Jul 29, 2023

An Interview with Nile Livingston of Creative Repute

by: Jenny Donnelly Johnson

In honor of National Black Business Month, I interviewed Philadelphia artist and business owner Nile Livingston to talk about her work with Mural Arts as both an artist and as the principal of Creative Repute, a Philadelphia-based design and development firm. Read on to learn more about Niles’ visionary work and creative contributions to our city. Mural Arts is proud to collaborate with such a talented creative force!

Tell us about the mission and work of Creative Repute.

Formed in 2017, Creative Repute is a design, website development, app development, and marketing agency that boasts an impact-driven vision that informs its work and hiring practices. As a Black-queer person, I am intimately aware of the disproportionate representation of multiple-marginalized people in my industry: as of 2022, “70.2% of all US graphic designers are white, and only 13% identify as LGBT+.” This glaring lack of diverse perspectives is one central issue that Creative Repute actively challenges. By hiring an expansive range of creatives and strategists, the company occupies a unique lane, which fosters culturally competent work in a business world growing increasingly dependent upon visuals and seeking to keep pace with a necessarily progressive culture. Creative Repute has spearheaded captivating and relevant visuals and invigorating platforms for organizations whose heft ranges from using 100% of its funds for mission-aligned change, like the Nathan Cummings Foundation, to highlighting scholarship from marginalized persons with Colored Convos Media

What is important to you as a Black business owner? How does that shape your company’s values?

As a third-generation Philadelphian, my precocious spirit was nurtured within a village that instilled the importance of community. Growing up in 1990’s West Philly (and, no, the Fresh Prince was not around) with family and neighbors who honored Black progress and its promise, I inherited cultivation from the social strides of African American trailblazers. In the in-between time of absorbing the fruit of rigorous labor and protests from earlier Black culture workers invested in Philadelphia, I spent countless hours constructing worlds using discarded blueprints, kneaded erasers, and paper clips from my dad’s and pop-pop’s architectural work. My immediate community’s ubiquitous encouragement of my inventiveness led to my entry into Philly’s talent-laden Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA), where I began charting a formidable art career via enrollment in an after-school art program at Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP). I went on to study large-scale metal fabrication at Kutztown University.

Energized with the enduring tenacity of someone whose entire life has been tilled in art, I returned home to Philly, post-graduation, with my refined talents, communal love in tow, and a creative, resolution-based headspace ripe for business. I quickly began organizing and completing volunteer mural projects and various forms of street art with my childhood friends. This practice garnered attention from interested people and organizations like MAP (again), who contracted me for projects. Over time, my public art demands grew to a size simply unmanageable for one person. I harnessed my social and organizational skills acquired as a third-generation Civil-Rights kid alongside my aesthetic instincts to establish Creative Repute, LLC.

Since its inception, Creative Repute has helped redefine a design agency and what it can accomplish. Creative Repute brings a deep bench of expertise in public art, brand strategy, and data to deliver well-designed solutions. Having earned a host of recognition, such as the Global Indigo Award and a ranking in the Philadelphia Business Journal, Creative Repute, is poised to do more with even greater impact in the coming years. 

Creative Repute is certified in the following: MWBE, WOSB, WBENC, WBE, SBA 8(a), & NGLCC LGBTBE.

Give us a quick rundown of the ways that you and Creative Repute work with Mural Arts. 

2004-2006 Nile joined the Mural Art’s Mural Corps program.

2006-2010 Nile went off to Kutztown University.

2010-2011 Nile returned home and worked on volunteer mural projects.

2011-2017 Worked on murals, taught programs, and designed marketing materials.

2017 Creative Repute, LLC was formed.

2017-2022 Nile & CR continues to design murals in collaboration with Mural Arts.

2023 Nile & Creative Repute is contracted to work on the following projects:

  • FloatLab brand design and marketing strategy
  • Philadelphia Ballroom Mural Design
  • Hospital of UPenn Mural Design

Future: Mural Arts has always been open to keeping pace with a rapidly changing world, from collaborating with the people of Philadelphia on a virtual mural during the pandemic to experimenting with NFTs when they first began to spread in the public’s consciousness. I’d love to generate more opportunities to explore new technologies with Mural Arts, including robotics, AI, and murals without walls – the imagination has no limitations. 


  • Nile Livingston painting. Photo by Elijah Sanchez.

  • Nile Livingston painting.

  • Nile Livingston at a Mural Arts Event.

  • The Promise Mural dedication, November 4, 2019. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Inside Creative Repute.

  • Proposed design of the Philadelphia Ballroom Mural "Finally on 13th" by Nile Livingston.

  • The Promise Mural © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Nile Livingston & Gabe Tiberino, 33rd and Wallace Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Philly Rising mural design by Nile Livingston.

I’m honored that MAP continues to work with me as I grow and develop as an artist and business owner. I’m inspired by their commitment to enlivening our world with art while enriching the lives of artists through various kinds of commissions. In this moment where formal institutions increasingly disregard the critical need for art and our world needs deep healing, I’m comforted by the lane MAP has carved and continues to nurture.

- Nile Livingston

Contact info for Creative Repute 

(215) 690-1185



Last updated: Jul 31, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share Your Thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *