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Meet Tui Lyon of RAW Artists in House Of Blues

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tui Lyon.

Tui, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am the Artist Experience Director for the RAW San Diego showcases, as well as San Diego and I manage 4 other cities nationally. Directing shows for RAW is only one part of my position, I also train and manage the other Artist Experience Directors that run our shows nationally. Being the face of the company at our events in incredibly rewarding, I get to see people’s dreams come to reality!

RAW artists aim to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW ventures to provide the platform for these artists to be seen, heard, and loved.

RAW showcases indie talent in visual art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry, and photography. RAW is a fun and alternative way for artists to showcase both to their local community and the world-at-large. We are not your average art show. We are loud, colorful, creative, and all about our artists. We are RAW.

RAW currently operates in over 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK!

In 2003, a small-town girl graduated high school and moved to Los Angeles. Heidi Luerra’s only wish was to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a fashion designer. Not wasting any time, she started her own clothing line. She soon realized that she was just one small fish in a very big pond. She sold her pieces at swap meets on the weekends while going to school full-time, working part-time and interning in the fashion district.

After a while she thought … “there’s got to be a better way to get my work out there.”

Surrounded by new friends and talented people in art, music, performance and film that were facing the same plight — she decided to take matters into her own hands.

In 2005, Heidi Luerra threw her first multi-faceted showcase in Los Angeles. After much interest from the community, she found her calling — to create a platform for the many talented budding artists out there.

In 2009, equipped with a mission of bringing tools and resources to artists, RAW was born. After the first RAW event, a local web developer, Matthew Klahorst approached Heidi about combining these art events with an online community for artists. From this collaboration came the next evolution of RAW — promoting artists both online and offline.

In 2011, they decided to take the concept beyond Southern California, to the cities across the United States. In July 2012, RAW made its first international debut in Australia. In 2013, RAW opened additional locations in Canada and the UK. Years since its start, RAW is now hosting events and showcasing independent creatives in over 70 cities across the world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
RAW has been on a steady incline working hard to provide opportunities for artists, it’s not always an easy road but we are constantly aiming to improve our services for artists to help them achieve their goals.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
A sunny day in my front yard in a paddling pool with my sister, friends and family around. It was a hot summer day, people were laughing, sharing food and I was wrestling with a blow up canoe that entirely filled a blow up paddling pool.


  • Tickets to RAW shows are $22

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