Photography by Christian Gonzalez.
For D’ana Nunez (creative director and artist) and Parris Pierce (multimedia designer), love is letting one in and not turning back. With plans to stay for only one month, Parris traveled from Virginia to Miami to see D’ana in December 2013. They’ve been inseparable since.
Being the caring, creative beings they are, the couple makes sure each are on top of their game, while also inspiring one another to create and thrive.
Hours after Parris proposed to D’ana on June 5, they took a minute to talk all things love for ILY, from first impressions to intertwining work and play.
D’ANA NUNEZ: How would you define love? To me, love is an unconditional agreement between two people; it’s flawed, but perfect at the same time.
PARRIS PIERCE: Love is being selfless; it’s thinking outside yourself.
D’ANA: How did you first learn about love and from whom?
PARRIS: My family was very loving. I was raised by women. They showed me what it was to care for somebody, especially as a young man.
D’ANA: My brother taught me about love, and the ability to be who [you are] towards everyone. When I first met my niece, that’s when I learned my first lesson about love. I saw something so delicate and so fragile come into this world and shed so much light and happiness among people, without knowing so.
PARRIS: What about me revitalizes you?
D’ANA: Your ability to be humble and calm about things. You and I are complete opposites. You’re able to calm me down [when] things that drive me crazy. You’re able to just look at me and calm me down. I think your sense of humility and the ability to be calm in chaos is what revitalizes me.
PARRIS: You’re very progressive. Your drive helps me make sure I’m on my p’s and q’s.
D’ANA: What daydream about love would you love to make a reality?
PARRIS: I think that already happened, being that we just got engaged a couple hours ago
D’ANA: [Laughs] Literally. I would have to say the same, but I think my daydream essentially about love is meeting someone I can love. I think that happened over two years ago. But another thing I get to make a reality one day is becoming your wife. What role does love play in your creativity and career?
PARRIS: If I didn’t love what I do, what’d be the point of doing it? There’s probably a million people going into a 9 to 5…
D’ANA: And, they hate what they do.
PARRIS: It’s terrible. I can’t imagine not loving what I do or loving the people that I work with.
D’ANA: Yeah, I definitely think that love is a major key in what you do on a day-to-day basis. I think love and passion are key components of work.
D’ANA: What have you learned from love that you want to teach me?
PARRIS: I don’t know. That’s really hard.
D’ANA: [Laughs] Love has taught me pro-activeness. Love has helped me help you without you needing to ask for help. Love’s taught me to teach myself and you how to confide in one another, and listen to you. Love’s given me the ability to be proactive without you having to worry if I’m gonna have your back. Pro-activeness is something that I hope to share with you.
PARRIS: I don’t know what to say about that…
D’ANA: [Laughs] It’s fine.
PARRIS: What have you taught me about love? That’s hard to ask because you don’t really sit down with somebody and teach them things–it just happens.
D’ANA: You taught me that it’s possible. You taught me that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in every case that I’ve personally faced. Whether it’s my upbringing, social anxiety, or whatever the case may be, you taught me that it’s possible to overcome through your love for me.
D’ANA: How would you describe me to other people?
PARRIS: You’re beautiful inside and out. You’re extremely smart, but I don’t think you realize just how smart you are. You’re creative, very creative. It’s a lot. It’s hard to put into words because it’s infinite.
D’ANA: Thanks. [Laughs]
PARRIS: It depends on how somebody asks me. If it’s “what does D’ana do?” She does a lot of things. “Who is D’ana?” [The answer] is way more broad.
D’ANA: Right. I feel that. If people were to ask me to describe you, I would describe you as quiet and super intelligent. You’re super wise. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t get to see unless you’re friends on Facebook, then they see the life advice you give is super wise. I think you’re incredibly talented. I feel like you’re one of those people that can do many things because you set your mind on it–I want learn that. You’re very curious. If you want to learn something and you will douse yourself until you’re able to create whatever it is that you want to create. You’re soft on the eyes, so…
PARRIS: Oh my god. That shit is so terrible. [Laughs] Throw some butter and corn…
D’ANA: What were you thinking right before you kissed me for the first time?
PARRIS: Please don’t be a bad kisser. [Laughs]
D’ANA: [Laughs] Am I?
PARRIS: No ni–a, like, what the fuck? [Laughs]
D’ANA: [Laughs] I was nervous as hell when I first kissed you. In past experiences, I had people with very bad breath. I was just, like, oh man…
PARRIS: Yo, that shit must be so bad.
D’ANA: [Laughs] That’s your first impression for the rest of your life.
PARRIS: Imagine that happening for us, and I came all the way from Virginia. [Laughs]
D’ANA: [Laughs] How was love different for you now than when you first fell in love?
PARRIS: It’s not different to me. You still get butterflies but now I know how to maintain it, maintain the love and attraction in a relationship. Fuck ups and lessons from past relationships have taught me how to keep the love there and not let it fade away.
D’ANA: Every day I feel the same way I did when if I first met you. I don’t think my love has changed. It’s matured like you said, but it still feels the same. I still feel like I saw you yesterday for the first time.
PARRIS: Throw some more corn in there… [Laughs]
D’ANA: Don’t judge me! I’m being honest. Don’t be an asshole. [Laughs]
D’ANA: How do you know when it’s love?
PARRIS: I don’t know. I moved from Virginia to Miami. I was only supposed to be there for a month and it’s been two and a half years. I think that’s love. [Laughs]
D’ANA: I let you into my home. It was super scary for me to let you into my territory, my realm. I don’t do that often with people. I think me letting you into my house both emotionally and physically, I think that let me know it was love. I don’t let anybody in, but I let you in. It’s love.