Boyuan Gao is a Chinese-born, Western Massachusetts bred boho-woowoo-intellectual. That basically means she likes to go neo-soul bike riding down Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn (inside joke-wink), attend yoga classes for old people, and read political theory and Fortune Magazine. She loves helping people achieve their creative pursuits through big thinking coupled with pragmatism (straight, no chaser). She’s excited to use CultureFphiles to cultivate a global arts community online, and work with people and organizations on goal setting and strategy. She also has a cat named Prince Rahim Quadruple X, who serves as our in-house crisis manager.
Born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jahan–a proud Jew-maican–is an OG of pre-gentrified New York. She worked in ad sales for years and made that $$, but then was like, “uh uh. I’m going to South America!” where she backpacked solo for almost nine-months throughout the continent, meeting up with international hippies, eating lots of good food, and getting perpetually lost and then found. Having traveled to more than 18 countries, Jahan is excited to be Project Inkblot’s Global Content Curator and traverse the globe discovering incredible artistic based projects to profile. Jahan loves sharing resources and connecting folks as well as being a creative midwife so artists and creatives can achieve their goals.
Originally from Western Massachusetts, Jay Balfour is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. In addition to Project Inkblot, Jay also writes for HipHopDX, OkayAfrica, and the print publication, Applause Africa. A graduate of Temple University’s Philosophy and African-American Studies departments, Jay focuses on Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Jazz and Latin records and the stories behind their creation. Hit Jay up via Twitter at @jbal4_.
Maria was born in Leningrad, Russia, and for the first fourteen years of her life, America was just a word. Back then, she was really into words and was planning on becoming a writer. She also went to the Hermitage Museum every week to study beautiful old art and was lucky to take daily walks around her very beautiful northern city. When she was fourteen, her parents immigrated to the States and took her with them. She showed up in New York City one summer in the early nineties. One of her first distinct memories is the image of a giant drag queen marching down a sun-splattered, hazy, and hot Christopher Street in a shimmering golden dress and tall high heels. Immigration shocked her into becoming a painter and becoming a painter shocked her into acquiring a whole new, unexpected life. She studied art in college, spent a year in Rome, then returned to Leningrad (which was now Saint Petersburg) to study with a great painter and friend Anatoly Zaslavsky. Since then she has taught art to kids in museums and galleries all over New York, traveled a bit, and even went back to school. Maria lives and works in Brooklyn, right next to Prospect Park, and considers herself very fortunate.
Andrew Rusli is a writer, musician, and jiu-jitsu practitioner. Rumor has it he’s working on a novel.
A New Yorker at heart and Massachusetts bred, Maya has studied photography since she was 17 years old while she has been an actor since she was 8. Sticking with the roots of the medium, she shoots most her photographs on 35 mm film as well as getting her hands on motion picture film as much as possible. Living now in Los Angeles California, composition and storytelling are her passions where film and stage are her mediums.
Malik Abdul-Rahmaan is a Brooklyn-based hip-hop and experimental music producer who has worked with artists from Japan to the US. He has spent much of his adult life living in Asia and traveling the world, cold chillin’ on beaches, and stacking away records from swap meets and basements of sweet elderly people. His passions are creating new sounds, documenting his creative process, strawberry milkshakes, and Australian licorice treats. Check out his music.
Sunny is a freelance writer who covers current events, politics, and LGBT issues. she has written for The Huffington Post, POZ, and the Campaign to End AIDS, and her work has appeared in the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ Association and the body.com. A beer snob and only occasional coffee snob, Sunny is a West Coaster who can’t seem to leave the East Coast. Although Facebook terrifies her you can still follow her on Twitter at @sunnybjerk.
Seher Sikandar is a portrait, fashion, and live music photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Claiming roots in the SF Bay Area, she is a self-proclaimed hippie who in addition to playing in fields, enjoys eating. That’s about it. You can check out her work at Rehes Creative.
Raquel Wilson-Sow is an independent curator, anthropologist and cultural strategist that explores the mutation of visual and performing arts across cultures. As both anthropologist and curator, Wilson-Sow studies the transformation of traditional into contemporary art forms and is dedicated to keeping education in the forefront of art conversations.
She is based in Dakar, Senegal and Warsaw, Poland.
Mita Carriman prides herself on being an entertainment lawyer that doesn’t suck. She’s also a native New Yorker, a former artist herself, a Spotify playlist making addict, and a perfect mix (personality wise) of Claire & Denise Huxtable. Learn about her Entertainment Law firm serving creatives of all types at CarrimanLawGroup.com.
Tafadzwa Chiriga is a New York-based Visual artist and filmmaker from Harare, Zimbabwe. He’s also the owner of the film company, A Love Supreme Productions.
Tanda Francis | Logo Designer–looplooploop.com
Stephanie Matthews | Illustrator–Colorful Rambunction