Today we’d like to introduce you to Dakota Kruz.
Dakota, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been an artist since day one. The only thing that’s ever changed has been my medium. As a kid, I really enjoyed comic books. That led me to pick up a pencil and pursue illustration. In high school, I was introduced to musical theatre. Sometime around my sophomore year of college, I changed my major on a whim and met the plethora of creative mediums that combine to form the awesome art of filmmaking. Most recently, I’ve developed a passion for making music.
I very much so consider myself a polymath. Too often, we buy into the idea that we are only capable of excelling at one thing. I resent that; we have the capacity to do many things and do them well. I don’t allow anybody to place their personal limitations on my life.
That being said, if I had to label myself as anything in particular, it’d be a storyteller. I consider storytelling a keystone skill. It is broad and encompassing in such a way that many other creative mediums draw upon it. I’m not talking about mastery of pen and paper. I’m referring directly to the ability to weave, revise, and critically analyze concepts. I want to tell stories. That’s why I’m an adventurer. The more diverse my experiences, the larger a creative reservoir I have to pull from.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
More than anything, I’ve learned to embrace the journey. I live life regret-free. I learn from my “mistakes” and apply my newfound knowledge to my future. That being said, I place a heightened emphasis on personal agency. That means ownership over one’s outcome; this always requires a very delicate explanation.
Things happen around us. That doesn’t make them our fault but they are ultimately our responsibility. Handle these things as we may, I attach no guilt to circumstance. We are conscious architects of our own realities. We willingly craft our own destinies. Without embracing this, we live life passively. Affected by our environment rather than taking advantage of our potential to affect it. No judgment to anybody that does, but that’s not my style.
A conscious mind is a terrible thing to waste.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I like exploring areas and topics that others deem taboo. I eagerly challenge status quos. I’m a huge history and anthropology buff so I’m really keen on opening people’s eyes to the depth and girth of the human experience. Our universe is much bigger than any specific culture, ideology, or tradition. Anytime the status quo or a deeply embedded convention is disrupted, it’s a tense moment. However, I’m comfortable getting uncomfortable. More often than not, we need to get uncomfortable in order to grow.
Art, in any medium, can be a very powerful tool. Art can outlive the artist. Mass media and global interconnectivity make it possible for us to reach a large audience in a shorter amount of time than ever before. I’m using art to stimulate growth in myself, in others, and in society.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Some people define success by the acclaim they get or the net worth that they accrue. While accolades are great and exciting, no institution or academy validates the degree of success that I experience. My scale of success is measured by perceived impact, living an impactful life.
With each project, I’m aiming to either: enlighten myself, challenge ignorance within myself, or provoke an (uncomfortable) discussion that stimulates progressive discourse.
The work to impact the world around me starts within. The easiest person for me to impact is myself. That’s why each project is a process of discovery. I want my legacy to aid and empower those that come after me.