June 23, 2022

By Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor



Damien Carter, better known as SlaCienega, loves Los Angeles. He’s dedicated many waking moments to uplifting the collective community as a whole. In honor of the L.A. Sentinel’s Black Men’s History Month celebration, SlaCienega shared his process and vision of what it means to lift as one climbs in an exclusive interview.

Los Angeles holds significant weight in SlauCienega’s heart, he stated, “For me, Los Angeles means the world. It means everything to me. it's spread out--which allows freedom.”

He continued, “I grew up in Los Angeles, I'm from here. Freedom allows you to sort of express yourself, it allows you a space to create, and it’s also inspiring--the city (L.A.) in itself is inspiring.”

SlauCienega said, “From the people to the landscape, the weather and everything that comes with it--is just being here. It's a special place, I feel like no two days are the same. And again, creativity is how I see Los Angeles. There's so much to aspire to here.”


The multi-layered curator also focuses on uplifting the community.


He has examined his habits and journey to reflect on what is possible for those who are inspired by his accomplishments. “

On the day of the  Foot Locker grand opening, SlauCienga connected Dreamers Youth Foundation to the shoe expert company.


As previously stated, Dreamers Youth were welcomed by Foot Locker Crenshaw for a photography contest, partnering with the acclaimed L.A. visual artist. 


After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Foot Locker Crenshaw organized with Dreamers Youth and renowned Crenshaw-based artist SlauCienga and had many young artists

display their artwork around the store.

“I teamed up and brought in Dreamers Youth Foundation and had a photo competition for the youth of South Central--to express themselves, to give them a different aspect of life and creativity,” SlauCienega said.


The L.A.-based artist began by simply shooting pictures and posting on Instagram with his iPhone.


His name and recognition grew with the popularity of his work.


“What I'm most proud of is that I've stuck to the script I've been on for years and years and years,” SlauCienega shared.


SlauCienega has worked with Foot Locker and is currently immersing himself in a project with Adidas.


Reflecting on the legacy that he would leave behind, the artist stated, “I want to leave behind that you can be authentically you -- without forcing yourself on people.


I want people to know that you can get the job done by being quiet, you don't have to be loud and boisterous and throw yourself on the people and force them to support you.”


In closing, SlauCienega said, “I feel like I want people to know--I want to leave behind that I did the work, before anything, I did the work.

And as a result of that, great things happen.

I truly believe that hard work does not always pay off. But in this case, it is paying off.

“So, I just want people to know that you can do the work and it doesn't pay off -- I hate to say it and I hate to be that guy.

But again, it does not always pay off,” he noted.

“I just want people to know that --do the work and then see where it takes you. It's better to do the work and try than not do it and fail indefinitely.”

Category: News