I’ve moved!

Hi y’all.

If you don’t know this yet, I’ve moved! While I’m still blogging, I have now joined my words together with my photos for my new site Teniola.net.  Go check it out now!

New Website

When being inspired is not enough.

Don’t deny it, Instagram has a tendency to suck sometimes – and by suck I don’t mean to call social media evil or that it’s a terrible idea. I’m not here to tell you to delete your accounts, but I truly think Instagram sucks because it can honestly drain the life out of you if you’re not careful. 

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I’ve never tallied up the amount of hours I’ve spent on Instagram but I know that whatever the number is, it’s a high one. On average, each user spends about half an hour* every day perusing through posts and double tapping pictures. Just add a few more minutes to that mix and you’re probably getting closer to my average.

However it’s not so much the hours on Instagram that started to scare me but the time spent after I had mustered enough mental strength to put the phone away and actually decide to do something that didn’t require my eyeballs being plastered to a tiny screen. 

Because of this need to check it everyday more than once a day my life never felt “there” enough. I was never where I wanted to be in the way I dressed, my career, my home, my photography, love life, and regular relationships. To help console myself  and compensate for that I found my way back on Instagram (and some times Pinterest) under the excuse of “trying to get inspiration”, trying to “better” myself. I falsely believed that if I could see how others were living I could also apply their ways to my own life. 

Maybe for some that method does work (ain’t no shame in that game) but for me and maybe some of you that will never be the case. It all became less and less of a constructive critique and comparison of other people’s lives to mine  and more of a consuming need to see others doing what I wanted to be doing myself – to live through their photos while never having to really do anything myself. 

Living through them made it so that I was never living for myself. Time would progress but no progress was actually being made.  

However, even with all that said it’s not from me that you’ll ever hear that social media is the root of all evil. Although I will put it out there to simply be careful. Don’t let Instagram, or any social media platform for that matter suck you dry of your precious time or invaluable ideas. Don’t let what you see on the screen dull your mind or lead you to put your life into a box of how you think it ought to be because you believe it will make your grass look greener. 

You can be inspired until the last of the sheep come home but ultimately only you have the power to do all that you want. No one else is gonna live your life for you and you cannot vicariously live through others. 

*Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Younger-Users-Spend-More-Daily-Time-on-Social-Networks/1011592

Be easy. It’s my first time in a long time.

(I haven’t put any words up on the page in quite some time but I’m feelin’ a bit different. So just bear with me and my little less than smooth post tonight).

I just bawled  to the point of snot running down my nose  while on my bedroom floor. I’m approximately 8,392 miles away (give or take a thousand depending on what coast of the U.S. you’re looking at) from my siblings; I’m a bit behind in the work I have to do; my college loans are very much still existent and just like the body that I’m learning to love daily, they’re not changing anytime soon. BUT all that is NOT the reason why you would have found me sitting on my knees crying my eyes out not too long ago. Yes,  my life has a few “bumps” that I wish would just roll themselves out but , hey, what can you do?

I’ll tell you what I did. I thanked Him for every situation in my life – bumps and all.  I thanked Him for my health. I thanked Him for my aspirations that while they are hard to reach sometimes, they are still existent and that means there is always something to look forward to. I thanked Him for my family. I thanked Him for the roof over my head. I thanked Him for the heart in my chest. I thanked Him for every memory I’ve had the fortune of making and every future moment that I’m blessed to walk forward to.  Yes, like I said, my life has had a few bumps and the occasional mountain but that will never stop me from being grateful for everything else. It’s in doing so that things fell into perspective and I realised just how bad my focus was. What business do I have dwelling on the bad when there is so much good just begging for attention? Focusing on everything that’s good brought me to tears because it made me realise all the more just how much God loves me. He loves me so much that in the midst of all my ruts and  complications He is willing stay and see me through. I was brought to tears because I know that no matter what, I’m going to be okay – we all will be. 

24 is just as special.

