Here at The Leap, nothing delights us more than seeing creators grow and succeed in their own ways. In this monthly feature, we’re spotlighting the rising stars from different corners of the creative world — from beauty TikTok, to art and design, to the food scene. These creators are making their mark with fresh, unique ideas that keep their audiences — of thousands, or even millions around the world — coming back for more. Read on as we celebrate their latest projects and milestones.
The turbocharged career of Hong Kong-based digital creator Steph Hui reached a new height last month when she hit 1 million followers on TikTok. Known for her quick makeup and hair tutorials edited with super-smooth transitions, the 22-year-old beauty enthusiast only began creating content for TikTok less than a year ago, making her feat all the more impressive. Almost coinciding with this celebratory moment, Hui was recently cast for a Google and Samsung campaign, in which she dances alongside Addison Rae at a house party.
“I’m so incredibly grateful and appreciative of every single one of you,” Hui writes to her fast-growing community in an Instagram post. “These past few months have been insane — I never thought posting content would change my life and I owe it all to you guys for making these opportunities possible for me.” We can’t wait to see what’s next.
Khaby Lame has risen to the very top of TikTok. The newly crowned most-followed TikTok creator has come a long way from posting his first video in March 2020, to amassing 146 million followers on the app two years later. How, you ask? The Senegalese-Italian content creator has captured the attention of meme and comedy lovers globally with his silent skits, including reaction clips and videos in which he hilariously mocks so-called “life hacks.”
“The funniest part of my content is the silence,” Lame told Vogue in an interview. “Silent comedy speaks a language that everybody in the world can understand.” Clearly, he has cracked the code on TikTok virality. Cheers to that.
Is it cake? Israeli artist Tal Maslavi has created a drool-worthy shoe design that’s been re-shared seemingly everywhere on social media. From the Shenkar fashion design student’s graduation collection, the black derbys look almost edible with missing chunks in the toe box that reveal realistic-looking layers of a cream cake. The playful, avant-garde footwear has gained the young designer international coverage, and has even served up inspiration for a few illustrators. We love to see it.
Swapping brushes for a mic, last month, Vancouver-based painter and multidisciplinary designer Mega McGrath led her first workshop on finding one’s creative identity. “Sharing your process and teaching others is a really important part of your job as a creative. Especially as you start getting older, you begin to ask yourself, ‘What am I going to leave behind to help others and make the world a bit better?'” McGrath told us.
Following her first workshop experience, which was hosted by Herschel Supply, the artist shared that she’d love to be an instructor again. “Whether [they are] more technical workshops, or more theory and creative thinking — I’m not sure yet. We’ll have to see!” She added, “But I know it’s important work that I will definitely be looking to bring more into the world.”
Pushing her own creative limits, McGrath is exploring beyond 2D works like her vibrant murals and nature-inspired oil paintings, and is currently experimenting with sculptural outdoor installations with an emphasis on materials. “I’m so excited to get into that realm.”
Packed with seasonal flavors and adorned with brilliant blooms, Kaitlyn Wong’s baked creations are a sight to behold. Now, home bakers can learn how to make some of her recipes, too. The New York City-based pastry chef, who goes by the moniker “a balcony in Brooklyn,” has launched her own Substack newsletter in which she shares what she’s baking (and cooking for weeknight dinners) in the kitchen. For the perfect summer dessert ideas, like the pavlova cake pictured above, we recommend that you hit subscribe.