My family is from West Africa, a tiny island on the coast called Cape Verde. My parents migrated to the States in the 80s. Many Cape Verdeans were relocating here after we regained independence from Portugal in 1975. Being first generation American with a highly spiritual background has shaped every part of who I am.
My grandmother was the strongest force in shaping who I am. She moved her six children to this country to pave the way for a better life, for generations to come. She is the strongest woman I know. Over the course of her journey, she lost a child in infancy and overcame so many obstacles and so much heartbreak — but she never let it slow her spirit. She’s always said she would move the world for her children, and she gives me so much hope. She is someone who could never die— her spirit and legacy will be superior, astral; guiding over us.
I work as a creative on the east coast. Born and raised Providence, Rhode Island, I focus on content creation, art direction and brand strategy— sharing bits of my life as an artist. I have always been a man of many hats, for better or for worse. I’m working on letting go of the material as much as possible, to separate that value from my existence. If I can separate material objects of life from my being, I find that I react less to losses and inconveniences that are just a part of life. Setbacks promote healing. What disturbs you now will provide a settling, comforting insight later on.
Sunshine, jazz, single origin coffee, scents— these are the things that pull me out of bed in the morning. I usually burn a candle first thing when I wake, rotating a few throughout the day. I always look forward to nurturing my body and feeding my soul with inspiration, finding new ways to express and move towards the next endeavor.
I start the day by opening my curtains, cleansing, brewing and allowing space for myself to enter the day. I apply my Bioactive Face Masque every few mornings and let it sit for longer than half an hour— this is my guilty pleasure. Oil cleansing, LESSE Bioactive Masque, aloe vera gel and vitamin C are all crucial elements of my ritual. I top everything with a few drops of Ritual Serum, eye oil here and there, and a really high quality shea butter lip balm. I use grapeseed oil as a base before applying a body botanical oil. It’s quite simple, we don’t need much.
Meditation leaves me feeling renewed. I’m practicing it more and more, and building bridges between the gaps and questions I’m personally exploring. Herbal teas help me wind down, too. I’m currently rotating between Masha Teas and Leaves & Flowers, and challenging myself to cook the items that are often neglected at home.
I believe beauty is you, period. It one hundred percent comes from within. I see beauty in the reflections of our hearts. But once beauty becomes a comparison against your flaws, it takes away from individuality. Beauty is unique to each of us— our character and being. The earlier we can translate this to future generations, the easier path they’ll have to happiness and strength.
When I am unseen and nude, I feel most beautiful. It’s like all the external is on pause. I feel most alive when I am in a tidy space filled with light. The shore, also, always makes me feel alive. The other side appears endless and this opens up the endless aims of my perspective. Thinking beyond that endless expanse, New York City is my favorite place to visit because it’s the perfect balance between reality check and luxury. It recharges, reassess and, most importantly, humbles you. It’s everything and every place all wrapped up in one city.
I hope to be as healthy and wealthy as my ancestors have always sought to be. To be living in a home I constructed myself, to continue to learn and be nourished. To share, establish myself and my voice as an artist. I dream of world peace, and hope every human can find devotion within themselves. You are destined. You have everything you need. Just continue to put it out into the world.
Find Ryan here. Use code RYAN at checkout to receive 15% off your order and 15% will be donated to No Kid Hungry, who work tirelessly to ensure children across America don't go hungry.