We had the good fortune of connecting with Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kwasi, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember and as I started to take on larger projects it made sense for me to establish my business. I established Nonstndrd Creative to serve as platform to sell products based off of my art and to provide photographic and design services to clients..
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been a creative person as far as I can remember. I grew up drawing a lot and got into skateboarding at a young age. I was also into music pretty heavily, thanks to my older brothers who had a successful rap group in the 80’s named 7A3. That experience was the foundation but it was not until my father passed away and left me his camera that I began to get serious about photography. I started out photographing gentrification in Los Angeles and from there my practice grew into the career I have today. Currently I continue to focus on documenting the landscape of underrepresented neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. Clients include Netflix, KCET, and The New York Times.
Art continues to be a large part of my life which led to me bring everything under the same umbrella by starting Nonstndrd Creative at the beginning of this year. Through my website (www.nonstndrd.com), I sell illustration and photo zines along with other merchandise. It serves a platform to connect with my audience directly, showcasing my art alongside my photography in one place.
The lesson that I have learned is to never give up on your ideas. The world isn’t always ready for them but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. In a lot of ways I’ve gotten to where I am by staying true to my original vision and working to refine it. I like to say that I didn’t find success until I became my own client. When I began creating art for myself, that was when my work began to get noticed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
All I can really do is list things I would be sure to point out, I never follow itineraries.
Food: El Cholo (on Western), King Taco, Guisados, Tommy Burger on Rampart, Bludso’s, Burger Lordz, California Donuts, Tacos 1986., Noshi Sushi.
Visit: Grand Central Market, The Broad, Hiking Stocker Corridor and the Park to Playa trail, Griffith Observatory Hike, Malibu Creek State Park.
Explore: I would definitely take this hypothetical visitor on several photo walks in different neighborhoods throughout the city. That’s the best way to get a sense of what L.A. is really like in a way that is more authentic than just sightseeing. Some of the places I would make sure to visit are West Adams, Leimert Park, Koreatown, DTLA (especially Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and the Toy District), East Hollywood, Echo Park and the Arts District. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am most inspired by my family and the close knit circle of friends that have had my back from the beginning. These are the people who make me the person that I am today and I am indebted to them for their support. I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to them all but I have to give special acknowledgement to my wife. She has been with me every step of the way and is an incredible mother to our children. Working with her to raise our family inspires me daily.