Every once in awhile, I have to redefine certain aspects of my life. Being a writer comes with its ebbs and flows when it comes to career and specialties. Being a freelancer and business owner magnifies those aspects even more. Even at this early stage in my career, I feel the need to redefine how the world sees me as a creative.
The pandemic made many workers — freelancers and salaried alike — rethink how, when, and where would they earn a living. This all happened after I had decided to pivot from a dead-end track in customer service to become a full-fledged freelancer. It was scary for a moment but a bright side emerged on the horizon.
Like many freelancers, I have struggled to maintain and obtain work as the economy took a downturn. It was hard for a while as I started having second thoughts about going independent. But after a few months, things started to fall in place as I not only got more contract jobs but finally took the step to make my business official. Now, I can finally work myself without all the trials and tribulations associated with my old jobs.
Practicing various styles and directions have given me a sense of freedom I never had working a traditional job. I finally feel free from trying to elevate someone else without appreciation or reward given my way. Like any type of work, freelancing has its ups and downs. Now, I finally have the chance to work at my own pace and select what I pour my energy into. Work has been slow but steadily picking up over the past few weeks.
Along with my work, I decided to write my thoughts and feelings as a way to help me cope with the outside chaos. This blog has been my outlet. I’ve managed consistently to write about my journey for months (with some breaks in between). This blog has been my safe haven as I figured out how to deal with this unexpected event like everyone else.
While this blog and my contract work have taken up my time, I’m slowly finding my way back to screenwriting. November is NaNoWriMo, and I plan to use that time to my full advantage. Thanksgiving and Christmas break will give me ample time to work on some ideas as well as fine-tune others. Over the past few months, I have allowed myself to try on many hats as a writer — and it’s been worth it.
When it comes to my professor’s job, things have been a little easier lately as I become more and more comfortable with eLearning. After midterms, I can finally see the finish line for this semester. There are only a few projects and two tests left for the course. The pandemic has made things somewhat difficult for both faculty and students. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for everyone all around!
Welcome to The Creative Grind where all things visual exist! This blog will allow me to show my creative process for my art and visual designs.
Since it is Black Music Month, I decided to pay homage to the men and women who have affected the culture in some shape or form. This week’s post deals with the men of Hip Hop. I wanted to create something that would speak to the volume of the legacy each man holds within the genre. There were so many to choose from, but I narrowed it down to some of the best lyricist of all time.
Here are my source images:
If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!
As my time at SCAD draws to an end, I found some time to take in my passion – animation. Watching others’ work only drives my need to write for the medium even more. Check out the images and video below for more on that night.
As a screenwriter and creator, I’ve studied the greats by emulating them while trying to put my own spin on narrative storytelling. There has never been a drought for finding inspiration in film and television. There have been a myriad of writers, producers, and filmmakers who’ve influenced me in some shape or form. But a pivotal figure in my life since childhood has been the recently deceased John Singleton. I’ve watched everything from Boyz in the Hood to Poetic Justice to Baby Boy (certified hood classics). So I felt compelled to attend a celebration of Singleton’s life at SCADShow.
Time has flown by as my time at SCAD draws to a close. Working on my craft consistently has paid off as I continue working on expressing my artistic self. All that work led to a much-needed break from this blog, but I’m back… for now.
I needed time to recharge with so many big events coming around the corner. Being creative while life continued to move forward was a struggle for me. I’ve found myself getting anxious as graduation and Out to Launch drew closer and closer every day. As I’ve mentioned before, being creative every day was draining me. Some of my planned activities had to be placed on hold as time and energy needed to be placed elsewhere. Gearing up for Out to Launch caused me to put my spec script on the backburner (for the moment, at least). I found myself uninspired to create a work that wasn’t original. Plus, giving myself a month to write it ALONE wasn’t my best idea. As hard as that decision was, I needed to ram up my output for the fair. I’ve worked on improving my portfolio, resume, etc. (BTW, this website as well) as I prepare for post-grad life. I’m looking forward to the pay off this work is going to earn me.
Even though screenwriting was on hold, writing continued on in other forms. I wrote my final (?) article for The Connector. I’m actually proud of this piece as it’s my first interview. It was nice interviewing an alum and finding out so much about a person making their mark on the animation industry. Be on the lookout for that soon.
I tried my best to participate in Black Artpril, but I only produced one piece (check out my Instagram). Much of my design and artwork was focused on Out to Launch. The new work on this site has been a reflection of that. With my physical portfolios on the way, Out to Launch will be my moment to shine. Hopefully, my journey will finally begin as a writer from this upcoming experience.
Putting my writer life on hold for my art life has been a nice break for me after finishing my thesis. But hopefully, post-graduate life will give me time to find a balance between writing and creating art.
I look forward to working on my craft to build the future I want.
Come back next week for more on my life as a creative.
As the countdown to graduation begins, getting all my ducks in a row has been my mission. I have so many physical and mental deadlines that need to be met before June 1st. Being on my creative grind has been my focus as I prepare for post-grad life.