Last week I turned 24. While there were no balloons or no extravagant gifts I found this year’s celebration to be just as special, if not more than any other year of notable mention (You know like your 1st, 10th, 15th or 16th, so on and so on). The day and the weekend that followed were just like any other but this time, being inspired by Liisa Luts who photographed her own wedding, I decided to photograph my own milestone from the first moment shortly after 12am Friday to the end of my weekend  after church on Sunday. Yes,  I still had to go to work, I still had to come home to wash the dishes and a few other things you could consider mundane but it’s because of those things that I truly woke up feeling like one of the most fortunate people in the world. Here I am, 24 with the privilege to work at a place where the people that surround me are some of the brightest and talented people in the field; I get to come home to a place I can call my very own; even though my birthday fell on a weekday, I am grateful for friends who took time out of their weekend to celebrate with me again; and lastly, I get to freely give praise to God, whom without Him all this and the last 23 years would not be possible.

So I leave you with these, may you also find any reason at all to celebrate every birthday and regular day in between.


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MAKE YOUR MARK: Hayley Zena Jamieson

HayleyJamieson_artist

What’s your name? 

Hayley Zena Jamieson

Where are you located?

Sydney’s Inner West

If you could describe what you do for a living in your own terms, what would you say? 

I would say that I do whatever I can do retain the funds in order to continue painting. By day I’m in fashion retail, and any other second I’m painting and honing my practice.

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

I think that most contemporary artists are interdisciplinary in some sense or another. When I’m painting or formulating ideas for new pieces, I don’t limit myself to just the realm of ‘painting’. I also use influences and techniques from photography, print-making, sculpture, film and performance art. In saying that, I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself by any of those titles, they are more inspirations.

Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up? 

Oddly enough, yes. but not exactly in a conscious way. It was never ‘I want to be an artist’, it was more along the lines of ‘I never want to stop painting and creating’. It’s just odd to me that it’s eventuated into this real-life manifestation. It’s really only been in the last two years that I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘artist’ could be my career title.

Can you put into words your career history to date? 

To me, I’ve gone from an amateur artist coming out of high school, then completing my Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts as an artist with a more rounded idea of what I’m doing, then completing my Honours at the end of last year with a body of work I was incredibly proud of. Now I would classify myself as an upcoming artist. I feel like my personal journey blends a lot into my career history, they heavily intertwine.

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself? Was it an easy transition?

In reality I work part-time for an Australian fashion company and part time for myself, so whenever the transition to being completely self-employed does arise, I feel I’ll be well equipped. The most important thing to remember in those times of working for yourself is, discipline. I’m really good at creating structure and routine in my weeks as well as monetary budgeting, and I think that has a lot to do with one’s success as a sole-trader.

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day? 

I don’t have an exact routine at the moment, which is bad. It’s something I need to work on. I get out of bed around 8.30am after scrolling through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), 30 min work out or walk, make breakfast and then sit myself down to research or paint, depending on my mood.

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

Again, it’s all a bit messy at the moment. But I use cooking and exercise to break up painting or research sessions. Sometimes I find it difficult to switch off so I can work late into the night if I’m feeling particularly charged.

What is your favourite part of the day? 

When the sun starts to go down. This is when most of my inspiration and motivation comes to me, which is odd considering I do most of my outdoor painting during sunlight hours. But my planning and productivity comes when the sun begins to set. Maybe it’s the idea that the day is almost over therefore my mind goes into overdrive to get as much onto paper as possible. It’s when my best ideas develop and I feel happiest to ruminate on them before bringing them into existence.

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do? 

For me external success is positive feedback and constructive criticism. While I do believe my process is derived from my own person and is for me, it’s really important to know that my work is relevant and important to others. Internally, it’s about purging my mind and physicality.

What has been the biggest success so far and why? 

My biggest success so far was the positive feedback I received from my first solo show at GKJE Gallery at the start of the year, ‘Act I: The Gesture’. It reaffirmed where I am right now as an artist, and pushed me to work even harder.

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way? 

