Dennis Elliott is often described as a “content creator”. On a matter of fact level, it’s true. He does create content, and it’s visually mesmerizing content at that. Dennis is a photographer, graphic designer, creative director, video director, and anything else he sets his mind to. Sitting down with Dennis finally, I learned that he is even more than just those career titles. He was kind, spoke with ease and exuded passion, and so easy to talk to. We immediately started talking when we sat down. I didn’t even record the first 15 minutes of our conversation because I wanted to remain present. Honestly, I was caught off-guard by Dennis. I was surprised by how casual he was. I felt no reservations, no hesitations of any sort. He was just present and “chill.” His mannerisms and his attitude toward life were refreshing.
Typically, I never ask anyone if they love themselves because I’m afraid of the response I’ll get, but something propelled me to ask. He responded without hesitation and simply said, “Oh, yeah.” Even more curious about his response, I asked “How do you know?’” Dennis then expressed, “That’s been a whole journey itself.” He spoke about how he was bullied as a child and how difficult it is to unlearn trauma and self-doubt. Eventually, he started to embrace his looks, his softness and started living for himself.
I believe this journey he’s on has been able to help him exist as the Dennis I met last year on the dancefloor of Low Res Studio holiday party. I didn’t know who he was, but I was envious of how unconstrained he was on the dancefloor. There he was, this tall slim black guy with glasses dancing the night away. I admired him then and I continue to admire him to this day. He recently left Havas, which is a global advertising agency based here in Chicago. He started as an intern and later became a full-time content creator for the company. In an age when ‘trades’ and ‘exposure’ are offered as proper compensation for an artist’s time, Dennis reminds himself of his father’s wisdom. “My time is the most valued thing I could ever give anyone/anything.” Havas showed him that they valued his mind, work, and time. He’s worked on global brands, such as Nike, Adidas, and Sprite, just to name a few. Havas allowed him to travel, explore his craft and allowed him access to another side of the industry but ultimately brought him closer to himself and creating without compromise. He was with the company for just over a year until he made his departure back in April. He told me that before his internship, he made himself present at any and every Havas event he could. The level of determination was a little bit of a call for me. I found myself questioning if I’ve ever truly been that determined about something before, or if I ’d worked hard enough to accomplish something. His casualness promotes envy, but his work ethic, love for others, and his love for creating fall nothing short of inspiring.
is the most
I could ever
Styled by, Kyle Kniffin in Lee Denim, Alex Mullins and PerryCo Shoes.