our country. Don’t wait until they’re well known in another country, or until they’re no longer apart of our society to support their work.  The following individuals are some of the most talented Haitian creatives I know and admire, some of which I was honored to interview. Read on to find out more about them.

Steven Baboun 

Muhreah: Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Steven: I’m Steven Baboun. I’m a 22 year old Haitian artist—I mostly create through photography and video. I got my undergraduate degree at American University in Washington, DC in Film and Media Arts and Education Studies. I currently reside in New York where I am pursuing an MFA in Photo at The New School.

Muhreah: What made you major in photography?

Steven:  I actually didn’t major in photo. I did film and education. We basically learned how to write scripts, use a camera, produce a film, direct, and so forth. While it was great to learn about these things, I wasn’t too crazy about it. I fell in love with photography after my first year of college and took every photography class I could at my undergrad and the rest was history.

Muhreah: What obstacles, if any, have you had to deal with in your life or career?

Steven: Obstacles, ha! Everyday is an obstacle. I think especially as an artist, life is just a big ass maze that has no beginning and no end. And you constantly feel lost. Amongst all of my obstacles in my life and career, the biggest one for now has to be having to explain  what I do to others. Surprisingly, the average person doesn’t understand what being an artist entails. Yeah, I’m a photographer but I only use the camera as a tool to tell stories. It’s not only about beautiful portraits of people or landscapes— it’s way more than that. I make stuff, I make images, I make stories. It’s the uncomfortable and conformational nature of my storytelling that confuses/challenges/provokes people. And I constantly have to make people understand that. I hope that makes sense, haha.

Muhreah: What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?

Steven: In terms of art, the biggest challenge for me would have to be to tell the right stories— and how to tell these stories. I’m at a point in my art making where I want to present more complex narratives— narratives that tap into our society’s darkest corners (especially the Haitian society). So for me, it’s coming up with these unique ways to address issues like sexuality, religion, politics, classism, the self, etc. With so many artists in this world, how do I differentiate myself? It’s tough.

Muhreah: What is the ultimate message in your creative expressions?

Steven: My message changes everyday. But the one thing I hope people take away from my art is to challenge who they think they are, who they want to be, and who they actually are. I want people, when they see my work, to be so scared, uncomfortable, happy, aroused, doubtful, etc. I just want people to free their minds and I want my work to be that tipping point for people where they realize all the problematic things in their lives— and inspire solutions for these problems.

Muhreah: Who is your greatest influence?

Steven: So many people influence me but my GREATEST influence is Jesus Christ. Christ was a performer, an outcast, the guy who partied with prostitutes, who hung out with the sick. He was a performer trying to change the oppressive and toxic narrative of his society. I’m inspired by the crucifixion, Jesus’ last performance where he saves us all. It’s so beautiful. This is the ultimate act of love.

Muhreah: Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it chose you?

Steven: I’m 100% certain art chose me. It saved me. I was born to do this. I know for a fact that this is my legacy and mission in life. Even though it’s a daily struggle, I was born to be an artist.

Muhreah: Do you have skills that you wish to develop or talents you wish to perfect? Explain.

Steven: I’m always looking to polish my skills and to learn. Every day is an evolution. But I want to be more patient, more inquisitive, and more of a risk taker. I don’t know, everyday I want to take on something new. I have waves of fascination. I get really into something then I get bored and find something else to do.

Instagram: @stevenbaboun

Patrice Justin Armand

Muhreah: Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Patrice: I am Patrice Justin Armand (also known as PAJ), I’m a young programer who loves technology. I’ve already launched two web applications which are “Yoloayiti” , designed as a  carnival archive and “Jwetpoumwen” which is a system used by people who want to win bonuses. I’m also a soccer player who plays for ASSE, a club that represents the South East side of Haiti in national competitions. Lastly, I am the initiator of the project “Epelle moi” which took place in Jacmel, Haiti. (October- December 2017)

Muhreah: How do you feel about your ability to create?

Patrice:  I’m the type of person who’s always looking for what is missing in our society and at the same time a person who’s looking for what will make it better. It’s a shame that the majority of us only use our smartphones just to go through Whatsapp and Facebook, because in everything you take part of, you have the opportunity to apply your personal touch to it and come up with something new that could be useful to someone else.

Muhreah: What inspired you to come up with “Épelle moi”?