I just try to put everything that happens into context. Which is easier said than done sometimes. You just have to continue creating and continue the theory behind the works.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest  career inspiration, who is it and why? 

I really just have too many. Any artist or painter, particularly women, that have successfully made a living from their craft and has stayed true to their intentions and practice. It’s important to remember that every artist is acutely human and that they all follow their own paths to success.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them? 

Develop your budgeting and time management skills. Communicate with others in your field. Never stop creating and questioning.

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same? 

The same. I tend not to believe in ‘what if’.

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up? 

Yes, but all in good time. I was very conscious of my time as a child, I knew it would go quickly so I

savoured it.

What do you want to do next? 

At the moment I’m just concentrating on my new body of work. I have a group exhibition at the end of the year with GKJE Gallery, but otherwise I’m mainly setting goals to do with the actual creation of new works.

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote? 

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”  ― Randy Komisar

It’s a pretty good motivator.


 

TO SEE MORE OF HAYLEY & HER WORK, CHECK HER OUT ONLINE:   INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

MAKE YOUR MARK: Emanuel Opadiya

EmanuelJerietDwightOpadiya_musician

What’s you name?

Emanuel ‘Jeriet Dwight’ Opadiya

Where are you located?

Sydney

If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?

I would consider myself a creative artist; painting pictures with music and giving the world something to remember me by.

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

I wear many hats – as well as being a music artist I have a clothing label along with mentoring other artists and small business owners, producing music, innovating and managing.

Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up?

Yes it is, no doubt about it.

Can you put into words your career history to date?

Not as such, it’s been a long journey. 

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself?

Yeah, I use to work at footlocker and several other retail stores so I just decided to take a leap of faith which is risky as a musician but I have had lots of support along the way and have worked very hard to get where I am.

Was it an easy transition?

I wouldn’t say easy as such but it was for something I was passionate about so it was easy to solider on.

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?

Coffee > Pray > Weetabix > Social Media > Emails > Music

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

Arrive Studio > Get on a vibe > Make or refine a beat > Write a song > Play FIFA while listening to the end result

What is your favourite part of the day?

Listening to the finished project

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?

Internal: Is being an influential character in society that shows people how to live by good values

External: If I won a grammy

What has been the biggest success so far and why?

I just signed a publishing deal with Universal Music

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?

I stay humble and remember to keep thanking God and remind myself where I came from.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest career inspiration, who is it and why?

Kanye West. He is an artistic creative genius in my opinion.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?

Hard work and perseverance are the keys to success.  As I said though, stay humble and remember your root values.

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?

No, I’d do it just the same but possibly with some better time management.

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?

Yeah most definitely. As I said I endeavor to be influential to people like my younger self so I think I’ve achieved that.

What do you want to do next?

I plan on releasing an album that will change the face of both the Australian and worldwide music and hip-hop industry.

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?

Dreams are worth more than money.


TO SEE MORE OF EMANUEL & HIS WORK, CHECK HIM OUT ONLINE:   INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD | CLOTHING

MAKE YOUR MARK: Eric Bolt

EricBolt_Pilot

What’s you name?

Eric Robert Bolt

Where are you located?

Hartford County, CT

If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?

I’m a man of many hats, just as any good entrepreneur should be.  Aircraft Broker, Pilot and Marketing Executive would be the big three. However, the generic term “entrepreneur” might sum it up better

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

Being an entrepreneur and your own boss, it’s inevitable that you are the Marketing and Sales Team, the IT Department, Accounting and overall, the manager of all of those roles.

Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up?

Ever since I was a little boy, following my father and mother around and through airports across the world, I always knew that aviation would be my passion. That being said, I never expected to be brokering airplanes for people. I figured I would be flying for an airline or some large corporation. To be honest I didn’t know it was such an attainable job.  Looking back however, I truly enjoy flying around for my own business and being my own boss.

Can you put into words your career history to date?

Hectic. I have had so many jobs since I was 16, Everything from Audio Visual Technician to Zip line Guide, Freestyle Ski Instructor to a Police dispatcher. I’ve enjoyed trying different jobs over the years, but it’s safe to say my passion is Aviation.

