“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”
- Theodore Roosevelt
Wait a minute, I’ve been here before! The temperature was below zero with snow lightly coating the ground. I remember fighting an insatiable eagerness to grapple with my fears, as I set off to cover my second NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto only a few years prior. The current day is quite different from the aforementioned work-caetion. Sitting on board my flight to LA, I take a moment and think to myself - "I’m covering the NBA All-Star weekend as an entrepreneur, passionate visual artist, creator, lover of sports, fashion and sneakers, with nothing to weigh me down". I remember going to Canada a few years ago for the first time. It was technically my first time out of the country, outside of a cruise I went on once that didn’t require a passport. Unlike reporting on my first NBA All-Star weekend in New York, Toronto seemed to have much more in store. I’d be covering so much at once in so little time. I’d booked interviews with Draymond Green, Nike designers, and had to capture event coverage for multiple brands. It all seemed overwhelming at the time, yet I was still more than prepared to embark on the journey. There was one catch though, my conflicting boss, who’d put so much pressure on me to shoot a ton of footage without any assistance, etched it in my brain that I needed to capture footage that would only get us millions of website visits, or YouTube views. On top of that, I’d have to navigate the city solo with no international phone service. While I didn’t get a ton of big-name interviews with the celebs he wanted, I came back with a load of contacts from networking, potential interviewees, and footage from every event I attended, minus this private Jordan Brand party that was held in a castle at this remote location. In hindsight, all of that pressure taught me how I needed to seize every opportunity. I was able to conceptualize new equipment that I needed to get certain jobs done, but my biggest lesson was that I needed to create art for myself and others who shared like-minded visions. I was being taken advantage of and not receiving the credit I needed for the hard work I was putting in. So this year, when I arrived in Los Angelas to cover the 2018 All-Star Weekend, I was creating liberally and collaborating with brands and people whom I’d built amicable relationships with. I’d even get a chance to share spaces with some of my favorite artists, Pharrell, Kanye West, Tinker Hatfield, 21 Savage, and Asap Rocky. Networking had played a major role in my success as an artist, particularly being a freelance creative. So being gifted with gab in addition to perfect timing played a major part in my recent triumphs. My affinity for fashion, sneakers, and art transcends casual fandom, so when opportunities arise to collaborate with brands like Nike, adidas, Asics and Jordan Brand, I’m appreciative and impelled to create something that moves not only myself but genuine fans of the culture.