We had the good fortune of connecting with RAW and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi RAW, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As an artist, it’s more than fair to say I’m a dreamer. Add that to my water sun and moon sign and you have a person whose head is often in the clouds. It wasn’t until I enrolled in business classes at the University before my mind frame altered a bit. Mind you, I was the most marginalized human in most all of these classes. This perplexed me a bit. I struggled to understand the imbalance of BIPOC and business. It enticed me. I was surrounded by eager, privileged, Anglo males- learning the fundamentals of business administration, accounting, and marketing. Although still very much artsy, I compartmentalized that aspect. I focused more on the science of it all. Because, If I were to be honest with myself, I wanted to profit from my art. But more than that, I wanted ownership of my art. Ownership. This is why I wanted to start my own business- to retain ownership and still exist as an artist. The very best kind.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Hi, I’m RAW 🙂 Afro/Latinx, Nonbinary Human with alot of heart. She/they/them. I am a linguistic creative in all sorts of the word. I love public speaking, and adore connecting words with feelings in music. I produce, write, and rap. I love storytelling. I admire theatrics- joining SAG was a huge highlight that even COVID-19 couldn’t diminish in 2020. I was afforded the opportunity in late ‘20 to play a basketball player opposite John Stamos’ team on Disney’s new show Big Shot! Such a dynamic group of humans…I made some dope connections on this show. Acting is a newer and different way of channeling my art. As a creative, I was itching for something new. I decided to write a children’s book which would casually empower humans with differences. As I was creating Charlie’s Best Work Yet (go grab it on Amazon :D), I thought about the book’s future and how I wanted to retain rights and creative control This was the inspiration for Charlie Girl Publishing LLC. Here, I am the CEO as well as author. As a gender fluid human..it’s important for representation & I pride myself in creating, employing, and producing art for and by BIPOC/marginalized groups. Nothing worthwhile is easy. That’s kind of the point. When you start desiring things of a different caliber, you realize EVERYTHING must shift. This may mean cutting out bad habits, reducing screen time, working later, waking up earlier…you basically have to recalibrate. You gotta do different things to get different results. And that was my MO. I wanted something different so my drive became greater. The parties will always be there. The red carpets are annual like flowers. YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT ON ANYTHING! Stay focused on YOUR craft. Get those distractions OUT OF YOUR WAY! It may be a bit easier for me because I do have a kid. I can flake on anyone at anytime and they won’t take it personal because I’m a mom, you know? But for the artists in metropolitan cities that are trying to be seen, heard, etc etc…. Work on the craft. No one can take away your work ethic. And eventually, it will be seen and heard. Chasing the waterfall when ur the fuckin ocean is silly. 😀

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love a good farmer’s market. We hit up the Studio City Farmers market on most Sundays. It’s chill, the vibes are great, and with everything slowly opening up, more and more vendors are appearing. Being closer to nature is being closer to God. I’m not into the hiking where people go to spot celebs and photo opportunities…I like the smaller, more intimate trails. Fryman is a rad spot, which is also in Studio City. It’s not too steep and the views are absolutely breathtaking! Speaking of being outside…we love the beach over here. Sometimes we kick it at Santa Monica and rollerblade alongside the beach. That has been a fan favorite in my household. But when I want to just get away from it all..and take a solo beach drive…I may hit up Matador Beach in Malibu. This right here is a gem of a beach. It is not as popular as other beaches, super intimate, but also breathtaking. I’ve brought my school work and studied on the beach when the tide wasn’t wild high. There is a vegan ramen spot called Ramenhood in Central Market DTLA. And they have these sautéed broccoli with these crispy fried beet boys….omg. Favorite. And I cannot forget the BadAssBreakfast sandwhich from Locali. THAT IS MY JOINT! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to shout out my son, Diago. The reason I am able to navigate this crazy world has a lot to do with being a Mom. And I love being a MOM! He has taught me so much about life- about myself. I have truly found an introspection that I’ve probably been subconsciously searching for. The patience I’ve acquired- and I know a lot of parents can attest to this- is worthwhile as it is humbling. My time management is on point because of being a Mom. My apathy and empathy is as well. This kid saved me…and I truly blessed to have him.

Website: www.RAWisLOVE.com

Instagram: @irawniq

Youtube: youtube.com/irawniq

Other: imdb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9844146/

Image Credits
John Allen Phillips Photography

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