Patrice: I’m a big fan of intellectual TV shows and I’ve always seen myself taking part of one these shows. I realized that most people don’t write words entirely anymore, some of them don’t even use vowels at all. It surprised me because they’re losing their spelling abilities and I’ve decided to help them in my own way. I created “ Epelle moi” which is a french version of the “Spelling Bee” competitions made for kids that are in the 8th and 9th grade and which the purpose is to learn new words and improve their spelling skills. It can also increase their vocabularies, teach them to develop proper, correct French usage and help them learn concepts as well.

Muhreah: What is the show about?

Patrice: It is a contest that regroups different schools and each school has 2 contenders (one from 8th grade and one from 9th). I proceeded that way just because I wanted them to learn from their partners even though they are from different grades and also because I wanted them to play as a team. Every week, each contender had to spell an amount of words and the school which had less spelled words would be eliminated. The competition was 6 weeks long, and 6 winners were rewarded with 4 tablets and 8 books.

Muhreah: What is your favorite accomplishment?

Patrice: “Epelle moi” is the favorite and biggest accomplishment I’ve had so far. It’s a project I’ve been able to accomplish with the support of many friends who embraced the idea. I helped the kids who have nothing to do after school. I chose to bring something to the table that would help my community.

Instagram: @yoloayiti

Olivier F. R. Bonhomme

Muhreah: “Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?”

Olivier: My name is Olivier Francois Richard Bonhomme, I’m 23 years old. I’m from Haiti. I’m a mechanical engineering student who has been studying at the University of South Florida (USF)  in Tampa, for the last three years. I am the owner of Unique Beads and one of my favorite hobbies is making bracelets; and I am loving it.

Muhreah: How do you feel about Art, about your ability to create?

Olivier: First of, I’ve never perceived my bracelets as “art”. Until I have been told so and I never knew I had the ability to create such amazing bracelets. When I first started unique beads, I had no idea that one day my talent would be appreciated by so many people. Therefore, I can say that discovering my hidden talent and seeing how much of a positive impact my creation has on others, has been incredibly refreshing.

Muhreah: What was the biggest opposing force that you’ve encountered on your creative journey?

Olivier: Honestly, it has been a crazy, yet successful year for unique beads. The biggest challenge is balancing school, work and the business. However, I came to understand that all I needed to do was find sometime during the day to relax and do what I love which is making unique bracelets/anklets.

Muhreah: Do you think that creativity involves putting your heart and soul into your work? Or is it more like letting your mind flow freely to witness the surprising results of your actions?

Olivier: It’s everything you’ve just mentioned in one. I could start making a bracelet and get really excited about the result. Even when I’m ordering the beads, I immediately start anticipating my next moves and I already know what I’m going to do, and that alone brings me instant happiness.

Muhreah: What is your favorite creation? Please explain why you selected this one.

Olivier: I don’t have a preference. I could make one bracelet and love it for two or three days, then I make another and completely forget about the last. I tried to pick a favorite, but it was pointless because I realized that I love every single one that I have created.

Muhreah: What is your creative goal and how attainable do you think it is?

Olivier: I’m looking forward to eventually work with real gold or stainless. That’s one of my biggest objectives. I would love to make my business an affordable luxury brand. I also want to create other accessories. Rather than just bracelets or anklets, my next step will be making necklaces. I would also like to be able to ship worldwide, so i’ll work on going international, it’s not impossible.

Muhreah: What is your favorite accomplishment?

Olivier: My favorite accomplishment has to be “Kreativ”. “Kreyativ” was my very first exposition. It took place on July 27th at Fubar, in Haiti. Seeing all these people buy bracelets/anklets from me and watching the look on their faces once they did made me incredibly happy and proud of my creation.

Instagram: @unique__beads

Serome Junior Reginald

Muhreah: What is one thing you’re passionate about?

Reginald: I have an undying passion for Graffiti. Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted, typically illicitly, on a wall or other surface, often within public view. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. I’m a freelance graffiti artist and I usually do murals, regular graffiti drawings and I also design t-shirts.

Muhreah: How many graffiti styles are there? Which one do you specify in? 

Reginald: There are eight types of graffiti: tag, throw up, stencil, slaps, wildstyle, piece, blockbuster and heaven. I tap more into wildstyle. It’s way more fun.

Instagram: @tgod.regy

Nick Ndouta Nicolas

Muhreah: How did you come up with “Lave Lè”? 

