I had the honor to lead the Freelance Survival Guide workshop at CalArts this November 6th. Special thanks to Monica Fawcett of The City of Santa Clarita's Innovate SCV program and Bailey Cool of CalArts for coordinating this much needed event. I was excited to share a snippet of my future goals to facilitate a business of freelance certification program for college art students. I hope to build more partnerships within the city as well as other colleges in the county. Take a look at the video, it was pure magic to be surrounded by so much talent.
Words don't quite express how excited I am about this book. I started working on it officially in November of 2018. This book was born out of 20 years of freelance blood, sweat and tears. Mostly tears! I have been fortunate to have been able to make it this far as a freelance artist. I won't lie, I struggled on and off the first 10 years of my career as I worked to identify who my clients were, but most importantly, what my purpose was as an artist. My mission evolved and with that change, so did my brand identity and target market. This is the kind of book I wish that I would have read while I was pursuing my college degree. It would have helped me save so much stress and headaches.
While my maturity as an artist back then was still in it's infancy, It still helps to have some guidance when you're on the path to entrepreneurship. My life experiences so far, have helped me shape this book. This book will help artists land bigger paying clients, generate multiple revenue streams, learn proven marketing techniques and identify, find and acquire new clients (and most importantly, keep them coming back!)
As an added bonus, the book is also equipped with Augmented Reality technology. After the customer downloads a free app, they can hover their phone over any of the 20 images in the book, and watch and listen as animation and live videos will pop up on their phone. I am confident that this book will help you in your freelance career and give you the confidence you need to take those risks, make those pitches, and create opportunities for yourself without fear.
Scholastic invited me to take part in the ALA event this weekend in Washington D.C. to promote my Little Heroes of Color Book. I spoke on a panel, did a book signing, met some influential people and leaped out of my comfort zone in the process. Here is a quick video describing my experience.
Black Public Media held an award ceremony showcasing the finalists who pitched their film projects in search of funding on April 11th. It was an intense program. Oddly, my biggest supporters were my competitors. We became a family. Every practice pitch we did in front of each other made us stronger. I wanted so much to develop and shape my pitch. I worked incredibly hard to sharpen it. Thursday night, April 11th, arrived sooner than I thought. I was ready. I opened with a joke and eased the crowd. It was a beautiful performance. Probably my best presentation ever. I should be getting a link to upload video here soon. The next night we were invited to the gala event where winners were announced. My brother and sister-in-law attended. When my Digital Media category was announced, I was oddly at ease. When I heard my name called, all of my dreams came true. I felt so grateful, so empowered, so excited. This award means that Black Public Media will fund the production of my entire first season! 12 new episodes, that I am just excited to start producing right now!!!
An excerpt from an 8-minute segment filmed in 2012 by the "Big Brothers Big Sisters" program. How kids (including me) overcame adversity through mentors and friendships developed in the program.
The Signal Newspaper from Santa Clarita interviewed my and one of my board members Corey Curties. It was an incredible interview and we were honored to have been given the opportunity. Click here for the full interview on The Signal Newspaper.
I was honored to be invited to guest speak at the August 2018 graduation ceremony at Year Up in Greater Boston. Thank you Year Up for allowing me to share in your joy. Your drive and will to succeed is infectious. The impact you have made has sent a ripple effect across the nation that continues to inspire me and my children daily. I spoke to the challenges we are faced with and incredible high expectations we need to hold ourselves to. I was moved at how many students in the audience were inspired by Heroes of Color and it's values and mission.
A week away from class one. I am up late, trying to re-organize the curriculum and get everything in order for my students. I have been planing this for a year now. At first I wasn't sure if it was going to happen. But I kept on pushing, kept on planning, believing and developing this until I was able to get others just as excited as me. I am excited about the potential impact I believe this class will have on students. Introducing business, giving them a platform to express themselves, teaching them financial independence. I know it will go well. I Will be documenting the process from now on.
Heroes of color is an instructional video series honoring the achievements of people of color in and out of the military.