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Check Out A Brilliant Dummy’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to A Brilliant Dummy.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
While in college studying Math & Computer science, I took a web design course during my freshmen year that exposed me to the world of design. I started doing freelance websites after that, but my clients would send me small pixelated images and outdated logos and graphics to build their site with and thats when I started getting in logo design because I didn’t want to keep creating good wireframes for the website and then fill it with bad content lol As a way to continue sharpening my skills in graphic design I started a clothing line in 2009 with my college friend Ashlee, called Crumbled Thoughts. This is also where I got my first experience as an Art Director. Around this time, Instagram had just came out so we created a page and began curating look-books monthly. Being a small startup company, we couldn’t always afford to hire photographers, so that’s when I started getting into photography using my phone.

Since that time, I eventually created my own personal Instagram account (@abrilliantdummy) in 2011 and in 2013 and 2014, my work was featured by Instagram and I started getting more commercial clients. In 2015 I decided to take a leap and focus on my photography and design work full time and I am still growing my business.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely the frick not! Lol. My first hurdle to get over in my journey was familiarity and comfort. I was fresh out of college working as a computer programmer, making a lot of money, but I was not satisfied or fulfilled in the way that I was whenever I was creating art. It was becoming exhausting trying to chase two paths and I eventually had to choose one. Fortunately that initial choosing was kind of forced on my because I was fired from my programming job. I had six months where I didn’t do anything and just sat with myself to figure out where I wanted to go in life. It was during that time when I decided I was going to make the pivot and choose art.

For me, I was stepping into a world of unknowns and that was terrifying, til this day it’s still terrifying. Sometimes you don’t realize how much of a control freak you are until you’re no longer in control of things and that has been my journey, day by day letting go of outcomes I can’t control and just falling in love with my process of the work itself.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My company is called A Brilliant Dummy, where I specialize in art direction, design and photography. I am most known for my colorful photography. In the last two years, my company has been pivoting to the set design and film space and recently launched a music platform called The Chitlin Circuit (@thechitlincircuit_), where we highlight emerging black music artists. This is a project that I am really proud of and excited to bring to the world.

I think my ability to be vulnerable through my art is something I am also proud of and makes me unique. I get to invite people on this journey to just watch me figure things out day by day cause that’s all you can do.

How do you think about luck?
Hmmm, good question, but I would say it hasn’t played a big enough role compared to working. Many people think that you get these random “big breaks and opportunities” then suddenly you blow up, and maybe that is the case in some people’s journeys, but not mine. I have been working my ass off for the past 15 years when no one is watching and even now when everyone is watching. I think some people can get stuck in wishing things happen instead of doing their best in making things happen, somehow, someway. As an artist, now is the best time more than ever to start creating the projects you love without needing to wait for someone else to give you permission. My biggest lesson in life is understanding that things have to be put in place, they won’t always just fall into place….and for the few things that do seem to fall into place as we are working, even that we can’t control – so just work and enjoy your process.

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