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself?

There were many times where I was a part of a larger organization and not my own boss and I’ve really appreciated the opportunities in the past. Having different jobs and working for different companies and bosses really gave me a good insight into the business world.  I’ve learned so much from different business models, management styles and corporate structures, and try to utilize what I’ve learned in my own business practices.

Was it an easy transition?

I wouldn’t say it was easy. At a job where you have a boss and a more “structured” position, someone sets your hours, your pay rate your projects, etc. Being an entrepreneur changes all of that. YOU set your hours, YOU prioritize your projects, YOU have to make it work, so you can take a pay check home at the end of day. Overall I’ve enjoyed the change of pace, however, somethings have been easier than others.

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?

Morning routine? What’s that? Anyone who knows me realizes I am the farthest thing from a morning person. I usually wake up around 7:30, feed my two rabbits, all of the fish, take a shower, get dressed and attempt to be on the road by 7:45. It’s a pretty hectic 15 minutes, but in my opinion it’s worth the extra sleep.

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

Every-day is different, which is what I like most about my job. Most days consist of handling all of my marketing outlets, following up with clients, reaching out to new potential clients and/or flying all over the Northeast to meet with customers.

What is your favourite part of the day?

My favorite part of the day is usually getting home and reflecting on my day. Work is fun, but not working is even better!

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?

Personally, I strive for both internal and external success in all that I do. My personal business goals come from all the external work I do with clients and customers.

What has been the biggest success so far and why?

My greatest success is meeting my amazing clients and learning their stories about how they got into aviation. Making a sale is great and all, but having a solid client base who will offer return business is amazing.

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?

My father, who is just retiring from 42 years at Pratt & Whitney, has coined a phrase to which I live by. “Stay calm, move forward.” So simple yet so true. Just keep on keeping on and everything will work out for the best.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest career inspiration, who is it and why?

My biggest inspiration is my father. I have never met a more dedicated, hardworking professional, that cares so deeply about the company he works for and the people he works with. He is loved by everyone he has every worked with, and his accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. My father will always be my inspiration and I hope to be half as successful as he has been.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?

The same advice I use myself when there are tough times or bumps in the road. “Stay calm, move forward.” You will not get anywhere in this business unless you keep at it. Keep making calls, firing off emails and meeting people. In this business, opportunity comes from hard work and persistence.

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?

I’m sure some minor things I would change, however, I have no regrets. The good times have been amazing, and the bad times have been a learning experience, but through it all it has made me a better person, a better professional and a better aircraft broker and pilot.

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?

Of course! I’ve always wanted to work on and with airplanes and that’s exactly what I get to do, everyday.

What do you want to do next?

Sell a large jet. That’s my goal. Everything up to this point has been large business prop planes, or small single and twin personal aircrafts.  I’m greatly looking forward to reaching this goal in my career.

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?

“There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.” – Harry Copland

No truer words could be said in the aviation industry. Be safe and you will be in the industry a long time, take chances and bad things can and will happen. This quote reminds me to be safe while flying and in the worst case, landing is always a better option that continuing and getting into trouble.


TO SEE MORE OF ERIC & HIS WORK, CHECK HIM OUT ONLINE:  WEBSITE | EMAIL |

MAKE YOUR MARK: Ian De Graff

IanDeGraff_Owner_Kafoury

What’s you name?

Ian De Graff

Where are you located?

Portland, OR

If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?

I am an individual that designs or curates pieces and collections by personal style and liking for sale to the general masses. 

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

I would say my main title would be founder and designer. Aside from the multiple hats that come with just those positions, as a start-up, I am also wholesale/sales manager and shipping manager at the moment. When you start up a company you do end up wearing a lot of hats.

Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up?

Not necessarily. I remember a few things I loved to do growing up: playing soccer, drawing & being creative and building legos. What stuck with me most was that I’ve always loved to build and create so it makes total sense in what I am doing today.

