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Stay uncomfortable.

Noémie Tshinanga is the kind of woman who makes you want to get out of your comfort zone and accomplish your dreams. As a Creative Freelancer, she's done just that through her compelling work as a graphic designer and photographer. Read about this motivated young woman who constantly pushes herself to turn goals.

1. What's your story? What makes you unique?

Growing up, for the longest time, I thought that I wasn’t allowed to express myself. It was just instilled in my brain that my thoughts and opinions and feelings weren’t valid. So in return, I’d be silent and not say much and observe and listen and absorb. I’d take everything in, but refused for anything to come out. I’d say this experience was at a peak late middle school-ish. It was also during that time when I started falling in love with independent films. I appreciated the vulnerability and rawness that came from them and they really inspired me to explore my own vulnerability. That’s where photography and design kinda emerged. It was my form of expression. I think (read: hope) that’s what makes me unique, my openness to speaking my mind and not holding back.

2. What motivates you?

My 17-year-old self. I know that sounds strange but 17 was the time when I discovered what it meant to have dreams and goals and visions and fantasies. That was the time I considered that there *may* be a possibility where I could actually become the person I wanted to be rather than simply being satisfied with what I had. At that moment, I knew that I didn’t want a lifestyle where I settled for less. I think of my 17-year-old self every time I make a big decision or if I’m afraid to take a certain step. So far I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve accomplished and I think she would be to. I’d like to say she’d even be shocked.

Also my relationship with God has been a huge source of motivation. My faith has increased exponentially ever since I graduated college. Sometimes situations or people can let you down, but I’ve seen time and time again that He hasn’t and never will and it’s been such a beautiful experience.

3. Who is a hero of yours?

It’s super hard to pick just one, but I’d say my sister is pretty up there on the list. If you ever sense compassion, elegance, sophistication, and kindness from me-just know I got those qualities from her. I can’t quite put it into words on how much she’s impacted my life, but she’s honestly a huge part of the woman I am today and I can’t thank her enough for it!

4. What's your future plan? Your goals?

If I’m going to be completely honest, I have no idea what my future plans are. I know I want them to involve NYC. I don’t know what it is about that city, but New York has been in my heart for so long so I know it will be a part of my life in some fashion. I know I want my future plans to involve me working on something that I love with people that I love. I am a huge fan of the creative process so being involved with creating a product or an ideal would be incredible. I have a best friend who’s on the exact same wavelength as me when it comes to ideas and what inspires us and what we want to bring to the world, so I know, for sure, some plans involve creating awesome things with him.

As far as goals, I just want to continue challenging myself and strengthening the current relationships that I have others. Surprisingly, the latter is harder than I expected. Some people that I’ve met in college are pretty much future bridesmaids, godparents, family friends..etc. I want to make sure I still have that bond with them as time progresses. It’s oddly intimidating to call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or go and hang out with them, but it’s so important to do so. My friends have changed my life in ways they can’t even imagine and their well-being is so important to me, so I want to make sure we still have that bond for, hopefully, ever.

5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

For the longest time, I always tried to live by accepting the uncertainty. Nowadays, my mantra is to “stay uncomfortable”. 2015 so far has pushed me in situations I didn’t want to be in, to have conversations I never wanted to have, and feel emotions that I wanted to ignore for so long. I’ve been so uncomfortable, but have gained so much in return. Once you fully comprehend that change is inevitable and nothing is constant except your approach to life situations, things become somewhat easier. Curve balls don’t seem so…curvy, and going with the flow is not as intimidating especially if the flow is in a direction of resistance. Comfort is a bubble you have to break if you want more for yourself and I encourage peeps to break that bubble! : )

6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?

The #BlackLivesMatter movement. The more I’m learning about systematic racism and the horrible things that happen in this world just because of my skin tone is disheartening, discouraging, and frustrating. The hardest part about it is that no matter how many different ways you try to explain your hurt, or even, fear-it gets discredited or devalued and it’s not fun at all. It’s like you hear another black person gets shot or assaulted by police or gets turned away from a job interview because of their natural hair or is simply dehumanized, all of which can easily happen to me, and you don’t know what else to do. I know can’t fix everything, but I’m trying to figure out how I can help to fix this issue.

7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?

Any time I’ve reached out to someone that I normally wouldn’t (like an awesome creative director or founder of a cool company or someone who’s just dope) or if I’ve ever expressed any deep vulnerability with friends-I would put those under the ‘cool’ category. Mostly because I know the 17-year-old me would have NEVER done it, and it’s just relieving to know that I’ve finally accepted who I am and love myself greatly. It’s cool to love yourself, yah know?

8. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about.

If you’re alive and breathing, know that each day is meant for you to flourish. Each. Day. Know that success and peace and happiness are your default states-of-being and if that’s not what you’re currently feeling, then get to work and change it! But remember that while you’re changing for the better, there are people around you who are there to help you to do the same, so don’t ever be ashamed to ask. Your light is important : )


Thanks to the Deans List for this feature. So honored.

Peeps can contact me via if they have any questions. And can also check out my site:

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