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The
Seeds

A lifetime of curiosity and self-discovery helped me cultivate an unapologetic style by my own design. There are many of us who never faced our fears long enough to lay claim to their desires. And I used to be one of them. 

Ray Liotta's role in Unforgettable had me daydreaming about becoming a medical examiner until I dissected a frog with my bare hands in 7th grade. After that, I stuck to docuseries like HBO's Autopsy, A&E's Cold Case Files, CourtTV's Forensic Files to play detective. Like tackling on new logic puzzle, seeing investigations unfold with each new clue uncovered rarely lets me down.

 

Growing up as a sheltered, latchkey 90s kid, I was obsessed with Xena the Warrior Princess, HBO's Rome and Sex and the City while other kids my age were going ga ga over The Simpsons and  Seinfeld. Dysfunctional family dramas like The War of the Roses and Parenthood mirrored my own, but buddy cop action franchises like Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop helped me escape.

 

Yet I wondered why there weren't more storylines with badass women provocateurs who looked like me or empowering storylines for bold people of color who broke boundaries by harnessing their own power.

 

I rolled my eyes at all the movies where Black male comedians felt playacting as a woman was HIL-arious. I hated all the chitling circuit, straight-to-video, B-movies about gangland dramas and crazy baby mamas or slave narratives pressing rewind on the same overwhelming racial trauma and harm to black bodies. Horror movies aren't my thing either because seeing black people as easily disposable targets in subpar plots isn't my idea of fun.

Birth to 2009

I was born a reserved, yet buoyant (with loved ones), and avidly curious child. My enthusiasm was not to be rushed until I arrived at my conclusions first. The oldest of souls, I always had a good head on my shoulders, though oft misunderstood by those unacquainted with subtler natures. My love for creativity was born out of doodling fashion illustrations, single-family residential elevations and floorplans, urban perspective drawings, and realistic portraits. Capturing the style and design of life would become my future story.

Ever since I started reading at age 3, my favorites of life's greatest sanctuaries are to visit museums, libraries, and bookstores. My favorite of life's mysteries is reacquainting myself with history by exploring my roots while closing the gaps in my understanding. Immersing myself in the worlds of different story mythologies and crushing on role-playing games deepened my thirst for fantasy, adventure, and period dramas.

In freshman English, I learned to flex my skills by writing  Shakespearean sonnets. Angsty, love-starved poetry shaped my style of expression until college. John Berendt's portrayal of Savannah in his Southern Gothic true crime novel Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil directed me to move to the haunted city with the spirit of "a beautiful girl with a dirty face."

 

Soon, I discovered that Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)  was the cultural heartbeat of this eccentric little city on the river. Building houses with Legos and drawing single-family floorplans told me that a double major in Architecture and Historic Preservation was in my future. But life had other plans.

 

After my best friend expanded my exposure to global film and cultural gems, I changed my major to Film and Television. Anne V. Coates' mesmerizing, Oscar-nominated edit of Out of Sight starring J. Lo, George Clooney, and Don Cheadle inspired me to break down moments into emotional beats and musical vibes by studying video editing as a specialty.  

 

If someone should ever ask, my favorite class was Music for Motion Picture. I dropped Sound Design as a minor to graduate on time, but I still build shrines of sound filled with playlists of every flavor that give me theatrical vibes or help me plot story ideas.

After film school, I boycotted the Oscars because I was done aspiring to a racially obtuse organization that politicizes excellence by holding back the needle when it came to reforming social norms within the entertainment industry.

2009 to 2018

After my pivot into graphic design in 2009,  I worked at RealNetworks for a year, then relocated to New York City to launch my freelance career.  Beginning with a freelance contract with Womankind, I navigated the boardrooms and creative studios of high-profile in-house brands and dynamic, global agencies with projects spanning nearly every vertical from telecommunications and real estate to politics and health care. I worked in Manhattan, lived in Brooklyn, and mainly played in Lower East Side Manhattan and Brooklyn. I built a creative lifestyle catering to every adventurous desire and social whim. Cultivating my style and design aesthetic while living my best life was the only rule. And I brooked no exceptions.

 

In 2015, I left New York City in a storm cloud. By 2016, I had landed at CBRE working in brand marketing & new business development. I spent two years honing my talent, eventually graduating from mid-level to senior level without the title change. I became the Creative Team lead spearheading great work that I was proud of while providing design leadership to junior and support staff on technology, art direction, and best practices, when and wherever needed. By mid-2018, I earned an atmosphere change because I experienced burnout for the first time in June 2017.

 

Yet I jumped out of the pan and into the fryer, accepting a Midterm election contract with the Campaign Workshop in July 2018, a boutique political marketing outfit. Burnt out again after the months-long sprint, I decided a change of pace was critical to my overall health & wellbeing.