Can you put into words your career history to date?

My career began just about six years ago visiting an aunt who taught me how to sew. She gave me a few leather and canvas scrap pieces and access to her machine and I went away creating something I needed. At that time it was a wallet. From that point on I came home trying new materials, buying sewing machines, making hundreds of samples over the course of the years, learning sewing patterns and designs, as well as studying fashion. I found my heart in simplistic design and created my own brand a year ago.

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself? Was it an easy transition?

First off, making the leap from working for someone else to working for yourself is a huge challenge that is not always easy. Throughout the years I’ve had great support from my wife, family and friends. If it wasn’t for them I could have never made that jump.

Before the time of working fully for myself I went in and out of a few jobs. While I was working as a barista I hit a road block in my life where I was tired of working a dead-end job that I didn’t love. From there I began to create my first collection of leather goods and pursued my own brand. My wife who worked for her family business was able to support us as we made the transition of me working as a barista to putting out a collection and working odd-jobs to fully working for myself.

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?

Most mornings I try to rise as early as possible. A must-do to get the day started off right. I try to read the Bible and meditate on the day soon after. Think about what needs to be done and plan for execution of all that.

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

First thing I do when I get to work is check on emails. Once I am caught up I try to connect with a few new people each day. Whether that be an inspiring artist or photographer or a shop or boutique that could carry my products. From there I work on what needs to be done for production of the business then move towards marketing. Posting content on social media and connecting with people on there. Social Media tends to be a task that is managed throughout the day. From there I work on future collaborations or collections for the brand. Sketching, drawling, measuring and making samples. In the early days of a start-up there are no hour limits to your day. I may have a small break in between each part of the day but mostly work until I can’t. Especially in this beginning season of the brand.

What is your favourite part of the day?

The best part of my day would be the work part of the day in general. Since I get to do what I love it doesn’t feel like it will be the death of me to put in extra hours. It’s truly a joy to create in my mind, draw it down, make a sample, get it into production and market & sell it to the public.

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?

I would define my internal successes primarily as working a full day. A part of that day is learning something new personally or something new to apply to the business, whether that be in design or business or a new strategy.

External success would be for an individual to love the product all the way to purchase and have them enjoy that piece for many years to come. Other external success could be getting press features from blogs, magazines, etc.

What has been the biggest success so far and why?

One of the biggest successes I’ve had within all of my work comes from a more personal stand point.To believe in doing what I love and that I can get it done. This has effected everything as a whole. When I came to a point in my life where I was fed up with working jobs that I never fully loved or was passionate about I searched for something that I did love and would do for a very long time. For a long time it was the worry of being able to get the job done right, to not fail. Also, largely to do something different than the normal 4-year degree and desk job. Personally I couldn’t settle for that. Not to diminish any jobs like that or anything. I’m personally just wired differently. This lead me to believe in who God created me to be and honor that I am like I am.

This then lead me to jump over HUGE hurdles of fear and failures to come. It’s known to be said around the industry that we are in the work of failures but the greatest thing is believing you can do what you love to the point of actually making it happen and never giving up. Failures will come and so will success but I truly believe you can’t totally fail at all until you give up completely. That is the moment of failure.

This has affected how I approach everything I do. I continually learn and get better at what I do, but never ever believe that I should call it quits. Some days are hard but I just can’t quit –  it’s outside of my mind now. This has been the biggest success and has affected everything because I am working at my dream job and that gives me the will to keep getting better every day. When you do something you love things such as overtime, early mornings, late nights, education and learning new trades all start to seem natural. Which all lead to successes of the business.

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?

I’ve learned in my industry there are lots of moments of failures. Like I said before, we call it the industry of failure. If I were ever to advise someone coming into my position I would tell them to prepare to fail. We can’t get hung up on the failures. They will always come here and there. I heard someone say once that the most successful business owners or entrepreneurs always have something in the oven in terms of ideas. Once they take something out of the oven they put something new in and if that thing they took out fails they continue on to the next idea and so on and so forth. It’s all about learning from the failures and moving on to the next thing.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest career inspiration, who is it and why?

