Today we’d like to introduce you to Latasha Dunston.
Hi Latasha, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve wanted to be an artist my entire life. From the very beginning, I was very creative and always wanted to use my hands. I am very lucky that I have such focus and clarity so early on. After graduating high school in Baltimore, I enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University School of the arts. More specifically into the Communication Arts department with a concentration in Scientific and Medical Illustration. That was the most challenging and fun five years of my life. I ended up being more drawn to the natural sciences and really loved my botanical illustration classes. When I graduated and decided to move to Denver with my now husband, Jason, I had a plan to make art my career. I decided to join the Outdoor Industry because I saw a life of travel and art making for beauty and education. That is what I do today.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I literally chuckled reading this question because no road is smooth. I’ve worked ridiculously hard to get to where I am today. When I decided I was going to attend one of the best public art schools in the country, I didn’t know where I was going to get the money from to do so. But I went anyway. I had a little help from my grandmother but I also worked four part-time jobs while take 19 credits every single semester. It was brutal but humbling. One of those part-time jobs was driving an early morning school bus pick-up route for the same private school I coached volleyball for in the afternoons. Not to mention the slue of evening restaurant gigs which can be extremely damaging to young people’s mental and physical health. What a time! I look back on those months after my graduation from art school. I was so burned out. Like, burnt to a crisp. To be a medical illustration student is to be able to do this complicated dance from the left to the right side of your brain multiple times a day. In some ways, my studies snuffed my creativity. I had an idea how to sketch freely on a blank page anymore. I was so in tune with have a specimen to work from. It was a low point for me as an artist. So for a time, I stopped making art and dove into working my restaurant job and finding other ways to be creative, like cocktail making. Which is still a passion of mine. After about a year and a half of no art making, we moved to Denver and I found my spark again. The landscape of the Rockies inspired me so much. The feeling of a new beginning in a new city gave me the motivation I needed to give this artist dream a solid try.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an illustrator, designer and muralist. I’d say I am most known for my bright and vibrant watercolors and imagery that centers on equality in the outdoors.
How do you define success?
Success is pure happiness. If you wake up genuinely happy more days than not then I call that a success.
- Website: www.jitterbugart.com
- Instagram: jitterbug_art
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGcHtKQzUEy-O7beCklyjTg