Belayourself was created by Latravia Shelton, also known as Lay Precious Marie. It is a life changing transformation blog that motivates people by powerful, artistic posts to be themselves, love who they are, and create the life they are destined to have. Belayourself inspires people to let go of restrictions and limitations and manifest their heart’s desires. Each post is divided into categories such as personal development, spiritual growth, fashion styling, and traveling. Also, Belayourself has a online fashion shop for people to create their dream wardrobe for an affordable price.
I combine all elements of art together to create a powerful and vivid message for people all around the world. I want everyone to learn or be inspired by not just one category, but multiple. For example, the header image is me laying in leaves with transparent wings around me, but the message is “Your wings already exist, all you have to do is fly.”
The picture below is me in a fashionable state of mind but also surfing through the waves of my heart. The message is “you can’t stop the waves, but you can change direction.”
Latravia grew in Columbus, GA with a spirit full of amazing gifts that began to blossom at a young age. She knew she was different from all of the children due to way she approached things. There were times when she would be in her room writing or talking to God about her life. Latravia knew that she had to find a way to express herself and she found it in writing stories or poetry.
At the age of 10, Latravia started taking photos on her Samsung flip-phone, changing clothes every 50+ photos, and gaining confidence in herself. That was her way of releasing the pain and bullying that she was going through at school. Soon after that, Latravia started doing graphic design on her vintage Window’s desktop on Adobe Paintshop. She didn’t have to learn from anyone or even ask people to help her. Latravia signed up for a Graphic & Website Design class in middle school and even the teacher was surprised that she had so much experience at a young age. There were long nights and early mornings that she would be up designing over 50 pictures a week of people and herself, but people never knew that designing became her way of telling her story.
As Latravia’s freshman year of high school approached, she started her first graphic design business called “Butterfly Unique”. The name was made by the way she thought about herself. A butterfly that is full of unique qualities. The business was at a good start with tons of people sending her money in the mail to complete designs for them. Latravia’s mom ordered business cards for her and everyone was surprised that a 14 year old girl was making her dreams come true.
Latravia was so excited and thrilled about the goals that she created, but not knowing that the enemy would try to do everything he could to stop it from happening. At the age of 15, Latravia suffered a tragic rape incident that left her full of depression, fear, anxiety, and lack of self-confidence. Her passion for photography and graphic design had disappeared. She was full of rage and couldn’t do anything but sit and ask God “why me, Lord”. Latravia knew that she couldn’t continue to be idol and let the enemy mess with her mind, so she fought for her freedom. She fought every battle, trial, and tribulations that came directly to her with full force. A strong urge for designing, photography, writing, and fashion came to her and she quickly got up on her feet to make her dreams come back to life.
In 2012 at the age of 16, Latravia created BeLAYourself, which means “be yourself” and the LAY means “love and accept you”. The more she posted on BeLAYourself, the more the chains broke off of her. There was a big supernatural increase in her life. Everytime the increase came, the battles came, but Latravia knew how to fight them by trusting, depending, and believing in God. She also had to have faith in herself. There were a lot of struggles, tear shedding, unforgiveness, and doubt that she had to deal with. At the end of the day, Latravia stood up in full victory, knowing that she would make it through.
Today, Latravia grew into a beautiful, bold, fearful woman and continues her journey, planting the good seeds in the Kingdom of God. More than an artist, Latravia has a passion to use her God-given gifts to be of service to others and bring total glory to God. Her struggles and tribulations are spoken, written, and even created to tell her story, as well as to teach people to receive their full abundance and live a great life.