Alek Shabazz, creatively known as ASLUR, is a 21-year-old creative from Ohio. 

ASLUR comes from a big family of creatives—both of her brothers draw, her sister is a graphic designer, and her mother was a photographer before later switching to interior design. Because of this, ASLUR has been surrounded by art since a young age. Her first creative expressions came in the form of anime, after watching shows and movies like Naruto and Spirited Away. Now, ASLUR is a Fine Arts major at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. 

ASLUR is inspired to create by things she sees in her everyday life, but also by her own inner thoughts.  She explained, “I try not to have a lot of outside forces mess with what I’m trying to do because I end up getting caught up, and I end up becoming worried about what someone else’s lifestyle looks like, or what type of art their doing instead of concentrating on what I want to to.”

ASLUR sees her artwork as a living and changing force that grows as she grows. 

“Recently my art has been Neo-expressionism mixed with abstract, but I also use forms of collage added in it. Definitely over time my art has changed depending on what I was going through. When I was at CSU, I was going through a lot and I didn’t use any color in my artwork and I did a lot of realism, but when I transferred to CCAD last semester, I started feeling more abstract and using more color. It’s like my friend, my child, I have to take care of it."

As an artist, ASLUR has struggled with collaborating with others. She found that although many people claim to do art, few people are really invested in their art. To other young creatives, she says that it is important to make sure that you work only with others who are as dedicated as you are to self expression. 

In the future, ASLUR hopes to be a Renaissance woman, dabbling in many fields, including clothing design, painting, cover art and photography.  

“I want to be able to do clothes, and I also want my art work to be in galleries and somehow combine those because, especially if I do clothing, I don’t want them to just be clothing I want them to be pieces that can also go into a gallery. I would also like to be a freelance artist, working with rappers and doing album covers, doing photography and also traveling,” explained ASLUR. 

ASLUR believes that the most important step in any artist's life is the first one. 

“You just need to start,” said ASLU.  “I get a lot of questions from people asking how they can do what I do, but there’s only so much that I show you. Every day that goes by you’re wasting time. I’m self-taught completely so everything that I did I had to learn on my own. It was more of a creative process and experimentation. Every time I would mess up, I would learn from that. Keep hold of useful content, take your negative experiences to turn them into positive things that people can learn from. Always try to develop yourself.”

You can see more of ASLUR’s artwork by following her @heyaslur on Instagram.