Written by Kaitlin Ruby
Since we are just SO excited to be celebrating our 11th birthday – we thought it would be fun to celebrate some of the incredible RAW artists that have made their mark on not only our organization but seemingly on the entire world. We want to take this milestone moment to thank you all for being a part of our journey just as much as we’ve been a part of yours. Now, let’s raise a glass to the past successes of our artists, and a toast to the makings of many more!
Venny Etienne, designer of women’s luxury sportswear line titled LeVenity, has certainly come quite a ways since he was awarded our 2015 National RAW Artist Fashion Designer of the Year. For starters, he became the FGI 2015 Paris American Academy Couture Award (PAACA). Then, he was the FGI Dallas Rising Star Winner in 2018. And to round out this never-ending list of incredible accolades and accomplishments – Venny Etienne was on Project Runway season 17 where he finished out strong in the top seven. Needless to say, we are beyond proud of this man, his talent, and his remarkably inspiring journey.
Jacob Jonas The Company, founded by Jacob Jonas & Jill Wilson (who were winners of the 2012 RAW Artist of the Year for Performing Art) – has racked up so many achievements over the years that it’s hard to keep track. But that’s okay, because we’ll give you a highlight reel. This dance group has brought a combination of breakdancing, acrobatics, and contemporary ballet techniques into renowned venues across the U.S. including, but not limited to, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. They were recently the 2018-2019 Company-in-Residence at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. So, excuse us while we cry tears of joy for this stunning dance company.
Sending so much RAW birthday love to Trina Merry, body-painter extraordinaire. Not only was this incredible artist featured at The Getty (wow!), she additionally has done an apprenticeship with largely celebrated body painter Craig Tracy! Fun fact about Trina Merry: before finding her footing in this living, breathing medium – she was working on several large films & TV shows after graduating with a B.A. in film!
Heggy Gonzalez, awarded 2012 RAW Hair Stylist of the Year, has been in this industry for over 10 years now. Wielding the title of Creative Director for Aveda Institute in Denver, Tucson, and Provo – Heggy Gonzalez’s work is truly powerful to behold. A champion of sharing talents, Gonzalez continues to transform, innovate, and inspire with her fantastical hair artistry to this day.
Andrew Haan, a FOUND agency muralist, has created some truly outstanding art over the years – including some breathtaking mural work for our very own RAW Headquarters in DTLA. His brand, Haanmade, is a result of turning his graphic design and architecture background on its head to pursue art full-time. We are so proud and honored to have Andrew Haan be an incredible embodiment of what it means to be a RAW artist.