How To Stay the Course
During the early days of the pandemic, I started making my way through podcast shows and their archives. I really enjoyed listening to this 2018 Design Matters interview with Amy Sherald. I was blown away by how laidback she seemed about her work and success. But I recently read another interview, between Sherald and Thom Browne, where she re-iterated some of the sentiments she brought up on Design Matters. Something clicked this time — I saw it not as Sherald playing down her accomplishments, but more as the artist being transparent about the long game of making art.
"But I really, truly understand that I’m here in this life to make art, and I think it’s what has kept me so steadfast on this path. I knew I should be doing art even when I wasn’t the best at it. I was not the best painter in grad school. I’m sure everyone I was with in grad school is probably shocked that I’m here because I had the least talent. But I worked really hard and was determined to do this. I saw no other vision for myself. Luckily it worked out."
I've also learned over the years, from interviewing creatives in different fields, that it's not always about having the vision from the beginning. Many people made huge shifts to doing what they do now, at some point in their journey. Many of them came to writing or art unexpectedly. Don't forget there are many chapters before the story you're seeing right now — on social media, etc, it might seem like things happened quickly or a creative's current work was ALWAYS their focus.
I'm keeping these insights in mind as I follow some threads of ideas I've been putting off.
In my recent work:
I spoke to four musicians in all-female mariachi bands about their challenges, joys and love for the genre.
I spoke to J.T. of the podcast J.T. the LA Storyteller about my writing journey/process, Los Angeles, books and more!
Do you know a BIPOC-led 501(c)3 organization doing important work? I'm on the advisory board for Broccoli's Floret Coalition, an anti-racist collaborative of small businesses in cannabis that has collectively donated $270K to BIPOC organizations. Send me your suggestions for orgs here.