We had the good fortune of connecting with Don “Tortellini” Thomas II and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Don “Tortellini”, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
God. God has moved mountains and opened doors for me in my life in such a short time I couldn’t credit it just off of hard work. It’s been times in these last few months where i had to stop and just take it all in, because the things that were happening for me were unfathomable. God gave me the discernment and vision to be able to tell stories through my photography. Creating something bigger than just myself. For the first time in my life, i feel like I’m doing fulfilling work, ever since i graduated college i was doing what was expected , afraid to take a risk and gamble on myself and my creativity. COVID caused me to lose my job and i was put in a unfortunate situation and ended it up being the greatest thing that could’ve happened for me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart from others is that i don’t try to be like anyone else but my self. I think another thing that sets me apart from other photographers is my intent behind what it is that i do. I want my photography to provide context, educate , motivate, heal, encourage amongst many other emotions. Mainly i want my photography to move viewers. COVID in 2020 caused me to get let go from my job and from there i picked up a camera and never looked back. It definitely wasn’t easy but the success came pretty quick and hasn’t stopped since it started so i feel this is what I’m supposed to be doing , or at-least a Segway on the way to where I’m supposed to be. I’ve learned that as a creator , it’s solely on you to make things happen and be your biggest advocate and get your work to the places that you want it to be. Meaning that it’s only going to go as far as you worked for it to go. It’s a constant grind, there are good days and slow days, never bad days, because any day above ground is a good day no matter the circumstances. I just want the world to know that i capture moments because i value the notion of time. We can never get a moment back no matter how bad we want it back. I’m becoming a master of freezing moments in time through my photography. I want to story tell through my photography for the next wave of generations to come & hopefully these will be breadcrumbs to the bigger picture of what my true purpose is on this earth.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As gentrification is happening at a alarming rate, knowing me I’d take my best friend to places that i know are in the process of being gentrified to show him/her what they look like before they are eradicated. Never know when they’ll be back so i want to make sure i go to different neighborhoods and show different business that have been around for a long time. I’m in the art scene so i’d take them to the south Dallas cultural center, shows a lot of rich history and black art. I’m vegan and don’t drink so it’s only a few restaurant spots that i could go to but yea that’s pretty much it.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Dedicate it to all of my angels in Heaven orchestrating my steps to success. Everything I do is for you. I want to shout-out every manicurist that has assisted me with creating the visuals for KLAWZ, I want to thank every homeless person that i came in contact with for their transparency and being consensual sharing their stories with me to be able to do Faces Of Dallas. I want to shout out Khalik Allah for giving me the motivation to create Faces of Dallas.

Website: https://www.shyaboutmyart.com/

Instagram: @shyaboutmyart

Twitter: @shyaboutmyart

Image Credit: Brennon Holbrook

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