Contrary to your Beliefs. The Art of not Conforming: The Whlgn

From mere observation The Whlgn, pronounced Hōo-Li-Gen, is now becoming a household name among people all ages in inner cities around the country. NY, Philly, LA and of course where it all started, here in Detroit (just to name a few). This group of twenty-somethings is the epitome of a walking one-stop shop. Photography, carpentry, graphic design, and so much more. Each Whlgn has their own mission for their hometown and their own gifts that set them apart from one another. Which is both inspiring and admirable.

Check out a small description of the fellow Whlgns below.

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Antonio Robinson, or better known as Tony Whlgn, grew up on the Eastside of Detroit and is a firm believer of not conforming to society’s standards and is proud of being a product of his environment. In a positive light, of course. The Whlgn was founded in 2009 and since then they’ve invited other like-minded people to follow their dreams to the fullest and eventually be their own boss. The key is to stay true to yourself and to never doubt your potential. Shortly after, he dropped out of school and began to brand himself and pursuer what he desires. Now, being in New York for 4 years, he has solidified his name as an artist. He was able to  work and elevate individuals who, undeniably, love what they do! Whether it’s in the fashion world or something music related. Slowly but surely Tony is helping reshape his environment and is inspiring others do be better by being a genuine example.

I believe in the concept of thinking, with no box, because I believe anything is possible.

Check out the many projects he has been apart of at Tonywhlgn.com


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In 2009 Philly native Rynear Smith came to Detroit to attend the College of Creative Studies and that’s actually when he met the rest of The Whlgns. While in school he was majoring  in Transportation Design, completed a year, went to study Diagnosis for automobiles at Wyotech and received his diploma! Good shit! He’s now building a brand called Details by Naj (which includes auto repair, auto consultations, and home renovations) and is also working on a custom furniture business. Yeah, this guy builds shit and is now helping build-up his city with exquisite architecture. Despite working at what may have been a dream job and the Nissan Dealership prior to his current career he has found a passion in what he does an it shows through his work!


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Marie Streety is the Color Theorist for The Whlgn’s as well as the creative mind behind the Detroit bound cosmetic line, Hometown Hues; Which is vegan, Halal and handmade. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, she makes every lipstick and eyeshadow by hand. The growing line is inspired by the city itself with lipsticks such as The Spirit of Detroit (a lovely teal with gold flakes) and Motorcity oil (a rich bold black). To see the true hues of home visit the site here!

Now, also known as “Streety”, she’s also a special effects artist. From a voodoo doll, to the creatures from the very popular Attack on Titans and much more. Marie is able to convince you into believing that she’s cut up or bruised with how realistic her skills are.


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While being in the midst of building his own high-end cleaning company, Allante Steele makes it his responsibility to give every opportunity his all until his goal is no longer a dream, but a reality. With this business of his he’s able to be available with his work all year ’round. In any under condition. Whether its snow removal, landscaping, or simply cleaning windows (both inside and outside). I mean c’mon, Allante is your go-to guy for when you need a cleanse. Just like the rest of the team, he won’t fall short of quality. His work speaks for itself. He also responsible for being The Whlgn’s Public Relations professional by keeping up and organizing the team’s opportunities.

One thing I can say about The Whlgn is that we are all a work in progress and we’re all about a greater cause. We work with people who love what they do.


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A friend of Breann White informed her about a camera that was on sale and from that point on her curiosity for photography has grown into a career 5 years later. After toying around with the camera she has realized her potential in 2009. Same year that she became a Whlgn. Shortly after she created an elaborate story about her new-found career and was able to photograph famous actor Idris Elba. From there her career sky-rocketed, she dropped out of college and started traveling in 2012. Breann’s stunning photos and bold looks are inspired by hood music as well as her ongoing dreams. With being a Whlgn she feels that her way of communicating with her team and allowing her clients to unwind and be comfortable is what sets her apart from other photographers.

Check out her work on the website BreannWhite.com


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Prior to being the new kid on the block, per say, Rowan Minor (@Rowwhlgn) has been a both a photographer and a videographer for some time now. Using his camera to capture the beauty that sometimes lie in some not-so beautiful places. He’s able to tell a story with his photographs and encourage people, especially the youth, that you can travel and capture art. “I think it’s important that everyone is able to explore their creative side” says Row. And with this mindset he hopes to one day help Detroit Public Schools revitalize their arts and entrepreneurship programs. Which is vital if I do say so myself.

 He’s working on an ongoing project as we speak, entitled Views, which showcase all the places he’s been as a Whlgn. Keep up with him and his adventures and send in any inquires on RowanMinor.com.


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Sean Linn is a graduate of the School of the Arts Institute in Chicago where he studied print media, painting, illustration and animation.  With bold handpicked images and the acquired skills, Linn is able to print unblemished pins for the team and anyone who’s willing to pay. They’re quite nice, by the way. His passion for printmaking stems from artist such as the legendary Hokusai and José Guadalupe Posada.

 Printmaking historically was the first form of mass media and propaganda. In my own works I explore themes of identity, race, origin, spirituality, politics – and think of it as my propaganda

Visit SeanLinn.com and view more of his work as a print maker


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