Stephen from Stephen Kenn. Stephen is a designer based in Los Angeles who creates furniture and bags. Stephen is not only an amazing creator but a great guy in general. He pursues normal everyday life and relationships with intention and heart. I would sit down with him any day to learn more about life, career and doing what you love well.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?

I would encourage them in who they are and in their creations. The biggest weapon we have is believing in who we are. Believing in what we can do and that we can do it. To search for their liking in style, design or creations and focus on that. Focus on originality and creating something they love.

Always have something in the oven. Don’t hang onto failure, learn from it.

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?

I learned a lot along the way. I wouldn’t change it in any way but if I were to do it again I would remind myself to work on creating the best product I could and to work hard to get it out there into the public eye.

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?

Absolutely. I would be excited to continue to explore creativity, working with my hands and working hard to make it my everyday job. I also would be excited to work along with other creative designers and people.

What do you want to do next?

I have goals to continue to create new and different things. Bags are great but I’d love to explore the world of apparel, architecture and create a one-for-one to give back to those in need.

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?

There are a lot of things we cannot control in life but one thing we can control is giving it our all.


TO SEE MORE OF Ian & his WORK, CHECK him OUT ONLINE:  WEBSITE | INSTAGRAMTWITTER

MAKE YOUR MARK: Polly Irungu

PollyIrungu_ Owner_KGHustle

What’s your name?

Polly Irungu

Where are you located?

Eugene, Oregon

If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?

I am a creative who helps others find their creative voice.

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

Job #1 College Rep / Social Media team for Def Jam Recordings (DefJamU)

Job# 2 Production Assistant for PAC 12 Networks

Job# 3 Freelance Photographer

*** MAIN *** Job #4 Marketing and branding for my company K&G Hustle

Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up?

The funny thing is, when I was younger I had a dream to be an FBI agent. I wanted to study criminal minds and then that changed to engineering and now here I am a photographer with my own marketing business.

Can you put into words your career history to date?

When I was  16, CNN iReport featured me as one of six international women journalists to watch. Then at 18, I was invited to assist a fashion journalist at the Grammy Awards on the red carpet in Hollywood, CA. That same summer, I won a spot in a New York City exhibit and had my work featured on a billboard by Creative Rising. The following year, I was recognized by the University of Oregon as “One of 25 Ducks: Who Will Change The World” and was featured in the college newspaper, The Daily Emerald. I received this recognition twice; one in 2013 and 2014. In May 2015, I was awarded Women4Africa’s (women4africa.com) International Young Achiever of the Year.

I began my journey behind the lens early in high school. By snapping anything that captured my eye I perfected my craft and created an escape from reality. I spend countless hours of capturing images behind my camera to create well-rounded photos and master the art of photography one photo at a time. Each and every photo I take is a demonstration of my love to create art for the world to witness.

Besides K&G Hustle, some of my interests consist of fashion, traveling, music, and innovation. Aside from being the CEO at K&G Hustle, I am a regional representative for Def. Jam Recordings and occasionally I also work with the PAC 12 Sports Network as a Production Assistant.

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself? Was it an easy transition?

Great question. Everyone has to start somewhere. My first job was at McDonalds as a cashier. I worked there for almost two years to purchase the camera I currently shoot with and a Macbook Pro. After McDonalds, I did a few student leasing jobs at apartment complexes near the University of Oregon. It was while working at my leasing jobs that I realized I am not someone who can do a 9-5 job. I felt like I was suffocating and losing my passion to create. I quit my leasing jobs and switched focus back to my freelance photography work.

By gaining experience outside of the classroom, I was able to score an internship with the University of Oregon Athletic Department as a web intern for GoDucks.Com. That internship led me to be a seasonal production assistant for the PAC 12 Networks (and etc).