Nick: Truthfully, there was never a moment in my life where I thought of creating a clothing line. The idea came up as a joke, then it got really serious. “Lave lè” was just a simple slogan I used, it just meant: “You’re popping. You’re successful. You’re unstoppable”. Then I would just yell it out all the time whenever my favorite soccer club scored a goal. I’m very extra, so I would always post on snapchat, yelling “Lave Lè, Lave Lè” right after a goal, right after a game. So, my friends started to hype it up, and it’s like they tuned in after every game to watch my snap just so they could hear me say: “Lave Lè, Lave Lè”. Eventually, one of them suggested the idea, and it just took off from there.

Muhreah: Are you into art at all? 

Nick: Well, I like art. However, I’m not good at drawing, painting or anything like that. Matter fact, I remember hiding in the bathroom during art class, back in middle school. That’s how bad I was. Which makes the fact that I have a clothing brand even funnier.

Muhreah: “How did you come up with the “Lave Lè” design?”

Nick: The design was from a pose of mine, which was an inside joke between my friends and I. (#Bishwhat) After the shirts were made, it was basically like, those who know, will know. You know? I had the concept down, but my friend Sebastien Malebranche is actually the one behind the design, he’s the one who made it. So, shout out to Seb.

Muhreah: How would you like to be remembered?

Nick: I just want to be remembered for the person I am. A cool, kind, open minded and genuine guy. That’s all I want, that’s what matters the most to me.

Muhreah: What is your favorite accomplishment?

Nick: My favorite accomplishment would be the clothing line. That’s one thing I’m very proud of, and I’m very excited about it.

Instagram: @lave_le

Kesly Balthazar

Muhreah: What are your thoughts on art?

Kesly: To me, art is the most beautiful thing that has ever existed. Your inspiration comes from your thoughts and I can say it’s the harmony between you and your brain that give you the ability to produce/create something that every single eye will fall in love with.

Muhreah: What is one thing you’re passionate about? Tell us one of your artistic goals. 

Kesly: I’m passionate about cameras, and pretty pictures. I’m currently in my learning phase, but my dream is to become a great filmmaker and a well known photographer.


Muhreah: What is creativity to you?

Rebelle: Creativity to me is being able to express myself freely through my art. It’s being able to put all of my emotions into my work and coming up with something amazing.
Muhreah: What do you do to get into your creative zone?

Rebelle: Getting into my creative zone usually starts with a glass of red wine. When it comes to writing music, most of the time all I need to hear is the beat in order for me to get in my zone. I hear it , I feel it in my bones and I let it take me away… kind of to another world.
Muhreah: What is your favorite accomplishment?

Rebelle: My favorite accomplishment… well I’ll say one of my favorites, has to be recording my single, which will be released very soon, after putting it off for so long.

Instagram: @Queen_rebelle

Bendy Jules

Muhreah: How do you feel about art? What are you passionate about?

Bendy: I love art but most importantly, I’m passionate about poems and also everything that is related to writing. Writing means everything to me. I don’t force it, my inspiration comes by itself and even if I force it, I’d feel like everything that I write isn’t good enough.

Muhreah: What are one of your artistic goals? 

Bendy: I don’t really have an artistic goal, however I strive to perfectionate my craft on a daily basis. I have many dreams. I’d like to be able to publish books, take part of contests, win prizes based on my writing skills, meet famous poets and above all, learn more about writing and then help those who want to pursue a career in this field. I want to create a space where people can come and talk about poetry, something like a poetry club. I’d like to help poets find their way, support them in a way to propel the poetic movement because writing gives life, wisdom and lastly writing puts you in contact with your own world. A world in which you are the sole creator.

Rodney Derilus (dRodhd)

Muhreah: How do you feel about art? your ability to create?

Rodney: Art is one of the most subjective topics in this world. Anyone can be creative but the challenge is to stay consistent and true to yourself.

Muhreah: Do you think that creativity involves putting your heart and soul into your work? Or is it more like letting your mind flow freely to witness the surprising results of your actions?

Rodney: It’s more like letting my mind flow freely. Most of the time, I have zero knowledge of what the final results are going to be look like, not because I don’t know what i’m doing, but because the first ideas aren’t often that good. I can start a project with a whole plan in mind, with planned steps etc. but at a certain point of the process I leave the path and end up taking another route, thus leading to a different result.

Muhreah: What your accomplishment?

Rodney: I don’t really have a favorite but I’m very proud of my latest works specially the “Emperor Painting” inspired by a famous concept called “Replace Face”.

Instagram: @Drodhd

Marc Archange Guillaume

Muhreah: Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Marc: For sure, I am Marc Archange Guillaume. Known as Marco or TiMak. Some often call me LeBron James because he’s my favorite player and also because we’re both part of the #BeardGang, haha. I’m turning 22 in September and I’m majoring in Economics at the university of Quisqueya. I am from Jacmel but, I’ve been residing in Port-au-prince for a little while.

