We've always been interested in the way other artists, designers and creatives find inspiration for their work. The Designed Life is our series of profiles featuring friends and friends-of-friends from across the design community, who sit down with us to talk about the ins and outs of making things, places they go and — of course — what they bring with them.
We first connected with Latasha Dunston the way all good stories start: via a well-timed email. It didn’t take long before we realized we had more in common than our Colorado roots: Latasha (you can call her Tasha) is an artist and explorer who draws inspiration for her creations from the places she loves most, plays with bold colors and prints and always makes time for getting outside. (Sound familiar? We thought so, too.)
Topo Designs: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from creating art?
Latasha Dunston: Things take time. I have been an artist since I was 3 years old and I have the old preschool paintings to prove it. (Thanks Grandma.) I always dreamed of being an artist even when adults tried to steer me down a different path. I still practiced, experimented, and studied my craft as much as I could. Being an artist has taught me that success doesn’t happen overnight. If I continue to show up and be passionate about being creative then I will eventually reap the rewards.
TD: Favorite place you've traveled?
LD: I find myself running back to Utah every chance I get. I love the variety of foliage and wildlife in the desert. I’m completely in awe of the landscapes there. So similar but so different all throughout the state. But if I had to choose a favorite area so far it would be Valley of the Gods, on ancestral Ute land. It is just jaw dropping! It is like being on another planet.
TD: Piece of gear that’s changed your life?
LD: My Topo Designs Quick Pack has seriously been a game changer for me! I have had mine for over a year and it is my everything bag! Specifically when I am outside I love that it holds my entire mobile art studio and can snap around my waist while I hike, bike, board, whatever really. I’ve seriously done everything with this bag.
TD: Favorite artists/designers/people who inspire you who you’re following right now?
LD: My favorite Illustrators and designers I’m following right now are all badass women of color who inspire me with not only their talent but with their hustle! Laci Jordan, Jade Purple Brown, Lauren Mckenzie, Ronni Nicole Robinson, and Sha'an d'Anthes are amazing creatives. They are all really incredible, so enjoy getting familiar with their work if you aren’t already.
TD: Let’s talk road trip music. What are you listening to?
LD: I love listening to all types of music on the road. I don't stick to one genre but I would say my favorite album that I play multiple times throughout the roadtrip (especially if I’m alone and can’t annoy anyone) is Ira Wolf's The Closest thing to Home. My favorite song on the album is called Pictures on the Wall. It is how every nomadic person feels at some point and it makes me swoon.
TD: 3 things you always have with you?
LD: I always have a huge Otterbox tumbler filled with water, some chapstick and a snack. Pretty simple essentials in my opinion!
Check out Latasha's work at @jitterbug_art.