Change is never easy. To make such a leap, you have to be OK with doing it alone – at least for a while. You have to understand that everyone is on a different journey and on a different pace. I am about to be cliche but life really is way too short to not do what you love.

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?

I thank God for another opportunity to get it right. After saying a short prayer, I check my phone and all social media channels (#firstworldproblems). Then you know, shower, get dressed and Starbucks coffee.

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

Ah girl, that is tough to say. My average day is cray. I usually start at around 9am and wrap up around 3am. If I have photo shoots then I schedule them as early as possible. If not, then I have class from 10am-2pm. 2pm-5pm is set aside for homework. 5pm-7pm is set aside for photo editing. 7pm-9pm is my ‘me time’ (eating, Netflix, browsing the web etc). 10pm-12am look for new opportunities (concerts to photograph, internships etc). 12am-whenever I am tired is set aside for answering emails, and social media work for DefJamU.

What is your favourite part of the day?

About 2am. The rush of creativity that flows thru my head after midnight is sometimes overwhelming. However, I feel like 2am is my primetime.

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?

Matthew 16:26 – “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

What has been the biggest success so far and why?

My first note from a stranger that said I am an inspiration. When I felt like I was not on the right track it was a positive affirmation. All I want to do is make a difference and give back.

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?

Everyone will be bound to have off days, fail, get rejected, etc. I used to be in a dark place in middle and high school. I wasn’t sure of my purpose and would be really hard on myself. Then a friend reminded me of the bible verse, (Ps 30:5) “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” You have to search for that inner strength to continue.

Traveling helps give me peace and a new dose of inspiration. I also love looking at the Because of Them, We Can series. Knowing that those who came before us had much larger obstacles but overcame by not giving up is why I must continue. We need to lead the younger generations.

At the end of the day, faith, family and friends. A support system is everything. I know that my story has just begun and I have faith that it will get better. I strive to be better and do better each day.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest  career inspiration, who is it and why?

Karen Civil. She has changed the game for the entertainment world by simply having a passion and work ethic unlike anyone else. Brands such as Beats By Dre would not be where they are today if it was not for Ms. Civil. I respect her as an innovator, creative, activist and fierce black woman. She is truly an inspiration.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?

The sky is not the limit, the limit is what you make it. You have to ignore the voices within that say “you can’t”, “not good enough”, “that dream is not realistic” and so on. Your attitude is everything. People may laugh at your goals but so what?! You will have to do some things alone. You can’t carry dead weight all the time. If it is not adding to your life then let it go!! Last but not least, believe in yourself. No one will care about your dream as much as you. You have to invest in you!! When you feel like giving up, take a day to refocus and reenergize. You got this!!! Rome wasn’t built overnight. Oh and also, I am a firm believer of speaking it into existence. JUST CLAIM IT!

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?

I would do everything the same. I don’t think there is any point on holding onto the past and having regrets. Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes but it is important to learn, grow and move on.

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?

Never in a million years did I think I would have accomplished all these things, meet so many dope people and be living in Oregon. Yes, I think little ol’ Polly would be excited and proud. We only see a piece of the whole puzzle.

What do you want to do next?

I want to spend more time on focusing on me. It is important to breathe and listen to your body. But do not worry, I will still be on my grind.

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?

Philippians 4:13New King James Version (NKJV) – “I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.”

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV) – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott


TO SEE MORE OF POLLY & HER WORK, CHECK HER OUT ONLINE:  BEHANCE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

MAKE YOUR MARK: Josh Enobakhare

JoshEnobakhare_Digital Media Director

What’s you name?

Josh Enobakhare

Where are you located?

Camarillo, CA

If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?

I’m an adjunct professor in the TV & Film Department at Santa Barbara City College

I’m a freelance Digital Media director in Los Angeles

I’m a digital media producer at Hillsong Church Los Angeles

I lead up youth lighting for Hillsong Church Los Angeles

Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?

Encourager, time manager, accountability partner, trainer, problem solver

Is this what you’ve always wanted to be when you grew up?

It pretty much has been, at least since early high school

Can you put into words your career history to date?

