Arianna Valburn is a twenty-year-old creative from Hanover, MD. She is known for her photography, writing and fashion design.
“I don’t call myself a designer or anything like that. I just kind of create content whenever I feel urged to,” said Valburn as she described her creative process.
Valburn draws inspiration from her culture and childhood when creating designs.
“I only really shop at Goodwill and Value Village. I can't even remember the last time I went to an actual store. I would describe my style as very nostalgic and whimsical. It’s super inspired by Afro Futurism, which is another one of my passions and something I love to write about. I’m really into things that remind me of techno-utopia, which oftentimes is stylized through Y2K styles, like early 2000s, because that was our techno-utopia era—where technology was first booming… I’m inspired by whatever reminds me of my childhood."
Valburn is currently a student at Spelam College, in Atlanta. She is studying international studies and photography, so that she can combine her passions for writing and fashion design. Her hope is to work for a fashion editorial, and eventually launch her own magazine. Valburn also plans to continue her studies of marginalized identities by documenting the stories of Black people as she travels around the world.
Her main goal as a designer is to inspire other creatives to discover themselves and hone their unique voice.
Valburn said, "I just want to encourage people to be themselves and do what they want to do. It’s okay to go through different phases of things that you’re into because, in the end, all of those phases will culminate together and help you decide who you want to be. I definitely went through a phase of being super into earth and astrology, and I still carry that with me. I was really into grunge and goth culture at one point, and I still carry that with me. All of these phases are a part of who I am now, and they all influence the style that I made into my own.”
Valburn remains dedicated to her craft because of the confidence and power it has given her. When she first began creating, she did not believe that she was talented enough to really make an impact. However, as she started to create more and share with others, she found that her voice was valuable and appreciated.
“Believe your hype. It took me forever to believe the fact that I was talented and that I had something to give. I would always second-guess myself, and, as women of color, we are already taught to second-guess ourselves. Believe your hype, because just being a Black woman is already doing enough. When you create art surrounding that, just know that it has a lot to offer and that it is valuable.”
View some Arianna Valburn’s work below: