My Creative Process is an interview series in which I chat with inspiring creatives of all types, and take a peek inside their minds. I hope this series will give you a sense of relief – “I feel like that too!” – and encourage you to keep making what you love to make.
Deun Ivory is a multifaceted creative widely known for her aesthetic as a photographer + illustrator. Through her artistry, she has created a space for women of color to feel valued, affirmed + celebrated. Her eye for compelling imagery + elegant use of minimalism has garnered the attention of Essence Magazine + other major brands who’ve declared her an influencer + artist to watch.
How did you end up in your chosen career?
I realized that my art impacted more lives than what I expected + I felt like I had a responsibility to create a space where people were affirmed + celebrated.
Through my photography + illustrations, I was able to visually communicate stories + messages that I wasn’t able to convey with words, which inspired me to become a creative entrepreneur. My life’s work is dedicated to serving + empowering people + this career path aligned with those goals and intentions.
When do you feel most creative? Be it a time of day, particular season, or after a really great taco.
I feel most creative when I listen to great music or when I watch a documentary about an artist on Netflix.
Where is your favorite place to create, and why?
My favorite place to create is inside the walls of my home. I’m a bit of a loner + I feel most liberated when I’m not around other people. That allows me to create without any pressure or expectations. I can roam around in my hair bonnet + sleeping clothes, which gives me freedom to express myself the way I desire in all aspects of my creative process.
Typically, what does your creative process look like?
I’m extremely random. I don’t think I have a process that’s easily understood. Concerning photography, I’m normally exposing myself to new work by artists that I see on pinterest or Tumblr, which expands my creative eye. I also research different color palettes + poses that I intend to use in future shoots. With my illustrations, I’ll just play around with lines, which leads to the creation of most of my illustrations. Most times, I don’t see a vision in my head that I can create. I literally will draw a line + explore a relationship with other lines, and if I see something I like, I’ll keep going.
Who and what are you inspired by?
I’m always inspired when I read the bible. Jesus inspires me create with a purpose, to serve people through my art + to value my own ideas. I’m also inspired by black women (and women in general). I’m inspired by the idea that my work could impact the way black women and little girls view themselves. I’m inspired by my husband and my relationships with my friends + family.
How do you deal with perfectionism, self-doubt, and comparison?
I talk to God about my issues, which shifts my way of thinking because He affirms me, not my work. I also write notes of affirmation that I recite to myself when I deal with self-doubt – that helps a lot. I’ve also realized that comparing myself to other people is toxic because my work loses its value when I try to compete or imitate other people. I’m not at my best when I’m not creating from an authentic place.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to do what you do (and be really good at it)?
Keep at it + keep an open mind. The more work you produce, the better you get.
What are you working on now, and what’s coming up next?
I’m working on creating a lifestyle brand for women of color + starting my fashion blog. I’m also planning an exhibit to showcase my work next year – which is extremely exciting.
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