Santa Barbara City College: 01 / 2014 – Present

TV & Film Production Adjunct Professor

FP114 (Video Editing) – Teaches the fundamentals of video editing from development to distribution through hands on experience.

FP175 (Film Production) – Teaches the fundamentals of pre-production, production and post production in the feature film and music video industries.

Olufemii.com: 01 / 2012 – Present

Digital Media Director + Video Editor

Produces, directs and edits music videos and commercials for A-list clients in the domestic and international market.

Clients include Coca Cola, Uggs, Tevas, Sean Kingston, Nickelodeon’s Kel Mitchell etc.

Hillsong Los Angeles: 07 / 2014 – Present

Digital Media Producer + Youth Lighting Director

Shoots photography for weekly distribution on all social media platforms

Shoots and edits video for monthly campaigns and events

Leads up the Hillsong Youth lighting team

ActionVillage.com: 11 / 2011 – 12 / 2013

Video Producer

Video producer at one of the nation’s largest action sports retailers

PDXImprov (defunct): 09 / 2008 – 04 / 2012

Creative Design & Marketing Director

• Co-Founder of Portland Improv, organizer of several flash mob events. Many events involving thousands of participants.

• Created and sustained the organization’s brand ID and vision

• Onsite Event director & Video editor

If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself? Was it an easy transition?

I’m still in that process of going completely freelance. I believe the key to achieving complete financial independence as a creative is:

Finding and filling a specific need in an unreached niche market

Effective personal branding

Strategic networking

A honed in focus of perfecting your skills

Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?

Snooze button 2 times. Then Subway.

Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):

In the morning I drive north to Santa Barbara and teach 2 film production classes. After teaching I usually drive to LA for a shoot, then I drive back home to video edit.

What is your favourite part of the day?

Magic hour. The last hour before the sun sets. Creates boss lighting for film production.

How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?

It can be easy to get caught up in external success, which involves the validation from others. The joy that comes from external success, however, can be fleeting due to its subjective nature. 

I think internal success is all about recognizing value based on your personal life goals. A lot of the time this disregards the opinions others.

What has been the biggest success so far and why?

Oh wow I’ll have to think about this. I’d say joining the Hillsong creative team.

With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?

Often as creatives we measure our value based on the level of our abilities, or based on our personal gains or failures.

Finding our significance in anything other than Christ can be a risky venture as we experience the ebb and flow of life. People and situations fail us, we don’t reach earthly career goals.

What’s incredible is that our worth has already been determined for us (regardless of our bumps and successes)! Christ valued us to the point of carrying the burden of our sins at the cross.  Here’s  a vid I made about this concept not too long ago: Identity.

Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest  career inspiration, who is it and why?

It would be this guy Salomon Ligthelm. He was a lead video producer at Hillsong Church for years. He directs gorgeous internationally syndicated television ads and, shoots incredible music videos for A-list artists. When he releases a video on Vimeo the whole world seems to take notice.

In my opinion, he has single handedly set the visual style that Hillsong has adopted for all of its video content. The incredibly high quality in Ligthelm’s visuals has been adopted by so many churches around the world too.

It’s so interesting reading about the glorious art that came out of the church during the Renaissance period. I believe that today’s church is finally reclaiming that territory in the form of gorgeous video media.

Check out Salomon Ligthelm’s portfolio.

Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?

Choose a specific area of expertise.

You’re asked, “What area of film production are you in?”

Never state, “Oh I’m good at everything.”

It will be assumed that you are mediocre at everything.

State your specific area of expertise, (DP, video editing, color correcting, VFX, screenwriting, etc) and you will be respected as an expert in that field.

If you are actually good at everything, it will be evident without having to be told.

Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?

I would have learned graphic design too 😉

So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?

Oh definitely!

What do you want to do next?

I’d love to continue to learn visual effects

What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”

Romans 12:2


TO SEE MORE OF Josh & his WORK, CHECK him OUT ONLINE: WEBSITE | VIMEO | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM