Journals of Dami
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
I’m a creative artist.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
My job involves creating things in relation to being a YouTuber, blogger, photographer and writer. On a day to day basis I’m always making something new or writing up new plans. I’m not able to post everyday on my social media and websites however, I’ll ensure I have my camera in my bag always in case I have a filming or photography opportunity. Besides this I’ll use my favourite apps such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to create collections of art work that inspires and motivates the work I create in order to communicate with other creative artists.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
When I was a little I’d go to a lot of art galleries and this inspired me to want to become an artist, originally it was to become a painter however after seeing Damien Hirst’s butterfly exhibit I wanted to branch out to more unconventional art mainly because I saw myself in it. Most artwork stuck to a specific time which was important for the period it was created in of course, however, I absolutely loved art that meant something to its creator and their own life rather than the life of others…if that makes sense? I really hate putting myself into a box, growing up I liked trends but never felt comfortable being like everyone else, being myself was something I’m grateful for as a child because it moulded me into the person I am today, I know what only I agree with, love and appreciate.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I’ve recently received my A levels in subjects that really helped develop my work outside of school in English literature, Media studies and sociology. I am also doing a photography course for the year which has helped me advance so much more, I’ve got so many photo shoot plans from the class I can’t wait to try out in the summer. I am due to start at Newcastle my dream university in the fall, I’m so excited!
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” – Oprah. As a creative artist it can be hard to break out into your dream industry for example if you’re a creative artist that focuses on health or food or theme parks etc you have to really connect with that community even if it means long nights, lots of blog posts and videos, it’ll all be worth it in the end!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
I love Issa Rae and Hayley Kiyoko! Issa Rae has made a lot of relatable but inspiring TV shows, an industry I hope to enter one day. Hayley because of how she includes her own life within her music, as an LGBT+ artist she has created a beautiful platform for a lot of young people.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
My work focuses on my own perspective on the world, hence why it is called ‘Journals of Dami’, for some creators it is their job to produce things their customers want to see and many creative artists however complain about the lack of independent creative opinions in their work. For me however, I definitely want to produce work that enlightens the world about the issues and events within it as well as the inspiring content that brings us together. In my opinion this is the way to a fantastic work environment, for any aspiring creative artists that may not want to only produce for others but for themselves as well so that you can look back and see how much you’ve grown in yourself.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD AND WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS' TIME?
I would definitely love to be able to get more photo shoots out; my daily routine is extremely busy and mostly focuses on my website and YouTube channel. Since getting a new camera over the holidays, some of the shoots I’ve always wanted to do can now come true so definitely plan out more shoots during the day. In five years’ time I would have finished university a year prior, during which I’ll use what I learn from my course to really help me with my business and brand as well as learning more about cultures globally. I am not sure whether or not I would use the year after university to work on my business more, do an internship or travel they all sound really appealing.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
Honestly no. I actually have different personalities depending on the situation I’m in, while some may not view it as appropriate it’s sometimes necessary for example if I’m in a debate with someone who is homophobic or racist and views people as lesser no matter where I am I will voice my opinions and speak up for minorities on the internet and in person. However, when it’s just me and my camera or my laptop interviewing someone, taking their photo or just putting down my thoughts onto my blog or in my journals I’m a completely different person, someone not everyone gets the chance to see because I’m kind of in a bubble when I write. By that I mean I’m so engrossed in what I create I only want to put my best into what I’m creating that it’s kind of like shutting off the world, what many would call “being in your zone”. I love it, because when I look at the finished piece it feels absolutely amazing kind of indescribable but beautifully overwhelming.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
As of now, I’m the only person but I would love to expand in the future to accommodate more people into a future business plan. Being a woman I’ve learnt and seen what it’s like for us to be cast aside, paid less and when we ask for more or say we’re feminists, we’re made fun of in and out of the media. I would love to have a role in the future that provides a positive outlook for the feminine perspective and jobs within my business.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Diversity matters to me so much, we need to learn to understand each other and not just tolerate our differences but appreciate it. One of the phrases that I hate is “I don’t see colour.” I want people to see me as a black woman and all the beautiful things that come with being a black woman, my culture, my history and my heritage. I just don’t want you to look at me and see negative stereotypes that can come with someone’s race.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
I had to ask my family about this one, because for me I find it hard to draw a line between my life and my work. I don’t want to sound work obsessed when I say this but my life has become my job, in the sense what may be down time for some people for example reading a book for me is both relaxing but also work…I’ll write a review about it later. Or I’ll have my camera in my bag so I never miss a photography opportunity… the truth is I feel really blessed to be able to say that what I used to do just as everyday life has now become my job and I love it and hope to grow with it. Nevertheless, I know how important downtime is, for some people it’ll just be going on social media but even if I’m on there I’m networking, making collections and getting inspired. But honestly I do have ‘Down Time Dami’ which includes three things, baking which I have taken up again and I love it so much one people really enjoyed was my Minishsmow cake, a double layer of chocolate cake with Nutella in-between and on the top with Marshmallows. I also love gardening with my mum during the warmer seasons and lastly binge watching TV, when I’m winding down at night or on the train somewhere (I travel a lot) I have been able to get through 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in 3 weeks…. Having a balance is so important for your mental health, if you do nothing but work you will become more stressed and this will affect you physically. Do what you love as much as you can, because you matter.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Being able to meet deadlines, consistency and high quality work. Some YouTubers find it handy to say they will upload on a particular day every week, some everyday etc to ensure consistency. Most importantly however is high quality work! Some people will post often but if your work is really bad or you just threw some things together your viewers will notice, if you haven’t got the kind of lifestyle that allows you to post often make sure that whatever and whenever you post your work is at a high standard.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
Spend some time finding out what you’re good at and enjoy, don’t join something because someone forced you to, you might end up hating it. If you find out you love writing, maybe think about setting up a blog or writing a book? If you love filming start filming with your phone and move forward with technology. Also always be open to criticism, it might be hard at first but it will honestly improve your content. Growth happen suddenly its pace can be fast or slow so try not to get discouraged if things don’t move as fast. Lastly, never compare yourself to other creative artists or anyone at all! We all develop at different paces, are better and worse at different things, comparison is the enemy to you creating your best work. Just make a plan, your plan and follow what you want to do. Success will come eventually!