All artists start somewhere, whether it’s the first misshapen friend they drew with crayons or the first macaroni collage they made for Mother’s Day. For some, the misshapen friend is about as good as they are going to get but for others the macaroni collage is intricate, abstract and shows signs of a budding artist. These artists take what is a passing hobby for most and create beautiful and often personal art.


Maluchi Enyi

Remember scratch boards, the black cardboard-like paper, that made pretty colors when you scratched it? Well, Mr. Enyi does. He makes incredible provocative art with scratch boards. Everyone can relate to the theme of bonds, the chains that represent burden, in his work. They hold us back and weigh us down, but they are also what motivate us to push forward. Enyi captures this theme and much more. If you haven’t seen scratch-board art before, his work is a great gateway into the form.

(credit: Imani Shanklin Roberts/

Imani Shanklin Roberts

This young DC native aims to do more than give you something pretty to look at, she wants you to think. Her Afrocentric collection, focusing on black womanhood, displays the maturity in her work. And her portraiture can be just as powerful. Though Roberts work is strongly based on her race and African heritage, the themes of ancestry and knowing where you come from are colorless. Finishing her studies at The Pratt Institute in New York, Ms. Roberts is certainly one to watch. Her work will be displayed at Busboys and Poets through the fall.

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Nadia Janjua (credit:

Nadia Janjua

In our current society, where being a triple threat isn’t enough, Nadia Janjua has nothing to worry about. Architecture, painting, jewelry, sketching, photography and more, she seems to have no limits. Having started drawing before she could write, Ms. Janjua exudes art in everything she does. Inspired and “trained” by Bob Ross, in the way Julia Child inspired and “trained” many to cook, Janjua credits Ross with her love of painting. By presenting her life’s journey through her art, she hopes to get her audience to look closely at their own. Her faith, beliefs, heart and passion combine and shine on canvass.

(credit: DC Creepers/

D.C. Creepers
Tommy Corrigan and Eric Gordon

The aptly-named duo give creepers a good name; sort of. They take the standard hobby of doodling to pass the time to a different level. While taking public transportation or in public areas, they sketch the people around them. The candid sketches present the commuters of DC as they possibly contemplate career changes, anticipate their first date, worry about bills and just daydream. Made difficult by natural obstacles, the subject moving or leaving the scene entirely, they still manage to make impressive sketches; creepy, but impressive. Take a look at their site. You might see a familiar face.

(credit: Samuel Schlenker/

Samuel Schlenker

Recently graduating from the University of Michigan, Schlenker definitely earned his degree in fine arts. His sculptures, drawings and paintings all accomplish his goal of making thought-provoking work. In his own words, he uses “loaded symbols and the human form [to create] parabolic images and stories which are purposeful in their message.” Whether it’s commercial work or something more abstract, you will probably be seeing his art in the future.

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Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on