Feature, Uncategorized

Skinny man, fat dreams: A spotlight on Chicago creative Desmoney

Sometimes you meet people who are electric. Who are rare and doing things that are not only cool, but important. South side native Desmond Tutu Owusu (Des for short) is building and if you’re smart, you’re paying attention. Des has been lending his fresh perspectives to photography for two years now with a portfolio including Nike, Complex and recently, a children’s book called Too Fly Not To Fly.  


“I was messing around with the iPhone and I was getting better, getting good and Trash (Trashhand) was telling me “Yo, you should make this a serious hobby”. I came by his crib and he let me borrow his (Canon) Mark III for 3-4 weeks and after he saw the shots he told me to really think about getting a camera. I bought my first camera July 2014, a Canon Rebel T5i”.

Des’ photography centers around human interaction and urban settings. He gravitates towards anything concerning life and works at becoming better at his craft constantly. In the two years I’ve seen Des grow as a photographer what he’s gained the most is a confidence in himself.

“I trust my ideas more” he says, “I’m not afraid to make mistakes right now. I’m comfortable with myself and my ideas”.

Through his lens you see an honest and somewhat softer side of Chicago. This can be seen in his work for Too Fly Not To Fly, an alphabet book created by him and writer/teacher Briana McLean. The book is meant to spark discussions for children and help them critically examine issues affecting their lives. Since the release in early June the book has done extremely well, selling out within a few days.

“The reaction we got from a lot of people was that the book was a breath of fresh air,” says Des “the kids felt like stars. We wanted to give them something to be a part of and feel proud of”.
young gifted and black

Des explores the city with his camera and a purpose; unifying a city that is constantly being torn apart.

“We got so much culture here but it’s so fucking segregated. The segregation within the city affects how Chicagoans treat each other. With my photography I want to show people that we’re the same”.

This idea of unification and love shows up not only in his photography, but in his clothing campaigns, including the “Chicago Girls Do It Better” tee that drops today online and in store. Des has worked with his friends Vic, Joe and Terrell in clothing design for quite some time now, each one with their own projects that are unified by the store Fat Tiger Workshop. Since an image of the shirt was posted on social media earlier this week the demand for it has an been insurmountable.

“Chicago women don’t get no love and I feel like we got some dope ass ladies here. This is something to encourage our women. I love them and want them to be the best”.


The “Chicago Girls Do It Better” tee will be available online or at Fat Tiger Workshop (1043 W. Grand) today at 12pm central. Follow Des on Twitter @_desmoney for more info.


Stay drunk on writing….

I have been stuck creatively. 

Life has been heavy. Everything has been heavy and tiring and disorienting. But these feelings have to pass. You either change or stay stagnant and being stagnant is death. I think one of the reasons things have been like this is because I’ve tried to work within these imaginary guidelines. Tumblr is for my fiction/prose, this blog is for more journalistic writing and my notebook is for all of my random thoughts that don’t fit into a category. So to get things moving again I’ve come up with a plan. 

Stop thinking so fucking much and just write. 

It’s very easy for one to become lost in their own mind. It’s a familiar and safe place but uninspiring if you don’t venture out sometimes. The things you will read here from this point forward is me, venturing out. 

– Ash 


Feature: “Art is for the people” A look at Brave New Art World

One thing I’ve always liked about Chicago is its art scene. There’s no shortage of talent here and the support provided by the community is genuine. One organization doing its part to make people conscious about art is Brave New Art World.

Brave New Art World was founded in May of this year as an arts unification movement. The group consists of 12 core members including photographer Lloyd Thomas Johnson, better known as Flow. Flow has been with Brave New Art World since June. He does events management where his responsibilities include choosing musical acts and vendors.
“The arts and the art world is far more important than people give it credit for” explains Flow, “it helps mind, body and soul and to not take advantage of it, or even worse, to not have access to it, is tragic”.
One of Brave New Art World’s purposes that really speaks to me is to engage and cultivate the public interests and access to art. This organization opens your eyes to galleries and exhibits you may have never known about. Art is inspirational and in a copy/paste world we live its refreshing to experience something different.
“Through Brave New Art World we have the ability to put art into the hands of people who may not be able to afford it or often times feel uncomfortable with where most of it is sold” says Flow, “We’ve done a lot to take the pretentiousness out of art shows and art in general”.
In addition to cultivating an interest in art Brave New Art World also provides a supportive community for all artist. Talking to Flow he stressed the importance of people supporting each other for the arts community to grow.
Brave New Art World does an art crawl each month in the River North area. The art crawl is free and features live music, food and beverage survey, critical talks and much more. I definitely recommend checking it out!

“There is no limit to the value of art” says Flow, “no matter how abstract, confusing or weird it all has a place as long as it inspires even one person”.

Learn more about Brave New Art World by visiting their website

Also follow Flows twitter and sites