In terms of writing, I’ve planned and plotted my new moves for entering my future career. With so many skill sets to draw from, I constantly found myself needing and wanting to create a screenplay that changes my life (if not now, definitely within the next year or so). Upcoming writing fellowship deadlines have pushed me to create a spec script worthy of a spot in a fellowship. The only hiccup has been actually writing it. I did give myself some mental time after my last quarter to give myself some breathing room. Four years of assignments, deadlines, and internships had left me a little bewildered by the whole grad school experience. Visiting family and regrouping were definitely what my mind needed. So far, the past two weeks have been a test of resilience as I prepared to write my first solo spec script. Having the strength and energy to write after long workdays has been a struggle for me. This along with writing for an already existing IP has been a challenge for my creative spirit. But after some time, I’ve finally begun writing the script. Hopefully, the month-long completion has allowed me to complete it by the May 1st due date.
Along with screenwriting, I’ve begun writing for The Connector again and thinking of potential pieces to write for some websites and blogs. Writing for The Connector will be the easier of the two as I cover SCAD’s GamingFest and conduct an interview (look out for those over the next few weeks). Writing a possible thinkpiece and publishing more on Medium will be challenging as I find time to write and revise. Medium has gained my attention as I continue to explore my options for publication. I’ve thought about submitting to a writing contest or two to find homes for some cherished pieces. I’ve even played around with a potential idea for NaNoWriMo (might lead to a full project by the end of the year). Writing for some digital publications has become a huge goal for me (the goal is to have two to three pieces published by year’s end). Having all these goals will definitely keep me busy for the next few months.
Writing became my calling, but my heart laid with visual art and design. I spent the better part of the past few weeks working on character and background design for my portfolio. Expanding my visual portfolio has become a big deal for me in my quest to enter the animation industry. Designing for my original characters has allowed me to re-think previous work and create some new material. With Out 2 Launch around the corner, a fire has been lit under me to put my original ideas to paper (or screen). With some much creativity, I’m hoping to catch some eyeballs next month.
With all that said, I hope all the work pays off in the end. I can see the light (even though it flickers from time to time).
Yesterday was mixed with dread and excitement as my graduate journey officially came to an end. All the preparation, writing and time had led to this moment. As a creative, the past few years had been a juggling act of school, work, and personal life. My ability and push to be a screenwriter was tested and nurtured during my time at SCAD.
Yesterday was a bittersweet moment as I finished my last class as a graduate student. I found myself wanting to suspend time like Zach Morris. I wanted this moment to last as I knew the world of adulting was waiting for me. Mind you, I’ve been doing a tightrope walk between work and personal life since the beginning of my graduate career. This was my last hoorah before the 9-to-5 life and job searching really took over for the next few months. But I can let out a sigh of relief as I laid out a post-graduate plan for the next few months. My creativity will know no bounds as I will focus on writing (across various platforms) and improving on and creating more visual design and art. I plan for my portfolio to be robust by the end of summer. This along with May’s Out 2 Launch and writing fellowship deadlines has stoked my creative fire. Part of that fire is shadowing around the area in order to foster my career as a designer and writer.
Seeing my fellow SCAD alum on social media living their best creative lives has made me feel better about post-grad life. Instagram posts, blogs, Patreons, and book previews gave me the push to pursue my creative life no matter what. I definitely plan to step up my online game before my commencement in June.
With post-grad life being a reality, I feel a sense of relief and nervousness. I still have some benchmarks to hit before graduation, but my future is definitely looking brighter day by day.
In spite of my thesis journey ending, I will continue posting here as well as on other platforms. So stay tuned!
Today was a mixed bag of emotions as the end of my graduate journey begins. All the preparation, writing and time had led to this moment. This was the moment of truth for me and my future as a screenwriter.
Today was a bittersweet moment as I defended my thesis this morning. I was a bundle of nerves as I approached Ivy Hall. The faculty decided to try a different format by having all the thesis candidates speak. All I had to say was “Thank You” because the pressure was of me completely. It was nice to see some familiar faces in the room in the same spot in our thesis journey. I was in a unique situation as I was defending my thesis screenplay with a pitch for broadcasting. My nervousness gave way as I went into full brand mode trying to sell my pilot to “television executives.” I gave my thesis the full pitch treatment as I spoke on the setting, the story, and characters. I felt like I sold the pilot to my intended audience. Soon, I was done to great relief. I was able to relax and hear what my fellow grad students had been working on. I was excited to hear the processes each student had gone through to craft their thesis. After a while, the Q-and-A session began as we answered a variety of questions from the committee. There was one question that threw me for a loop as I was asked to do an elevator pitch for my thesis. I believe in the old adage “If you’re always ready, you ain’t got to get ready.” I surprised myself by being able to spit off my logline in a record forty-two seconds. In the end, everyone gave a sigh of relief as the spotlight was off us. It was bittersweet as I took some pictures in front of Ivy Hall for the last time.
After my thesis defense was done, I found time to get started on some other things. I began working on my short film for film class. Along with this project, I started putting myself out there by emailing some production companies for shadowing purposes. I’ve kept in contact with some companies I met from Career Fair and had some great interactions. I had a great conversation with TV writer Cindy Bertram (courtesy of my professor). It led to what might be a great mentorship post-grad. Working on other writing projects has crossed my mind over the past few days as I decide my next move. I’ve begun planning the next few months before graduation as my future draws closer. Being active on social media has extended my reach through my blog and visual posts. I’ve definitely been gaining in interest and feedback. On the job front, prospects seem fruitful as I continue to network moving forward to Out to Launch in May.