It has been just over two months and the murals of the late, great Nipsey Hussle are still appearing over Los Angeles. With his family, friends, and fans keeping his legacy alive, many are still living off the energy he shared amongst the world.
Demi Lauren, artist and creative entrepreneur, is one of the many artists to use her talent to pay her respects.
A Los Angeles native, Lauren grew up in the Crenshaw area finding few people to look up to, but Hussle, however, stood out.
“I always studied him,” she says, adding, “it amazed me everything he was doing, investing and how he wanted to give back to his community.” The rapper, entrepreneur and community leader was also a familiar face to Lauren and many more. “He always came around; he wasn’t a celebrity,” she affirms.
Leaving L.A. for school, Lauren graduated from Howard University in 2014, making a return to L.A. in 2017. From there, she began creating art and producing events to let people of Los Angeles know just exactly whom she had become.
“Another thing I got from Nipsey was to be fearless, stop overthinking things and just put yourself out there,” she expressed; which is exactly what she did. That confidence inspired her to take her career into her own hands and make something of herself as an entreprenuer.
This mindset ultimately led Lauren to host and throw events to display her art. At one event, in particular, she met Duane and Cary Earle, brothers and owners of Earle’s on Crenshaw. They grew to love her work and commissioned her to create a piece for their business.
Lauren and the owners of Earle’s had prior intentions for the mural, working on a collaboration that would best fit the restaurant aesthetic. However, once the incident occurred, Lauren stepped up and asked to change the direction of the mural in honor of the late rapper and community leader.
Once she gained the approval, it took nearly a week to come up with a new concept and redesign the original plan set in place. Located on the left side of Earle’s on Crenshaw, Lauren’s mural includes a portrait of Hussle depicting a colorful theme, palm trees and “Crenshaw” across the front.
“I wanted to do something different. I wanted something you look at and see something that he represents, something happy,” she says of the inspiration behind her concept.
Her familiarity with both Hussle and Crenshaw made this opportunity all the more special.
“I did this because it means so much to L.A., my city, everybody, everybody was hurt, everybody’s touched by it,” she states, going on to say, “I still think of him every single day.”
The mural was revealed and celebrated on April 20, 2019, at Earle’s. The event included an art exhibition and auctions, music, food, and games.
This opportunity has opened doors for the freelance artist to expand her artistry and share her talents with the masses. Her drive and commitment have led her to throw events, as well as partner with businesses tailored to the arts and the Los Angeles culture. As host for Trap x Paint, a day party being held June 15, 2019, from 3 PM to 6 PM, Lauren is excited for her expansion as artist and brand.
A painter of nine years and entrepreneur by nature, Demi Lauren is on her way to making a name as artist, graphic designer and event planner. With goals of becoming a one-stop shop for creative business, she uses the confidence and energy Nipsey Hussle instilled in her through his knowledge to build her own empire.
“I just want to continue to live through him, stay inspired and continue to grow.”
Lauren’s mural is located at 3864 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008, outside of Earle’s on Crenshaw. You can also follow her work on Instagram @_demilauren.