Muhreah: What’s your favorite hobby, something you’re passionate about?

Marc: I have two hobbies: Art and basketball. On some days, I’m more passionate about basketball. Yet, on other days all I can think about is art.

Muhreah: Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it chose you?

Marc: I gave up on art, for three years. I stopped sketching, stopped drawing. Yet, somehow when I picked it back up it was almost as if I never stopped. I was still able to draw, I still am and at a pretty good level. I know that my ability to draw is a blessing from God, and I’m thankful for it.

Muhreah: Do you have skills that you wish to develop or talents you wish to perfect? Explain.

Marc: Yes. DEFINITELY. I want be able to create my own pieces, based off my own imagination. I am able to recreate images. However, starting my own drawings from scratch always comes out looking horrible. So, I want to sharpen that up a bit. My drawing skills would be on top and it’d expose me to more opportunities. Don’t take me wrong, I’m aware that I’m a great artist. But I want to get better and better, I want to challenge the greatest.

Instagram: @Marcogmx

Zarita Zevallos

Muhreah: Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Zarita: Hi, my name is Zarita Zevallos, I’m 26 years old. I’m a Haitian photographer/Architect living in Brooklyn, NY.

Muhreah: What made you major in architecture?

Zarita: Two things: I was very good at every subject in school and architecture is a combination of different subjects/topics; and I survived the earthquake in Haiti which was an experience that confirmed that this is the path I should follow.

Muhreah: What obstacles, if any, have you had to deal with in your life or career? What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?

Zarita: For architecture, there’s always something new to learn in very little amount of time and to (almost) perfection. Having to keep up with such a fast pace can get very tiring. As for Photography, my biggest obstacle was to figure out what ‘my’ style/signature would be. Fortunately, at the beginning I experimented a lot with my work; I used what I learned in architecture in photography. I do a lot of crafting and overlays when it comes to expressing myself. I made a mistake, I found a solution for that mistake and I accidentally discovered how to express myself in a personal and intimate way.

Muhreah: What is the ultimate message in your creative expressions?

Zarita: Exposing the hardships of reality. My concepts are usually dark/uncomfortable topics for the ones at the top of the social pyramid, clearly. I tackle those realities or try to amplify the voices of those who aren’t being listened to. If I can find a way to tie the truth to an unique way of expression, hopefully it will catch someone’s attention enough to give artists like me a platform and echo our message to the world.

Muhreah: Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it chose you?

Zarita: It’s all a matter of perspective. I definitely thought things through as far as wanting to become an architect, but the earthquake happened as if to confirm my thought process. Of course I could have chosen to be an engineer but I know what I preferred, and it was an artistic path. My father always had a passion for photography, so I know the idea was there because of him; but when it comes to how I express myself, that was serendipitous. In the end, I opened my mind to these passions and they embraced me.

Muhreah: Do you have skills that you wish to develop or talents you wish to perfect? Explain.

Zarita: Absolutely! Because I’m self taught, there’s a lot I need to learn such as types lighting, and maybe other techniques that a photographer should be aware of. All I have is the creativity and Vision… that’s a lot! But there’s always room for improvement and in my case I need much more; I feel like there’s more I could offer in that sense.

Instagram: @infi_nerdy_

Why creatives are needed

“If it wasn’t for creative thinkers there would be no innovation. There would be no art, no music, poetry or even love. For all these things can only be seen, created and interpreted by a heart that knows no boundaries. All buildings would be boxes. There would be no curves or wonderful shapes. There would be no movies, cartoons, nor games or amazing fashion. Life would be black white and grey without creatives. For only creatives can see that colors are the beginning of infinite potential.” – Bibi Suarez

Writers note

I hope this article made you realize the importance, and the impact creatives can have on the world. Support them. Appreciate their work. Creatives are taking over.

A big thank you goes to: Kyra Chavenet, Steven Baboun, Patrice Justin Armand, Olivier F. R. Bonhomme, Serome Junior Reginald, Nick Ndouta Nicolas, Kesly Balthazar, Rebelle, Bendy Jules, Rodney Derilus, Marc Archange Guillaume and Zarita Zevallos for being nice enough to answer all the questions. To all of you currently reading this, Thank you! Hopefully, by the time you’re through with this article, you will have fallen in love with their artistry as much as I have.

This was, The Creative Takeover.

Written by Muhreahwrites .

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