We had the good fortune of connecting with Denym Aphrodyte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Denym, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
This is a hard question to answer, mainly because I’ve learned so much about myself and life through being a creative. Being an artist was always an after thought for me for the longest time. I created when I had free time and mainly did it for my own mental health (professionally I have spent most my energy in working in Health care). Since the pandemic I have found out that health care wasn’t filling my cup and to be honest it wasn’t making me happy. I deserve happiness and a full cup, so I’ve re-directed my energy into myself. Re-discovering what I love and creating things I love! Since stepping in and up with my creative path I have to say the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you need to believe in yourself. Others can support and believe in you but when you hit that point of truly believing you are worthy and capable it’s a launching pad for unlimited opportunities. I’ve personally become more invested in my art, I value what I create because I believe in and value my time. Once you tap into that life tends to follow (at least in my experience). Another thing that I find super important is never let someone make you feel bad for being excited or passionate about something. If you love something do it, do it with pride and share it with others who love seeing you happy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would say my art focuses on queer and trans joy. I use my art a lot of times to celebrate the trans experience, showing trans bodies in an artistic way so that our community sees that we are art. I studied art in college and I actually used it to figure out my own sexuality and gender identity- I would even say if I didn’t have access to express myself artistically I wouldn’t be who I am today. Right now I feel I’m in an upward projection with projects, trying to create while I have all the creative energy flowing (this is a really productive year for me), I have learned that these moments come and go and that is a hard lesson to learn and overcome to get yourself up and running again as a creative. I have learned that sometimes you make something and it just isn’t reaching like you thought it would and that’s okay adjust and try something new! Not ever piece needs to be iconic, you need some duds to check yourself. Something I want people to know is that I try to create things that spark joy especially joy with in my community because I personally know that the world isn’t the easiest to navigate.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh goodness. I love Denver. I love showing people Denver! I would say I would for sure have to take my friends to get Sunday dinner at Somebody’s People. Drop in to TOOEY’S off Colfax to see some lovely faces, hop over to Honey Elixir Bar, walk up and down Larimer street to look at some street art. Grab a tea at the MCA roof top. Head to Hope Tank and Arc thrift stores for some goodies. There’s just so many places I love in the Denver area!
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?
Shout out to all my friends that have shown me unconditional love and support. To Awakening Boutique for giving me multiple opportunities to share my work. To TOOEY’S off Colfax for allowing me a safe space for my first Pride art show. To my amazing Queer and Trans community members for always showing up. To my loving partner for believing in me even on the hard days. There’s so many people I have to thank along my journey that I could spend hours writing love letters. Hopefully everyone knows how much they mean to me.
First photo : Kelsey Sale Instagram: keln_salestreet