Today we’d like to introduce you to Ivan Leon.
Ivan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
How I got started? Hmmm Let’s see. Life as a nine year old kid seemed to change the year of 1999. I discovered the tv network MTV. My world seemed to explode all of a sudden with music, fashion, videos and culture. 1999 was the year Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, N’ sync, Janet Jackson and many others were either being introduced to the world or in their prime. Music Videos were the standard and MTV at the time had so many different programs enlightening the viewers on the entertainment industry. Shows like Behind the Music, Making the Video, Diary all gave me the information that would later shape my career. All of a sudden, at ten years old, I decided I wanted to dance professionally.
I went to a performing arts Jr. High School and studied dance and acting for two years after that, I decided to follow in my idols J.lo/Diddy footsteps and become a Fashion Designer. That decision lead me to Fashion Industries High School in Chelsea. While attending fashion, I learned how to sew, drape, pattern make, embroider, and many other fashion related topics. During my senior year, I was lucky enough to land a paid internship with a Hat Milliner, Patricia Underwood. I am proud to say I worked with that company from the age of 17 until 26. During my time there, I grew immensely as an artist. I started assisting stylists, photographers, dancing professionally and attending college full time at night. I participated in a community college in Queens, NY studying communications and theatre. I spent the next few years, focusing on my dance career while still working in fashion. Fast forward, it is 2020 and I have been living in California for the last three years. I decided while out here to evolve and transition from professional dancer to a Creative-Art Director.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If you consider yourself an artist then you’re aware of the struggles it takes actually to be one and make a true living from it. I personally would say one of my main struggles has been “Mentality”. The entertainment industry (especially dance) can ruin you mentally if you’re not truly equipped with the knowledge to know who’s advice to listen to and you’re history on the career. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling guilty about the sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to become successful. I have missed birthdays, baby showers, dates, family moments that I can never get back. Moving from one city to another and experiencing those types of growing pains has definitely been a challenge. Now that I am over that hump in life, I have come to realized all those sacrifices are worth it. I had to make all these twists and turns in order to bridge the gap for other artist in my family to be who they are. We only have one life and I refuse to let anyone decided how I shall live it
Please tell us about your work.
This is a very exciting time for my company and me. I’ve had to focus extremely hard on changing my mindset from an Artist to Business. iiEntertaintment is a production/creative company. We specialize in Visuals, Live Performance and Photography with musicians and fashion brands. My company is all about working with other talented individuals who show passion, esthetic, vision with their work. I was exhausted with constantly being put in a box. I figured the best way to move forward in this industry is to do things my way! I want to use the platform to send positive messages to the world. I want to continue to work with people who are passionate about vision.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
As hard as it is sometimes, I am truly myself. I want to think that being true to who I am is a key component to my success. Everyone’s definition of success is different. I stick firm to my morals and beliefs. I believe knowing my core values has kept me from straying into doing things I do not like nor enjoy. Having a wide range of knowledge in the field I am starting my business in has helped significantly as well.
- Website: www.ivan-leon.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @eye_van02
Creative-Art Direction: Ivan Leon