We picked the most innovative creators in the world. People who make us imagine a better world.
Michelle Capizzi is an abstract artist in upstate New York. She’s built up her art business over the past 20 years by focusing on capturing nature’s energy. In a time where we’ve been all cooped up inside, there’s something cathartic about the colors and shapes in Michelle’s art. Like other creators, Michelle’s art is intertwined with her own identity as a community volunteer and mother of three boys.
Megan Geckler creates large-scale, site-specific installations using construction flagging tape, mathematical calculations, and color theory. Megan’s art is the type of art you walk by at a museum, and it sticks with you for years because of its intoxicating brilliance. The combination of tape and color reminds me of reading a great science fiction novel in that you leave the experience wondering what is possible.
Monica is an artist that uses TikTok to express joy. The drawings’ main character is a “bean,” but the real power is its mixture of humor, optimism, and simplicity. In a year when we’ve been stressed beyond belief, Monica’s sketches are a symbol of the beauty in helping others by making them smile.
Alica Jones is a watercolor artist in NYC. Her studio, ANoelleJay, features work that combines her Jamaican upbringing with the urbanism of a fall day in New York City. Alicia’s use of color sparks reflection, nostalgia, and hope.
Describe your origin story.
I started painting in 2014 to pull painting back into my life. I enjoyed sir so much but without making space for creating it took a back seat for a while. So I decided to start small. Either finish an older piece or start a new one weekly. It was fun and tangible. Then I started adding my artwork onto decor and fashion products and from there year over year the expansion has been amazing. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to sell my work.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
My art journey and my environmental painting collection... well I mainly paint to show the importance of showcasing the various ways that the earth and the need to speak about the environment can be celebrated and engaged. Reconnecting to water has been one of my favorite experiences in adulthood.
What is something people misunderstand about the industry you’re in?
I think it’s misunderstood that all painters have the same goal. My goal is to spread my artwork into every home. Be that by original paintings, furniture, magazine, movies or fashion. The sky's the limit. I want to engage everyone in my exploration of the environment and with my story and growth as an black female artist born in Jamaica and living in Brooklyn NY.
What drew you to watercolor as a medium?
I actually mainly use acrylics because I can treat it as watercolors at time and then layer other times. So many ways to express my images!
Which social media platform do you spend the most time on?
Instagram reels are so addicting! I love sharing my painting videos sped up in short bursts along the development cycle.
What are you currently reading?
Describe a perfect Saturday
Painting all day long. Working on two paintings at once letting some aspects of one set while working on the other. The perfect day.
Is there any upcoming event / launch you’d like to promote?
Yes! My original paintings are all being cataloged on my new webpage: anoellejay.com/original-art-paintings but one in particular is on show at Heath Gallery in Harlem NY for the month of May!
A storyteller. Photographer. Videographer. Lauren Washington runs Project Filo, a creative agency that tells the unfiltered stories of creatives. Lauren’s work captures the broader shift in the creator economy: a world where creatives tell their own stories through multiple forms of media.
Elena Gray is an ICU nurse by day and musician/photographer by night. Her creative journey ranges from spontaneous concerts on Clubhouse for 30 minutes to writing a musical about the experience of Flipino ICU nurses during COVID. Elena’s diverse interests remind us of the beauty of pursuing our passions.
Simone runs a calligraphy studio called Vintage Nib in San Diego. Otherworldly and magical. Vibrant and energetic. Simone’s illustrations stretch across mediums: digital, print, and sidewalks (chalk). Check out Simone’s classes on Teachable and Skillshare to learn more about how she approaches design.